Marred Perfection

The slow passage of time
as I wait for you to appear to me. Deeper into the night I go
Searching… Searching
For your face o my Beloved.
Then slowly, too slowly for time
Your shadow emerges.
First, a glimpse,
Then clearer and clearer in the darkness.

Oh all this waiting was worth it,
For your flawed perfection.

For the knowledge,
That you were with me all along.
Though it took complete darkness
To know that you were there

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Lonely City

Sometimes I walk around this city that I’ve adopted, lost in my own universe of thoughts and whatever music is playing in my ear.  I came here for the first time at 20 knowing I would come back.  One broken engagement and a few years later, I did. No friends, no family – Just me, with no anchor and no knowledge of what life would have in store for me. At the time, I did not know if I would leave or stay, but as the years passed, here I am still.

 

Although I came from another crowded city, this one is different.  Here I did not have the foundation of friends I could call when that first winter hit.  Here I did not have a cousin whose home I could hide in during times of heartbreak.  Here in my weakest moments, I learned to find my own strength.  As any singular nomad will tell you, there are times when it gets lonely, but there are also times when being alone gives you the freedom to explore.

 

I have fallen in love in this city, thinking that it was that love that would keep me here.  I fell out of love, but still remained.  There have been lives built on the foundations of this city, and they too have fallen apart, only to be rebuilt into a different kind of existence.  There has been laughter and tears, and through it all, I kept finding myself over and over again.

 

The New Year enters this city in a big way.  Friends, acquaintance, and strangers come together to invite the new, hoping perhaps that this coming year will be the one where dreams come true, where everything just falls into place and they find what they are looking for.  Perhaps they will fall in love on this night.  It is a night of hopes, dreams, aspirations, intentions, and for some, action.  Two strangers meet and endeavour to build a life together.  Two lovers part hoping to find themselves again.

 

For some, a connection is found.  For others, standing in a crowd is when they feel most alone, like a lost child looking in through a window at a family.  For some, plans are made months in advance, while for others, it is the same tradition they have held their entire adult lives, in the comfort and safety of familiar friends.  There are those standing on the harbour, waiting to be rescued and those out to rescue.  Then there are the travellers, the nomads, the gypsies; where no plans are made, where there is absolute trust that where they end up on that day is where they are supposed to be.

 

Every New Year that I have welcomed in this city has been different, and without planning, I know that this year will be different again.  I do not know what it will be, but I know that it will be.

 

As I stand on the Opera House steps over looking the Harbour Bridge, or by Waverley Cemetery looking out at the ocean, my breath is taken away all over again.  I thought love would be what kept me here and I was right.  At 20 I fell in love and although I fell in love with my ex fiancé right after that, this city already had my heart.  This city hides me when I want to hide and lets me be seen when I allow it.  In this city I knew complete and utter loneliness, and it was here that I finally fell apart after a whole lifetime of holding things up.  It is here that I found how being alone allowed me to see that I was never on my own.

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Sometimes it is when you think that you have nobody and you are completely alone that you find your somebodies.  They might not be your blood, but you are united in moments of gold – they are the person who speaks to you on the bus, the stranger who steps into your place of work and ends up sharing their life with you, the friend who just holds you for a while when you’re feeling vulnerable, or the random person who smiles at you on the street.

It could be a moment or a lifetime, but it is these times that remind you that you are never truly alone.

Games

Life taught me a lot of things, but she never taught me how to play games. Not that she didn’t play games, she did. The whole game where she pulls away when I don’t want to do what she wants, the silent treatments, consciously or not, she did it.  The problem is that I never learned, and I don’t understand the need to do so.  So in a world of rules and games, my dating life has never been smooth.

You see, I don’t understand dating and the games people play. What is this thing about waiting three days to call? What is the three date rule? Unless you’ve already done the deed and met when you woke up on his arm, or if it’s a friend you’ve known for a while who asks you out, isn’t three dates a little soon? Plus all these other things that come later in the relationship that I don’t get.  The whole idea of letting someone hang around to validate your own self worth when you’re not really interested, to me, is selfish and childish. The whole “I’ll wait for him/her to call, so that it looks like he/she is chasing me,” is a waste of time and the idea of just being there without giving it much effort, is just exhausting.  Maybe I am naïve, but really, I don’t understand how matters of the heart need rules.

 
The dating world is such a jungle it’s almost as bad as the corporate world. And to be honest, it really is like the trying to get a job. The first date is the preliminary interview, and then sometimes there’s a second and third date. Once you get through that, you’re on probation, and if within three months it doesn’t work out, it’s time to let go.  Games are played all the time, and as much as we don’t want to believe it, “treat ‘em mean, keep ‘em keen,” is very much practiced. Hard work. Then there are lies, cheating, abuse, and sometimes, I just don’t think it’s worth it anymore.  Being only a 15 year veteran, I think I’ve just touched the tip of the iceberg in this field and if that’s all there is to it, I’m throwing in the towel.

Perhaps I’m bitter. Perhaps I’m tired. Perhaps, I just can’t keep up with the rules and whatnots.  But perhaps I’m not the only one who feels this way. A friend and I had a conversation late last year. We are both women in our 30’s, just having ended long term relationships. Both of us have jobs, a pretty set social life and were both on the way to changing our lifestyles to what we wanted them to be.  However, when we started speaking about dating, both of us were doubtful about going back into the field.

Yes, were out of practice. We also did not get what was going on. Both of us live in big cities (she in London and me in Sydney), where the dating life seems to revolve around meat market type pubs, and more often than not involve meeting someone while we had beer goggles on.  Then of course, we’d have to be savvy enough to know the difference between a real call and a booty call. Almost a year later, we’re both still trying to get our heads around it.  Needless to say, it’s been a journey, further complicated by the fact that my lifestyle choices meant that pubs and bars are no longer places much frequented.

Is the other choice online dating?

Yes, well, I know a lot of people who met online. Quite a few went into long term relationships. However, after a short stint, I’ve decided that it’s not for me.  As much as the convenience of meeting someone from your couch appeals, I like the idea of letting nature choose. I’m not going to go deep into it, but I feel that dating is only the prerequisite to mating, and to mate, I feel like the whole pheromone/testosterone/chemical/immune system thing has to be in action.  See where I’m coming from?

Friends who are married with kids, or even shy friends think they can live precariously through me.  How wrong they are.  Sitting at home with the cat somehow appeals more than “pulling.” Honestly, even thinking about it exhausts me. Add to that I live in a city that has more of a hookup culture than a dating culture, and I find first dates an awkward test on my sensibility anyway.  So where does one start, or rather where does one head to when the place where one started is just not working out anymore?