Last year I got super caught up in the dream of what it would be like to be loved by someone again. To have someone I belonged to. To have someone to cuddle with. What is strange about this is that I had years of behaviors and thinking that told me I wasn't good enough for this. I had years of sadness and had finally just started to live again. I had yoga, I was building a community, I was volunteering for Hillary and I was about to be published. And then I got hit with a love struck arrow or something. I started to act down right silly: no focus, no thoughts- other than the unattainable. I completely lost sight of the fact that I had once had people compliment me as a person who really seemed to enjoy my singlehood and excelled at it. A compliment that I had loved.
Towards the end of last year when I realized I was going down a path that wasn't me, I came across the poem below, it was a rainy night and I had just curled up in bed after an impromptu salon visit where I chopped off all of my hair.
So simple. So true. You see what I did wrong last year (besides crush on someone who wasn't available) was I completely abandoned myself and my routine and my becoming. I traded it all in for torture. For night's of laying in my bed waiting for a response, dreaming of scenarios that would never come to pass.
Not this year.
This year I want to get back on the path of learning to fall in love with myself. I want to be someone I love.
So in January I went on a romantic date with myself. On a cold Friday night I went to see Gregory Alan Isakov and the Colorado Symphony Orchestra. It was beautiful. My ticket was behind the orchestra and high up in a balcony. But it was magical. I was mesmerized by the conductor. He could express every little beat, in one way or another. When so much was going on, his toe would be tapping, his head bobbing, his arms flailing, his finger and wand (not sure what the musician's term is for this) pointing, his cheeks puffing with air. Not a cue or beat was missed. It was insane how the music of the orchestra could be so grand, I almost felt like a princess in the old days or something. But then there is Gregory Alan and his little band of troubadours and vagabonds... with the most beautiful songs that sound like they were written on front porches on the best summer nights in the cutest mountain towns.
I loved the girl sitting next to me- she was swept up in the performance more than anyone there- she would scoot to the edge of her seat and put her elbows up on the banister and she would cup her face in her hands. We had introduced ourselves before the show, and she treated me like an old friend. When she was really moved, which was often, you could see the goosebumps on her arms and then she would rub them and turn with tears in her sparkly eyes and say things like, "Oh my gosh... can you believe how amazing this is?"
All that gratitude from high up in the rafts and at the backs of the musicians.
I love when I see a show (it's only happened a rare few times) where you feel like you've just rode through seasons and weather storms of music.... I don't know how else to describe it besides the crescendo of ocean waves, of swirling eddies on city streets, the quiet of a snowy night with traffic lights blinking on snow covered crosswalks.
It felt as graceful and grand in scale as a Russian Ballet.
And I gave it to myself.
So here we are: Valentine's Day 2017. I decided to take the day off and treat myself to some pampering. I slept in, then dressed and headed to the Cheese Importers for breakfast. I splurged on a ham & brie crosissant, fresh berries, macarons, and a latte. A few tables down from me were an older couple both dressed in red shirts. They were also being decadent and sharing some pastries. They exchanged cards and as the man read his he let out a burst of laughter- pure delight and joy and exclaimed, "I love you!" It was so sincere and heartfelt that I looked away but was smiling.
When I got up to leave and was putting my dirty dishes in a bin- the man abruptly said, "Hi! I'm David." And he put out his hand. I gave him my hand and squatted down to be at eye level with him and said, "I'm Karstee." He then proceeded to ask for the spelling and asked if I was having a good day. I said yes that I was enjoying what was sure to be a beautiful day. I then told them that I liked their red shirts and that they were celebrating their love. He then introduced me to his wife Deb and all the while he was still holding my hand. He then cupped my hand with his other hand and he said, "I hope you have someone special to celebrate and spend the day with." It was such a genuine hope. A hope that a stranger had for me. It was so innocent and pure. I couldn't feed this man the stuff that I tell others or myself, things like, "I'm better on my own" or "I'm not deserving of love," or "I'm not ready to let someone in."
Truthfully standing there speaking to this man, while intentionally going out of my way to be kind to myself.... I actually felt like I was love. And all I could do was smile and in response to his beautiful hope for me was just say, "Someday."
I wished them a Happy Valentine's and left. When I got in my car, I looked in the rear view mirror and for a moment all I saw was beauty, the pale freckles on my lips, the slight smile that resided on my hand towel washed face. Simple, but there was beauty there.
Maybe if I learned to look for that girl all the time. The one who believes that someday true love is going to happen for her. The one who dwells in possibility, and in sunlight, and in hope. She's who I'm chasing this year. The only one.