I was thinking about how much my life has changed in the last year. I went from living with my fiancé and closing in on a second wedding day both of us. Then we slowed down, took a deep breath and changed our minds. It was mutual, but it certainly wasn't easy.
It sent me into a bit of a tail spin. Sold the house, put my stuff in storage and got on a plane. I ended up in Chiang Mai, Thailand. I wrote this short piece describing a night I had during my trip.
The Night Bus
I think a lot - probably too much.
Thinking keeps me out of the moment - maybe that's what I like about it. I don't know. But I do know I want to be in this exact moment in my life.
We are on the night bus from Chiang Mai to Bangkok and she sleeps snug against me. My hand holds her thigh and I look at her beautiful face hoping I'm not in love, but I know it's too late - she can easily break my heart now - but in this moment she just sleeps - snug against me.
It's only been a month - I can't possibly know her. Maybe I don't know her at all - or maybe I know the most important parts of her already - the parts they write books and poetry about - the parts they sing songs about - the parts that change a man.
How did she grab my heart so quickly? How did I fall so fast? I feel like a teenager again, but we are certainly not teenagers - I am 46 and she is 38.
Does any of it matter? I'm here and it feels great - to be wanted - and to want her. And I do want her. All of her. Her bossiness, her smiling eyes, her flashes of anger, her laughter, her small insecurities, the way she makes love with me.
But what I really want is what she knows. She knows how to love without judgment. She knows how to be angry and not leave. She knows how to lie still in the silence -both the comfortable and the uncomfortable quiet.
Mostly, though, she knows herself. Her depth isn't obvious - until it is all I see about her - and here on the night bus - as she squeezes my hand and pulls me closer to her - she changes what seems possible for me - I stop thinking - I relax and I enjoy this exact moment in my life.
Now here is a quick update:
That relationship last seven rocky months, but I learned a lot about myself.
1. I jump before I know someone.
2. I do that because I want to attach to feel safe.
3. I am a work in progress, a long ways from perfect.
But I'm trying to go easy on myself about some of my mistakes. Because maybe they're not mistakes, maybe it's just life. There are roughly 6.5 billion people on earth. Billions before us lived, if Hitler is on one end and Mother Teresa is on the other, I'm probably somewhere in the middle... AND it's just life. I'm trying.... AND so is everyone else... I've learned that - and I KNOW this: I'm thinking less and risking more. I'm so glad I took that night bus.