edgfield.jpgI believe I'm back to being single. At least it seems that way now. Time will tell. It's a bad timing thing for both of us, so who knows if the timing will be right again. I'm not going to worry about that. It's beyond my control so I let it go.

I learned so much  from this relationship and it has been good and hard and precious and enlightening and difficult and it's brought me to tears so many times. Mostly because it's pushed me to be so incredibly vulnerable with such a patched-up shattered heart. It's been scary.

The whole experience has held a mirror up to me and how I relate to men in relationships, and what I want from a partner and for my future.

I love so deeply and am so endlessly loyal that it's easy for me to get wrapped up in someone else's world while neglecting mine and I have to be vigilant about resisting that urge. I want to feel okay with me, just as I am. There might be aspects of my personality I'd like to work on, but I can't really work on them while hating myself for having them. All of me needs to be loved by me. And those I let into my life must love me too. And love ON me. And take good care of me, as I'd do for them.

There is a strange, unexplained place in my brain I keep coming back to and I'm not sure why I have been so fixated on it for the past 2 years.

It's the memory of a place I went to just months after Dave died. It's called Edgefield and it's not far from Portland. My dear friend took me to a concert there and before the concert we wandered around the property.

 It's a beautiful place with a romantic hotel and restaurant, vineyards, a glass blowing studio and a great concert lawn. As we walked around and eventually watched that concert, we were surrounded by couples, and to my shattered heart, everyone seemed deliriously in love.

 It was as though I'd found the most romantic place in all of Oregon and everyone was mocking me with their blissful loving touches and looks. It both pierced my heart with horrific pain and made me long for what they had. I remember thinking that I didn't want to live the rest of my life never having that again.

I prayed that I'd one day get to come back to that place and have a partner to share it with. I've watched too many romantic movies because I even pictured it as a place where someone might one day propose to me. I wanted that person to be Dave. I wanted him back and I wanted to turn back the clock and experience it all with him, but I also knew that that would never happen and that I might be around for a LONG time and that I'd be damned if I didn't get to experience that again before I myself died.

Ever since that day at Edgefield, the memory and image of the place pops into my head from time to time. Pretty regularly, actually. I have somehow associated that place with my chance to have a great love again.

I don't know if that's greedy or silly, wishful thinking or what. I don't really understand why that place means so much to me or why I keep thinking that I'm destined to experience it one day, with the love of my second life.

Sometimes I really wish I weren't such a romantic. Maybe I'm just torturing myself with mushy ideals from the movies. Maybe I'm just longing for something that doesn't or won't exist for me again. But I want it anyway. I'm wanty. I'm full of wants. I want a love that begins to make me feel alive again. I want a love that is big enough to hold me and all of my baggage. I want a love that's endlessly loyal and patient and real. I want to feel precious to someone else. I want to have that one person who I tell ALL my stories to because I know he'll want to hear them. It might be unrealistic. It might not be. I have no idea. I just know I want it.

But wanting it and deserving it don't make it happen. It's not something I can track down and then pin down, like a butterfly for an insect collection in middle school. It's something I can make space for and wait for and hope for.

It's something I get my hopes up for and that is incredibly hard for me to do. It's so hard to do that I just winced and felt sick to my stomach as I typed the words "get my hopes up".

It seems like it will hurt so much more if I let myself hope and then get crushed than if I just never aim for it in the first place.

But that's utter bullshit and I know it.

My poor heart just really wants to give up on hoping and the pain that comes along with the loss of what it's hoped for. It's had ENOUGH for now. But somehow, the hope is still there.

Every time I think of Edgefield, the hope wells up, just a tiny bit, as I imagine that it could happen to me. Again. Stranger things have happened, after all.

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