Wednesday, March 9, 2011
How did we Know?
To be honest, I didn't and I don't think Teri would confess to that falsehood either. It was not the mythological love at first sight, nor when we started to get to know each other did we immediately think that we were meant to be together in any sort of romantic destiny sort of way.
The how-I-know part is actually an evolving gift. It is big things and little things. Mostly, Teri and I describe it as feeling like we "fit" together; it isn't always easy but it definitely is not hard. As time passes and we show more and more of ourselves to each other, there is a genuine level of acceptance, love and humor. I imagine that different people are looking or hoping to find different things in the people they bring into their lives, since love is not a one-size-fits-all sort of endeavor. As Teri and I used to joke, it is all about finding someone whose baggage is compatible with your baggage!
Teri will tell you that she appreciates the fact that I don't try to control her and my ability to diffuse even the most stressful of situations with calmness and humor; I will tell you that I appreciate the way Teri grounds me with her earthy sensibility and that she trusts me to handle my part of things without micromanaging me. We will both confess that we appreciate shared values--family, community, working class work ethic, human rights, education, and a mutual passion for righting the wrongs and fighting for justice and the underdog. And while I finally came to realize how much all of that matters in my forties, that still doesn't seem like the genuine morsel of how I know that Teri is the gal for me...
There are differences, boundaries, overlap and mutual respect and appreciation. We both had to let go of habits and triggers and previously-held expectations in order to enter into a relationship at this age (I think we have to do it at any age, but it just becomes incredibly tougher the older one gets!) We had to want it AND be willing to tend to it. I don't think it has to be hard work all the time, but it does take some tending (weeding, planting, watering and such.) Mostly, I think we had to get out of our own way--tame our egos in order to be present for a separate, different companion.
While I did NOT know in the beginning, every day it is the little, the ordinary and the extraordinary things that reassure me of the universe's gift...this IS the one for me.