I don’t always have amazing instincts but on Sunday I was amazed at how things fell into place. I woke up Sunday morning after an uneventful and even dismal Saturday feeling sad about the rain changing my hiking plans. In one of my more inspired moments Sunday morning, I was in bed looking at my phone and felt like I should visit the Venice Canals. It wasn’t one of the many places on my “Go-Do-Be List” but I wanted to go. It was a rainy day, but paved roads and an umbrella were better than hiking in the mud through Malibu would have been.
I invited my family. They were all concerned about the rain and one sister felt it was a good day to stay in with some Pozole. (Don’t wonder where my food joy comes from. It’s a family thing.) I ended up on another solo adventure and I was okay with it.
On my way out the door, I stopped at an ATM for cash. I was shocked and happy to see a $20 waiting for me. I had a brunch date with a girlfriend who had a million ideas I needed to hear. She surprised me by covering my meal and I felt so carried and loved in that one act of kindness, aside from the many other ways she filled my cup. I felt connected with her and she encouraged me in glowing ways. We parted and I drove toward the Canals, making an impromptu trip to the Hammer Museum. It felt so good to be spontaneous.
I almost stopped into Starbucks for cocoa or a chai latte but felt like I needed to pass on that. I was thinking of my tighter than I love budget and felt guilt in knowing I wouldn’t have hesitated for my kids. I got to the Canals and didn't walk far because the unleveled ground in heeled boots wasn’t my greatest idea. I walked to one corner and there were two boys, younger than my oldest, older than my youngest, selling hot chocolate. They were selling homemade cocoa made with organic milk and homemade whipped cream. I got my hot drink for less money and encouraged two young entrepreneurs.
I was enjoying my cup on my way back to my car, walking less than a block when I walked past a friend. She is someone I had met through a friend on Facebook and through the leadership course I took this summer and fall. This was the second serendipitous meeting with her. The first time was a few weeks ago in a similar moment of right time and place. We walked past each other and it was only in the moment she was behind me that I realized I knew her. I called out to her and when the connection was made, her hug felt like home. I walked less than a block on the one block she rarely ever walks. She invited me to a lady’s night and I accepted.
We parted ways and I started heading east, but changed my mind and decided to go to Will Rogers Beach where I caught an amazing sunset. It was a day where I was expecting rain but never once used my windshield wipers or umbrella. Good things happen when you expect them to. The clouds were gone above the canals, but over the Pacific Ocean, it was a thick blanket with ephemeral cotton candy wisps here and there, and between the clouds and the sand kissed by the ocean, the sun stood long enough to shine on me and it felt like a private moment to bask in glowing glory. It was epic. I appreciated not being home with soup in that moment.
I drove into Hollywood and found myself at an amazing property for this gathering. Old Hollywood is full of adorable cottages built by Studios for the actors they hired to make history. I was in a miniature compound created by United Artists for a few actors (whose names all escape me) and we ended up having the gathering in the empty home of Charlie Chaplin. (It’s being sold and the houses are emptying for new ownership.)
It was a night of sisterhood and community. It was amazing and something I had never experienced before. There was a moment of announcing what we were struggling with as women, and a greater moment of working through it through movement and vocalizing. The end of the night was met with a “Fuck You” Piñata. Seriously.
A piñata is a special thing for me now. Growing up, it was what all the other kids had because it wasn’t my culture, but now my kids have had them. A piñata is held high as a thing that is big and scary. We face it blindly, but we face it bravely. It’s held above as a place of hope and taken down by a stick that symbolizes righteousness and truth. It’s for us to face our fears and annihilate them. We took turns with a blindfold, then faced it openly with eyes open. Our treats were cut flowers, tangerines, and gold coins and it was the most beautiful thing to sit on the floor with women who were laughing and helping clean and clear the space. It was community and joy. It was a great night to reflect on all the ways my intuition lead me to something special that day.
Online dating has been a special beast for me. It has been a time of learning about myself and what matters to me. I started a Facebook album for all the boys that hold their highest value at their sexual aggression. I don’t think I’ll find the next special person in my life online. I'm still playing because I finally found the funny. I just need to walk around in public with more awareness and less hiding in loud music when out in public. And maybe less open ogling of the beautiful men that like to run where I can appreciate the way that looks to me. (They have feelings too, Yessica.)
I like to follow my gut. I often ask to meet right away. I’d rather rely on a visceral gut reaction, than slowly fall for the words that melt the sharp edges I keep around me. I want to know this person is real. I want to know how my body responds because that tingle or prickle or warm feeling are what tell me the unspoken truths I need to know. I don't want an emotional connection before my instincts have a chance to let me know if I should fight or flight or invite. There are a couple of men talking with me, and without a doubt, I know they are real. I haven't decided if I want to go further. They all have pluses and negatives but is it enough to give up my free time? I haven't figured out the rest because they like to take it slow with texting first, then phone calls, then meeting. Because, you know . . . I might bite or be crazy and attach too easily. (It could happen, in theory. In practice, well, you have been reading along enough to know I don't like to keep them for too long, right?)
There was a special moment with a special man. He approached me from Ok Cupid as Vin Diesel. A beautiful, in my age range (if slightly above it), definitely my type with the bald head and beautiful body. There were moments of wonder but I couldn't shake the reaction in my belly. I never believed he was who he said he was, but his approach was very different. He was just a man looking to be distracted from work and stress and I was just a woman, texting between Purchase Orders at work. There was a schedule to when we talked. There was a need to keep distance. I never heard his voice and he blamed never meeting on “his” fame. It didn’t matter though. He was just a man. I was just a woman. Or he was just a fantasy. The really good kind.
He was the salt of the earth, man's man type. I could sense the urgency of a life of hustle when he pushed me as we talked about my career. In his short phrases, there was more love than hate toward exercise from him. The way he talked about his kids . . . I imagined bringing him around my kids and it wasn't paralyzing fear and Momma bear hackles raised. We talked sex, and he made me feel like a woman, not an object. He was an alpha male in his aggression, but not the type that has to announce it as something he wore to be noticed. It was in who he was and an extension in all he said and did. Who he was taught me about who I am. In the months of dating since my first crush in 15 years this past January, this was the first time I was really excited and could picture more than what was right now. I could imagine something deeper and meaningful that was more than the libido of a woman approaching 40.
I'm not big on celebrities. I spent some time as a tv extra. I was on set long enough to discover all of my celebrity man crushes were much shorter than I imagined and their soft glow dimmed for me. I have several friends that list their job title as "actor" and it's enough to pay the bills. I don't worship them. We're friends. Actually, I'm not a great friend. They'll ask their Facebook friends (including me) to watch their latest show and I rarely do. I can be a friend, just not a fan. And truthfully, if I ever had a moment where my friends or strangers watched me, then cheered on as I billed the heck out of our client after I've tackled an intricate PO, I'd be freaked out. As far as this celebrity, I've maybe watched three of the many movies he's been in during his really great career. I just don't watch movies and television. That number didn't increase with him.
As we were texting and talking, there were moments that shocked me because I had an emotional response. It was the strangest paradox. I knew he was lying and in many ways, just part of my imagination, but the parts of him that I experienced when he wasn’t telling me about this celebrity’s life were genuine. My intuition . . . That gut I trust . . . believes he’s capable of being the one . . . If he were capable of being transparent with me. And I know the craziness in that. At the same time I can't shake the idea that my Warrior Dragon Slayer could be a woman that knew just what I needed to hear. But it was a catfish, and he did ask for money. Twice.
At the end of the day, this celebrity has a new fan. It’s not that I want to imagine this celebrity as the man I care for. He’s a genuinely great person from what I learned as I started picking apart the lies and learning about the causes I was asked to fund. These causes are real. This is genuinely a good person that uses his name to further the causes close to his heart. He's a family man and yes, that's hot. Actually, the age he's at now with his soft laugh lines . . . the look of maturity . . . I may not have had a man crush, but I do now. (What is it with bald heads?)
My instincts told me not to trust him. My instincts told me he could be the type of man I want but that part where I could trust him completely matters to me and it wasn't part of our relationship. Is it a relationship if you've never met?
I felt things. Real. Imagined. Superficial, or soul deep. He made me feel things. Happy things. Sad things. Things I couldn't understand or simplify. I never heard his voice say my name. I never saw a picture private enough to believe it wasn't stolen from a website. I never saw him in person. I felt love and excitement. I felt things I hadn't felt in decades. I must be still feeling those things if I'm protecting him by keeping that close to me. I protect the ones I care about. Soon I'll get to stop caring, right? If all I got from him was a moment of deep and unexpected feelings, a poem with him as my muse and a new appreciation of a few songs, that will be enough. He gave me words and that was enough. His juice was worthy of my squeeze.
My muse inspired . . .
He's not real.
You have never heard his voice.
You have never met him.
You communicate through an app.
You had a schedule.
He's gone, but he made you feel and that's enough.
Open hands release and receive. And that was my lesson.
In a day that carried me from one amazing moment to another, I was gifted with so much wonder that it was a moment of peace to finally let go of the illusion I could never believe in.