At the beginning of 2020, I wrote a post about no longer fighting reality and instead accepting the way things are. I’ve been thinking how ironic it is that I posted this just before COVID hit. Like my post, When the Rubber Hits the Road, once again, I’ve had to practice what I preach.
COVID is a hard reality to accept. It has made a number of things difficult, one of which for me is dating. With positive cases on the rise again, I suspect places will shut down as they did in the spring and I dread facing the winter alone. I’ve made some strong efforts to find someone, but as hard as I try, it hasn’t happened. My mind then goes into fear mode that maybe I will never find someone. The uncertainty of it all makes me push harder, putting myself on more dating apps and reaching out to more and more guys on them. I feel myself fighting to find someone.
And then as I was on my way to work the other day, I heard these lyrics from the song Drive by Incubus:
“Sometimes, I feel the fear of uncertainty stinging clear And I can’t help but ask myself how much I’ll let the fear Take the wheel and steer”
Ever notice when you find the right mug–one where the character and quality feel really good–it can positively enhance your coffee or tea experience?
I’ve discovered the same is true for finding the right person. Not that finding the right person will only enhance our coffee or tea experience, but all of life’s experiences as well. And the right person must feel good from the start, just the way they are.
I’ve learned this lesson about the similarities between finding the right mug and finding the right person the hard way by mistakes I’ve made in the past.
Song lyrics often speak to me like a voice from above. During difficult times, their words both soothe and encourage me. They often have a way of expressing what I am feeling much more poetically that I ever could.
Over the past few months, a few things have happened that have been particularly difficult for me, which brought to mind the lyrics from the song “Every Breaking Wave” by U2. I’ve made an attempt here to weave them into my own writing. I’m not sure if what I’ve written will only make sense to me. If you have any helpful comments, please leave them below. I welcome your thoughts.
“Every breaking wave On the shore Tells the next one There’ll be one more”
Grief is an odd thing. I feel good and strong one day and the next it hits me like a wave. Grief’s strong current pulls me back in. I don’t think it ever really goes away. It just recedes for a while. Lurking. Waiting. Then, when I least expect it, it comes crashing in.
Do you ever find when you give advice about something, you’re often then put into a situation to practice what you preach?
Happens to me all the time.
So, a little while after I posted Getting Still about the fear based stories our minds create and how to filter them with Love to get to the truth, I was confronted with something to practice this new way of being.
Here’s what happened.
Although I’m not on Facebook very much, I still get email notices about friend’s activities. Someone had tagged me in a photo, so naturally I got curious and logged in to see what was posted. And, as it usually happens with Facebook, I was lured in to scroll down and see what other people were up to.
After spending over a year on the dating app Bumble, I’ve decided to call it quits for awhile. I’ve deleted the app from my phone and am now using the time I spent swiping, chatting and meeting people to focus on other things.
As I look back and review my time spent on the app, songs always have a way of bubbling up in my head to characterize the experience. In addition to my post, 7 Songs for 7 Months on Bumble, here are 7 more songs that capture the final few months:
We all have holes in us–places that are broken or wounded, places of suffering and pain. These holes come from all difficult things that have happened in our lives.
On some level, we all know these holes exist, but most of us do not want to acknowledge them, because acknowledging them is painful. It’s hard and messy and ugly.
So instead of acknowledging the holes, we hide them.
We cover them up.
We ignore them.
We numb ourselves and hope they will go away.
Some of us numb our holes with unhealthy things like drugs, drinking too much, overeating or binge TV watching. Others numb them in ways that seem healthy on the surface–like excessive exercising–but this is just another form of covering them up. My method of choice was busyness. Just keep doing stuff and the holes will go away.
Towards the end of my marriage, I was having a problem with the printer. For some reason, it wasn’t printing. I was sending documents, but I kept getting error messages. I’m not a techie person, so I asked my former husband to help. But he didn’t seem to understand how much this mattered to me, so it wasn’t high on his list of things to do. In fact, it wasn’t on his radar screen at all.
So the printer sat in its error state.
Weeks later, I asked for help again. He finally sat down and tried a few things, but nothing worked. I asked if we could call the Geek Squad to look at it, but he didn’t like the idea of someone monkeying around with our computer.
So again, the printer sat in its error state.
This went on for months–with me needing a printer that worked, asking for help and him not truly understanding how much this meant to me.
This question always baffles me. When I’m asked this, my reply is “Of course I’m in a relationship with him–we are relating to each other.” In my opinion, aren’t we in some type of relationship with everyone in our lives? Aren’t we in a relationship with the people in our family? With our friends? Our co-workers? Our neighbors? With ourselves?
So the question, “Are you in a relationship with him?” isn’t enough for me. There are other more meaningful questions to ask–questions that get to the heart of the things.
Because of the pandemic, I’ve been spending a lot of time alone–much more than I’d like to be. It feels like my life has hit the pause button. It reminds me of when I first left my former husband. At that point in time, the song of my life needed to change and spending time alone to pause gave me the space to think about what I wanted the next song to be.
I wrote about this pause between being married and not married in a post on the Mudroomblog.com called “Silence is Where the Magic Happens“. And although the circumstances are different today, the pandemic has created a similar pause. What’s different now, though, is that this one is collective. We are all in this one together.
Spending the last seven months on Bumble has been an educational experience.
As I mentioned in my post You Better Shop Around, I’ve been taking a dive into the wild and a bit wacky world of online dating. When I first started this foray, I quickly discovered there were a lot of things I didn’t know. I found myself googling a number of words I’d never heard before. What’s a sapiophile? A pluviophile? And then there’s all the acronyms and terms. LTR. FWB. Ghosting. And what does that symbol mean?!
There was so much to learn.
With the spread of COVID I’m taking some time to step back and evaluate the experience. For me, song titles and lyrics have a way of bubbling up in my mind to accompany what I am noticing and learning. Here are seven songs that sum up the last seven months on Bumble: