When spring rolled around and my work life was improving, I thought maybe it was time for me to consider some investigation of my "social life" options, but I had a fairly laissez-faire attitude about it. I didn't really expect to find anyone suitable, especially given my rather remote location and my somewhat atypical lifestyle and unusual personality quirks. I signed up for a free online personals service without much conviction, but I wrote a lengthy profile that was essentially intended to put off all but the most stalwart of contenders, because the majority of people wouldn't even bother to read the whole thing before moving on. Aside from deleting the initial flurry of offers from entirely dreadful (and some rude!) candidates who no doubt target all new users, it was something I mostly ignored and didn't put much effort into pursuing. I scanned profiles from time to time, and received some messages expressing interest, but found myself having to send polite but firm responses to those whose own profiles made them sound either scary, boring, barely coherent, or otherwise unappealing. A few messages I responded to, but quickly determined there was nothing worth further exploration. I maintained my "This is definitely not going to work" attitude. Above all, I didn't actually initiate any contact with any profiles I read because (a) there weren't any that interested me sufficiently and (b) I'm not actually that brave. I spent time thinking about what I was looking for and essentially concluded that it was far too unlikely to exist, especially not around here, and that even if I saw an interesting profile, I'd be too inhibited to respond. Good thing I had goats and sheep to keep me company, not to mention Jet!
So it was, that I was all the more surprised one evening when I found a profile that (a) interested me significantly and (b) challenged my aforementioned lack of bravery. After considerable thought, a couple of glasses of wine, some more considerable thought, and the writing, editing and re-writing of about 2 lines of text about 10 times...I did actually attain the stage of sufficient bravery to press the "send" button on my 2 lines of entirely bland text. I determined that the worst possible thing that could happen would be that he would respond in the same "Thanks but no thanks" kind of response I'd sent in the past. Slightly less worse, he might just ignore me. Having pressed send and determined this "worst case scenario," I then pretty much forgot about it. That's just the way I roll - because sending 2 lines of non-committal text that essentially said "you have an interesting profile" was unlikely to generate anything in return!
Imagine my shock when I received a response! I stopped myself from going into total panic mode (which would mean I couldn't possibly respond back), and I did manage to write back, somewhat shakily. And so it went, back and forth for a while. And then one evening, quite unexpectedly, it went back and forth, and forth and back, and back and forth some more, and suddenly, 9 pm had turned into 4:30 am, and we were still "talking." Furthermore, I wasn't all that tired - and I usually turn into a pumpkin if I haven't gone to sleep by midnight! Some long-forgotten and neglected neurons, deep in my brain, began stretching themselves and shaking off the cobwebs that had accumulated during their long dormancy, not quite remembering how they were supposed to operate.
Then I realized with alarm...I might actually have to meet him someday! Gulp. I had really lost a great deal of self confidence in the previous couple of years, and the thought of meeting someone new suddenly seemed too much to contemplate, but I told myself (strictly and with conviction that I didn't really feel), "Claire, you can't keep on being a bump on a log forever." There are some good things about being single, and some people prefer to stay that way, but I'm just not one of them. Nobody was going to show up on my doorstep though - I had to put in some effort. I had to push myself to make that effort because I really didn't feel all that positive about my chances for success. So that's how I ended up having dinner in Amherst with Marc, and walking around town afterwards, talking about all sorts of things, and eventually sitting in the gazebo in the park downtown, being eaten alive by mosquitoes, and not really noticing the growing number of bites!
When we finally met in person, suddenly, that imaginary person that I'd always wanted to find but never really believed existed was sitting right in front of me. From that very first date, it was kind of a magical experience. Despite a fairly long history of long-term relationships in my past, I don't think I have ever connected with someone so quickly and deeply as I have with Marc. We really "get" each other, and that is so very rare for me...it's been a great many years since I have had a partner who understands me so well, right from the beginning. Please forgive the clichés, because I really do mean it when I say that he makes my heart sing, my soul dance, and my imagination soar, not to mention the fact that he makes me laugh, and isn't that the best medicine? He did what nobody else could do - he made me believe in dreams again.
Now I know that despite the trials and tribulations I've faced as a result of my decision to move back to Nova Scotia, and all the heartache that went along with that, there was a reason for it - something far more valuable than I could have guessed or imagined a year or two ago. It feels like winning the lottery, without having bought a ticket - I never would have guessed that I would find such a wealth of love and joy.
On one of our early dates, we watched the movie: HappyThankYouMorePlease. (yes, the title really is supposed to run together like that). It wasn't a huge success with the critics, but it did well at the Sundance Film Festival. I really enjoyed it, and its primary message about gratitude, happiness, and acceptance was particularly well timed for me. As one of the characters explains early in the film, we need to remember to reflect gratitude to the Universe. As such, when we are happy, we should say so, and reflect our gratitude back to the Universe for whatever has come our way. There are a lot of great scenes, but the one that really struck a chord with me (and which Marc even predicted would have an impact), is this one:
And that's what it's like, every day, with Marc. He asks me to accept being adored, even though it's difficult for me. Effortlessly, I adore him in return. I'm so very happy! Thank you! More please!