The Long And Winding Road

July 30, 2006

In my conversations with a friend, she made the statement that she wasn't sure I was ready for a new relationship. Companionship, certainly, but relationship - maybe not. Her statement echoed thoughts of my own.

How do you know when you are ready, following a trauma, to rejoin that part of life the trauma impacted? We've all heard the adage about getting back on the horse, only in my case the horse died. (I know, figuratively not literally.) Do you try again only to get thrown again perhaps? Or do you wait for some internal mechanism to 'ping' when it's time?

Perhaps it is a combination of both. Perhaps you keep getting back in the horse until you succeed in staying there, with little timeouts between attempts to recollect your wits and purpose. My purpose is to figure out what the next part of the rest of my life will look like. Who will be my friends? Where will I live? Will there be someone special with whom to share moments big and small?

Because I've seen first hand how fragile life can be, and how what is here today can be gone in an instant, I am reluctant to spend too much time collecting my wits between attempts. To my friend's point however, I can see that rushing into new relationships before I'm ready could be hard, and not just for me. Those parts of my life that are individual I can be more daring with, take larger leaps of faith about. Areas that involve other people need more compromise, more sure-footedness. People who are new to the comic-tragedy that is my life's play, probably shouldn't be lobbed into the first half closer without time to at least learn their lines.

I am undaunted in my quest for new meaning in my life. I am nothing if not tenacious. However, I don't think it will hurt if I slow down a bit.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.