I went for the second date with the man that the dating service matched me with. Here’s the back story on our first date.
The good news is that my intuition was spot on. Yes, he was too religious for me. While sweet, and I’m sure he was a kind person, my stomach did a little uncomfortable flop when he started quoting the Koran (it would have done the same if he had quoted scripture) even if it was just to say that “The Koran says to love everyone and to not force someone to be Muslim.” He also said that the Koran is the only religious book that is the pure, unadulterated word of God.
Let me back up here and share a personal reflection on religion and spirituality. I have a profound respect for and fascination of religion. My belief system knows that religion has a very important role in society and culture. My belief system knows that I can understand culture through religion and vice versa. My belief system knows that there are incredible, breathtaking, mind boggling mysteries in our universe.
However, that’s as much as my belief system knows.
While I can respect this man for his beliefs, while we may have enough in common to be friends, there is a big divide that would be almost impossible to traverse.
Another HUGE divide was that he thought homosexuals were ‘silly and confused’. He also felt so uncomfortable with the concept that he could not even say the words gay or lesbian or homosexual. Considering that I have some relatives and close friends who identify with the GLBT community, that just wouldn’t work in the long run. Plus, I already did that one with my ex-husband who, to this day, is very homophobic. While married, it was painful, sad, and an issue that we either heatedly argued about or angrily, silently ignored. Never again.
When I called the dating service to tell them my impressions, I got the feeling that they were annoyed with my ‘feedback’. After all, I said in my profile that I was an ‘open’ person. Yes, I agreed, and I am. However, I also scored a ‘2’ out of ‘10’ on the religion indicator. No matter how open I am, why match me with a man who clearly was practicing his religion.
My ‘matchmaker’ said that this man also didn’t score high on religion and he said that he was more spiritual than religious.
I reminded her that the religion questions focused on Christian based practice and that maybe the interviewer just didn’t know the right questions to ask of a Muslim to gauge devotion. (I said it very nicely and constructively!!! I swear!!!)
Well, that comment went over well with her (not). She ended the conversation by saying that it would take four to five weeks to match me with someone else.
The bad news of all of this is that I’m still single. My match wasn’t a match and my ‘matchmaker’ thinks that it’s because there’s something wrong with me—that I must be too picky.
On the other hand, maybe this is also good news—the fact that I’m not pursuing this match means I’ve been remembering some of my life-lessons.
Money, Love & Time is 4th in the series, A Heroine’s Journey Through a Mid-Life Crisis. Today we look at the questions:
What do I want more of in my life? What have I imprisoned that is crying to be free?
This is an easy question for me to answer. Living in a fantasy world, this is what I want more of in my life: Money, love, and time.
#1) I want more money in my life so that I can buy clothes, books, and music, go on vacation when I want, and not have to work.
#2) I want love in my life so that I don’t have to take the garbage out (Significant Other will do that), I’ll get foot massages in the evening and experience multiple orgasms at night.
#3) I want more time in my life so that I can write my Work In Progress, read all the blog postings from my friends, write my own blog post, do the work for my online class, pay bills (see #1), and clean the house, all in the next three hours.
Unfortunately, these are not easy questions for me to fulfill. I think that part of the issue is feeling that these are deficits in my life, rather than recognizing the fullness of what I already have. I have money, I have love of family and friends, I have a whopping 24 hours/day. Appreciating what I have rather than pining for what I don’t have. . . .
(But damn it! I still want those vacations, foot massages, and orgasms!)
What have I imprisoned that is crying to be free? A year ago I would have told you that it was the writer in me. The writer was too busy to write. The writer was too tired to create. The writer was too rusty to move.
Today, the writer is free from time and energy constraints, but she still doesn’t know how to freely create or comfortably move. So is it the writer I have imprisoned that is crying to be free? Or is it another aspect of me that has yet to be discerned?
And you? What do you want more of in life? What part of yourself have you imprisoned?
The third entry to the series, Heroine’s Journey Through a Mid-Life Crisis, explores the question:
Is there something more important and fulfilling that I can focus on now?
Please share your responses in the comments box, or feel free to e-mail me privately. My answer to this question is below.
I’m super blessed to be living my dream right now. I’m able to devote unstressed time to my daughter, I can run errands during the day, I write whenever I’m in the mood. I’m reading a few books a week.
That said, there are elements that I’d like to change, and maybe these are the important and fulfilling things I can focus on.
1) I would like a significant other in my life.
2) I would like to improve my health.
3) I would like to finish my Work In Progress.
Improving my health and finishing my WIP would both be super fulfilling. And these are both very important to me and I walk through life on a high when I’m in sync with these two things.
Sadly, I’m hesitating on including the first item on my list. Please don’t misunderstand, I absolutely believe it to be very important. However, how do I find that journey fulfilling when it has only brought pain, pain, and more pain to my life in the past fifteen years?
Maybe that’s a clue that love is exactly what I need to focus on at this point in my life? That, and the fact that it was the first thing that came to mind when I brainstormed on the topic.
What do y’all think?
Marcia Reynolds, in her article What A Female Mid-Life Crisis Looks Like, suggests that a woman who is questioning the next step in her career and possibly, her life, should talk to friends who might be going through something similar. She poses four questions for exploration, the first of which is featured in this post. For the first part of this series, read here: Heroine’s Journey Through A Mid-Life Crisis
What do I feel I should have done by this time in my life?
Please share your response in the comments box, or feel free to e-mail me privately. My answer to this question is below.
A few years ago a co-worker and friend died unexpectedly of a massive stroke. One morning she was getting ready for work. By the morning of the next, doctors recommended that life support be pulled.
The thing about someone dying, no matter at what stage in life, is that you will always miss the person—her friendship, her council, her presence in the world. Those left behind are tasked with healing from the pain of the loss.
If lucky, meaning in death can be found.
I remember standing in the hallway, thinking about Carmel and her life. I was rooted to the spot as students swirled around me, stunned to realize that if I died that day or the next, I would die with regrets. Regrets for the things I had not done. Regrets for the things I was not doing because work left no time. Regrets for not being my potential.
So, I made a list and made some changes in my life. I volunteered a summer at the Oakland Zoo as an apprentice zookeeper—I’d always wanted to work with exotic and wild animals. I entered the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) to write that novel I’d been thinking of for twenty-five years. I enrolled in graduate school. I took a cross-country road trip with my daughter, sharing a family tradition passed down from my root-less grandparents. I went to Las Vegas for my 40th birthday. I took a year off of teaching to explore other careers.
No regrets. . . .
Actually, there is a regret.
Yes, I have one great regret that I feel helpless to change. I have never, in my reflection of my life, been deeply in love in a committed partnership. People, trying to be kind, tell me that I will find someone when I’m ready. Well, I feel that I’m ready. I do all the right things to increase my chances of love and relationship. Yet, the friendship never grows into something more. I meet the right man at the wrong time. Or, I meet the wrong person at any time.
Here’s to the day that I can strike this regret off my list. Accomplished.