Ain’t Gonna Drown

I believe in a higher power. I don’t know what it is, but it seems to me that it’s an energy field, unconditional love, possibly a higher self that’s part of some collective conscious. It’s not a bearded old white man in the sky who controls my destiny and punishes me when I’ve done the wrong thing. My own mind can do that for me – why do I need someone else to add to it? Some people believe that angels exist in outer space and that we all have our own guardian angels. I don’t know if I believe that, but I like the idea that I am being cared for, that someone or something is looking out for me–and for you too, for all of us. Because I believe that this life is all we have that we know of, and it’s not meant to be lived in constant misery. Of course bad times will happen, but there’s no point in perpetuating negativity in this short life we have here on this planet we call Earth.

My higher power, or the universe, or God, whatever you want to call it, has removed all distractions from me so that I can focus on what I know deep down I need to focus on, which is myself, my writing, my career path. One of my favorite distractions is men. I’m an attractive woman, child-free, and I love men. Actually, I have a love-hate relationship with men. I love them when they do what I want, and I hate* them when they don’t.

Recently I decided to go against my nature and ask a man out. I’ve spent most of my 38 years here in this sphere passively waiting for life to happen to me, but it turns out that you make your own reality. And while the old-fashioned Southerner in me tells me never to chase a man, I decided to go for it, at the encouragement of a trusted friend. It wasn’t unprovoked—I’ve known this man for several years, and he has expressed interest in me a few times, going so far recently as to lay out how he wanted to start our dating process, which was the same wish that I had: no sex until after several dates, friends first. We both jumped into past relationships too soon, and we wanted to avoid that this time around. He even said that it would be hard not to have sex with me right away, so I know I am not completely delusional. But when I tried to pin him down for a date, he didn’t respond, and I know from past experience that means he’s not interested, or changed his mind, or who knows? Maybe all he wanted was sex.

The dreamer in me romanticizes that he loves me and always has, but something holds him back right now, and he’ll come back to me later. At that time he’ll admit he loved me all along but he had something going on, something very serious that he needed to deal with, like his sobriety, or he’d just found out that his mother was terminally ill, or he thought he may be moving soon and didn’t want to fall for me when he knew he was going to have to move away. The stories we tell ourselves to make the rejection hurt a little less.

So I am disappointed. I am confused, hurt, and I feel rejected. What had I done wrong? Had I been too forward? Did I misunderstand him? Is something wrong with me? Is something wrong with him? Why doesn’t the universe want me to be happy? Is there some reason I can’t have one single thing that I want right now? If not a fulfilling career, then at least a man to keep me company, to talk to, who understands me. I don’t think I’m asking for much. Just a friend. Who’s also great in bed. But not a fuck buddy. Who is he to reject me, my ego wants to know. I am not looking to add to my collection of husbands or ex-husbands. I don’t have a time table because I don’t need to get married again or have children. What man would not be chomping at the bit for that? Especially from me: a pretty, kind, intelligent, and physically fit woman. It feels arrogant to say those things, but it’s true, and it’s okay to compliment myself.

But when I woke up this morning, I decided that no, I am not going to roll over and die. So a man doesn’t want to go out with me. What am I going to do with that? Like one of my friends told me, I am so much bigger than that—we all are. My self-worth does not have to depend on whether some guy likes me. I can be hurt and even angry, but I don’t have to re-live those feelings of negativity or the fear of abandonment. Happiness is a choice. I can look at this as an opportunity to focus my energy on my own dreams, and not in some other person. Everything happens for a reason.

So I got up this morning and browsed the “moods” category of Spotify, skipping my usual “Femme Fatale” and “Deep Dark Indie” and on over to “The Happy Hipster.” Because today I choose happiness.

*Just kidding. I don’t really hate anyone. Intense feelings of dislike and aversion, sure. But hatred, no. Peace and love. For real.

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