i slow danced by myself while waiting on line at whole foods. i mean, i swayed back and forth while singing along to a song they were playing that is older than i am. and i was holding food in my hands...and i kept thinking, 'jesus, you are a 30 year old woman singing and dancing in the whole foods line'...because birthdays will do that to ya...but regardless, it is as close to slow dancing as i've been in a long time.
i miss slow dancing.
i've been having dreams about touch lately. interestingly, the dreams are not about sex--though i know that's part of it since they are dreams in which men are touching me in some way. the dreams have really been about touch. dreams about hugs and hands on my back. dreams about a small kiss and leaning against someone.
i note every time a man, platonically these days, touches me in some way. i don't mean to, but my hairs stand on end. a hug, a kiss on the cheek, a pat on the back... it is in those moments that i realize just how much touch i am not getting in day-to-day life. sure, i get hugs from my friends and snuggles from the pup and such, but there are large chunks of time when there is no touch from anyone else. still, i know i am lucky to get the touch that i do get. there are people out there who have felt this lack for way longer than i have.
there have been times when i didn't want anyone to touch me. after both of my breakups with the ex, i steered clear of touch. touch hurt. it burned. it made me hyperventilate.
but this time that feeling went away much quicker. and now, clearly, i'm starved for intimacy.
this is usually when someone says, 'hey charly, why don't you turn those dating apps back on?'
and i shake my head no.
the breakup was six months ago today. some say that is still recent and others say that it was a lifetime ago. my therapist said that she thought i was doing better on thursday. like maybe another hurdle had been passed. and i do feel better. the tears that fall are rarely about the old relationship and more about the loneliness i feel in its place. they are about the fear i have around the future and what it looks like. they are about myself and no longer being interested in feeling crappy in my relationships.
i could feel my brain trying to bring up a memory the other day...one that is painful...and from out of nowhere another voice in my head went "stop it with that shit. no. we aren't holding on to that shit anymore". and the memory lingered for a second and then faded away. perhaps feeling better just means that i am better equipped to keep that shit from gaining more importance than it should.
and this shift that i've been feeling also has me looking around and noticing the lovely things about being alone and independent. it has me appreciating the freedom when you don't feel wrapped up in someone's touch and how it makes you feel. and so i keep shaking my head no to the dating apps for the time being--not only because they drive me bonkers and i just don't know how to accurately "pimp" myself out so that people want to talk to me, but also because a lot of touch i've experienced has been disappointing. it hasn't been quite what i wanted or needed. sometimes, it felt like it was only given because the person was "supposed to" and not because the person wanted to. or, maybe, that is the touch i remember. i am sure in the beginning it felt differently.
a few days before our breakup, my ex and i were in a pool. i was in his arms and he was walking around the pool, holding me, and rather suddenly, he let me go. even at the time, i noted the abruptness of the action. it wasn't done smoothly. it was like he just didn't want to hold me anymore so he let go and that was that. to him it was probably very different, but for me, in that moment, i clocked a shift...something different... (if that wasn't foreshadowing, i don't know what is...)
i bring that up though because it is the last real touch i remember from him. sure, i know there was other touch in the days following, but really the last touch i remember is, well, being let go of.
when i was slow dancing by myself in the whole foods line yesterday, i missed touch. i missed having someone to sway with me. but i was also happy that i could sway and not feel like i was forcing some other person to sway with me. of course, i want someone to sway with, i want to be touched, but i also want to be okay without it. i also want to know that i won't let go of myself. i also want my next touch to be with someone who genuinely wants to dance/hold/touch me. genuinely. not just because i am available. not just because they should. genuinely would enjoy swaying with me in the whole foods line. and that is as much about finding that person as it is about me not settling, not compromising. and i need more time for that lesson.
sometimes you just have to miss things for a little while. missing something doesn't mean it has to be in your life again immediately. it just means you sense the loss, the absence.
so...here's to more time swaying alone in the supermarket.