Life is Busting out ALL Over!

In the Meantime…

Posted on: February 25, 2009

One of my must-reads-whenever-she-posts bloggers (which is frankly, pretty much everyone on my RSS feed, it’s what I do when I need a break, and let’s face it I need a lot of breaks, so people keep posting!) had a really eloquent post today that I meant to comment on. However, it must be a long week or something because I can’t figure out how to comment on her post and then I thought it actually make make a better blog post of my own.

What she wrote really struck a chord with me but just asking a simple and honest question, with lots of important context surrounding it: How am I possibly still single and why hasn’t some guy snatched me up?

I’ve been ruminating about this a lot lately because, well, I just moved to a city in a new area of the country where it’s taken me by surprise how much I am adjusting to it. Which is a non-embarassing way of saying I don’t have any friends or strong connections here and it leaves me plenty of time to realize how alone I am. I’m also still struggling with the smoldering ashes of a break up of the most significant relationship I’ve had, which preceded YEARS of crash and burn dating while those nearest and dearest to me were finding their right fit. I thought I had finally found mine. In some ways I think I might have but in the more important ways I know that I didn’t. But now the same man that I wished “woulda, coulda, shoulda” in our relationship now “wants, can, and will” if given the opportunity again. I’m not interested because I don’t think I could ever really trust him to do the things he says he wants, can and will and I’m million miles away from Chicago and so NO. But it’s staring me right in the face and I’m questioning the timing if all and wondering When and Why?

So when I read Colleen’s beautiful post this morning, I sat up a little straighter in my chair and instantly recalled Why?, definitely for me but maybe for her and others as well. Eight years ago I bought a book that has helped me, rehelped me when I reread it later at a more appropriate time and helped others.

The book is by Iyanla Vanzant and it’s called In the Meantime: Finding Yourself and the Love You Want.

I know I throw up in my mouth a little too, every time I see it on my bookshelf.

It’s ridiculous that I even got this book in the first place for a number of reasons:

  • I was 22 when I bought it. Let me repeat TWENTY-TWO. Um, seriously? I hadn’t even moved out on my own yet when I got it.
  • I was kind of disappointed and heartbroken when I bought it. Over a year before I had a summer romance with a hometown boy who was BMOC at our high school who never gave me the time of day until we met at bar while home from college (although I had known who he was for years, he met me for the first time that night). We dated when I got home from school and he was Ivy-educated, former college football player and had excellent taste in music. It was glorious and I couldn’t believe he wanted to date ME. He ended up breaking up with me because he felt like I didn’t have time for him. Why? BECAUSE I TOLD HIM. So much for acting cool. I acted like I was going back to school in Champaign every weekend because I was awesome. I brought it on myself and I was regretting it big time because I was TWENTY TWO. (We don’t have to comment that it was a year later, because clearly it takes me a long time to get over people)
  • I only bought the book because I was flying from San Francisco to Allentown, PA and needed something to read. Um? Sleep maybe?
  • Also, and most importantly this was the year right after college and I travelled for a LIVING. I hopped from college to college every 4 days. I was in places like Gainesville, FL, Bangor, ME and Cheney, WA. Where on earth did I expect to find love and keep it being a vagabond? (Although I did find love but that’s another story for another day)

However, I think I was meant to buy this book for a reason. I read it the first time, and couldn’t relate to much of it, read it again years later and it made more sense. I had a co-worker who dated someone for 10 years, married him for 5 years and one day he came home and said he didn’t love her anymore. She was devastated. One night at some agency function, where alcohol was the main course, she ended up talking with me and got really emotional, understandably, and I didn’t know what to say so I mentioned this book. I brought it to work for her and she returned it saying it really spoke to her and some other stuff comparing me to an old wise woman or something (this was at another similar event, man the early part of this decade was fun!). I don’t know I’m hazy on the details but I was thrilled that it seemed like this book seemed to speak some truth.

I flipped through it tonight and think in my effort to stay positive, I’ll pick it up again. The essence of the book is that we all go through a “meantime” in which we grow to be the person we are supposed to be so that we can meet the love we are supposed to. Lots of stuff happen during this meantime, heartbreak, great love, tragic events and even marriages all help us realize where we are supposed to be.

I will say that I’m not a huge fan of self-help books but the author’s words are written in a way in which it feels like, well, an old wise woman is sort of giving you some food for thought.

For example:

There is no prescribed period or length of time you can spend in the meantime. It is not a matter of “If I do this, I’ll get out quicker!” Or “If I do it this way, I’ll never experience this again!” You are always your own experience. What is happening to you is happening through you. You will stay in the meantime for as long as it takes to get your inner workings in order. You will also be there for as long as it takes, not only for you to get ready, but for someone else to get ready. In other words, you may be ready, but your divine mate may not be ready. You may be healed of your insecurities, but your perfect partner may not be quite healed yet. You may have done all the forgiving you need to do, but the person you are waiting for may not have even begun to do forgiving and releasing work. Consequently, you will be in the meantime until the divine person you are preparing for is also prepared and ready for you. Do not be dismayed! This is a good thing! The meantime is protective as well as preparatory.

Good stuff, huh? Anyway, I know that this thinking is what I need to get back to if nothing else keeping me focused on recognizing my own place and path and to be okay with it. I have completely forgotten about this part of me that needs that nourishment, the part that was awaken today.

So thank you Colleen, for helping me remember.


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musings and panic attacks of a Chicago girl embarking on a new life in Texas. Only it's not always June and it's not in song.

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