Day 3: The First Temptation

I woke up to an email from a man back in Memphis so amorous and eloquent that it would have the “old me” packing my suitcase and running home.

Instead, I dropped the phone by my bed, pulled the covers over my head, and slept for another hour.

“Timing is everything,” they say.

“Bullshit,” has been my unwavering response.

…But maybe there is something to it. This man, this wonderful, on-another-level, gem of a southern gentleman (the type of guy I dreamed about and prayed to God for), finally showed up mere days before I left the country for a year.

Why? Why would that happen? He met every criteria on my “list.” That has never happened in my 31 years. EVER.

And the most infuriating part is that he has been in Memphis this entire time. Friends with my friends, alumni from the same college, both in the horse world…and have I mentioned yet that he lives in Memphis? The tiniest town in all of America where everyone knows everyone. I can’t go to the grocery store without running into five acquaintances, but somehow missed him for the past three decades.

…So what do I do?

I stay on my path.

During a delightful lunch with a new friend today (well, the food was weird but she is inspirational and brilliant), I had an epiphany. I haven’t found my person yet because I still don’t know who I am and what I want out of life. And if I had found this “dream” man before, I would resent him since I wouldn’t have the freedom for self-exploration since I’d be committed to a path with him.

…and he probably wouldn’t even be the correct “fit” since I am still discovering who I am.

Basically, I’m Sylvia Plath standing before the fig tree:

“I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn’t quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.” – Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Depressing, right?

It was…but now I’m doing something about it. And I feel great. Really great. Inspired great. Can’t wait to get out of bed great. I’m finally on my path of self-discovery (and traveling the world while doing it).

This man deserves the best things in life. I can’t make promises I can’t keep. I have no idea what this year will hold (except sobriety and celibacy)…or who I will emerge as from this experience.

So following my new rules, as much as it pains me, I have to let go. In order to experience everything this year with an open heart and mind, there can be no attachments (loose or otherwise).

…I just hope I’m doing the right thing.


7 thoughts on “Day 3: The First Temptation

  1. Your reference to Sylvia Plath here couldn’t be more perfect. The Bell Jar is one of my favorite books, as depressing as it is. She has a way to strike a chord with your soul no matter who you are and this excerpt fits the bill! Hang tough Joelle. I’m rooting for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Joelle,

    The most important question is: who do you want to find as you in a year time ?
    You’ll find you with more experience of seeing the world like no one of most of the people in your age group. You’ll have a better , larger perspective about the world… Yet you’ll be happy from the same small things, and also sad from the same small other things…
    To see the world… you are on the right path.
    To find yourself, it’s a different path… 🙂
    The most important is that you took a decision and more important is that you are acting to achieve your goals.

    Liked by 1 person

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