2.12.2006

Letting Go of Who We Aren't


I woke up this morning bewildered. We went to a jam band concert last night and sat in the balcony. Below us, I saw the silhouettes of my "fantasy man" – the one you think has lost all potency or allure by the time you approach the alter - wearing baggy cargo pants and dancing carefree with girls whose long dirty hair was carelessly twisted into dreadlocks. So there we were, me with my new-ish & clean Long & Lean GAP jeans; hands folded neatly in my lap. Herb looking cute in his striped Banana Republic shirt. We just came down from the mountains were we did not bother to snowboard or smoke pot on the ski lifts; rather we enjoyed the views, our friends, and walking the village with a cup of warm Starbucks.

We sat where my back could rest because my body just isn’t capable of standing for four hours anymore. We sat quietly while the free spirits below danced without skill but without care. My man, who sat faithfully beside me, did not complain once. He is a million amazing things. But to my dismay, I became very aware of who he is not. I became very aware that he was not the fantasy man I created in my mind many years ago. Fantasy man, whose faint residue floats around in my mind, is hyper and free and wild and weird. Last night, I saw everything that Herb is not. More than that, I saw everything that he is not highlight everything that I am not. He was not down in the crowd carelessly dancing because his wife with low energy and plenty of back pain needed to lounge up top among the less free-spirited - read: the older crowd.

In realizing that my man is not the image I had conjured in my mind when I started dreaming of boys years ago, I realize that I am not the woman I thought I was . . . not the woman I have always wished I was. Despite my small tasteful nose ring and the fact that I look really cute in flowy skirts & gauzy tops, Herb and I are not going to live in a tree house named Suncatcher. We are not going to name our children things like "Rain" and "Sunfire" . . . or better yet, call them "Baby" until they are old enough to name themselves. We are not going to travel the world on a hand hewn boat with a steel drum as our only entertainment. Our house might be solar powered someday, but it won't be a yurt and we will always have cell phones and satellite TV. The reality is, I am not this kind of woman - with or without Herb. As my old roomate Courtney reminded me when I realized Herb does not live la vie bohemme - "Cara, you buy $8 cheese and live in Washington Park - you are NOT going to live a life of poverty in a hut in Africa, with or without this man!"

In short, I am not the woman that my fantasy man would ever think twice about. I am not overflowing with confidence or laid back. I am somewhat tight-wound and carefree only after the bills are paid, my stomach is full, the weather is sunny, and I am certain that everyone around me likes me. On the other hand, I am the kind of woman that will live in the same town for 10 years and pour into her community. I make yummy food for my friends and I volutneer. My job is one that requires a creative mind and an open heart. I am the kind of woman that my husband is drawn to. And he is the kind of man that when reality strikes, I need and want. He is the man that, when reality strikes, I can actually make a life-long commitment to. At the end of the day, fantasy man is not who I want . . . I would much rather spend a yurt-free life loving reality man who can love the real me.

4 Comments:

Blogger hurricanic said...

i love you, charjer. it's liberating to embrace reality, huh? i mean, to really, really embrace reality.

1:30 PM, February 13, 2006  
Blogger Cara said...

reality is a hard one for me, hurricanic. i never did it very well and it has always been easier and more exciting and fulfilling to live in a fantasy world. In herb, i have found an amazing reason to come back down to earth and love what is real.

2:07 PM, February 13, 2006  
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4:18 AM, April 10, 2006  
Blogger google nut said...

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12:36 AM, April 16, 2006  

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