Sunday, September 15, 2013

Social Medium

Social Media can be a wonderful thing. 

It can also go horribly wrong.

But, I'm not going there.

I prefer the former. It's a more positive thought.

Facebook has allowed me to re-connect with some of my long-lost cousins, family friends and college pals. And it has brought wonderful people into my life from around the world.

Twitter has brought me a wonderfully supportive group of writers/bloggers who have become my tribe! Some of whom I've had the privilege of meeting personally, the rest I hope to meet one day.

LinkedIn has connected me with some of the above people on a professional level, and now with someone on a more personal one. 

And this last connection has brought me a glimpse of myself.

I received an invitation to join a network from a friend who had drifted away. It was this friend who had introduced me to my now ex-husband. I accepted his invitation, and suggested we get together soon. About four days later, I received his reply and in short he said it was good to hear from me, that he and his partner had celebrated a milestone anniversary, and were doing well and he hoped the husband and I were doing well. Ouch. 

Since my mind is an active one and I have a mind for details and memories, I went back to a particular conversation nearly twenty years ago;

"Jeff, you really should meet our friend."

"No, I need time to explore more of who I am. I've only been widowed about six months and I still need time to grieve."

"Yes, but just meet him. He's a nice guy."

"I'm sure he is, but I need to get to know myself a bit better."

"Okay, but...."

He eventually wore me down. I figured if I met his friend, my friend would be quiet about it.

So, I met my now-ex, and was not initially impressed. I even remember wondering what could my friend have been thinking! Did he not know me at all? But as time wore on and we spent more time together, he grew on me. My ex, not my friend. 

But, that's in the past. It has brought me here today.

I answered my friend's answer via email, not via LinkedIn, and explained to him I was now single. I left out all the other gory details and particulars as to how the friend he once knew no longer resembles the man I now know. If he asks, I'll tell; if not, I won't. But, good gossip is good gossip. But, is it gossip, if it's true?

But, this recollection got me thinking. Why didn't I listen to myself? Why didn't I trust my instinct? 

Because that was then, and I didn't know how.

And because, I liked the fact I was getting some attention. (Don't we all?) Here was someone who was interested in me. While that's a powerful aphrodisiac, it doesn't make for a good relationship especially when it comes at you full force like a hurricane. I let it continue, because I really didn't know what I wanted in a relationship, in life or at that moment. I let it continue because I liked having someone interested in me, someone who didn't play games. He was very clear from the beginning in showing me what he wanted. I was overwhelmed with it all. What should have been, in essence, a rebound for me turned into a nearly sixteen year long full blown relationship, complete with marriage certificate, divorce decree, and all the pain and suffering that comes with it.

It also came with some happy memories, when I stop and think about them.

But, lessons came along as well. 

Hopefully, I'll trust myself a little more this time. 

Just because someone shows an interest, it doesn't mean I will marry him.

It might not even mean he wants to marry me.

He might just want a friend.

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