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So I am waiting by the phone again, hoping for a man I’ve let into my life to be worthy of the space I am making for him, and the effort that will go into a last minute scramble to put my apartment to rights after nearly nonstop traveling.

There’s definitely a metaphor in there somewhere.

The table is not set, the clothes are not washed, some bills are not paid, I don’t look like I thought I would look.

And he is good, even great, but not perfect.  Traveling for work himself, we haven’t had a proper conversation in a few days.  I asked him to confirm our meeting tonight and I haven’t heard anything from him recently, although I can tell he is not ignoring me and just hasn’t looked at his phone. When I reproahced him for not responding early, he apologized in the best possible way. I of all people can understand some times are difficult, and there’s more to a connection than constant contact. That was how my first love reassured my fears, but maybe it’s not about my fears and to be honest, it’s not that big a deal.

It is a not a soul shattering, self-worth questioning, where did I go wrong, shouldn’t I have followed the Rules, something is wrong with me feeling. Because deep inside, I know I have done nothing wrong, that this is just one verse of the powerful play.

Whatever happens with or without this guy, for the first time in my life, I’ve learned to show up for myself.

To love myself even though nothing is ready, nothing is perfect, and I’m recovering mentally, physically, financially, spiritually, socially etc from a depression so insidious and so linked to my social conditioning since birth that I am a little groggy as though walking up from a long sleep.

But I believe I am beautiful with my morning breath and old yoga pants and messy apartment. I can love me even though I am far from perfect, and that’s what I have always sought outside, but was not surprisingly never able to find.

It could be that the dog that growls in a room full of mirrors sees only a multitude of growling dogs, or it could be that love begets love. Even my mother’s love seems more unconditional now that I have fully come out, or rather, committing to the continually process of becoming more and more myself.

Not about a best or perfect self. Just a healthy, fully human self, radiant as a goddess.

For my entire life, I’ve been waiting for the weight to fall off, the money to come, the elusive “success” to be achieved, the adulation of the masses after feeling like an outcast for large portions of my life, and to come “home” to a place where I’d find that hero’s welcome.

Well, it seems that my actions were not entirely misguided, but I was like a dog chasing its tail.

And that’s why it’s an afterthought, just a coda to a love song about me, that I have no doubt that I will find the love that is in inside me out in the world somewhere. I accept nothing less, I deserve nothing less, and the world, in all its craziness, cannot fail to offer up at least one person to really love me.

I found what I was searching for climbing up and then down into the crater of a sulphurous crater with its bushless burning of blue flames in Indonesia. A miner who earned around 10-20 euro per day for winding his way up treacherous paths with baskets of sulphur took care of me amidst a group of 20, staying behind and urging me on, holding my hand during the difficult spots never making me feel judged for being overweight, out of shape, a born a cosseted princess by the injustice of being born in the right place, unprepared for the climb through extremely dangerous paths in the dark. I realized that kindness and lack of judgment as well as perserverance and encouragement to be my truest, bravest, boldest, greatest self was what I wanted in a man. But then I realized there was no need to wait around for a man to give it to me, I should be doing that for myself. It changed my life.

No wonder so many men I attracted and allowed in my life were just as critical and persnickety, or actually somewhat less, than my own incredibly harsh and never satisfied inner critic.

That’s probably one of the turning points of my depression ending.

And a few days later, I heard from the special person I am waiting to hear from, who I realize explained to me that he is giving a conference at a hospital and will be getting out late so I am going to chill the fuck out.

And realize there is always a risk in giving your trust, and it’s never been in my nature to be miserly. I give generously, because I trust myself, and inside me, as Pearl Buck says, there is a place inside me where I live all alone where I renew my springs that never dry up. And I have good judgment, a good  gut.

Even if you love with all your intelligence, even if you choose carefully and enlist all the wisdom at your disposal, you will slip into love even if you don’t fall into love.

There is an element of losing control, of something like dependence. There is an acceptance that you can be hurt, even if your core is solid and grounded and your roots go deep. There is an acceptance of change and chance, and joining a game that is bigger than you, that if you don’t want to be alone any more well honey, you have to let someone in.

There are guys that are worth stressing over, and growing with, and bending for, just a little bit. There are guys that are capable of dancing along to my beat.

It becomes all the more clear why I have taken so many vacations alone, why I have eben afraid to try to find someone to come alone, why I feared wasting a moment in company that ruined it. I know why I have been on my own, and the reason is simple- I wanted to enjoy my own company, and to not need anyone.

But now I have beenaround the world andback again, and my tenderest dreams have true, I will have to step into the fire, like Sita of the Ramayana, like the Javanese ballet I saw in Indonesia, and trust, that either his love will be so pure I  will not be burned but instead be transformed to a truer and shinier, intertwined and yet more genuine self  or to rise again, as I have so many times, like the phoenix into one of the myriad versions of the same, becoming me one way or the other.

This is what it means to trust life- not that there will be no pain, but that all choices lead to the same place, and that place is LOVE.

That’s what it means to be capable of giving and receiving love, and more importantly, of creating it where it wasn’t there before.