Living In The Gray

I’m home and tucked in for the evening in my pajamas. I have a frozen pizza that I’m going to pop in the oven, a glass of red wine in front of me and some 50% off Halloween candy to enjoy afterwards. Tonight is all about the quality, baby!

I’ve been in a very contemplative mood lately. Of course, those who know me best would say this is a state that I am never far from. Still, several issues have surfaced lately that have me contemplating past decisions and relationships and how they have changed me. Who I am right at this moment, compared to who I was ten years ago, is so radically different that it is hard to recognize that other woman sometimes. Or perhaps who I am now was always there, waiting to have time and experience and relationships carve away what didn’t fit.

 I know I don’t want to be part of a cliché. Black and white is only an outline of a human being; we are fleshed out in gray and red and blue and green and purple. We are a full spectrum of color and emotions, some facets of our being cut so they only reflect when a certain light shines on us.

 I sometimes wonder if a conventional relationship will ever work for me. Perhaps that is only my paradigm from twelve years of very conventional marriage. Can one human being meet our needs in a way that doesn’t start to feel stale and forced after a couple of years? Can having multiple lovers/partners every truly work as a reality that is peaceful and not fraught with jealousy and insecurity? I find that the longer I am single and dating, the more questions I have about what I truly desire.

Wife will never again define me, even if I should one day decide to enter into matrimony. If I do not, neither will the more modern terms of “fuck buddy” or “friend with benefits” limit me. I am a human being, capable of a range of emotions and relationships: Friend, lover, mother, daughter, sister. Can’t we simply be human beings having a connection? Does it have to be laid out in carefully drawn lines? I find that most people I meet are uncomfortable in the gray; I am uncomfortable living my life within black and white lines.

 I know that I want love in my life; from my family, from my friends and from my lovers. I want meaning and connection and passion. I don’t want superficiality. I can accept and embrace the unconventional. I know now that I have the strength and the courage to do what feels right according to me, even if it isn’t something embraced by the majority. I have walked away from an entire life, because it felt like a fraud. It has taught me to stand firm in my certainties. Part of that is accepting that what feels right for me today, might not feel right for me a month from now. I am fluid and ever-growing…or at least that is how I want to be.

The quote that I have looked to many times in the past few years, by Anais Nin, is still one of my favorites. “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

Being bound by roles that don’t fit is painful. I refuse to slip into the ready-to-wear character costumes expected of me. Instead, I’d rather live by another Nin quote: “I disregard the proportions, the measures, the tempo of the ordinary world. I refuse to live in the ordinary world as ordinary women. To enter ordinary relationships. I want ecstasy. I am a neurotic — in the sense that I live in my world. I will not adjust myself to the world. I am adjusted to myself.”

I don’t have all the answers. Yet I’m content with continuing to try to find them and not looking to others to tell me how to live my life. Living in the gray makes life much more interesting…

2 Responses to “Living In The Gray”

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