Every year, about two weeks to my birthday I get reflective.
Yesterday I had a grand old “aha”-moment. After an OMG-moment on something I saw on Facebook, a friend said to me: “Why do you have friends like that?” And I said, “It’s not mine! And it was an accidental curser-hover that caused the damage to my retinas.” Cue “aha”-moment.
I think a lot about the advice I would give to my unborn daughters one day. Likely an act of reflection in itself on my younger self. This is what I learnt from my “aha”-moment: You may be blind to the flaws of a man when you are in love. But look at the company he keeps, because you can’t very well be blind to that. Blindness is a nasty side-effect of Love. The lines from the song “Blind” by Aubrey Peeples in Nashville accurately describes it:
Crying under water
Breathing in outer space
Putting faith into something that could never take place
But you give every shard of my heart back to me
Would you come through the wreckage for it’s life to receive?
I’ve been searching for answers
I’ve been workin’ on a cure
I’ve been a slow-song dancer to a rhythm that ain’t pure
I will come around tomorrow and forget yesterday
I will bleed out the sorrow that you put in me today
because I’m going blind.
I look back and time and again, I see “princes” who hang out with skanks and ho’s. He can’t very well be a prince if he hangs out with those quality individuals, now can he? Only Jesus did that and maintained integrity. Man doth not, darling.
It takes me back to my first love… And now I have to remind myself that ended because I was not ready then, and he did not see space for me to become who I am. I must do this to avoid the “The one that got away”-thinking, because I do believe there is no such thing. The right one, won’t leave. Not if dragons came and threatened to incinerate him.
Back to the story, Paul was a tall, handsome man. And he was great at everything. He was the fastest man in Northern Ireland, a self-made business man, and unbelievable creative… wise beyond his years and just all-round remarkable. And Irish. Which I do believe is next to godliness. He was so confident, he was like a lighthouse. The best part was, he loved me.
He loved me kindly, patiently, passionately and committedly. From halfway around the world, he loved me. He literally crossed continents to be with me and flew me to Belfast to be with him. I loved him back, with a love that made me feel red in the face all the time and stunned me to silence. He made me laugh, he indulged my crazy notions and we could make fun of Jeff at work who made his girlfriend a Valentine’s card together, which I think sealed that deal.
Paul was so confident, and he was famous back then in the big city of Belfast because he was an athlete. In South Africa athletes are not famous… unless you violently gun your girlfriend down through a bathroom door. It was just enough fame to make random girls in bars hand him their numbers while I was standing next to him. Brazen hussies! It never made me feel insecure though, because I was so insecure at 22. I was woven together with insecurity. The reason is, it actually brought a sour taste to Paul’s mouth when women did that. He used to say: “Quality. It’s about quality and I don’t mix with that quality human being.” You have to re-read that now with a Northern Irish accent, they have a special roll with the word “quality”. He was a quality human being. The reason I couldn’t say yes to him was because I was so insecure then. I wasn’t trailer park like the brazen hussies, but I was always afraid, that one day he would see the extent of the brokenness and run. And he was the fastest man in Ireland and Scotland, imagine the embarrassment, and the jokes.
My almost 38-year old self knows now that the myriad of breaks let my light shine through so much brighter and that is probably why he loved me with Yeats-like zeal. Alas, had I settled in Belfast and raised many blue-eyed offspring, I would not be here. I would not know me the way he saw me, and that’s the real gift.
Over the next two weeks, I plan a clean out, clear up and reboot. It feels like Yesterday is still lingering in corners of my consciousness, like stale dust.
I am too good for that. I am quality. And a prince can tell if you are quality. Real princes don’t do anything less. So looking back at love, I don’t see many princes. I see a lot of dodged bullets. I don’t see men who would be fit to be my daughters’ father… Which is funny, because I’ve always joked and said I can only be fertilized by the seed of a righteous man. How true that ended up being.
Looking back at love, I see only lessons learnt. Compost growing me into the stellar and confident young lady I am now, at the ripe age of (almost) 38. Who cares if I am a late bloomer.
Looking back at love, I have many many many regrets. MANY. I always wanted to not have regrets, but I guess if you learn the lesson the regret serves as a little brownie badge. “I suffered a philanderer and lived” …. without a scarlet letter. You MUST get a medal for that!