Wednesday, February 11, 2015

On Becoming a Girl

Thanks to technology....I know where he is.
At the moment, my Love is past the halfway mark of his 13 hour flight from Chicago to Beijing. I have not heard from him since he boarded the plane here in Colorado Springs at 6:20 am. I am exhausted from the late hours we kept these last five nights, three of them in Vegas, and am feeling emotional to say the least. 

The apartment is hollow and empty. No Zorig. No Mona. Only me and the memories of our time together these past 50 days. But what a wondrous 50 days it was. I am still in awe of the reality that in a world of 7 Billion people, Zorig and I found one another and not only connected, but in a short six months have been able to solidify the relationship and make a definitive plan for the future. He is the man I've been waiting for my entire life......but had never really expected to be a reality. You see, us strong and independent women of this modern world struggle to find a man that can be our match, a true partner.

I've always been proud to be a strong and independent woman. My parents raised us all to believe that anything is possible. With a good education and hard work, we could become anyone or anything. I tried new things in school. As a high school junior, I stepped out and joined the Army National Guard. After a couple of years in college, I broke out on my own and moved West to Idaho. I've acquired degrees, been deployed overseas, tried various jobs, made my own way in the world, never doubting that I could figure things out. I never expected someone else to take care of me--choosing instead to stand waist deep in a pool of self reliance and pride. These are not bad qualities to possess; however, they can create barriers to experiencing the softer side of being female. In some ways we have the feminist movement to blame for this....but that's a whole other rant. 

It's not been easy to find men that can hold and love a strong and independent woman. Oh, they like the idea that she can bring in a good income and is proud to get her own door. They are attracted to her strong sense of self and the way she walks and carries herself. The fact that she knows what she wants and isn't afraid to express it. He may brag about how his woman is low maintenance and a real go getter. But if HE is not also a strong and confident individual, then there will be trouble down the road

I speak from experience. My previous relationship started with two strong and confident individuals being in love and making a life together. But over the years my independence and confidence degraded his strength and masculinity. It was not intentional, and is both our faults. I didn't allow him to take care of me, and he didn't require me to. In our days of falling apart he looked at me and said, "you know, Heather, it's always been 'you and i' to you." I heard his words. Processed them and simply said, "you know, that's true." A sad thing to realize that after so many years, I had never really seen us, as an "us." We were simply two individuals coexisting in a space together. With two incomes there is a raised quality of living, but because we knew and understood each other less over the years, the richness of our relationship diminished. 

What makes us let go of the individual to embrace the us? I'm not saying we should lose ourselves--our sense of self--in a relationship (we've heard far too much from our mothers' generation about sacrifice of self on the altar of marriage), but we should be able to simultaneously see our "self" as a whole and complete entity that together with another makes a new and different kind of whole. A part of something new that is created when two people make a life together. 
At Safari Club International Convention in Vegas.

The most surprising thing about my new relationship is seeing myself through Z's eyes. He sees me as strong and independent. On a daily basis I hear him call me smart, beautiful, honest, and brave. My confidence and self surety are part of what attracted him to me in the first place (you should have seen us argue about who would carry my bag into the ger camp in Binder!). BUT.....he also sees me as completely feminine and not only allows me to lean into him, but pulls me to do so. I feel loved and cherished and honored. I not only let him hold me, but crave the safety of his arms around me. For the first time in my life......I can allow myself to let go because I know I have someone who is not only strong enough to catch me, but will know exactly what I need to hear and how to hold me so that I feel safe and secure. In our love and in the world at large. Now I see how an "us" is possible--I just never had the faith and trust it required. This man's strength of spirit inspires me and in his communication to me, I am guided into this new and lovely frontier. A wide open space in which I am learning much about myself and where I feel free to let go of expectations and be freely myself, even when I don't yet know who I will become around the next bend. While I travel this new and uncharted path, I work to embrace moments of discomfort as well as joy. 

Seeing Z off this morning was no walk in the park. I cried all the way home. Not from any real pain, but rather the thought that for another 140 days he will be so far from me. That I can't hug him. Can't kiss his cheek. Can't breathe in his smell. Can't see his smile. Can't hear his laugh. Can't be annoyed by the orange peels left on the floor. Can't feel his hand warming mine. Can't watch him sleep beside me. 

Yup.....I'm officially becoming a girl.......
.....because of who he is, 
...........because of who I can finally become......
.........................and because of the "us" that we create together. 


  1. Wow. This is something most of us look for--and fail to find--all of our lives. You are blessed.