Days of Engagement

David astutely remarked on my previous post immediately after my return from Mexico, “Although this [the Maurice and El Poema engagement] is not what I would have expected many years ago when we met, I am pleased you are at a place where you can enjoy this sort of happiness.”

Now there’s an understatement! Not even a year ago did I think that I would be into “this” a year later. In fact, so huge, sudden and abrupt is the change for both of us that we sometimes find ourselves pausing and saying, “Oh my gawd, are we really doing this?!”

Granted, for me at least, pretty much everything in the last two years has been about change — not just making changes, but also recognizing a deep sense of restlessness within myself that has forced me to assess the previous 5 to 10 years. And what I concluded, at both a very conscious and subconscious level, is that not only have I merely coasted through those years, but that I have also, in many ways, remained relatively static. Sure, new and old friends have come; new and old friends have gone; some people who seemed like friends turned out not to be such great friends; some projects got realized while others never evolved beyond ideas; there were great moments of shared happiness, serenity, fun and support as well as seriously unsettling moments of conflicts and sadness. But really, when one thinks about it, that’s just the normal ebb and flow of living, where the faces, situations and endeavours may vary with the passage of time, but once a tally is done at the end of each year, very little has essentially changed.

It seems pretty clear to me now that fear of commitment is what fuelled my inertia. I don’t just mean fear of settling down with one person; I mean how, even professionally, I resisted for so long commitment to an employer. Yet, in contradiction, loyalty and dedication are values I cherish and, I believe, honour. But I guess at one point, namely shortly after I turned 40, I asked myself the question the insufferable Dr. Phil would ask: “How is that working for me?” And my non-verbal answer — the deep sense of restlessness that very question triggered — was that it wasn’t working. I was left feeling ungrounded. And yearning. Not so much yearning FOR anything or more “stuff,” but yearning TO be able to give more and to find reason to celebrate the comfort that can be found within what on the surface may seem common but perhaps isn’t so common.

There’s something El Poema said to me numerous times from the very beginning, which I won’t repeat here for the sake of our privacy and in order not to seem boastful. But it resonated. What he said is true, I think, and by recognizing that it is, I’ve finally begun to shed my fear of commitment.

In spades! Because not doing things in half-measures is one of the few traits that hasn’t changed.