Since discovering not all young eligible men are sharks, it has become easier to imagine the prince that a friend once promised. I don’t mean a prince in a fake fairy tale kind of way, so much as a becoming-like-my-Father kind of way. When I see it through clouds of veiled memory and feel it through whispered revelation, it reminds me of a friendship long ago, someone I almost remember, and I know this is the one I seek. It seems like ages ago, lifetimes ago, but the memory is there, like a seed, and I know that is what I want. I know I am getting closer.
Externally, we are getting closer, too.
First there was the imaginary grandsons being offered by well-meaning grandparents. This taught me to look beyond my own ward, or even stake, like Jacob going to look for Rachel. It taught me how to get to know extended family, and not to be intimidated by the family layers. It allowed me to stand back from afar and see who people are (especially when they don’t know you are looking).
Then there were the sons being offered by parents without the permission or participation of the sons. This taught me not to be afraid of the parents, and how to meet and greet them appropriately. It taught me how to start preparing myself for dating, including considering how I present myself. It pushed me further into the process of my own participation, learning to used own agency in choosing potential dates – and that it was good and right and necessary to dismiss those who were unkind or uncharitable.
Finally, I learned enough to progress into my own peer group. It was a developmental coming of age, a rite of passage that provided cousins and brothers instead of grandsons and great-nephews. I could hold my own in the fray, and gave myself permission to just be me. I learned that they are not all sharks, but also that I don’t have to love a fish. I learned what was important to me, but also what is good for me, and that these are not always the same thing (at least not at first).
I learned to say who I have been, without condemning me to the past. I learned to believe in whom I am becoming, without condemning me for not being finished yet. I learned to keep polishing me without being punitive. I learned to enjoy the moment, without thinking it is finished already.
I learned to enjoy being me, even without knowing the end of the story.
Because that’s my favorite part, the writing of the story.
P.S. In other news, I got my ovarian cancer results.
I want my numbers to be down, but they are the same.
But they are not up, which is good news.
He says I need to seriously consider having the ovaries yanked out.
That sounds pleasant.
Having children without being married is not an option, but neither is racing to get married to beat a cancer clock.
It is good I have learned so much in the last year, so that I can keep it all untangled, and make my own choices, and trust my own timing, and believe in a faith unfolding.
It is good that I know I get to write my own story, that it isn’t just happening to me.