Ok! I am not really an addict. But I did go to four meetups in a day. Wasn’t having the happiest time at home, so carved out some time and space.
A quick recap first. My wife has decided to leave the marriage out of a sense of unhappiness and has fallen out of love with me.
I have since tried to rebuild my life. Rebuilding through challenges and socialization.
So I started saturday by going into the city, I live in the bay area. Did a St Patty’s Weekend pub crawl with a friend in the Polk street area.
There were lots of pretty women everywhere , and I felt a sense of panic. How was I ever supposed to meet someone again? At a bar? I wouldnt know the first thing about talking to a woman there.
Anyways, I had little intention of talking to women. Me and my friend just pub crawled, and I watched people interact. Wondering at their sense of levity and freedom. I asked would I ever be that free again?
Later, a bit buzzed, things got a bit better. Two guys dancing on a dance floor didnt seem as wierd anymore. Surrounded by revelers , my spirits began to lift. The joy of dancing. I remembered this feeling from a long time ago.
I met some friends of my friend, and tried to awkwardly socialize with them. They were welcoming and friendly. And it got a bit easier as the evening progressed.
Met some more friends for dinner and called it a night.
Next morning, met 6 strangers to go mountain biking. This was the most intense ride I have ever done. It was rocky terrain, scary in parts, but I put my fear aside and charged headlong into it. My bike which is an entry level trail bike was not up for the task. And neither were my skills and strength.
To get an idea of how rocky it was. Check out the video: Mountain Bike ride.
I am contemplating upgrading the bike, and stay with the sport. I clearly have a long way to go. The other men in the group were all older, but fitter and more capable riders. I was inspired and humbled. I was being shown what it means to be a man. And I am willing to keep pushing.
After a quick shower, and cuddles with my boy. I headed out my first-ever salsa lesson. I was somewhat happy with the way I am dressing and looked. I felt good. The lesson was a lot of fun.
After a few minutes of basic fundamentals, we were paired up, and rotated with your partners. It was a fun setting. I wasn’t there to meet people. For a change, I told myself, not to initiate contact or interest with anyone there. I just wanted it to be about the dancing, and having fun in the moment.
The instructor was so good. A young woman with a very gregarious charm. Incorporated a little humor, a little show off of her skills to inspire.
I walked away feeling that this was something I would likely come back to.
Faith and community
This will be the most trying of my quests. I found an invite for a church that was calling people regardless of their faith. I am not a believer, but I have always admired the community of christian congregations from a distance. And in my recent travels, found some solace inside the solemn atmosphere of a church.
I loved the pastor’s service. I have never had that happen to me before. I have been to a few. It was different and refreshing. It was a small motley crew at the church. Not more than ten people. But I was very moved, and sat there is silence. At the brink of tears.
They played some devotional songs which moved me some more. And then we took some time to speak about what troubles us. And I found a kind ear in an older woman who sat next to me.
The whole experience was surreal to me, given I have been a life-long critic of organized religion. But things change and I hope I can.
Discussing Life with Strangers.
I finally ended the evening at a restaurant with a group of 8 strangers for dinner. It was an organized meet where people could talk about a specific topic. This was a mixed bag for me. I noticed people there from many diverse walks of life.
But there was something common across the table. Divorce. There wasn’t a sense of “family-life” as I had envisioned it for so many years. I felt sad that I was somehow rejected by the fantasy of marriage and had been spit out into a life of seeking comfort amongst stranger. And what worried me is that comfort would at best be fleeting.
We spoke about life, marriage, and attachments. On the issue of marriage and love, I could sense a lot of resentment, anger, and betrayal around the table. I sensed a desire to protect before sharing. Guard before experiencing.
Reflections from a day meeting strangers.
Is this going to be my life? I am not happy with the re-iteration of certain principles. I am resisting these ideas. I want to be a romantic. Pragmatic romantic. I want to believe that I could experience a greater love, a greater bond than I had with my wife.
Am I fool to hope for this? I don’t think so. I at least hope not.
Anyways, so that was a pretty extreme desire to engage with the world. I want to see whats out there. But the lens of the meetups is somewhat limiting. I feel that more often than not I run into people somewhat battered and broken by life. Like me.
Is this a cynical view of the world? Should I not hope that all of them will find what they are looking for, and not be broken anymore. Or am I just seeing them from my own saddened viewpoint?