Cairn landmarks litter my life like the trails I hike. Sometimes they form unexpectedly; an alphabetical seating arrangement that introduced me to a favorite middle school friend, a gift of money stuffed in the crack of my door, that other pink line… twice, the middle of the night plea for help that changed the entire course of my family’s life, the note on the kitchen table that wished me good-luck and good-bye. I couldn’t see ‘em coming. They weren’t there one day, and the next, pillars of reference erected to mark significance.
The unexpected cairns are rare, most of them are intentional beacons of memorable proportion. I pick around on the sides of the trail that is my life and gather stones for their stability, size and aesthetic appeal and purposefully, often painstakingly, build a pillar to commemorate yet another part of my life the LORD has brought me through. I have been making a giant cairn of my Middle for a year. And now it is finished and like I’ve done so many times in my life. I must go from here, to where ever the trail leads next.
A year come and gone... slow, painfully, slow and yet lightning-strike fast. It is time to sit, as it were at the foot of Asgard’s Pass, like I did twice this year, to rest, to regroup and to look up, way up and prepare for the ridiculous uphill hike to what lies ahead. Here I shall take a moment of reprieve before I begin again and share with you what this, the first year of my Middle, this pillar I have made, was all about. As the “plan” for my Middle shifts into phase two, I’ll unpack, like an energy and nutrient rich snack, my memories, moments, reflections, and analysis and dispense with the long awaited data presentation.
First of all, coming into this year, fresh off The Leaving, I really wanted to focus on healing more than massive goal setting like I usually do for the year. I wanted to do what was good for me, not necessarily whatever felt good, but what was good; body, mind, soul and spirit.
My primary personal objective was to avoid a rebound relationship at all costs but to “safely” get out into the dating world, to meet good guys, to do fun stuff, to learn as much as I could so I can move from a single to a companion again in the shortest, healthiest amount of time possible because I fear an extensive stretch of single life for me will only further set me in my own ways and make me quite unbearable for a man to want to tolerate.
For my writing it was to publish five books and use my platform to speak to the issues of sexuality and spirituality that are so important to me. Clearly, with my publisher going out of business, the writing portion has only sputtered along but I find that sexuality and spirituality and dating and relational dynamics all kind of go together.
And so as I sit here, taking in all the things that have come to pass like food and water for my soul, I will not lie, there is a bit of a sense of foreboding as I look up to what awaits me. All that’s in front of me, as far as I can see is a steep, uphill hike. I know it will challenge every ounce of strength and endurance that lies within my body, mind, soul and spirit. Any way I go from here, it’s all uphill. Any words I write will face a pummeling of loose rock from the cliffs of one side or the other. Any relationship I entertain threatens to slide out under my feet. Even the summit I see so far ahead is false hope. There’s more to endure beyond what I can see. It hasn’t been easy up to now, but, as one of my buddies from the gym says, the warm-up is over; this is what I’ve trained for...
Instead of this being a singular review, we will scramble together through a series of posts that will speak not only to the data (or dates) and analysis (which I like to think of more as man-alysis) I’ve prepared but also to sexual and spiritual issues I’ve had in mind. It’ll be arduous. It’ll test your concepts and boundaries and pull me out from behind walls I’ve built whether to keep others out or me inside of my safety zone. I find the feelings involved in “relating” to gentlemen (and sharing that information with my lady friends) makes me more uncomfortable than I anticipated; which is odd because I consider myself to be a deeply emotional person. I find as I journey this single-life as a Christian woman with a high moral standard of propriety but an equally high libido I am frustrated with the act (or non-act) of sexual abstinence but have a stronger resolve every day to see if I can ever be more than just a piece of ass to any man even though I crave a sexual touch so badly.
Warm up is over, energy and nutrition on board, one last drink at the base... One look up... A deep sigh and resigned nod full of hope and trepidation. The cairn, like the pass ahead, massive and complex looms, beckons… You can come too if you like. Let’s do this!