Yes, yes, I got very excited--perhaps even a little giddy--about SELF-RELIANCE yesterday.
But Emerson's advice--to trust your inner voice--appeared to me at a very appropriate time. Because miraculously, on January 1, the day before I started reading Mr. Ralph Waldo's essay, I'd actually done just that, for once. I followed through on my instinct.
As you might recall, on New Year's Day, I walked across the Brooklyn Bridge and back with Harry Berkeley -- and with my other, much newer friend, the mysterious Mr. Emotionally Unavailable. (For fun, let's call him Mr. Emo Ooon-Have, shall we?) Afterward, Mr. Emo Ooon-Have went off to a nearby bar so he could consider the year that had passed, and make a few resolutions for 2010. Harry and I bid him adieu, and then, as we'd planning to, went to a coffee shop a few blocks away so we could get some writing done.
Instead, at the cafe, I spent about thirty minutes very diligently checking my email. But the whole time, my brain was roiling.
My INNER VOICE was like, Dude. Dude! You totally want to make out with Emo! Why not go for it?
Eventually, I went outside so I could pace up and down the block.
And then my inner voice began to be bullied by some other voice--my outer voice, let's say (or the super-ego, as Freud might say). My outer voice told my inner that what I should really do is call someone who shall remain nameless--someone I am not all that interested in, although I thought kissing him might be a nice way to sublimate my desire for Emo.
My inner fought back. It said: You are always doing that kind of thing: Not going after what you really want ... and instead going after what you're only mildly interested in (so as to protect yourself from the pain of not getting what you really want).
I also considered calling the Baby F.--whose body I am totally still hot for, even though I know we aren't exactly made for each other.
Finally, impatient with myself, I grabbed out my stupid phone ...
And I dialed ...
he picked up!
"Hey," I said. "Do you have any interest in meeting up on the street corner for a quick make-out session?"
He laughed. "That might be the most forward thing anyone has ever said to me."
Nonetheless, we met up.
we made out!
Then I skipped home. And I do mean skipped.
* * *
Awright, awright, he's emotionally unavailable, I know, I know. (In fact, he even said to me, "Maura: I saw what your readers had to say about me. And they're right. Why are you even giving me the time of day?")
But a little smooch never hurt anyone, right? And it's nice for me to be getting to know a new, interesting person with zero expectations that it will go anywhere.
I know what you're thinking: Zero expectations?
But I swear it's true.
At least, I think it is.
* * *
The other thing about Emo--and this also goes back to being true to one's self--is that he just feels a whole lot more like "one of my people" than any other dude I've played tonsil hockey with in the last year or two. Though we are very different from each other in a lot of ways--like, he's more serious than I am, and less of a maker of silly jokes--he feels like a real friend, along the lines of Daisy Milliner. Like something of a kindred spirit. Which is invaluable, no?
Whereas with someone like the Baby F., I feel like I am one species and he is another--a very beautiful, very unusual, TOTALLY F**KING HOT species, granted. But also very different.
And I think at the end of the day, hanging out with people who allow me to be the me I like to be is another way of being true to myself--and the very best way to go.
So, maybe another resolution for this year is to quit wasting time worrying about winning over EVERYONE in the whole world (which is something I tend to want to do) ... and to concentrate on finding the people who, by being themselves, encourage me to be me.
But lovelies ... what do you think? Lay it on me. Am I kidding myself, thinking I have no expectations in this situation?