“Be still my beating heart!”
Those words immediately come to mind as I write a “response” to some writing that I just read.
“Be still my beating heart” is a phrase that my mother used to use growing up to express her surprise (usually to us kids doing something unexpected, like cleaning up without being pestered to). “Be still my beating heart” has a warm and loving connotation to it for me. My mother always used that figure of speech when she was pleasantly surprised.
As I spent a few hours this evening preparing for a backpacking trip coming up later this week in Redwood National Forest, I found myself entranced in the moment in a world of webbing and broken sternum straps. This was quite the change from the bulk of my day today, which was spent reflecting on time spent with a woman I recently met. This is the first I have written about this woman.
Until tonight, my time spent in reflection about her has been simply “processing” in my head. Lately, for the past year or so …my “usual” reflecting has taken place in the form of writing. For the past 9 months or so, much of the content being posted in this blog. I firmly believe that everything I write is trash. Most of it is publicized for the world at large to read and much of it is written in vague ambiguity to “protect the innocent” (a quote stolen from the woman inspiring these very words).
While most of my reflection over the past year or so has taken place in the form of writing / journaling / blogging. I have deliberately not written about the experience I am writing about right now. Why the drastic change, you ask? Strap in and venture down the rabbit hole with me. Let’s explore how far down it goes. I have deliberately not written about Mandi because she is special. She is different. Mandi is not someone I was just going to write about. From the very first conversation on the phone with her, I sensed an immediate connection. It was unlike anything I had ever experienced.
This phone call was approximately sometime back in March, I believe. My dates are going to be like the memories of most events in my life, slightly hazy with a chance of forgetfulness. I don’t think my memory is bad, because there are specific memories that have become crystallized in my mind for life. Other information just seems to pass through. More than likely, it is just whatever “filtering” mechanism in my brain that makes me operate the way that I do. Many would attribute my memory to various lifestyle habits, but I digress.
After rambling about the uncertainty of the date, I decided to cross-reference myself. I remember our first date significantly. I was nervous as hell because the messages we exchanged were unlike any other. She was different and I had to talk to her. She was traveling on a Friday night and I asked her out on a “phone date.” This night, I made sure to pick up a fresh growler from Stumblefoot. If I couldn’t stumble through a nervous date at a bar, I decided I should socially lubricate myself with some fresh beer from the local brewery. I hadn’t been there in months and I recall they were preparing for their one year anniversary party the following day and doing some quick homework, I realized that our first “date” was on March 29.
We initially met through an online dating site (one of many topics that is on my list of topics “to-write” about). After a few exhilarating messages, I asked her out on a phone date. At that point, I had been on several unfulfilling dates and I decided to write a brutally honest profile to see what would happen. I had written this crazy profile, exposing my true, inner-self and figured “what the hell” – what have I got to lose? After months of having this kook profile written my a lunatic, libertarian, self-reliant, sustainable, survivalist wannabe – I had zero substantial correspondence with anyone remotely interesting.
Previously, the few dates I had been on were strange and awkward. It was nice to get out and see a new place that I wouldn’t typically go, but these dates were weird and slightly awkward. Since the ending of a serious relationship and some other pretty significant life transitions over the past few years, I felt the urge to take part in the seemingly ritualistic process of online dating. This was interesting, to say the least.
Pretty much each date ended up with the same bullshit conversation about the same bullshit topics about how we ended up where we are in life in an almost rehearsed elevator-speech type of event. This all seemed plastic, fake and worthless. The dates were mediocre, at best. I met a few girls and actually had some good times meeting new people and feeling somewhat human as I socialized like a good human interacting with society.
At any rate, just when I was ready to throw in the towel, I received a message from Mandi. That’s when it all began.