After quite a bit of introspection, I’ve decided to venture back into the dating pool. It’s been well over a year since I walked away from my narcissist – time I’ve spent healing, rebuilding, and recreating – and while I’m not eager, per se, to become involved with someone, I will admit to missing sharing special moments with someone special.  But then it occurs to me, “How do I know I’m ready?”

As recounted in How Will I Know When I’m Healed, I did make a sincere effort with Marianne after yet another of the myriad of discard phases with Julia, my narcissist. Unfortunately, at that time, I simply was not emotionally or psychologically ready to be with someone else when I was still very much in love with my narcissist, subsisting on what few crumbs of love she allowed to fall to the floor, crumbs I eagerly and blindly lapped up, persisting onward through an obfuscating haze of abuse, triangulation, and manipulation.  I was completely unaware that I was still drowning in Julia’s selfish and suffocating “love” – grasping and gasping for one more breath of what was slowly killing me; my narcissist.  Don’t get me wrong.  I wanted to be over her.  I longed to no longer be under her manipulative control.  But I was so eager to be over Julia that I didn’t bother to stop and reflect on whether or not I actually was over her before becoming involved with someone else.  So, how do I know I’m ready now?  And how will you know you’re ready when the time comes?  Because it will.

That’s a great question.  And, honestly, I wish I could give you an equally clear and concise answer but the truth is, that answer is going to be different for everyone.  My ready might not be your ready, and vice versa.  At this 
juncture, and for me, I think it’s the reality that I don’t feel the need to find someone but rather it’d be nice to find someone with whom to share moving on.  I really hadn’t thought much about it until I went for a hike with Veronika and a group of her friends up to a local waterfall about a month ago.  (I’m in the back, wearing sunglasses, and Veronika’s in the red shirt.) All along the path, and especially at the waterfall, I kept thinking how nice it would be to have someone special with whom to share the excursion, the socializing, and the tranquil solitude.

Later that evening, I wound up watching a movie.  Throughout the movie, I found myself once again thinking, “It’d be nice to share this with someone.”  Don’t misunderstand.  I’m not the least bit lonely.  In fact, unlike how and who I used to be before those 4-½ years with Julia, I find that I now greatly enjoy my solitude and personal time, in fact, I prefer it.  However, being an avid cyclist and hiker, there are so many places I go, so many beautiful things I see, and there is no one with whom to share the moments or the memories.  I think it’s time I change that.

What about you?  Are you still lamenting the loss of something you once felt was worth dying for, with someone not worth living for?  I was there.  And I vividly recall believing I would never be here, healed, and more than that, happy!  In walking away from Julia, I found a strength I never knew I possessed.  A strength that has empowered me to become someone and something I never dreamed I could be.  The funny thing is, it took being stripped down to my emotional and psychological foundations, to my spiritual core, for me to begin rebuilding and healing thus becoming more whole than I’ve ever been.

Only instead of merely rebecoming who I was, I can now be who I want to be, who I’ve always wanted to be – someone who doesn’t rely on external validation to reinforce my perceived sense of value or self-worth.  I can clearly remember when I was in my 20’s, I abhorred being alone.  I detested solitude and time to myself.  I was constantly looking to be with friends and interface with people in any form or fashion.  As I grew older, that fervor slowly began to wane, but it wasn’t until my time with Julia, and the inevitable final discard phase that ushered in the end of our toxic relationship, that my shell, once so easily maligned and damaged, was burned away and nothing was left save the skeletal soul on which I now rebuild.  And, with time, I believe that same epiphany, this same reality, will come to light, thus bearing such amazingly sweet fruit for you, as well.

So, with cautious optimism, I think I’ll wade into the dating pool and see what surfaces.  However, for now, I think I’ll stay in the shallow end.  Perhaps I may even decide to get my hair wet.  And who knows?  With a little time, and maybe even a smidge of luck, I might even find a mermaid.