Seeing Life Through New Glasses
Seeing Life Through New Glasses
This week I saw life through new glasses both literally, and figuratively. Literally because yesterday I got new glasses, after having my old ones for 12 years. I waited that long to buy new glasses because I was too busy drinking my face off, and I couldn’t afford new ones. My old glasses were scratched, but I could still see out of them okay.
But, when I put my new glasses on for the first time yesterday, it was like looking out a freshly washed window. The clarity is amazing. Just to give myself a frame of reference, I tried my old glasses on today, and wow. What a difference!
My life happens in much the same manner. I get used to seeing things through scratched up lenses, and I don’t know what I’m missing. Old ideas, old beliefs, old behaviors. I don’t know what I’m missing until I try on a new pair of ideas, beliefs, or behaviors. After I try on the new pair, I feel the difference between the way I used to view my world, and how I view it now.
Which brings me to this week, when I figuratively tried on new glasses by changing my relationship ideals. I had an idea of what I wanted in a relationship because I’ve allowed myself the time to understand myself, get comfortable with who I am, and get comfortable with being single. So, when I asked my co-worker out for coffee in a note on Valentine’s day, I knew what I was looking for. Or so I thought.
When I found out he didn’t open his card, or read my note, I understood I had more work to do in the self-love department. I started thinking I wasn’t good enough for him. I started worrying that he didn’t like me. And, I started thinking about ways I could change myself so he would like me. Ways like quitting smoking, because he doesn’t smoke anymore.
My old behaviors were cropping up. In past relationships, I’ve changed pieces of me to fit what I thought my mate wanted. Over time though, I’ve realized that I don’t have to change myself for someone to like me. I’m the woman god made, and the right man will come along and like me for who I am, when the time is right.
After I had sat in panic for a few weeks, and saw my old behaviors cropping up, I wrote him another note. Since we work together, and we’re both always busy, I thought a note would be easier than talking to him. So, I gave him my note, and the next day I asked him about it. He said “we’ll talk about it”.
Finally, a week later, we had a chance to talk, and he gave me his answer. He just got out of a long-term relationship, and wanted to fly solo for a while. Ouch. I must admit, it hurt to be rejected. No one likes to be rejected, especially by a guy (or girl) you’re really in to. But, after crying about it, I realized it was for the best.
It was for the best because it gave me a chance to think back on my past relationships, and see that my last long-term relationship began when my ex was on the rebound. He had just broken up with his ex, shortly before we started dating. Within a month or two of breaking up with her. Looking back now, I see he wasn’t completely over his ex when we started dating. If J had accepted my coffee request, and began a relationship with me before taking time to be single again, we would have started on the wrong foot.
In the past I would have viewed this rejection as my fault. I would have asked myself what was wrong with me to make him not interested in dating me. I would have viewed J’s answer as a copout because he wasn’t interested in dating me at all, but didn’t want to hurt my feelings. But, by looking at this situation through a new pair of lenses, I see we aren’t in the same place at the same time to begin a relationship. I consider J’s answer admirable because he recognizes that he needs time to be single, to fly solo, so when a new relationship presents itself, he’ll be in the right frame of mind. I see his answer as a sign of maturity because he’s not looking for a rebound girl. And, I see J’s answer as a sign of respect, not only for himself, but for me as well.
Instead of looking at this situation through my old, scratched up lenses, I am looking at it through new, clear lenses. I see that taking time to be single after a long-term relationship is a quality I want my future mate to have. I want him to be mature enough to see that he needs time to be single after a long-term relationship. And, have respect for me, and himself, by not beginning a relationship before he’s had time to fly solo again.
If I had kept my old, scratched lenses on, I would have missed this growth opportunity. I would have missed the chance to make my future relationships better because I wouldn’t have thought about my past relationships, and ways that I could grow from them. And, I would be sitting here today feeling sorry for myself because a guy turned me down, instead of counting my blessings, and being grateful that J and I can still be friends.
Today, I choose to be grateful that J and I can be friends, and look forward to the possibility of (maybe) dating in the future. If we don’t though, it’s okay. Because I know there is a guy out there for me, and he will come when we are both in the same place in life, at the same time.
So, next time you have an opportunity to view a situation, belief, or idea through new glasses, take it. It may just open your eyes to new worlds, and new opportunities.
Originally published March 8, 2016 – medium.com