When we were children, from as early as we can remember there were so many things that would frighten us. We feared the boogie man underneath our bed, we were scared from being bullied on the playground and like most kids; you feared your parents from punishing you. Now that we are adults, you never think back to all of those things that used to terrify us because we have managed to outgrow those fears and have a whole new set of things to be scared of. Our parents teach us early on, that there is nothing to fear but fear itself. But as we get older and our fears become more realistic and intense, I couldn’t help but wonder…what are we all afraid of?
New York City is a city that is filled with fear. Most people here have the biggest fear of failure. If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere, right? Everyone that lives here is usually fueled with the determination, ambition and will stop at nothing to achieve their goals. These words are used to describe people and their careers but what do we fear when it comes to matters of the heart? Some people fear about a choice they made to let someone go, or are terrified of ending up alone but I guess the most important lesson to learn when it comes to fear is to never live your life with regret. Knowing that whether you made the choice or the choice was forced upon you; that everything does in fact happen for a reason.
Last Monday had me facing a ghost from my past. After getting reconnected over email, suddenly I was meeting someone that I briefly dated this exact time last year…The British Reporter. We ended things pretty dramatically last year which had me crying outside a restaurant and a friend walking by asking me if I was alright or not. But twelve months had passed and my choice to end things last year wasn’t anything I regretted or feared because I knew it was the right decision for me. However, the British Reporter is a rather charming and dashing man, so when we finally figured out a time and date to meet; I suddenly found myself excited to see him again.
I arrived on time at, Bocca di Bacco, in Chelsea and he was already there waiting for me. There was something totally different when I arrived to the wine bar. It was different because there was a man waiting for me and along with this man was a bottle of champagne already being chilled, two glasses filled up and me in total shock. In all my dating years, I have never had a man waiting for me in such a romantic setting. As I sat down, we toasted each other with our champagne flutes and began updating each other on our lives. Going into this date, I wasn’t sure what to expect, which most times can be the most entertaining. After our first bottle of champagne, we decided to order another, along with some appetizers. There were some confessions that were made that night. Like the fact that he hadn’t been on another proper date since me and that he was deeply sorry for the way things ended and that he actually really liked me. It is confessions like that that can really screw with your head not to mention your emotions. But I stuck to my guns because in the end, we actually don’t want the same future. And if you already know at the present time that you don’t want the same things than how on earth can you ever build a future? As I mentioned how charming he was, with his British accent he paid compliment after compliment to me and it was actually nice to hear. It has been an awfully long time since I actually looked at someone and saw in their eyes that their words were genuine and well…honest. When he excused himself to go to the restroom that is when he decided to kiss me. However, it was the kiss that shook me awake. The champagne along with the stimulating conversation was staring to play with thinking process and so when he did kiss me; I knew that it was my job to end things for the night and to accept that there really could not be a future here because after a year of no communication he still wants one thing and I want another. We walked to 23rd Street and Eighth Avenue where we shared one last hug and kiss goodnight and as I rode the subway home, I knew that I didn’t regret the choice that I made and I no longer feared that I might have made a mistake by ending things with him a year ago.
The next day, I was meeting someone that I often thought about as someone that I might have regretted ending things with. Actually, if we are being totally honest here, he was a guy that was probably right for me; at least on paper. He is a great guy, good job, has an amazing sense of how important family and friends are and even wants a family of his very own. However, back when we were together, I ended things because he was actually too nice for me. I know it sounds insane to end things with someone that is deemed as, “too nice.” But there is nothing wrong with this man and there is no reason that he shouldn’t be out there making someone else very happy.
We agreed to meet at Therapy bar in Hell’s Kitchen around 7:45. We both arrived pretty much on time and after a nice friendly hug it was time to order our drinks and get down to business. As we both discussed our current job situations, family, where we are living now and finishing up with the small talk it was time to dive into the relationship chapter. Turns out, he is in love. Just the way I hoped he would be, for he is such a great guy. Him and his boyfriend just returned from a beach vacation and are really content with the way things are, which in return made me very elated. It gave me such joy that I couldn’t hold it in anymore and told him just how happy I was for him. We talked a bit about regret and just how living in regret is such a waste of time and energy. It was nice to see him again because the last time I saw him, I was crying at his doorstep after a man I was seeing dumped me. We were and are in better places with our lives and again, being able to mean and say that you are happy for an ex is something a lot of couples that don’t work out, strive for. After only a couple of drinks, we decided to end the evening and as his cab drove away, I no longer feared that I would end up alone because I know that I am capable of handling any situation that life throws at me.
When Friday finally came, I was way too excited to get away. I was going with Feathers to his country house in Pennsylvania. It would be just him and I this trip, for his husband is away doing a show and all of our friends had other plans going on. Now that Feathers is married, it is rare that we actually get one on one time anymore and so I was looking forward to doing absolutely nothing. All we did was eat, drink, watch movies, talk and were in bed by 11 each night. Something I just don’t do in the city. It was the bonding that I was missing and looking forward to.
As we were driving back to the city yesterday, I got an email from the guy that I went on a quasi-date with a few months ago. It was the guy that I met and ended up going to see the musical, Spiderman, with and didn’t even remember his name. We had been playing for months after that quasi-date with when we would be able to see each other again but our schedules never once matched up until yesterday. He sent an email saying that we should meet at El Centro for margaritas. It was a nice day for weather here in Manhattan and I just actually appreciated the fact that he took the efforts to pick a place and time. So, when Feathers dropped me off at my apartment, I didn’t have much time to unpack, get ready and meet my date. The other thing I should point out is that I didn’t eat one thing all day and I knew better but still made it to the restaurant on time. When I arrived, my date wasn’t there. Instantly I began to fear that he was going to stand me up. Ever since that jerk from last week stood me up not once but twice, my fear of being stood up again was at an all time high. Finally after only being five minutes late, my date showed up. We sat down in the direct sunlight and just the feeling of the sun on my skin instantly made me in a fantastic mood. Our first round of margaritas was ordered and by the time I was halfway done, I could tell I was feeling buzzed. Even my date could tell that I was starting to feel the effects from the alcohol. So, seeing that the sun was still out and we were having a nice time plus the margarita sure tasted delicious; we decided to order another and another one after that. It was still so early so after we settled the bill; we agreed on one more drink at Flaming Saddles.
Once we were inside the bar and I got us a round of beers, I could tell that I was officially drunk. I was the aggressive one by dancing in front of him and pushing my body up against his while he sat on the bar stool. Usually I don’t care for that kind of display of affection but curse those three margaritas. Finally, I turned around and saw someone that I used to date. It was a ghost from my past and he was just staring at me and watching me make an ass of myself with another guy. I could tell that the guy he was with was his date or even boyfriend for that matter but their body language said they were certainly more than just friends. I thought that seeing him would sober me right up but instead I decided to play the role of an immature person and kissed the guy I was on a date with. Again, I am not one to showcase my behavior like that but I didn’t know what else to do and I panicked. It wasn’t very long before I saw my ex and his boyfriend leave and as he left, he turned around to give me a cold look and waved goodbye. It was his icy look that somewhat sobered me up and I decided that it was best to end the evening there. My date and I said our goodbyes and I thanked him for a lovely time. But I didn’t go home after we went our separate ways. Instead I went to a place that I never go to. I went to a grocery store. I drunkenly bought all sorts of fruits and vegetables. I had no idea what the hell I was buying but finally I had food to put in my fridge. I think I bought all these groceries because earlier last week I discovered that my fridge was actually broken. If you never use an appliance than chances are you will never know if it is still working or not. It wasn’t until I went to grab some ice last week that I realized that all the ice cubes had turned to water. I called my super and the next day I had a brand new fridge. It was also then that I told myself that it might be a good time to start getting a bit more domesticated.
When I got home and I started to put all these groceries in my brand new fridge, I heard my phone alert me that I had a text message. Sure enough, there it was the message from the ex that I just saw at the bar. It said, “Hey. You looked pretty toasted. Hope you got home safely. P.S. You’re smile still melts me.” I didn’t respond. And I won’t. Not because we were wrong for each other but I want and deserve to be with someone that actually wants to be with me. And not because he saw that the toy he once had is suddenly looking shiny and brand new again. I went to bed early and even though I was going to bed alone; I no longer feared that I was going to spend all my nights alone.
We often fear the unknown. We are scared of what is just around the corner both metaphorically and physically speaking. But sometimes in life, it is that fear that pushes us to a direction or a place that we never imagined we could actually get to. Maybe it is ok at times to be scared for once we get passed the things that we once feared, we end up being ok and we no longer have the fear inside of us. So, whatever you have a fear of, push yourself, go outside the comfort zone and you just might discover that you are hell of a lot braver than you give yourself credit for. Boo!