Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Safeguard

I mentioned yesterday how my grandmother always asks me if I've "met anyone interesting lately." I know this is her subtle, nonchalant way of asking me if I'm dating anyone. No matter the current state of affairs, so to speak, I always answer the same: I meet interesting people all the time.

As far as why I always answer the same, I suppose I have a lot of reasons for it. They vary from shallow and lazy to deep and well, deeper. The obvious reason is that no matter how much wine I've had at Thanksgiving dinner, a conversation with my grandmother about my love life is not my idea of fun. The more truthful reason is that I keep this information pretty close to me, no matter who's doing the asking. I guard the information as if only the right combination of time, reassurance and love will be the one thing that will ever allow me to let it go. It's mine, until I decide otherwise.

I sort of know why I do this, I'm careful by nature. I'm doing it to protect them. And I'm doing it to protect me. If I don't tell them what's going on then they can't be disappointed when there's no news to share. Also, if I don't have good news then I won't have bad news, either. But does it make sense?

I'm not trying to turn this into a "love never works for me" kind of thing though, because that's not true. The truth is, love has worked for me. I've had a first crush, a first kiss, and a first love; both as a kid and as an adult. And for what I knew about it at the time, it was pretty good. Break ups aside, I'm alright with it. I've learned and will continue to learn; which really is a good thing most of the time. Knowing this makes it even harder for me to understand why I keep a lot of the details to myself. I'm not bitter about love, I just don't want to talk about it-or anything to do with it. Convincing, right?

Today though, I'm beginning to understand a little more. I'm house-sitting for some family this week and while I was wandering around their house looking for the cat, the hundreds of pictures of their family kept capturing my attention. No matter where I looked, the pictures were everywhere; mom, dad, two boys, one cat, one dog. Then I noticed other things like handmade birthday cards and art work. There were painted rocks: "To Mom, I love you most." There were carved wooden sticks with initials and dates. I stood staring at markings on the wall where the increasing height of the kids was measured and marked for the last eighteen years and it began to sink in.

There was a past and a future all wrapped up in this house. There were wedding pictures of the beginning of this journey and all the moments that followed. There were lives and futures and hearts all wrapped up in this one place. I know these people well and I see them all the time but I would have never guessed that one of my greatest moments with them would be when they weren't even there. I realized the value of that. It's special and precious. It should be protected.

Before now, I thought I wasn't seeing things right or thinking clearly. I considered that it might be wrong for me to not just "put it all out there." Why shouldn't I share? Why shouldn't everyone know? Not now though. Now, it feels right. As long as I don't build a wall, a little safeguard is okay. It's my life, my future and my heart. If there's anything worth a little protecting, it's that.

8 comments:

Sizzle said...

amen sister.

GirlGoyle said...

Sheesh...I know where you are coming from. I get the "so...when are you getting married?" question all the time. I bite my tongue but usually I just wanna yell "when I'm good and ready to! And if/when I do, I'll make sure to let you busy bodies know!!!" Geez.

Runner Girl FL said...

I know I am new to reading your blog but I swear I could have written this. Keeping the personal stuff on the DL till you are ready to let people in takes the bother of explaining something that wasn't much of anything after all.

I'm with you!!

deepThoughts said...

I'm at the next stage of this. I find myself being asked constantly "When are you giving us the good news?" "When is the baby coming?" Occasionally, they may throw in advice regarding how bad it might be to delay this (Heck, I've just turned 26)...I know this feeling

Bre said...

beautiful, I love it!

I play my cards close to my chest when it comes to men I'm seeing and my family. For me it's mostly because no else has ever brought anyone around who hasn't been "the one" and I know I haven't met him yet.

Bringing someone home to my big mess of a family would mean that they'd ask about him all the time, want to know how things are progressing all the time, and if something were to happen and we were to split up, I'd have to go through it over and over again.

JustRun said...

It's so reassuring to know you all feel the same way about this. Apparently I have a lot of the "let it all hang out" types around me and that's just not me.

justacoolcat said...

That was great.
I can tell you from my life, I was the same way and since I have been married I have noticed my house turn into the same type of house you described. It's awesome.

Take your time and do what you feel is right.

Celina said...

I like justacoolcat's comment. My house is like the one you described, too.
I guess I can't really relate, b/c I married my high school sweetheart. But, I have a lot of friends (guys & girls) who are getting to "that age" when they feel like they should be married, starting on kids, & etc.
Just think, though, sometimes I'm jealous of my single friends who "get to" go out & meet new people (guys) & just do their own thing (don't have to "answer to" a hubby/wife)!