Friday, September 12, 2014

What I Learned While I Was Down With Pneumonia

I just had pneumonia for a month and there is something I wish to write down here on the blog because I feel I have learned something.

You see, I tried online dating few months ago.

I have been single for quite some time now, and indeed even though I was married for a few years and had some relationships I actually feel I have been single through that time too. I do feel connected with some of my exes and there were instances in which I felt as a part of a bigger whole (with no nostalgia or bitter taste in this fact) so this is not issue of being unable to connect. It just so happens, it seems, that I chose to spend time with people with lax sense of commitment.

And then someone twitted something interesting about an online dating community available in my area.

Since I’m always ready for a bit of experimenting and prefer truth even when she is not pleasant to stomach I went off and made myself a profile. It was a nice profile. Thought through. Open, socially pleasant and also direct. At the same time objective, clear cut and cold. Just like me - disciplined enough not to openly contradict the social norm but inevitably emotionally distanced. Profile (in other words - me) became quite popular quickly and even though there was a lot of hay to go through some needles were found. So I exchanged some opinions, enjoyed some conversations and had a date or five. In the end it did not work out but I had a good time and I think I managed to communicate that it was a pleasant experience even though we did not click on a larger scale.

It has been 14 years since I was actually dating anyone and this was both old and completely new experience for me.

I disliked:
- meeting people. I hate meeting people. Being fiercely introverted and also quite protective of my privacy just makes me not want to put myself in that position if that is not absolutely necessary.

I liked:
- meeting people. Sense of distance the computer screen gives is just the perfect amount of distance to start a conversation. And after some conversation meeting in person is just a logical step.
- kissing. I missed kissing. Sense of closeness it gives even when you just start to get to know people.
- verbalization. How when I just meet people I can communicate likes and dislikes directly, for them to be acknowledged. Things sound differently in the confines of the mind then released into the wild of the social situation.

What brings me back to my pneumonia month. Bigger part of that month my daughter was with her father and grandparents, on their summer vacation, and I was alone.

There I was; broken, in bed, with fever reaching 40°C, alone in my apartment. No one to brew some tea for me or cook me chicken soup to nurse me to health. No one to keep me company or to check my forehead for signs of returning fever in the middle of the night. No one to share “or for worse” in between two “for betters”.

And I did not mind.

I had friends calling me to see how am I feeling, parents trying to smuggle in lunches so I would not need to cook, neighbors knocking on my door to check up on me and bring me small gifts of kindness.

I slept, took my medicine, ate simple meals and read books when I could. When I felt better I showered and tidied the place, I made my bed every day and I turned the electronics off to go to sleep at night. My organized person routine just rolled on, slower than usual, but undoubtedly present.

I did not crave for company and I did not feel bad to be left to my own devices. I was happy to hear from friends and parents and neighbors and I loved to see how considerate they are and how well they know me. In their kind efforts I saw their kindness but I also saw my value to them, and fruit of my labor in communicating all the things of value behind my distant and objective appearance.

It is not that I fail to connect. It takes two to connect.

I think I will make more room now for the possibility of meeting people.

No comments: