I took a chance
So a month or so ago the lockdown was starting to lift. Restaurants and bars started to open, stores opened their doors and once again put welcome signs out on the sidewalk, nail salons and hair dressers opened their doors and women flocked in with masks on to get much needed pedicures. For me, I had been alone during the lockdown and craved companionship, not just a friend but more. Maybe a date?
I downloaded the Bumble app again and started swiping through men. Many of them just wanted a hook up, and one did offer to come over my place at 9pm and offer his services. I was just about to give up when an interesting man popped into my queue, we chatted briefly and he lived 10 minutes away. It was a beautiful Sunday evening and the sun was setting over the ocean. He asked if I wanted to meet at the Hermosa Pier and watch the sunset. We were both antsy and lonely. I had been at the beach all day and said I would just be casual. He said that was fine. So, we met.
He was actually much more handsome in person, which even though I haven’t been out on that many dates, I think is rare. He was tall and warm. I felt his energy right away. We sat down at a restaurant at the pier so we could see the ocean and the orange sky and as the sun descended beneath the horizon.
We immediately talked very easily and had a lot in common. He was smart and funny. He was a writer and a motivational speaker. We both had English parents, so unless you have grown up with the sarcasm and coldness of that, you don’t really understand it. When the food came I scooted closer to him so I could eat, and my mind completely went blank as I felt him look at me. I hadn’t felt attraction like this in years. I was embarrassed that I completely forgot what I was saying I started laughing, he did too.
So much of my life I have taken the cautious route, I have mostly made the responsible choice when it comes down to it. But I made a pact with myself when I moved to LA to go with my heart, even if it leads to hurt. To be cautious, but not to push away an opportunity for feeling something, or changing. So, when he asked me to come back to his home in Manhattan Beach, I said yes. I went because I wanted to, because I liked him, because his energy wrapped me up and basically carried me there.
We talked until 5:30AM. I told him that this is the longest and most in depth conversation I have had with a man in years. It felt good to reveal myself, and in turn he revealed himself. I believed his words, and his intention. I left the next morning and we laughed that I was doing the ‘walk of shame’.
When I got home I couldn’t sleep. So many different emotions were going through me. The possibilities of what a relationship could look like, could feel like, could blossom in to all were flowing through my body. I was trying to process it all, so I went for a long walk. I felt connected to him, but I also knew that I had been starving for intimacy. Laying on his chest on his couch and talking meant more to me than sex. I was dying for connection, for closeness, for sharing and he provided it.
He was a handsome man with many opportunities to meet women, but I decided that even if I got hurt I was going to put myself out there. So, I did. I told him I cared about him, I told him that I wanted to date him, I told him how excited I was about him. He said the same. So, we dated for a month. I gave him an art lesson, he brought his guitar over and played for me. It was fun, it was intimate, I lapped up the connection like a neglected dog.
But inevitably the phone call came, that I almost knew was coming. He wanted to see other people. It hurt. But I said ok. I didn’t fight it, because somehow I knew that he would eventually make this call to me. I wished him the best and thanked him for showing me that connection does still exist in the world. To me it meant something, I am not sure what it meant to him. But, I really have no hard feelings. Somehow I knew that it was meant to end.
That weekend instead of seeing him, I painted. For some reason I wanted to paint a woman’s face. I used to draw and paint faces all the time. In fact, that is how I first started drawing women, was a charcoal pencil black and white face. So, I painted a woman with her mouth slightly open as if she still had something to say, but no one to say it to. I called it ‘BE’, and I posted it to my Instagram. Within 5 hours I received a DM, someone wanted to buy it. Really? She meant so much to me, how could I sell her? But I took a deep breathe and knew that just as I let the connection go with my recent romance, I had to let my art go too.
I sold her. I walked to the fed ex office that day and mailed her to her new home. I realized that life is a series of loving, connection, and letting go. I wanted to paint another lady’s fact to replace the one I had sold, and once again within a few hours after posting her to Instagram, she was also sold. Other women were resonating with the emotions that I was putting on my canvas and it meant everything to me.
If I hadn’t taken a chance and put my heart out, I never would have come up with a new painting style. In other words, these women’s faces that I am currently creating would not exist. I often think of myself as a synthesizer for emotions and energy. I took the energy from my romantic interaction, put it on canvas, and put it out into the world. Sure I was hurt, but it was worth it. I have transformed the hurt into art, and I have let it go.