So much has happened in the six days that have passed since that weekend with Tom. I was busy at work until Thursday, and spent the evenings either training and exercising as usual or was kept busy with our Christmas outing on Tuesday, so I had no time to really sit down and think and write it all out until Friday and yesterday. In between, there were periods of reflection and realisations and changing thoughts. I talked to Mrs. H on Thursday, and then to Mother on Friday and that gave me some more insight.
First of all, it was a good thing that Tom and I could not meet for so long. I missed him at first and thoughts of him were foremost in my mind, but they gradually grew less. For the last few days, I even had moments where I found the whole concept of Tom being my boyfriend and all that we had experienced so far slightly unreal and had trouble imagining it. I was back in my everyday life that I was used to. It was like all the months before meeting Tom, or like the weeks where we met regularly and wrote messages and were getting to know each other. I was able to reconnect to some things with which I had lost touch; my passion for ballet, the great energy I feel when I do workouts on the cross trainer while scores of people jump and clap to the music down in the gymnasium. Walking home at night with my face lifted up to the stars, drunk on beauty.
I had not felt the desire or need to move during the week I’d been ill and seen Tom so often, and had not run and hardly danced and already begun to fear that I had lost that part of me, that Tom had somehow replaced it. This thought scared me for two reasons: I feared losing my skills and fitness and gaining fat, and I feared becoming dependent on Tom. But no, it is still there. I was just confused, I was ill, in a strange mood, and needed to adjust. It’s all fine. I changed, but I’m still me. This helped to combine the new part of my life, love and emotional and physical intimacy, with the old part. It is a process and will continue, but I no longer feel so ‘out of it’, like an uprooted plant.
I also no longer missed Tom so much, and while I was looking forward to the time when we would both be free to spend more time together, I was even glad I had a few days to myself. It was a weird feeling of freedom. Nobody to consider when planning my day, my meals, my outfit. Even small compromises feel like restrictions to me because I have been alone for so long. It bugs me not to know exactly what we will do on which day. It makes me feel slightly anxious and I find myself worrying: will I get the chance to eat regularly and well, to work out, to relax? Will I manage to ‘stay with myself’? It is a delicate balance between wanting to be with Tom, to explore our relationship, and needing to care for myself. If the balance is off, I first notice a feeling of distance, as if I was no longer wholly there. This happened a few times last weekend, but I only noticed it afterwards. And of course the urge to eat is a strong signal that something is off. When it really hits me, it’s mostly too late and I can’t keep myself from overeating. I need to notice the first signs and stop right there and do something about it. There is a complication: shame. I implied, and Tom can probably guess from my past and my figure, that I struggle with eating too much, but he doesn’t know about my eating disorder and how relevant it still is in certain situations. I do not want him to know the full extent, not only because I think it’s sick and ugly and shameful and will put him off, but also because of his sister. He doesn’t need more of this topic in his life. I need to deal with it myself, anyway. I am the only one who can get out of this. However, I will need to tell him that I get overwhelmed easily and that I need time for myself, and that we need to move slowly. He has to know the problem, but not the symptoms.
With this feeling of sudden freedom, I noticed that I felt much less ‘in love’. I was able to think of Tom more objectively. And I suddenly wondered if I still felt the same for him, if I still wanted him. I know that I really like him and think him a great person, and that I feel incredibly flattered by the fact that he feels so much for me. And I enjoyed kissing him and everything, but I still notice other men that are more handsome, taller, more athletic and energetic. Maybe my whole desire for love and closeness and intimacy is just lower at the moment? I really don’t know, and it’s confusing. I am scared of suddenly losing interest in Tom and hurting him. I am beginning to understand that he is very sensitive, even though he is tough. He has strong feelings for me and I am not sure how strong my own feelings are, because I have no comparison, no previous relationship. I sometimes feel very strongly, and then there are moments where I think he means nothing to me. What is true? Are the strong feelings just hormones, excitement, novelty? Or is the indifference a sort of act of defiance, a defence mechanism because I am afraid, deep down, of opening up and losing control and being vulnerable and being hurt?
Another area that worries me is sexuality and this strange feeling that it is impure. I know in my rational mind that this is not the case and that it is a stupid concept. And I have no idea where this is coming from! It is quite a new thing, too. I had thought that I had come to terms with this topic years ago. Mother and Mrs. H don’t know where it might come from, either. There are religious people who think sexuality is not ok and is only for marriage (but then it is required and good and sacred etc.), but I would feel exactly the same about it if I was married to Tom. It is the idea that anything sexual, even a French kiss, somehow ruins me, ruins the part of me that is connected to the highest, purest beauty that touches me so deeply: Music, nature, dance and movement, this energy that seems to flow through me from somewhere. I also feel this way, to a lesser degree, about food and fat and any bodily function. As if anything physical or slightly less than perfect and clean and dignified was wrong. But then I must remember that all the great dancers I admire, that seem to embody beauty and purity, are married. That most artists are sexual. That nature itself is constantly reproducing, decaying, growing. Even stars are born and die. Having a body with fat on it and needing and enjoying food and sex does not mean there is any less spirit. If I wanted to be only spirit, I could just die. I am on this earth in this body to experience the full range of life. My body makes it possible to hear music, to feel the wind, to see the sky, to feel beauty in a ballet step, energy in running. Allowing a lover’s touch should be just like that, physical AND spiritual. Desire is nothing else but a form of that ‘pure’ energy. Sexuality, when you think about it, is just another aspect of that whole range of life.
Oh, now that I have thought and written this, I suddenly think I can feel it, as well as know it. I need to think some more about it…
Tom has finished his semester and his work for the weekend and I have two free weeks ahead of me. He will visit me tonight and sleep here and we will spend a lot of time together. I am looking forward to it for the most part, but I must remember to be real, honest, present, and stay with myself, so that I can enjoy it and will not regret anything.