Finally, the separation was a reality. Happiness became you. You were free. You could live again. Oh, the sweet relief.
And lived you did. Not long after you jumped onto Tinder (it was what people did, you thought). You were there for things you had longed for and missed. To genuinely talk to a guy, to connect, to shamelessly flirt, and to feel attractive. You soon discovered the (deceptively shallow) thrill of a match. Oh, the validation.
Matches turned to conversations; your phone glued to hand. You were giddy on difference and change. And thrived in the attention. You came to life. Years of a dead marriage and dead bedroom left you determined. You would harness this energy. You would become again. Oh, the renewal.
Alas, that wave soon broke.
For you awoke.
Eyes opened to the inner voices that lead you to stay unhappily in a marriage for years too long.
Not a single one of these people would like you in the flesh and blood, Sarah. Your tinder profile, despite how overly honest it is, was nothing but a ruse. You, in all your eagerness and wonder, were but a ruse. Oh, to be a ruse.
And the conversations turned to ash.
Rife with uncertainty (where do you go next?), you turned to what you knew. The comfort of World of Warcraft. You hadn’t used your computer much these past few years and it took some adjusting, but your heart sang. You found (some) of your people again. You were having fun again. You were living again.
But again, you awoke.
Was this living? Or were you just there to chase the next validation? Dare not find it in yourself, but in those that once showered you with it. They found what you couldn’t. Oh, what you couldn’t.
(And among these messes that you are and where they have led you, there came to be someone else. The one with the voice that you’ve low key had a crush on *for years*. You start talking daily. You somehow end up playing WoW together, and you soon found yourself in Valheim. As your friendship has grown, so does your crush. It’s profoundly silly of you, he’s a thousand miles away. Yet, you know better than to have a single expectation. You’re just enjoying each other’s company, you reason. He’s a delightful escape from your mess, you justify. Oh, to rationalize.)
This past weekend, you deleted Tinder. It was a relief to be on the other side. But… on the other side of what?
The other side of knowing what you want? You feel no closer to that now than you did at the precipice.
Or on the other side of knowing what you need? For this is a need that does not have the time, Tinder. The bravery. The capacity. The energy. The readiness. And it would be a lie to say I ever did.
And that next validation hit — it needs to come from myself. Myself alone.
Oh, to know.