I really didn’t think I could. I thought I lost the ability in my 20’s. But then, out of the blue, last week…something happened… I’m a human resources manager. And I was interviewing a guy for a delivery driver position where I work. He was a really nice guy. About 12, 13 years younger than me, was my guess. Had held a management position at his last company where he had worked for 14 years and then was laid off, a victim of the economic downturn and businesses slashing jobs to try to bulk up profit margins. It was obvious he had a lot going for him. So I asked him the obvious questions about why he wasn’t with that company any more and what had brought him to the city where I live, what he was looking for in a job; just trying to learn a little more about him and discover why he would be willing to work as a delivery driver when he had so much experience doing things that were a lot more complex and skilled. He explained to me that he had gone through a divorce and then lost his job shortly thereafter in a big layoff. (I went through a divorce and lost my job shortly thereafter too.) The combined blow was devastating. He has family here, so he decided to move back to be closer to his brothers and parents who all live in the area, which is the area where he grew up. And he was willing to start in a humble position and prove himself because jobs are hard to find these days. He needed to get his foot in the door. He knew he was capable of much more, but he had to find a place where they would give him a chance to excel. We decided to give him that chance. We hired him. Over the course of that interview, then working with him to complete his background check, taking him through a 6 hour orientation program and walking him through all the new hire paperwork that had to be completed and explaining our benefits, he shared a little more of his story. Which is how we discovered we are twins. Sort of. His wife of 8 years (12 years total invested in the relationship) fell in love with another man and left him. My husband of 22 years fell in love with another woman and left me. Neither of the relationships that destroyed the marriages survived, but they did the damage and it couldn’t be undone. Both of us were willing to forgive and begged our partners to stay and go through counseling, believing we could come out even better on the other side. In both cases, our mates chose to pursue the new relationship instead of trying to salvage the old.
We both have emotional canyons that run deep. We see and feel things on a level that most people don’t even know exists. We both struggled mightily with depression. He got lucky…anti-depressants work for him. Just took time to find the right dose and the right drug. In my case, I wasn’t so lucky. They don’t help. At all. I’ve been on massively high doses of practically all of them. I’ve taken them in combinations. Three of one kind in the morning; three of another at night at one point. The only thing that resulted from my experience with them was horrible, debilitating vertigo. So I was a bit envious he was able to find something to bring him relief. But I was happy for him too.
He has three Yorkies and they saved his life. Because he loves them so much and feels so responsible for them, he couldn’t bring himself to kill himself. Were it not for my two Miniature Schnauzers, I would surely be dead. I love them so intensely, I’m afraid that no one else would give them the care and devotion I dedicate to them. They are my heart. And I continue to get up in the morning solely because they are in my life and are my responsibility.
He flew helicopters at one point in his life, wanting to be a professional pilot. I flew airplanes at one point in my life, wanting to be a professional pilot. Got my private pilot’s license with my instrument rating. Was 15 hours away from my commercial license check ride and ran out of money. Had already passed the written. Had a job lined up. Couldn’t beg or borrow the money I needed to get those 15 hours of flying time no matter how hard I tried.
He has a wicked sense of humor and it plays to mine like a fiddle to a bow.
He love arts and crafts. I make jewelry.
We CLICKED. I didn’t have to try to think of things to say to him. Conversation FLOWED. He listened. I listened. He talked. I talked. He shared. I shared.
I wish I was younger. Or that he was older. Because this is the first human being I’ve met SINCE I WAS 20 YEARS OLD that I didn’t have to work hard to talk to or be around. I didn’t have to hide. This is a person I would enjoy hanging out with. Going to a movie. Talking to for hours on end. Having dinner together. Taking our dogs to the dog park to play. I didn’t think this was possible. Not for me. Not any more. It hasn’t happened in so long, I truly didn’t think I even could. Connect. Be real. I didn’t feel rejected. I felt understood and validated.
It has left me hungry. This is what my heart has longed for…someone to connect with on ALL levels. That has long been my dream. A dream I thought was impossible. And now, I don’t know what to think.