I don’t remember the exact moment in time I was given the option to indulge in Hummus. If memory serves me right, I’m sure it was in my teens. I had no idea what it even was, I just know that I didn’t like the name, the color or the idea of “chick peas”. Somehow the orangey spread reminded me of my Aunt’s Ham and Green Bean dish that I HATED.

Enter years of telling people, “Eww. I don’t like Hummus, no thanks.”

Problem is, I never even gave Hummus a chance. I went with a first impression and projected a dislike of something completely different. Poor little Hummus, taking the rap for my disdain for Ham and Beans.

Well, I tried Hummus for the first time a few days ago. Dude I love the shit! Maybe it’s the almost chalky texture or the flavors that burst whilst eating it with pita bread. I don’t really know, but this girl is a Hummus fan.

This little revelation reminds me of a very similar, but more soul touching lesson I recently learned. Remember that blog post I wrote about that boy who was really tall, handsome but worked at a gay bar? Remember my first impressions of him? Well, he’s pretty much the Hummus in my love life…

I failed to tell ya’ll where little old me was emotionally and situation-ally when I met D. I was still trying to heal from a relationship ending in May. I came out of it pretty wounded, fearful and straight-up guarded. I really didn’t have any business opening myself up to someone…I’d just be wasting their time. But my justification to myself was that I was never going to be able to get back into the dating scene if I didn’t throw myself out there. Well, that’s true if you’ve dealt with your shit.  I wasn’t at the place in my life where I would be able to give anyone anything other than my past injuries that they weren’t responsible for healing. That was all on me.

I hate baggage, I really do. And all the relationships I tried cultivating with people who had baggage and were unwilling to tackle it, with or without my help, well they didn’t work out. Subconsciously, I knew that’s what was going on here.

About 7 dates into whatever it was that D and I were doing, I realized I wouldn’t do it. Yes, that’s right. There was no “couldn’t” about it. I straight up refused to 1) Get vulnerable 2) Experience spending time with him without projecting and thinking about how hurt I got before. This really was a double-edged sword for me. On one hand I was guarding my heart and being stronger and more aware of what I thought were red flags.  But on the flip side, I was literally looking for anything to dramatize just so I could have an excuse to get out. The other side of the coin was that I was honestly doing what was best for me by choosing to walk away.

Sure, the reasons I told myself weren’t really true at all; it was just my ego trying to justify and not admit that I really was looking out for myself and heart just so I could appear confident and never be a women led with emotion again. It is human nature to resist what we do not know. Foreign anything feels, well, foreign. My list of others before included very negative things, things that I grew accustomed to and thought was all I deserved. So naturally, I fought the shift in quality of person I was choosing to spend time with. He literally was like a foreign language to me. That description really wasn’t a double edge sword at all, more like one of those star looking things or a three-sided boomerang…oops.

Yes, I absolutely was way too hard on him because I was protecting myself.  But, I also checked out of putting myself in a situation where I could be wasting both of our breath and time.  There was also one very cold hard fact: I 100% disliked his job. I knew that it would be impossible to try and build a relationship with someone that worked in a bar full-time. I actually told him that I would not seriously date him while he worked at the bar.

Nevertheless,  I broke it off, offering only an explanation of “I might be moving at the beginning of the year and I don’t want to start something”. Though that statement was true, I was leaving out a lot. But I figured a clean, unemotional break would be best. I said I wanted to remain friends but we didn’t. Communication stopped and the only thing we saw of each other was on Facebook.

Remember when he worked at the bar? He doesn’t have that job anymore. Not because of me, but he actually had graduated with his MBA a few months prior and was already planning his transition before we met. But 3 weeks after I “split”, he quit and began looking for a degree related job.  A few weeks after that, I saw on Facebook that he accepted a position in Minneapolis. I was really happy for him. I figured since he’d be leaving soon, I’d reach out and hang one last time before he left. I thought enough time had gone by that we’d be able to just hang out without any emotional undertones.

I invited him out to go bowling with friends right before New Year’s. It was nice to catch up. And that was it. We went our separate ways.

But right after New Year’s, I was laying in bed and he popped into my head. I recalled the ease of being in his presence when we went bowling and how similar it felt to our first date. So I texted him. He replied. Before I knew it, he had invited me over for dinner a few nights later.

As we sat there talking, eating salmon and listening to music, I realized how different things were. I realized how well we connected and how we weren’t the same people we were back in October. So much had changed for both of us.

In a moment of seizing what was right in front of us and forgetting the past, we mutually decided to try again. Cue wine and vodka consumption and drunkenly changing our Facebook statuses…totally giggle worthy.

So here I sit right now, missing the hell out of D because 3 weeks after we decided to be “us”, he left for Minneapolis. Never in a million years did I think I would be falling for someone from a distance, but it’s happening, right now.

This is not a lesson in “What’s meant to be will be” or “Serendipity” or even “The best things in life are worth waiting for”. Nope. I think it’s a lesson in taking responsibility for what you can control and what you have to offer someone and either checking your baggage at the door or unpacking it and putting it away for good. I think it also speaks volumes for two people actively choosing a relationship together and not relying on a false sense of romance.  I’m glad the first time around didn’t work. Had it not been for what happened, I don’t think I would have been able to learn things about myself that I did.

Will this be easy? I can bet money that it won’t be. I don’t know what the future has in store for either of us, but I do know that I can confidently and with hope, move forward and strive to live each day in this moment and not in moments that have already come and gone.

I may be here in St. Louis and he may be freezing his balls off in snowy Minnesota, but that’s what facetime is for. And now, I want some Hummus.

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