Third Date Iceland

So I recently turned 53.  Shit.  I am knee deep in my 50s.  It’s a bit surreal being on this side of things.  Life is passing fast, it is hard to keep up.  But I have created such a beautiful life that it’s hard to stay in the moment as well.  New aches and pains, a new appreciation of quiet places….all have me feeling 50ish.  The age also comes with some amazing new features, the lack of fucks I have is beyond amazing.  I have been through the hardest of life’s experiences and come out stronger and better.  This side of 50 is also the part where we realize how fleeting it all is.  I waste no time on my dreams and aspirations.  I don’t spend a lot of time waiting and languishing, I act…fast.

Another very cool thing is that I have maturity.  And that maturity paired with the no fucks left attitude has brought on some new ideas and terminology.  One specific term I am absolutely loving is “lover”.  I have lovers now.  I don’t “hook up” or casually date.  That’s all so childish, and definitely NOT my style.  A lover just sounds so cosmopolitan and socially acceptable (though that’s not a concern, really).  Since becoming single about 5 years ago I have had a few.  Some were and are amazing men that just didn’t suit me for a long term relationship.  Some were very intentionally meant for short term companionship.  My goal is partnership but why not enjoy life along the way, right?  I met one such lover,  G, on an online dating app.  And while this story is more about my journey than it is about him, he is part of a moment in time that forever changed my brain chemistry.

Those that know me know that I come out of a neglectful, borderline emotionally abusive marriage.  Within that marriage, I was never told I was pretty, save for our wedding day and the night he got pretty intoxicated when the rapper ICE-T was in town.  He had backstage access so we went back to meet the rapper and his wife.  My husband yelled “Hey Ice-T, my bitch is hotter than yours!!!” to Mr. and Mrs. T.  To say I felt special….well….

There were never times that he took a picture of me or the family with me.  I am excluded from family pictures unless someone else snapped it.  Years of this can wreck a gals self esteem and self worth. While I do know that those both come from within, neglect from the one who is supposed to cherish you above all others can really do a number on your psyche.  

So this time I've been single has been a time of deep healing for me.  I have done the work of learning and unlearning myself.  I have done the therapy and shadow work and affirmations.  I can look in the mirror and see the strong beautiful woman I am.  I have come a long way, baby.  I have turned hatred for my body into body neutrality.  My body is the least interesting thing about me.  I wear a bikini unashamedly.  Fat rolls and belly scars out for all to see.  No fucks.  I adore myself. My self love game is titanium. 

Circling back to my lover.  G and I  matched on the dating app and began chatting.  He was engaging and interesting.  He travels for work and has an amazing perspective on life.  He, like me, has also done his healing work.  We connected instantly.  As we chatted, we realized we were across the country from each other.  His lives on the West Coast.  We agreed to keep the connection open as he travels close by often.  It wasn’t too far in that we realized we had something pretty cool in common.  We were both planning a trip.  To Iceland.  On the same days.  Kismet.  I was travelling with a friend and he was on his own.  We were both renting camper vans to traverse the country.  

Third date Iceland was in full effect.  We went to a geothermal spa.  We soaked in the hot springs, we drank wine, we dunked ourselves in the cold lake.  It was dreamy.  I wore a bikini, my first time in public with a man, belly and scars out.  I decided to power through being uncomfortable and nervous and just enjoy the moment.  Accept the blessing of this experience.  So I did and it was amazing.  We got slightly drunk and very giddy.  The horizon was a picture painted for only us.  It was the night before a full moon.  The sky was clear and a shade of blue I have only dreamed about.  I got lost in the moment, back turned to him, looking out on the scene we were being granted by the universe.  I was in awe.  I was mentally taking a picture of the moment and sitting fully in the feeling of expansiveness.  Forgetting all else I was brought back to myself by his voice.

“Stay right there.  You look amazing in that light.  You are framed perfectly.  Don’t move, I’m going to get my phone and get a few shots.”

“Of me?” I almost asked.  

He posed me and moved my hair.  He lined me up with the rocks and the sunset.  He took picture upon picture, telling me “this is it” after each one.  I am glad my back was to him.  I was crying softly and quietly.  I had done all this work on myself.  I knew my worth .  I knew my power and beauty.  But in that brief moment in Iceland, in my bikini, slightly drunk on wine.  I was affirmed.  I was seen.  I was appreciated for just being me, all of me.  I had never felt that in that way before.  My brain chemistry was forever changed. 

Before anyone comes to revoke my independent woman status, I know my worth comes from within, I know self love and don't NEED validation.  But as a cishet staight woman with a sex drive, it is most certainly nice to hear it from someone other than myself occasionally.

amy on the edge (1)

I have had lovers before and since meeting G.  Some were lovely men, for the most part.  I will have more lovers and more moments of feeling amazing.  And maybe there will be a day that I find someone that becomes more than a sometimes lover, someone to create a life with. Someone who takes my picture all the time.  But that moment in time, under the almost full moon, in a little town in Iceland, forever belongs to G and I will forever be grateful.

*photos by "G" and shared with permission