The first man I ever loved left me for another woman.
It wasn’t quite love at first sight, but definitely something at first sight. When my little boy tells the story of how I met his father, he says, “and then daddy stood up, and then mummy saw him and then she said hhhmmmmmm”.
Well, it was kind of like that. I was at my friend’s house and when Greg knocked at the door, I answered. He gave me that deep, knowing smile that made me grin and speechless so that when he called a day later, I was waiting for the call! We had an amazing few head-over-heels months and then I left the country for a reason that seemed quite clear at the time.
I was reminded of him a few weeks ago when a very old friend, Nancy, who was visiting from overseas decided to get the girls from college back together again; a dinner date, the first meeting in 20 years. Nancy and Dina, my closest girlfriends, had said that they would look after Greg for me when I was away; we were all sure that he would be so heartbroken and pining that he would need to be kept an eye on. A few weeks later, they introduced him to Tina, it seemed she also wanted to keep an eye on him.
The plan was that he was to follow me overseas once he finished studying. And then we would figure out the rest of our lives, together of course. 5 weeks later I received the letter that told me that he had met and fallen in love with Tina. It seemed that our true love was not so true after all.
So, twenty years later and a lot of water under many bridges, it was an hour or so before I was to leave to meet my old college buddies. I checked the email to find the address and noticed for the first time who was invited to our meeting. Tina.
Of course with no connection whatsoever, I ran back upstairs and changed my clothes an additional 3 times. It wasn’t that I wanted to look younger or thinner, more sexy or more successful. I really didn’t care much! There was no connection whatsoever that I re-applied my makeup and redid my hair.
I left the house and drove to meet up with my old friends.
A strange coincidence that I happened to see Tina’s blond curls before everyone else or catch her eye first.
Our conversation was varied and interesting, a lot to catch up on over 20 years. And I found myself smiling a lot and reassuring everyone how blessed I am, how life with a business and 4 young kids is wonderful and as easy as you can imagine. Actually, all my achievements had been without any effort, all of a sudden!
Tina and Greg have been happily married for 20 years now. It seems they really did find true love. I remembered that old saying, ‘it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all’ and I thought to myself at that moment, despite my great loves and great blessings, it seems that once you have loved and lost, there always remains a few tears that never dry up!
As I walked away from that surreal and amusing meeting with people that really are not a part of my life in any meaningful way, I realised that by telling this story, I have the chance to make sense of it all.
It is clear to me how strange and silly our stories can become as we contemplate a perceived judgement. How easily we can become distanced from ourselves by the old stories we fall back into. As we examine these stories we are presented with the perfect opportunity to coach ourselves to a better sense of where we have come from and how we want to perceive our experiences; we have been blessed in our ability to create better and more empowering stories.
Meetings like this, stories like these are such a wonderful lesson, such a magnificent example of the power of our stories to delve into our past and coach us to a better sense of ourselves in the world, to celebrate our true blessings.
Our stories are the evidence of the life we have lived, they are the proof of the great loves and great losses; they are the essence of the human experience.
For more on Storytelling, Coaching and the application for Business and Organizations, check out the program ‘Cinderella and the Coach – the Power of Storytelling for Coaching Success!’
© Copyright 2010 Lisa Bloom