Welcome to A Life Examined

What is the examined life? A life worth living! As I look at the road ahead, I take all the baggage from the past and use it as experience - the pain and the passion, the sorrow and the joy - allowing it to carve wisdom into my mind and hope into my spirit.
There is no experience that can't be useful to me at some point in my life. There is no lesson learned that cannot make a contribution to the future.
A tiny drop of water is a part of the ocean. A tiny speck in the night sky is a ginormous star in the distance. It all depends on perspective.
So, this examined life is to offer reflections in the hope of discussing things which are of value to myself and to others.
Love, Sarah

Thursday, 7 November 2013

My "Perfect" Life - part 23

My husband, A, has an interest in cars that have exceptional design.

A found this old-model Bentley and loved it dearly. Mr B was a well-loved if not a perfectly reliable vehicle that took our family on pleasant weekend outings from time to time, until we moved from the UK and left Mr B behind. We had many relaxing conversations in Mr B while driving over country roads, and on one or two occasions, while we waited for the AA to give us a jump start.

Mr Bentley by Sarah Tun

A's car featured in the early days of our relationship too. On one particular occasion I made a  confession that led to a life-changing decision while we were talking in his car... I remember it was a very warm day in May and the car was a 1990 navy Rover 4 door sedan (Brits will know it). This car was the setting for a pivotal conversation we had before we began to date officially.

A was asking me why, after some months of solid friendship and obvious attraction, I would not go out with him.

I was in love with this man who wanted to date me, but I had a dilemma, which I allowed to swim inside my head for some time before openly admitting my reason for hesitating.

Two significant relationships I'd had with two different men I'd dated years earlier, had each ended badly. But it wasn't the break-ups that were the key to my refusing to date A. The other two men had one thing in common - they were born under the same birth sign. Both relationships ended rather bitterly, leaving me quite 'raw'. But more relevant to the day in May in the Rover was that I had determined I'd never date another man under that sign.

Fast forward from the decade of broken relationships one and two, to the decade that brought us to the day in the Rover. You have guessed what the birth sign was of the man sitting next to me... Well, actually the sign isn't what matters but rather, the fact that it was the same sign as the sign the men from the previous two soured relationships had shared.

A had been the kindest  man I'd ever met, and considerate, and patient. He was intelligent, well-spoken and polite. He was handsome. And I loved him. But, when push came to shove (figuratively speaking), and he asked me - point blank - why I refused to go out with him, I had to confess to myself, and eventually to admit to him, that it was only because of his birth sign.

Now, some people may make major relationship decisions based on this factor alone, but for me, I knew deep down I was assessing this man's suitability, not based on his character or my attraction to him, but simply based on his zodiac sign, and I knew that wasn't right. Did I ask myself how I'd ended up loving another man under the same birth sign? Indeed I did. But I knew the answer wasn't that I'd made a mistake. Rather, as I sat in that car, with the sun warm around me and with a slight breeze filtering through the open windows, I knew I had been given an opportunity through meeting A, not only to find a mate for life, but also an opportunity to overcome prejudice and fear and pain from the past. I knew I must not make a decision based on fear or previous poor choices, but that now life offered me an opportunity to overcome the past and to learn to allow myself to love, irrespective of fear or superstition or predetermination.

It took a while for me to admit to myself - and even longer to admit to A - that the overriding factor for my hesitation was a zodiac prejudice, not a lack of compatibility or trustworthiness. But once I did admit it, I had a free path ahead of me, with one simple question to answer: Do I stick to my promise to myself or do I revise my thinking given these new circumstances?

Once I'd been truthful about my reason for hesitating, the reason no longer had a power of its own. It became easy for me to make a wise decision. The truth really did set me free that day... free to make a life-changing decision that allowed me to move forward with the man I loved and who loved me.

Twenty years on, the car has changed (again) but the quality of the man has not. I am thankful I had to face my fears, overcome my past and risk moving into a future which proved to be filled with all the joy... frustration, inconvenience and challenge... of marriage that I've been fortunate to experienced.

Did the three men have similar qualities in their personalities? Definitely. But whether that was due to their all being men or all being men born under the same birth sign, I do not know. What I do know is the man I married has quality character, and that has made all the difference.

Ford Truck by Sarah Tun
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