I’m not one of those people who believes that everything happens for a reason. However, the fact that I happened to be on Word Press today, after months of not doing anything, and see the “brilliant” prompt seems like serendipity. The word “brilliant” has been rolling around in my head for the past couple of days.
I have been trying to figure out why I am so drawn to a new person in my life. I am a happily married woman with a nice house, a beautiful daughter, and a faithful dog. I’ve been with my husband for twenty-five years, and although we’ve had our ups and downs, I’ve never been particularly attracted to another man. However, a twenty-seven year old man recently came into my life and I find myself wanting to talk to him, anticipating seeing him, and thinking about him often.
Our relationship should be purely business, but that’s not how I am. I am an emotional person, whose downfall in business has been a need for people to like me. Throughout my professional career, I have struggled with maintaining healthy boundaries and keeping business business and personal personal. I have befriended colleagues and been disappointed when my friendship has not been reciprocated. And today, I find it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to keep my feelings out of my business arrangement with this young man, who is young enough to be my own child!
So what is it? Physical attraction? Maybe…Or do I identify with him? Does he remind me of past loves? Or my father? He actually came out and asked me if he reminded me of my father. That caught me off guard! But it shouldn’t have. I suppose he’s probably asking himself the same questions. If not why he’s attracted to me, then why I am attracted to him. His significant other and her family are questioning our relationship. And my husband is questioning too. Everyone thinks it should just be business! But it’s not. Which leads me back to “brilliant”.
This young man is “brilliant”– not in the traditional sense of the word. He’s not necessarily smart or gifted. In fact, I don’t even know anything about his intellectual abilities, other than the fact that he can’t read cursive (but neither can my daughter, because they don’t teach it to kids anymore). What I mean by “brilliant” is that he’s shiny. Light emanates from his soul. He’s alive. And his brilliance is contagious.
I’m dull. I’m the opposite of shiny. The extra twenty years that I have lived have worn down my finish. There is grime obscuring my soul. I need to be cleaned and buffed and shined up.
This young man wears his heart on his sleeve. He has been hurt, over and over again, yet he stands and he keeps fighting, with a smile on his face and a sparkle in his eye. He is “resilient” — the latest pop psychology term of the day. And I want that.
I’m drawn to him like a moth to light. Of course, we all know what happens to the moths that get into the house and stuck in the light fixture…But perhaps I can just touch his light and take some energy. He has enough to go around. He has already helped me see the contrast between us — recognition is the first step, right? I want to get closer to his light so I can get out of the darkness. Because I used to be like him. I was “brilliant” once.