Single and Somewhat Strong

A few days ago I saw a spider in the sink. Today, I saw an ant cross my path along the sidewalk home. I tried not to step on it. I always try not to step on insects or animals that come across my way. I don’t know why. Maybe I feel like giving them a chance at life?

When one relationship ends, it feels like I question everything to life. Like what am I doing? What’s the point? I don’t know why relationships make us feel this way. Maybe because we thought we were on a different track, but then when we realized we were unhappy, we changed everything?

A week ago I made it through airport security without a seizure. I didn’t take anti-anxiety medication or keep my blood sugar above 200. In fact, my blood sugar was 160. I always eat something before I fly to make sure my blood sugar stays stable. After experiencing my only two seizures in the airport, I take all precautions when flying.

TSA didn’t treat me like a criminal or a terrorist, which was a nice change. I walked through the body scanner, let the officials know I had an insulin pump and CGM, and they waved their magic wand, assured I wasn’t carrying drugs, and ushered me through. And then coming back from my trip to Louisville, I was approved to go through the TSA Pre line (which coincidentally I’ve just applied for). I didn’t have to take off my shoes or take out my toiletries (not that I really do anymore, to be honest), and I went through a metal detector. A metal detector! I haven’t used one of those since pre 9/11.

And you know what? My insulin pump wasn’t detected, and I walked straight through. No double check. No special treatment because I’m diabetic. I think I’m going to like this whole TSA Pre thing.

But the truth is, diabetes has become such an ingrained part of my life that sometimes I forget it’s there. It doesn’t even get me down, but relationships ending do. I’m much happier and calmer, I have to admit. I’ve started writing fiction again, which is fun, but still, in the back of my heart and my mind, I know something is missing. 

I see it every day with couples holding hands and advertisements of romantic comedies. I can’t get away from this “track” I was supposed to be on. It doesn’t help that most of my friends are married or in relationships. They say I’m still young, but how does one date after being in relationship after relationship for five years? And how does one date when they have a chronic medical condition that refuses to stay hidden?

What surprises me most about this new single track is how much friendlier I’ve become. Is it because I am now open to new relationships? Is it because I have to be open to any new social interaction because you never know? No, even when I was single before, I was never that person. But suddenly, I feel the need to give people the benefit of the doubt.

Instead of waiting by the gate like I usually do, I walked around the airport. My flight, of course, was delayed. I grabbed something to eat at the most “natural” food restaurant in the terminal. A pilot was in front of me. I ordered the same salad he did, coincidentally. He kept looking back towards me. I don’t know if it was for the time, the line, or what else. But when he reached the cash register, he asked for a fork for his salad, and when the cashier gave him a handful, he turned and handed one to me. I smiled and said thanks.

I don’t know why this moment touched me, but it did. I could tell he was in a hurry, probably had a limited time before his next flight, and I respected the fact that he ate healthy. He was older and probably married so I wasn’t interested in him in that respect. But even with all of that on his mind, he recognized that I had ordered the same entree he had and would also need a fork so seeing as he had many, he offered me one. It was probably a silly gesture, but I didn’t take it lightly.

Because yes, I may not meet my one true love in line at the airport terminal, but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve my utmost respect and kindness. And when a woman then asked me for directions towards the restroom, I didn’t shrug and shake my head. I smiled and led the way.

Maybe I feel a larger solidarity with the people around me, knowing I’m now alone? Maybe people will eventually take advantage of me? I still don’t play around when it comes to my safety. But there’s no reason I need to be so miserable to the world because one person left me. Like a good friend of mine recently told me, “it’s an exciting chance to meet new people.” I don’t know how I excited I am, but I’ve stopped wearing my headphones everywhere and try to listen.

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