So let’s bitch for a minute. I’m tired, sore to the point I don’t want to move, worried about next year and our business, scared I can’t make it work, and just plain tired (yes, yes, I said tired twice but I’m really tired y’all!)…but…driving home tonight I watched the most amazing sunset. I slowed down several times thinking, “I want a picture” but knowing nothing could truly capture the spirit of the scene. Pulling into our driveway, I did stop to take this picture. I took a deep breath and just released it all. Yes, I’m still tired and sore but I’m not stuck as deeply in the quagmire of worry because I let it go and said thank you to the Universe. Thank you for allowing me to live this life, for bringing me to this place, and for all the adventures I have every day.
When you find yourself stuck in the gerbil wheel of worry and you’re at your breaking point, just stop for a moment. Take a deep breath, look around, and be thankful and grateful. Things will always, ALWAYS, get better.
I am hardly ever lacking words. I’m actually proud of that fact, as silly as it is. Yet, here it is one year later and I am struggling to create a coherent sentence that reflects how I feel right now. I sat down with my laptop with the sole intent of reflecting back through this past year but I have so many thoughts that it’s difficult to organize them. Maybe in the form of lessons I’ve learned over the year? Yes, let’s try that shall we?
Love isn’t about never fighting
I had the thought that true love was a blissful union created between two people who never raised their voices or argued or got angry with one another. After all, what good can possibly come from arguing? Over the last three years, and especially over the last year of marriage, I have come to realize that I was very wrong. Arguing can actually be healthy for a marriage. I struggle with that because I hate to fight. After all this time, my first thoughts are always, “this is it, this is the time he’ll leave me” and “why does he put up with me?”. I still get so scared during an argument and honestly, I don’t know how to stop that fear. You would think that after all this time, I wouldn’t be so scared. My lesson from arguing is that it’s okay to argue, as long as you remember to let it go afterwards. Breath it out, know that just because you argue, it doesn’t mean the end of the relationship.
Love is about realistic expectations
I shared the following quote from Kiersten White with my husband before we got married: “I didn’t fall in love with you. I walked into love with you, with my eyes wide open, choosing to take every step along the way. ” When he brought up marriage to me, my first thought was “am I strong enough to love this man?” Loving my husband means loving him even when he’s not so easy to love. My husband is very strong, very opinionated, very dominant, and can be overwhelming at times. He’s larger than life sometimes. This isn’t just my opinion, everyone that meets him comes to that same conclusion. He is a force of nature. I had to know without a doubt, that I could love him and never try to change him. I knew I had to commit to loving him without wanting him to change. True love is not trying to change the person you love. Either you love them as they are or you walk away, but you can never love someone with the expectation of change. My husband may be strong, opinionated, and dominant, but all those qualities also apply to the way he loves me. His love for me is so strong and steady that some days it is the only thing I know without a doubt that I can count on. He isn’t a man that will fill my ears with empty words, but instead shows me with both large and small actions how much he loves me. I walked into love with him. I made the choice to love him because I know his flaws, faults, and weaknesses. I also know his heart, his strength, and his goodness. Walking into love with him was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but it was also the best thing I’ve ever done.
Love is about the every day, mundane tasks
Love is about helping each other through the messy, every day tasks of life. Love is emptying the dishwasher with each other, taking the garbage out, dealing with the kids together, and sometimes, just standing together holding hands and watching the sun go down. Not everything in life is romantic. Life is messy and chaotic and filled with unexpected, heartbreaking and awe-inspiring events. Love is about sharing all the messes, heartbreaks, and breathtaking moments with each other.
Love isn’t about grand gestures
I used to think that I needed romantic declarations and flowers and candle light. From my husband, I’ve learned that I don’t need any of that to know that I am loved. He shows me in a thousand little ways – buying me a yard long box of Twix bars because he knows I love them, making me fresh coffee at 3pm because he knows that’s the witching hour for me when I desperately need caffeine, and sending me pictures of amazing sunrises because he knows I love them. All those little things show me how much he loves me and reminds me that I am the luckiest woman alive. All those little things are his declarations of love to me. He isn’t a man who is comfortable wearing his heart on his sleeve, he would rather show me with actions how much he loves me.
Happily ever after doesn’t just happen
Happily ever after doesn’t just happen, you have to work at it. True love isn’t effortless, it takes hard work, dedication, and just a touch of stubbornness. Love is not letting fear control you. Everyone is afraid of being hurt; to truly love is to know that even if you get hurt, it will have been worth it because your soul grows only through experiencing all the good and bad life has to offer.
To my husband, my giant of a man, I say “thank you”. Thank you for teaching me so much about life, thank you for being the guardian of my heart, thank you for accepting me even at my craziest moments. Thank you for not letting me get away with any level of bullshit, thank you for pushing me to be better. Most of all, thank you for loving me. I can’t wait to see what new adventures we will have.
I’m filled with gratitude. This life I have now is one that I could never have imaged. I’m at a loss of words to describe how my heart and soul feel. Growing up, I watched my parents navigate their journey together, hand in hand, always dealing with challenges together. I thought that I would have that when I found a life partner. Unfortunately, or fortunately, I did not have that with the person I picked to be my partner. I say fortunately because I learned so much from him. I learned what I did not want in a spouse, I learned that being silent can be a death sentence, and I learned who I didn’t want to be. While the marriage didn’t work out, I walked away from it as a much stronger person, which is why I say I’m fortunate.
As I sit here watching the snow fall and listening to to music, I am thinking about the life I lead now. I am fumbling for words because everything I come up seems too small for the joy and wonder that are in my soul. There are times almost everyday that I am moved to tears of gratitude and amazement. I want to fall on my knees and give a prayers of thanks to the Universe for leading me to this place. I have this amazing person that has committed to me, that worries about me, that does a hundred little things that show me he loves me all the time. I don’t know what I did to be worthy of this person and this relationship, but I have made a vow to never take it for granted. I promise to stay in the here and now and to try not to worry about the future.
That’s the difficult part though, the staying in the here and now. The not worrying about the future. I think when a person has lived through a future that’s worse then ever imagined, it changes a person fundamentally. The best outcome of living a nightmare is that you emerge from the nightmare so much stronger. So while I’ll worry about our future sometimes, I’ll remind myself that I can survive anything.
I will also remind myself that this person has proven again and again that he is not only worthy of my heart, but that he’ll protect and respect it as well. So, I gladly hand my heart and my love over to him, knowing that we are equal partners in this crazy adventure.
Being in love as an adult is so vastly different from loving as a twenty year old. As a twenty something, you have stars in your eyes and excitement in your heart. The future is so wide open. You don’t worry about divorce because after all, surely it will never happen to you. Your love is different you tell yourself, your partner won’t cheat on you, won’t fall out of love with you. YOU won’t fall out of love with your partner. Your relationship will be the one that people write songs about.
The reality happens. You don’t love your partner anymore, he (or she) has changed, you have changed. Kids have changed your relationship entirely, being an adult has changed everything. Nothing is easy anymore. At some point, the marriage just falls apart and before you know it, suddenly you hear a judge say “this divorce is hereby granted”.
Time passes and you heal. Even though you don’t think you’ll ever do it, you do heal and move on. You start the dreaded dating scene in your forties – and oh my god…online dating. What a nightmare. But wait…you click on a profile. Hmm, this person looks nice and maybe he isn’t a serial killer. You go on a date, and another, and another, until BAM, you are in love. Completely in love. A deep, scary, damn you need to guard your heart type of love.
Being in a relationship in your forties is probably one of the scariest things you can do. I know for me it is at least. I thought that surely by now, almost two years into a relationship, I wouldn’t still think “when is he going to leave me?”. I thought by now those thoughts would have been banished because he has proven time and again, no matter how crazy I get, he isn’t going to leave. He might get mad, he might even speak harshly, but in the end we talk about it – like adults are supposed to do. He doesn’t ask me to change and I don’t want him to change. I thought I would stop getting panicky at the thought of merging our lives but yet for some reason I still do. We were talking about finances tonight and he said “would it matter if we were married?”. I immediately wanted to say “if we were married, you couldn’t up and leave me”…and then I realized, yes, yes he could. So what does it matter if we merge a few things sooner rather than later? Either way, we’re tangled up with each other and if this all goes bad, it’s going to be difficult to untangle whether we’re married or not.
I’ll get tangled up a little more with him. It’s worth it. It’s worth it to feel this kind of love as a result. It’s worth it because when I look at him, my heart expands with joy because I know he loves me and all my craziness. When I am with him, I know without a question, this is where I am supposed to be. I trust him with my heart, I know he’ll take care of it. Being tangled up with him is the greatest adventure ever.
I want to hold this moment in my memory forever. Sitting outside, hearing the wind whistle in the trees. Watching the sunlight flick and flitter off the grass and working its way through the trees that are just now budding with new life. The colors are so vibrant and it’s not even sunset. I’m sitting in a swing large enough for two people and simply looking at the life around me. The cows are grazing in the front pasture, softly mooing as they make their way towards the pond. Whiskey, the brown mare, is just on the outskirts of the circle of cows, she’s not intruding but likes them for company. The sheep and goats are meandering through their enclosure, filling their bellies until night comes with the grass that’s just now coming up from the earth. The goat babies and the lambs are all laying together in the sunshine, forming a tight little pack of new life filled with hope. The chickens are slowly walking through the yard and pastures, finding little treasures to peck and eat. It’s perfect. Everything about where I’m at right now is utterly perfect -except for one thing. I miss him. I want to share this moment, this beauty, with him. We’re still working on things, still trying to get this blended family thing under control. There’s a tightly controlled feeling of chaos that seems to swirl around us. Which is why this moment is so perfect – there’s no chaos right now. Just peace. Just quiet. Only the birds quietly chirping in the trees, crickets singing, and occasionally, a soft bleat of a baby goat.
In this moment, I’m not doubting myself. I’m not questioning whether I’m a good mom, a good person, a good business owner, a good girlfriend. I’m not wondering if I’m less than enough for everyone in my life. I’m simply “being”. I’m being quiet. I’m being content. I’m allowing the world to breath around me and I’m accepting what nature gives me. This is a treasure. I wish everyone could experience this at least once in their lives. This feeling of internal quietness. The journey which I took to arrive at this place was nasty and filled with ugliness, but now that I’m here, I’m thankful for it. I’m thankful for who I am in this place. I’m thankful for the trust I placed in the right man because I don’t know if I would have been brave enough to do this on my own.
So for now, I will just be. I will be content. I will be at peace. I will trust myself. I will trust the man I’ve given my heart to. I will trust the universe to continue to lead me to peace.
Wow…I just realized it has been almost 18 months since I’ve updated anything here. Hard to believe that much time has passed and even harder to believe all the changes that have occurred. Honestly, I’m not even sure where to start.
Hmm, let’s think. Biggest change – I bought a farm. A 64 acre farm. Moved out of the city and into the country and I love it. It’s hard and exhausting and scary but so much fun. The hard work is different from the work you do at a 9-5pm office job. It’s physically exhausting and sometimes I don’t think I can do it because I’m just not strong enough, but there’s always a way to do what needs to be done. I have cattle, sheep, goats, chickens, and horses! I love them all but the horses are a huge pain in the ass so not sure how much longer I will have them.
I also own a business now – another huge change 🙂 I bought a franchise and am trying to make a go of it so that I no longer make someone else money from my hard work. It’s a struggle and like an dumb ass, I bought into something that is extremely physical – landscaping edging and custom signage (www.texasboulderdesigns.com and bordermagic.net). It’s the same thing as the farm though, I love it. I love how hard it is and what the end result looks like. I love that I have muscles on muscles now. I love that when my body aches, it’s because I’ve worked so hard and I love that I can do this.
Both kids lives with me at the farm – which is a huge change! We went from having almost 3000 square feet to 1900 square feet. We lived in a gigantic two story house for years and now we all live in a house small enough that I can be on the front porch and hear them talking in kitchen. It’s small but it’s perfect.
Hannah is now James David. Yeah, probably should have led with that one. Part of Hannah’s struggle was the fact she is transgender – something that didn’t surprise me at all. I think I knew by the time she was 10 that there was some serious body issues going on. I don’t have a problem calling her James David – seems natural to me. My biggest concern with him is that as he gets older, it seems his autism is getting worse and he’s getting more socially awkward. I don’t know what to do to help him with that. I can’t imagine him having a driver’s license and in our small town, it’s hard to get by without one. SIGH…just one more thing to manage but we can because that’s how we do.
Kylie starts college in January – which is a tremendous step for her! At one point not that long ago, I didn’t think she would ever go to college. But, she is going to at least give it a shot, which makes me very happy.
Lastly, I have a boyfriend. I almost don’t want to mention him. I worry that if I put our relationship out there into the Universe, that the Universe will smack me down and take him away. Stupid I know but there it is. Regardless of all that, I will say that he makes me happy, he challenges me, he frustrates me, and he loves me. He helps me grow and become stronger and in turn, I help him soften up because he needs that. Sometimes I wish he wouldn’t challenge me quite as much but then I guess I wouldn’t love him quite as much or appreciate him as much.
So, from here forward I will try to keep up this blog with all the craziness that is going on because trust me, it’s crazy but so much fun. I laugh and smile more now than I ever have in my whole life – and that’s a promise!
I have reached my breaking point. Today was the day that my heart and head said “You have no more strength. You have no more reserves on which tap”. I sat in a meeting discussing my oldest daughter, with ex-husband sitting to my right. I’m listening to all the reasons why she can’t come home and I agree with all the reasons and they are breaking my heart. My heart is shattered at this point for so many reasons. I don’t think I can take any more. I can’t be strong any longer. I just can’t do it.
As I drove home in the pouring rain, in the silence of my truck, I just started crying. Deep bone racking sobbing. I had to pull over into a parking lot. I’m crying for the loss of my dreams. I’m crying for the loss of the person I was. I used to be confident, but I’m not anymore. After all, how could I be? I was not enough for my husband – not once but three times. I wasn’t enough, good enough, giving enough, supportive enough. He would rather work on his “love languages” with someone else – I wasn’t good enough for him to want to work on those with me. I didn’t deserve that from him because I wasn’t enough. I want to know why – why couldn’t he have just given me some time? Why couldn’t he have wanted to be with me and work on our relationship instead of walking away from it? What is so wrong with me that he couldn’t even give me more than three weeks to try to heal from being cheated on? Am I that horrible of a person? That unattractive? That broken? That difficult to be around?
If I could have today, I would have called him and begged him to come over and sat with me as I cried, I wanted to feel his arms around me. I wanted him to tell me that it would be okay, that I don’t have to shoulder these burdens on my own anymore – but I couldn’t do that because he’s involved with another woman and I will never put anyone through this pain ever. I can’t reach out for him, I can’t ask him to hold me and help me heal – because he’s the one who brought me to this point.
I have to work two jobs right now and I barely have the strength to even get out of bed. I can’t form a coherent thought. I can’t smile, I can’t laugh. I know that this will get better – I know it will, it has to because if it doesn’t, it will kill me. I can’t live like this much longer. I can’t have my oldest daughter with me right now because I’m so broken I don’t have it in me emotionally to repair her. I’m trying to heal my youngest and I can barely have a conversation with her because my brain is so scattered.
I know this will pass. I will be happy again at some point in time…as long as the getting there doesn’t kill me in the meantime.