Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Seasons of Change

It has been 6 months since I stepped foot into Prospect Park for a run.  Six months!  I stopped mid-October because for the first time ever I had fall allergies that kicked my butt!  By the time I felt better, it was getting dark super early and then it has just been so wicked cold for so long.  But today... today was the day. 

I am not a runner by any stretch of the imagination.  I hate it.  Every. Single. Step.  But that's partly why I do it.  The sense of accomplishment when I finish feels great and so I was actually looking forward to this first of the year run. 

Let me reiterate how terrible of a runner I am by mentioning that I hit my wall about 200 yards in.  Seriously, lol.  In some ways that was a good thing because after I broke that, I actually felt pretty good.  And that, allowed me to do some thinking. 

Six months ago... it was October, smack in the middle of my most favorite of all seasons, fall.  The leaves had changed colors by then and were in the middle of losing their leaves.  The park was beautiful and I enjoyed the changes that I noticed from September when I started until October. 

I thought about what was going on in my life back in the fall.  The Professor.  That's who I was talking with at the time.  He was a marathon runner.  And I remember thinking about how awful it would be to run with him... how he'd probably do two or three laps to my one, lol.  But it also helped motivate me too, in a way.  Even though I was talking to the professor and had gone on a few dates with him, we weren't a couple.  Heck, I didn't even know what and how I really felt about him.  But I do know that last fall I couldn't help but to think of Jesse.  He lived right across the street from the park and I couldn't help but to think about him every time I passed by his building.  Hoping and not hoping to see him, even though I know he didn't run, wouldn't be able to see me from his building, and would have been at work anyways.  He was still on my mind back then. 

Today... I thought about those things only as reflections of where I was six months ago.  Today, I am in a relationship with a man whom I believe is my amazing!  Friday will mark our 5 month anniversary.  But even more than that, we have become so much in just 5 short months that we are planning on moving in together in August.  Yep... you read that right.  We are moving in! 

I left my last post by saying that emotions are running high.  Indeed they are.  For many reasons... the main one being that I am in this amazing relationship with this amazing man and we are taking it to the next level in a rather short amount of time.  It is not being rushed.  There is no pressure.  It's just... right.  But that doesn't mean that there aren't an enormous amount of emotions that go along with it. 

One being fear.  Funny that this post was interrupted by a 90 minute heartfelt telephone conversation about this very topic with said man.  We have many of the same feelings, but they stem from very different places.   For me, the idea and future reality of moving is exciting.  However, they have stirred up thoughts of Dale which has taken away some of that excitement admittedly. 

When I first met my New Yorker, he showed me what a healthy relationship was.  And it was amazing!  I remember how it made me sad though that I wasn't able to feel that refreshing and alive feeling of being part of such a healthy relationship with Dale.  It even woke up feelings of guilt because I was able to experience these things with the New Yorker when there always seemed to be something not quite right with Dale.  However, recently, the good feelings I have with my New Yorker have been reminding me of the good feelings that I had with Dale.  And to be completely honest, I have really missed Dale lately.

Things did not end well.  Obviously.  But I mean more than his death.  We did not end well.  To call the last four months a nightmare would be an understatement.  But even before that, things were not good for awhile and when he left, I was left with the more recent unhappy memories rather than the happy ones.  The happy ones seemed tainted through all of my confusion about what was real and what wasn't.  Even now, there are still so many questions that I don't and will never have the answers to.

But I loved him.  So very much.  And I had wondered how and why I was able to cope as well as I had when I lost someone that I truly loved with all of my heart, despite all that had happened.  It has taken nearly three years and finding someone that I find to be truly amazing to remind me of what Dale's love felt like.  Sounds completely bizarre doesn't it?  But it's true.  My New Yorker loves me completely and genuinely.  That I know for certain.   And it was during some recent quiet times where a look and a hug that showed that true affection towards me took me back to my past.  A past that I can never ever go back to.  A past that I have accepted and have worked so hard not to get stuck in.  However, my New Yorker gave me a little piece of it and it was a gift.  It was a reminder that I could actually feel to my very core that everything that I have gone through with Dale, was worth it.  His love was different than my New Yorkers, but it was genuine just the same. 

That reminder is what has raised the level of emotions.  That, and this is that time of year... that dreadful time where I can think back to what was going on three years ago.  The countdown to the end.  This too has to be a contributing factor into all of these emotions that I have been having. 

But this tangent has a point, a connection to running.  Today was a super windy day.  Of course it hit me head on as I was running up the hill.  As if the 6 month break didn't make it difficult enough for me.  The wind was relentless.  It made it hard to move forward.  It made it hard to breathe.  It tightened my chest just as my muscles themselves were tightening up.  As this was happening, I couldn't help but to think that is how I feel in my life right now.  I want to keep moving forward.  I know what is waiting for me at the end, and I want it.  I have no doubts about that.  But there are some things holding me back like the wind and they hurt. 

I never stopped and I finished today only two minutes behind my fastest time on this route.  I'm proud of that.  I know that I just need to push through these emotions too.  In actuality, they are not a bad thing.  It's just that they have been the good reminders that are coming at the time when I need to let go of more.  The seasons have changed... the trees now have buds.  The magnolias and tulips are now out.  Time has moved on and I need to keep doing the same. 

There is so much for me to look forward to. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Hugs from Across the Street

Across the street from where Dale grew up were some very special neighbors.  They had children close to Dale and his sister's age and the two families were very close.  These were neighbors that drove 4 hours out to attend our wedding.  Whenever we came to visit, we (even me) were always greeted with warm hellos and hugs.  They knew what was going on in our lives and always seemed genuinely interested in knowing more and they just genuinely cared. 

When Dale died, these neighbors were out of the country and couldn't make it back in time for the funeral.  What they did instead was open up the doors of their home for the people who were traveling from far away, including myself.  I stayed there with my son and my best friend who stayed with me for support.   When Dale's friends from NYC came the night before, they all stayed there too.  And it was incredible.  It was simply wonderful to not be alone and to be with the people that were closest to Dale at that time.  We cried, we told stories, we laughed, and we cried some more.  I cannot begin to express how grateful I was for these neighbors generosity in opening their home to all of us.  Those moments shared are truly treasured.  

For Dale, he partially grew up in that home being so close to them.  They had a swimming pool where Dale learned to swim and where we eventually took our son to swim for the very first time.  It was the place where Dale looked forward to teaching our son how to swim.  The home itself is gorgeous... a Victorian beauty.  It was a home that we had discussed buying one day should these neighbors ever actually sell as they had begun to hint years ago. 

Today I took my son to visit his grandparents and I was able to cross the street for one last big, warm hug from the neighbors.  They just sold their house and were in the last hours of moving out the rest of their belongings as the new owners were taking ownership, today! 

I actually started to cry and had to hold back when I was hugging this neighbor, this woman I barely know.  She is a connection to Dale and she was always someone that I looked forward to seeing when I visited his hometown.  She always welcomed me with that big, warm hug and it made that difficult visit less difficult.  I am truly going to miss her (and her husband) not being there. 

I also couldn't help but to think about how Dale and I had discussed living in that house.  I remember the first time he took me through a walk-through of it to see if I liked it.  We talked about the pros and cons of living across the street from his parents.  Four years ago, it seemed like a possibility.  And today...

Today, when we were still embraced in that hug, this neighbor told me to keep those pictures of my son coming on Facebook.  She told me how much she has enjoyed watching him grow through the pictures that I post.  She also told me to keep her updated on any changes in my life.  She told me that's its time and that I deserve it.  That's when I really started to lose it.  I don't need permission to move on in my life, but I do think I wanted to hear it from someone from his side.  

Emotions have been running high lately... And I appreciated (and will miss) that hug from across the street so very much. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Everything I Need and Want

Last January I posted "Needs vs. Wants,"  my brainstorm of what I felt was most important to me to find in a partner to help create the kind of relationship that I need and want.  When I look at the list from over a year ago, I feel like I was pretty on as there is nothing that I feel that I need to add or delete.  That's pretty impressive as I've had a year of experiences and growth since that time that apparently have not effected my gut instinct (yay!). 

So when I look back at this list and think about my New Yorker, I feel so incredibly lucky to have met him and to have him in my life.  There is nothing that he isn't... there is nothing that I am compromising with him, not even the wants. 

It's almost as if I was describing my New Yorker... before I ever even met him. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

I Just Know

"I just KNOW."

That's the text I got the other day from my New Yorker.  And just like all the biggies that we've discussed, this too was one that was not surprising.  I already knew.  I already knew from both his end and mine.  We talked about this later that night on the phone and he went further into explaining things.  My explanation was to say that before I even fell in love with him, I just knew too.  I knew something was different.  Something was special.  And the nerves that I had in the first couple of dates were quickly replaced with a sense of calm and comfort ability because without being able to completely explain it or understand it, I could feel it and more than just that, I could trust it.

I didn't know after the first date.  All I knew after the first date was that I wanted to go out with him again for having left with me a feeling that I hadn't felt with anyone else that I had met, appreciation.  (See A Change in Plans)  And as I just reread that myself, it makes me happy to read the words that I wrote about him before I even knew him.  He does lay it all out there... he communicates well, he's not a game player... he's honest, and I used the word trust back then and I can still use it today.  :)

There was never a moment where it just hit me.  That unsure, yet exciting feeling when you hit that certain milestone in a relationship was something I never really felt with him.  There's excitement in different ways... but as for being unsure or uncertain... that is something that I never felt with him.  Like I wrote above, it's peaceful and comforting.  And like I just wrote... our excitement comes in different ways.  Enjoyable things that we do together and have made plans on doing together.  That's how it should be.  There's no living in limbo with him.  I know exactly where he stands and how he feels.  I give him all the credit in that because he has been nothing but completely honest and genuine and he is able to easily communicate with me all of his thoughts.  There's no need to doubt or guess and that leaves room for the trust to build.  And that's how I know. 

WE just know. 


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Oh No He Didn't

Yes, I know its been a long time since my last post... I've been busy!  So, I decided to that this would make for a good "been slacking (with good things) with my writing post."  

I got a text.  Not just any text, thee text.  A text from Jesse!  It actually happened about 3 weeks ago.  It was a Friday around 4:00.  I was getting ready to go out with my New Yorker to meet his friends for the very first time.  When I saw it.  I had to do a double, no.. a triple take.  When I saw whom the text was from.  I hesitated before reading it because I had NO idea what it was going to say and... I wasn't sure what I wanted it to say.

What is said was this, "Hey, what are you doing tonight?"

?!?!?!?!?!?!?.. @#!$!%$#@@#$!!!!.... What????!!!.... @#$%@!?

After all this time, that's the text I got?  Then I wondered if it was a mistake text.  Well, of course a group text went out to my friends to spread the news and ask their opinion.  

At first I wasn't going to reply because 1.  what a lame text and 2.  I didn't want Jesse anymore (yay! :))  But, then the person who had been hurt by him came our and the best response that I could think of that could sting and would not open any doors was, "Who is this?"  About 4 hours later, I got a response.  It was an apology for texting the wrong person.  

Was it a mistake?  That's a possibility.  I've done it before, but only with people that I have texted recently.  He would have had to look someone up with a name close to mine in his address book and then click on me instead of the "right" person.  But maybe it wasn't a mistake.  And if it wasn't, what a poor excuse for a man who could never (never) just man up.  

I had to admit that this text effected me a bit, how could it not?  I had wanted to hear from him for SO long.  The person that I am now, the person who knows that Jesse is not the man for me, the person who believes she has found her amazing in another man, brushed it off.  A bit happy to have finally have heard from him and more happy to have slammed the door in his face.  That same person felt a bit sad for the old me of this past year who had wanted nothing more than to hear from him.  It's funny though how things work out the way that they should.  There were better things in store for me and it didn't take me long to realize how much better, how much happier, how amazing, and how lucky I was to have met my New Yorker. 

But Jesse... Oh no he didn't!  LOL