Especially the past few years I find myself giddy with hope and excitement this time of year. Reflecting back on all the adventures I’ve immersed myself in the prior year leaves me breathlessly waiting, looking forward to what will happen in the upcoming year.
The past three years have been the best of my life. And its not that everything has gone my way or I’ve had some large windfall. I’ve had plenty of disappointments large and small. I’ve lost friendships, ended romantic relationships, been dumped, been stressed and overloaded at work, lost a cat, had ginormous debts to pay. They have been the best years of my life because I have taken charge of my life and the direction its heading. Even when things happened that were out of my control, I controlled my reaction to them. I mourned and moved on. I didn’t try to change the unchangeable like I have in the past. That I think has been the key to my happiness. Changing what I can and accepting what is not for me to change with a quiet and peaceful heart. I think of this as honoring who I am and who the people in my life are.
Even as I feel this sense of impending adventure I think about how lucky I am. My health is good, I have a good job and feel secure in it and I have the best support system I have ever had in my life. I wonder is this luck or karma? I think both. I believe in karma. I believe that you get back from those around you what you send out. If you send out happiness, support, kindness, humor, forgiveness, those things come back to you. If you send out doubt, anger, helplessness, impatience, hatred, guess what you’ve got coming back at you?
But I also think that luck is a player. Luck played a role when the 24 year old son of a man at work was struck and killed by a car this month. Luck plays a role every time someone who takes care of themselves gets sick with cancer, multiple sclerosis or Parkinsons. So I feel lucky to be alive, healthy and living to see 2014.
My New Year’s wish for all of you is that you try something new often,
even especially if it scares you, take notice of the people around you and don’t miss an opportunity to show them kindness and share your joy in life with them.
And most of all, get to know who you are. Honor who you are and either honor and accept each person in your life or let them go. I have found no other way to peace and happiness.
Peace out 2013!
This song is pretty much the essence of the last paragraph in a letter I wrote to TG over a month ago.
I finally went to a Ski Club meeting. I had joined last February and not been on an outing or to a monthly meeting since. I did not know that there was a ski club that included cross-country skiing until TG and I ran into them on an outing last February. We joined them on that outing and went out to dinner with a bunch of them on the way home that night. I joined as soon as I got back. In October I had tried to register TG and I for a cross-country ski trip they were taking in January but by the time I got around to it we were on the waiting list. One bitter night last week I received an email from TG immediately followed by one from the ski club stating they had added more rooms and now had room for TG and I. I considered telling TG about it and asking him if he wanted to go, as friends. But decided it was too soon and he wasn’t giving me any indication that he wanted that kind of friendship from me anyway. I told them I would be at the meeting the following night to talk about it. I had already forced myself to go to the December meeting by purchasing a club shirt online – I had to go to the meeting to get it.
So off I went nervous but excited that with the start of ski season coming up I was going to have people to ski with. There were at least 80 people there. Mostly older but a smattering my age or younger. But I must admit that I often forget I’m a woman in her 40’s and am sometimes surprised to look in the mirror and see the 40 year old looking back at me. So often I feel like people are older than me who are not! Anyway I tracked down the woman who had emailed me about the trip and explained TG and I were no longer together. I asked if she had any openings for a single. She said yes in fact she did! She had a slot open for a room with two other ladies. She introduced me to one of them that was at the meeting and who immediately took me under her wing for the evening. She introduced me to everyone we crossed paths with that she knew. Some I remembered from that one outing and some remembered me and/or TG. We went to the buffet and ate together and chatted off and on throughout the meeting which included speakers, door prize giveaways (which I thought would never end) and the president of the club giving his pep talk. After the meeting I said my goodbyes, picked up my cool ski club shirt, wrote my check for the January trip and left feeling giddy with relief that the social activities were over and also that I had more social activities with these people in my future.
Ski Club is more than just skiing, downhill and cross-country. They bike, hike and kayak in the off months. They have a book club meeting a couple times a year. And they have a night on the town it seems at least once a month which includes happy hour and dinner at a different venue each month. All this in addition to the monthly meetings. I’ve been on the emails announcing all these activities these past months.
Then Thursday this week another email from ski club. Cross country ski trip to snow country for Saturday! The leader was the woman I had spent the evening of the meeting with. I wanted to go so badly but I was on call this weekend. It would almost be a declaration of independence to be going skiing on the first real good weekend for skiing. It was not just about the skiing. I made arrangements for someone to take my on call for Saturday and I was free to go. So yesterday I met the group of about 10 and we car pooled to snow heaven. I was nervous when we arrived and scanned the cars in the parking lot for TG’s car. Nope not here. I had worried that he might be there with another woman he was courting. We skied for 5 hours with a brief break for lunch. I was nervous. The first time out and not with sweet TG, would I remember how to do this, would I slow everyone down? It was perfect conditions and I had on three layers of clothes because the high was forecast for the low teens. We had an awesome time! It was like riding a bike, my body remembered what to do, I easily stayed with the group, I stayed on my feet down the hills. On the tail end of the outing I fell 4 times. I think I was exhausted not just from the skiing but nerves. I had a few bittersweet moments wishing TG were there because I knew he would have loved it and he makes everything just a little more fun but for the most part I was in the moment and enjoying the company of my new friends. And when after a day of skiing in the bitter cold, we stopped for ice cream on the way home, I knew I fit in with this group.
After a several one line replies to my emails from TG I finally got the hint that he doesn’t want to talk to me. So I stopped emailing him. It makes me sad because I did want to stay in touch with him. Though I’m sure I will hear from him again someday or run into him somewhere it will never be the same. So I’m sad. And I worry about him though part of me thinks he is probably moving on more quickly than me. He was after all already looking for someone else before we broke up. And he wasn’t as emotionally attached as me as I was to him.
I remind myself about ten times a day – he doesn’t want me. Somehow that seems to help.
Though I am toying with the idea of trying online dating again I’m once again enjoying the freedom of singleness. TG never tried to control any of my time but I did set aside alot of time to spend with him because I wanted to. The past weeks I’ve worked late, went out with friends, spent more weekend time with my little sister and her family, dedicated more time to reading and reflecting and committed to doing whatever I felt like committing to because I knew there were no plans in my life besides mine. This is not a bad thing.
And tonight I am wrapping the hundreds of dollars worth of gifts I bought for a needy family that I adopted for Christmas. Its my second year of adopting a family and its great fun. I shopped for deals on Black Friday and bought some very nice things for a little boy and his Mom. Their Christmas will be a little brighter this year. And mine too because this is the main way I get to participate in the holiday season.
And I’m laughing again and thinking of other things besides TG and the sorry state of my romantic life. I’m considering returning to school for my Masters and planning a conversation with my career mentor to see what he thinks. I’ve buckled back down at work and am getting immense amounts of work done. I’ve joined a gym and soon start working with a personal trainer. Providing the weather cooperates I have a ski outing on my calendar for next Saturday with a local group. I went on a hike with another group and met a woman I hope to develop a friendship with at some point. And next week is filled with Christmas get together’s and ski club meetings. My life is full of people and plans all the time.
For someone three weeks out of a two year relationship, only the second relationship of my life, I’d say I’m doing pretty good. I still feel mournful for my loss, I still have that sick feeling in my stomach half the day that keeps me from eating, I still wish things had turned out differently. But I’m also still moving forward, still happy with my life and who I am.
Its easy to romanticize and remember all the good times with TG. I think about the easy comfort we shared together. How funny and smart he is and I long to talk to him. I remember the cuddling and kindness. I remember the way he pushed himself physically and how he made me feel like I could do things I never believed I could. I think about my hopes for our future and how easy it would have been to float through the rest of my life hanging out with him. That is if he wasn’t dreaming about being somewhere else with someone else all the time.
Then I remind myself. He doesn’t want me. He was already looking for someone else before we broke up. He wants to play the field and try and recapture a fleeting feeling he had with his second girlfriend. He wants to find someone he can’t stop thinking about. And me its easy for him to stop thinking about. He thinks if he finds ‘the one’ sex will be earth shattering. He thinks sex with me was blah. I remind myself of all the anxiety I felt when we were apart because I knew he didn’t love me, that there were others he wanted. I remind myself of the inadequacy I felt in the physical realm with him.
People say I’ll find someone else. Someone who appreciates me for who I am and what I have to offer. And I’m also certain there will be others. I won’t give up. But I believe that you can never have the same relationship twice. You can’t share the same experience with two different people. Just like he will never recapture that feeling he had briefly with his second girlfriend. There is not another TG out there who will love me somewhere. So I am in mourning for what could have been. Because I think what could have been was about as good as it gets.
Just one week ago today I was still hopeful for a happy ever after with TG. Now here I sit in reality on what will most likely be the first in a long string of Saturday nights home alone.
TG and I spent the week exchanging emails dissecting our relationship and our baggage. I may have learned some things I didn’t want to know. Such as he was never physically attracted to me. Ouch. Another blow to my poor self-image. He seems to genuinely reflect back the same general feelings about our relationship though. We both treasured the easy companionship, shared sense of humor and interests. We both expressed the sentiment of “Who else is going to hike 11 miles in the rain up a mountain with me and still be happy at the end of the day?” I say he is a wonderful man and he says I am an awesome person. We genuinely like each other. So we are hopeful for a friendship to remain. I however need to figure out how to think of him as just a friend. And he says he’s not ready for the finality of ‘just friends’.
I guess the advantage of taking so long to come to the decision to end a relationship is its hard to question that you made the right choice. I can’t second guess myself because I already gave second, third, fourth chances to make this work. I imagine its easier to second guess the end of a relationship when not much thought went into the decision to stay or go. I however analyze from every direction.
I cry a little less every day. Deep down I know that to continue on would have been too painful for me and pointless. So I fill my days with activities and continue to mourn the end of what held so much promise for me. And one day I’ll crawl into bed and realize I didn’t cry once that day.
Two years ago today I met TG. Saturday night after a stunning bit of information casually given to me by TG I told him I couldn’t see him anymore. After he shared this I felt sadness and disappointment but not anger. Out loud I said, this is worse than I thought. I wonder where my anger has gone? When people treat me badly now I find it hard to get angry. Is that normal or is there something wrong with me?
I’m actually embarrassed to share what happened with TG with friends because it shows just how little this man I’ve been seeing for two years cares about me and our relationship. How could I have been so foolish? Stunned describes exactly how I am feeling. Just eyes wide, brain wondering how this could have happened, still not fully comprehending the information. Choking back tears at inopportune times. Wondering did I miss something that made him think this this would be ok?
The worst part is I miss my friend. I felt like I have never had a better friend in my life. But the friendship must not have meant much of anything to him. Or did he think that I was door mat material and would never leave him? Did he have to up the ante and do something awful just to make sure that I would leave him to prove to himself that nobody can love him? I must be really hard to get rid of.
I still find it hard to write him off completely. I waver between wondering if every moment we spent together was all a charade or if the potential I see in the man is real. Is my judgement really that bad I wonder?
So like yesterday and today, tomorrow I will get up, put one foot in front of the other, try to earn my paycheck, keep up with my normal routine and every time my phone chirps I will pathetically hope its a message from him.