Tuesday, October 09, 2007

What A Difference A Year Makes

One year ago today, I was crying so hard I felt I would never be able to stop.

The man I had spent 5 years of my life with, who I had helped support financially while he pursued his dreams and who had been introducing me to people as his "fiancee” told me he did not love me anymore. I had confronted him about suspicious behavior and it devolved into a long talk in which he told me he was through with our relationship, but denied any wrong doing. He was gone within a week, leaving behind a pile of unpaid bills and a lot of unanswered questions.

Of course, you know what happens next. I found out that he had been seeing someone else. That I had been right to be suspicious. Finding out he did not love me any longer was devastating. Finding out that he was not the man I had believed him to be was, honestly, a great deal worse. It made me feel those five years were wasted. It robbed me of a lot of my self-confidence and faith in my own judgement. It was painful just to breathe, to get out of bed in the morning. I felt as if my world had collapsed and, in many ways, it had.

It's been one year. So much has changed.

I found a place of my own in another part of town. I dropped several dress sizes. I got involved in the local theater community. I traveled to New York and to Scotland. I started dating again. I learned a lot about who my real friends were and the value of maintaining connections. I went from having one close local friend (so many of my friends live elsewhere) to having a large network of local friends. I became closer to my family. I learned to be myself again.

After a few months, I had started telling people I was alright - like you do (If you aren’t actually HAPPY, then at least you can convince the rest of the world that your life is faaaab-u-lous. Living well is the best revenge and all that.) I made jokes about it. I told friends it didn’t bother me anymore. Then one day the ex told me he missed me and it didn’t knock the wind out of me. I started laughing. I was surprised by the joy of knowing that I really WAS free of those emotional ties. I wasn’t just saying - mantra like - that I was happy and better off. I actually was happy and far better off.

In the midst of my healing, I met (or re-met) The Guy. The icing on the cake. My perspective on relationships and what I want from life has altered. If you described my life now to the woman I was a year ago, she would have told you these things were impossible. Being cast in plays, traveling to another country, seriously discussing marriage with a wonderful man and - most shocking of all - having a child in my life. Highly improbable.

The Guy and I just returned from a weekend away. Just the two of us. We stayed at a family member's vacation house situated on the side of a lake. We went antique shopping and drove down country roads singing loudly to favorite songs and played cards on the back porch while the sun went down and ate olives from the jar and drank wine and talked about the future and slept in late and took afternoon naps. It was glorious.

When you have lost hope, when your world feels broken, it is so important to remember what a tremendous difference a year can make. Anything is possible. Sometimes the universe surprises you.


the lake

10 comments:

  1. That was wonderful. Simply wonderful. To be such a positive part of your life makes me very happy too.

    Now I want olives again.

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  2. So I went on and on and wrote this really profound comment about how funny Life is. And Sorry for being so cliché, but things really do happen for a reason. And how it’s not just been the last year, but the last 6 years that have brought you where you are today. And I went on to compare our lives to Acts in Plays (the whole Theater thing comparison) and how grateful you must be and how happy knowing that no one screwed up their lines and everyone did what they were supposed to do to bring you right where you needed to be at the right moment to meet The Guy!
    Then I tried to be funny and imagine if in my Life, someone screwed up and where I’d be today….probably married to the Neatest, Cleanest Man and not having any sex, all the time wondering what was wrong with me! You know how I’m talking about.
    Then of course I had to comment on your strange combination of Wine and Olives…
    I typed in all of the right things and clicked on post….then it all disappeared. So I know this version is less put together, but then all of my writing is exactly how I talk, all over the place and no clear straight thought because my brain thinks faster than my mouth can say it all. Which is really hard to believe since I talk fast, maybe that’s why I have headaches? I should see a doctor!
    Anyway, all the same, you are where you were meant to be and that’s so awesome!

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  3. I am so glad Tim has you...and that I have you now, too!

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  4. great post. i can totally relate. a lot can happen in a year. i found a journal of mine that dates back to 2003 and was shocked at how much as changed since the last entry (2005). it's amazing to see how much i've changed and it's good to learn just how much you're really capable of.

    p.s. three cheers for dropping several dress sizes!!!!

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  5. Thanks to everyone!

    BFF - That whole life like a play and everyone saying the right lines, etc. to get me where I am not thought of yours - adorable.

    Chris - glad I have you, too!

    B&B - Thank you! You know, now I think I'm going to go rooting around for old journals and see how shocked I am by the contrast!

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  6. I wrote a similar blog back in Jan... it was one year ago when my life was knocked off the path I was once sure it would always be on. And you're right, a year can make a world of difference. But it's when you don't even realize you're changing that the real changes happen. I drove down the road the other day lost in thought and was wondering when my next day of "me time" would be... me time, a year ago, two years ago, who would have ever thought I wanted "me" time, to be alone and do the things i enjoy. And i have to say i love the woman I've become and you've played a huge part in that. So thank you.

    Oh, and The Guy, i have to meet the man who's made someone i love with all my heart so happy, not just giddy happy, but relaxed and thoughtful and just plain happy to exist. Cause i owe this man a giant hug.

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  7. Found you through Sheila. And I agree -- what a lovely post. Thank you. I'll be back.

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  8. Those three little words every blogger loves to see: "I'll be back."

    Thank you, tracey! That's pretty much the best compliment anyone can give me.

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  9. I'll hang on to this post and read it again when I need the reminders of PERSPECTIVE, TIME, HEALING, POSSIBILITIES.

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