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The Journey Back To Me

March 25th, 2013 19 Comments

Og Mandino quote

In other words, an explanation about what I’ve been up to and how I am finding seeds of good in every day after my life got flipped upside down. See, here I am, alive and well, and downing green juice instead of martinis :)

Mary Rambin with pressed juice

Let me start at the end. Right now I’m writing this post from Los Angeles, my new home base. For those of you who read religiously, I know that unlocks a flood gate of questions, so this post should answer many of them and get us back on the same page!

For the last year or so I’ve been living in Atlanta with my boyfriend, who I refer to as the love of my life. Now we shall call him my ex-boyfriend, and whether he is the love of my life I suppose will always be a question.

Mary and boyfriend shadow

He broke up with me the day after my 31st birthday. Ouch. I suppose it sounds better in his words. He asked for space to figure himself out. And since I can empathize with his internal struggle (I’ve been there myself), I respect him for saying it. If I truly love him unconditionally, I want him to be happy, which means I had to set him free.

On the other hand, I was devastated.

I can’t say I was totally surprised by his request considering his emotional state, but the fact he gave up on our relationship was (and is still) unbelievable to me. We had that kind of love you dream about; an incomparable chemistry; a passion that….well, I won’t go into details there. The fact I had committed to spending the rest of my life with him was a blessing. And I believed he had done the same.

Now you’re asking, “Well, if you did commit to each other, why not get married?” After his divorce that did not go smoothly, he was gun shy. At the end of the day, I’d rather be with the love of my life than have a ring on my finger so I let go of that social standard.

We had years of this amazing love that stood the test of so many obstacles. Despite that, over the last few months, I watched our foundation break down. I watched him break down. Ironically, everything I did to try to stop it was the opposite of what I should have been doing. Hindsight is a bitch like that.

I myself was not happy in Atlanta for several reasons. Boring reasons. Reasons I should have been more mature about and just dealt with. My unhappiness of course added unneeded negativity to the mix.

During our break up talk, he kept saying, “I hadn’t looked at it that way,” a common phrase for him in our discussions. My job had always been to give alternate and more thoughtful perspectives. Even though he NEVER acted on my suggestions in the moment, 4-6 months down the road, there he was doing exactly what I had said he should do. Couple that with the fact that people need to discover things for themselves and I knew there was no changing his mind. We were over, for now at least.

Mason in suitcase

As I packed up all of my stuff in Atlanta, I cried every day. I grieved for the loss of his love and confidence in us. I went through all of our letters, pictures, and memories; how can he not see how happy we are together, how much he loves me?? I don’t think I’ve ever been through anything so painful. But in that devastated state, I found my strength. Me, as a person, I’m not over. I could pull myself together and DO SOMETHING FOR MYSELF.

I had spent years wrapping my life around his (per his request I might add), and was happy to do it. But in the hard times, it started to feel unnatural and I desperately wanted a life of my own. He encouraged me to do that as well because he knew purpose would make me happy. What he didn’t realize that supporting his life was a full time job (in more ways than I will go into) and did make me happy. I just had to find time for myself in all of it.  But I have to say, my boyfriend – his heart, his tenderness, his sweetness – made me happier than I could have ever dreamed.  He was so good to me.  And for him, for us, for that happiness, I was willing to get through the tough time.

So when he unleashed his desire for space, I grieved, but I also armed myself to fight off total ruin. He expected me to run home to my parents and sulk in Houston. (THE NERVE!) In my weakest moment (which was this one), I’m stronger than that! You might not know me personally, but I’m a hell of a lot stronger than that.

I thought to myself, “What is going to make me THE HAPPIEST right now?” Seconds didn’t pass before this popped into my head: teaching Soul Cycle in California.

It might sound crazy, or like a step backwards, but you know what, after you’ve been isolated in a city you don’t like and working just for a paycheck, crazy sounds pretty good to a retired gypsy.

Next move: call ALL of my contacts, let them know my intention to move west, and find a “real job” (as my friends call it) working somewhere I LOVE. At this point, that sounds something like being a director of Marketing or Social Media for a brand I truly adore or working at a creative agency.

As luck would have it, my friend M.E. who knew what I was going through, invited me to her friend’s house for a vision board party. It’s funny because Meghan had just shared her vision board with me weeks before. When she showed it to me, I saw the determination in her eyes and heard the confidence in her voice that she was going to make all of those goals on her board realities. At the party, I did the same for myself. Now I wake up to it everyday and the dreams make me stronger.

Mary Rambin vision board 2013

And what do you know? Within a week, I was all packed up, scheduled to be in NYC to re-train for Soul Cycle, confirming interviews, and was in my car with a 42 hour solo road trip to LA in front of me. BAM. Done. Like ripping off a band aid.

Mary Rambin Road Trip

As I pulled out of Atlanta, I felt nauseous, then after a few hours, I started to feel liberated and confident in taking my life back. But then again…the life I had chosen with him in Atlanta is what I truly wanted. It remains what I want. But if I have to live otherwise, these moves feel right.

So I settled on liberation and drove 12 hours straight to Houston the first day. I had never driven more than 4 hours on my own. Amazing what adrenalin and determination will do for you.

Women drinking wine

After a couple days in Houston, I set off behind a Suburban of friends and their daughters bound for Marfa (not all it’s cracked up to be btw). A couple days of R&R with good girl talk and some care-free kid play time was just the fuel I needed to motivate me for the remaining 18 hours….but God had more than just driving in store for me.

Mary Rambin bikini 2013

Girls with mason

Destined for Tucson, I pulled over for my final gas stop. As I drove in the sun was setting and I didn’t see the curb in front of me. All of a sudden, the car bounced, one tire popped, and I rolling on a flat. The resolution: drive 50 miles to Tucson on the donut. Ok, I can handle that. Until!!!! Five miles down the highway, the OTHER TIRE blows to shreds. At 9pm I swerve off to the shoulder and just break down in tears. “NO WAY!! IS THIS A TEST?!” I cried. A Border Patrolman came to my rescue and waited behind me the hour and half it took the tow truck to come get me. Rodeo cowboy Chris towed me 126 miles to Tuscon by 1:30pm. You don’t even want to know what that costs…ugh.

Car being towed


Tow truck driver

Wait,wait. There’s more. This all happened on a Saturday night. The Audi dealership and most big tire places (that carry specialty tires) are closed on Sunday!! (Nooooo. I’m so close to LA!) We discovered that Walmart Tire Center was open on a Sunday, but their late night stock manager informed us they didn’t have my specific tires. I say “us” because Chris was kind enough to help me sort everything out, but I’d have to wait until tomorrow to see if any other Walmarts had them. Of course they didn’t. But with the goodness in his heart, the Walmart guy, whose name is Guy, took it upon himself to call around and FIND my tires at the Pep Boys a few miles away. Those two men didn’t just save my car, they saved my resolution.

After the Pep Boys fixed me up, I drove the rest of the way to LA feeling strong and satisfied I had made it. All by myself. Woohoo. I thought a little celebration was in order.

Mastro's Menu

For the last week I’ve been in LA staying with my longtime friend Andy unpacking my bags, my plans, my life, my soul. Andy is one of those people with an unbelievably positive, laid back attitude. I’ve never heard him say one bad word about anyone or even think negative thoughts. He’s truly the most content person I know. His energy has kept me smiling and laughing and loving what lies ahead for me.

Andy and Mary Rambin
In two weeks I’m off to NYC for the months of April and May to train to teach Soul Cycle.  At first I was a little disappointed they wanted me (someone who taught SC for 3 years and has since trained other instructors) to get schooled in teaching spin.  But after I pushed my ego out of the way, what could be more fun!  NYC in the spring getting paid to spin my little heart out.  Yes, please.

Then it’s back to LA to find a permanent home for Mason and I.  I’m thinking the beach, but possibly Brentwood.  Who knows and who cares.  I’ll figure it out.  What matters is that I’m back to a place where fit in.  People eat clean, dress casual, exercise out of enjoyment…I am surrounded by people who live like I do.  And I have a so many SOLID friends here.  That makes a world of difference.

So the good news: Time DOES heal.  Thankfully I take a big dose of it everyday and feel stronger by the minute.  I’d lie if I said I don’t dream of my love and wish to back in his arms, even if that’s in Atlanta. But I’d also lie if I said I wasn’t happy to have my own space right now.  What I know is that IT is going to all work itself out.

Mary Rambin and Ness Prutman

It’s at this point I have to thank everyone who has been so sweet to support me through this transition.  I’ll list them from East to West Coast J Sarah, Bob, Brady, Matt, Margaret Ellen, Missi, Richard, Prentiss, Erin, Susan, Shannon, Mom, Dad, Karen, Randall, Trey, Cullen, Lisa, Kim, Kristen, Jared, Gavin, Christina, Mary, Katy, Alex, Ryan, Kitty, Ali, Phil, Ness, Andy, Ryan, Brad, Otto, Reilly, Keith, Leven, Adam, Alex.  And you!  All of my readers and followers who have sent notes and comments of concern and support.  You all mean so much to me.  You are why I’m still here online.

So let’s keep going shall we?  Everyday, new fun stuff on MTM.  I’m looking forward to it!






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  • Lita

    Thanks for posting this. I’m on the edge of a similar situation, and it’s heartening to see others pull through it with a positive attitude and with hope for the future. And it sounds like LA is where you really belong. Good luck!

  • Clintus McGintus

    I love your attitude! You’re such an inspiration. I’ve never really been a believer of “things happen for a reason” but as time has gone on it seems that’s actually the case for me. Perhaps the same will hold true for you.

    I look forward to following your new adventures :)

  • Good for your Mary! This is inspiring to read. Picking your self up, focusing on you, centering yourself to your journey. All so important and inspiring for others to read as we all face adversity, things not going to plan, heart break, etc in our lives. Maybe I’ll see you at SoulCycle! – I’ve got to get back on the bike! An old colleauge of mine just started working there as the assitant to the founders :)

  • SL

    Your attitude is an inspiration. Hang in there!!

  • I won’t lie: reading this post brought tears to my eyes and I genuinely couldn’t tell if they were for what you had lost or what you had gained and maybe that is the best sort of crying – you are able to grieve for what you lost but look forward to the future and see a door opening.

    Personal experience and this post has really inspired me (as always) to try and be a better person and to realise that when you need a break just take it and focus on what matters to you and what you love.

    All my love x

  • Kristin

    Great news Mary!!! I’ve been reading since the old Non Society days.. you even inspired me to FINALLY try the BluePrint juices.. You’ve always had such a strong, great perspective!! Enjoy the sunshine, freedom & being yourself :)

  • Charlotte25

    Wow. I feel so terrible for you; breakups are the worst, especially if you still love the person you’re having to leave. I’ve been there, and even moved to a different coast and did what you’re doing in an attempt to start over. Whatever happens, it’ll all make sense in a couple of years. You will either meet someone else, reconnect with him when he’s figured his shit out, or just establish a happy, fulfilling life for yourself without a partner, and you’ll understand why it happened — it was to lead you where you are headed now.

    Stay strong; you are already so much more courageous and adult in your handling of this than most people I know would be (myself included; I wallowed badly for a year). I am pondering breaking it off with my long-distance BF at the moment; this just reminds me how terribly wrenching these things can be. Keep us posted as you continue to recover from the shock and heartache.

  • JupiterPluvius

    Best of luck to you with all of this. I hope you find what you’re looking for.

  • O.M.G.

    Mary, best of luck.

    I read this and I cry and I cry and I can’t stop (and I have so much work to do). You are so strong. I know, these are “just men” and we as women are stronger than that and we needn’t cry over them, but sometimes you just give your heart and it’s real, and it’s happiness, and it’s easy (For the most part ;)) and then all of a sudden it’s gone.

    I have many issues. I have daddy issues, I have ex-bf issues… I have issues. I am in a 6 year relationships that has been amazing, and with the love of my life (I think), but I am so fucking scared. There’s always this little “nah, it’s not real. You couldn’t be this lucky” in the back of my head… And I am so scared and I self-sabotage and it’s just…ugh.

    I am rambling. I just love this. Thank you.

    I am saving this, forever and ever, for when I need this. If I need this. Best of luck, Mary. My fingers are crossed for you. xoxo

  • stay strong Mary! and please let us know your NY soul cycle schedule. would love to come out and support you

  • jordanreid

    What a beautiful post – so honest, and so brave. Thinking of you, Mary. If you’d like to grab coffee when you’re in NYC let me know.

  • Stylebyquinn

    So sorry to hear about this, and please know your strength and words as I said, provide support and a sense of community for the rest of us who share in the breakup wave. Keep on keeping on!

  • anon

    sorry to hear about this.
    for what it’s worth, nothing wrong with green juices and exercise. you deserve to be in a place that has a culture you like and enjoy too.

  • Cate

    This is the best post you have written in…well a couple years, IMO. Your blog is so much more interesting when you are open and relatable! I started reading your blog because YOU were interesting and experiencing and interested in many of the same things I was, even though your day to day may seem mundane, that is what connected me as a reader (not make up trends or rando vaca rec’s!) which is why I have only checked your blog once or twice a month this year. Im sorry you have to deal with heartbreak but so happy to have California Mary back! Please post about your experiences training at SC and apt hunting in LA (again, two things I can relate to at the mo!) xx

  • Mary, thank you for sharing this. Your strength and honesty is inspiring. I’m looking forward to watching your new chapter unfold on MTM.

  • dallas

    Hi Mary

    As a long time reader of your blog (and the ones that came before this one) I think this is an amazing post. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    I went through a similar break up a year ago. I packed up and moved to another city. My business had more potential there than the city I had moved to with my boyfriend and it just made sense. I was equally tried along the way but I think these things happen so we find out what we’re made of. Hey, if I can do this while I am devastated and crying and leaving behind the life I thought was forever, well throw it at me! Do your worst!

    It worked out for me and I know it will for you too. Being alone is hard after making your life about someone else. (Who am cooking all this food for??). But the freedom to find yourself again, and to enjoy yourself alone again is equally rewarding. We spend our time in relationships nurturing our partner because it feels good and makes us happy to love someone unconditionally.

    It may feel selfish at first, but if you put that kind of love and care and nurture into yourself, you’ll be back and better than ever sooner than you ever thought possible. You’ll still have sad days, sure, but this is You time. You are 31, beautiful, motivated, and strong, and living in a city that feeds your soul.

    Good luck to you Mary.


    (PS obvs your ex is a total idiot)

  • Megan

    Work it girl! you’re doing great.

  • I have no idea how I just serendipitously stumbled upon this post, but it’s
    pretty crazy that I did, bc not only is this story incredibly inspiring, but I actually have a pretty similar one…broke up with the serious boy, heartbroken, ditched my life in NYC to move to California – a dream I always had. Let me just say you are right on when you say everything will work itself out. A year and a half later I can say I am happier than I’ve ever been! And I might add, that the boy who ditched me…well, he came crawling back 9 months later…and after a few more bumps in the road…we’re living together out here and happier than ever. Just do you, have fun, think positive, and things will all work out the way they are supposed to. xo

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