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 :)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!