Update 11-11-15: I have fallen in love with four men in my life, and each time the experience was different. One was exciting, one scary, one effortless, one unexpected. The common thread amongst them all is how they each profoundly changed the course of my life.
Falling in love changes things... for better, for worse, forever. How can it not? You love, you sometimes lose, but you always learn. From learning, you grow, and (hopefully) you thrive, both in the midst of love and in the wake of it.
I wrote this one year ago today. It's about new love and how it changed my life last year... for better, for worse, forever.
I fell in love this past spring. Hook. Line. Sinker.
You know when you don't want to do anything but talk to, be with, or exist in the presence of another? That is how I felt.
I started writing this blog in March after not writing consistently for many years. As I began the endeavor, life was as crazy as it could get. Both Spring Break and the Easter holiday weekend were approaching, and out of town guests were ascending on our house from a couple different directions. Definitely not the ideal time to start this time consuming venture. However, unexpectedly and most pleasantly, a spark was lit under me and I had inspiration that didn't relent and would not let me waver in my efforts. Thank you, inspiration... or curse you?
Once I started writing, I didn't want to stop. I discovered I had a whole bunch to say with not enough time to say it. I stayed up late many nights, just so I could write. I also wrote during the day, at times shirking some of my other responsibilities and tasks. You know, the ones that entail keeping your house in order and taking care of your kids the best way you know possible? THOSE. I took short cuts where I hadn't before, looking for the path of least resistance and quickest way to get things done so I had more time for me and more time to write. Gradually, and oh-so subtly, I found my new passion to be transformative in some really great ways, and some not so great ways. Falling in love with something or someone has the potential to do that to you, especially if you are unaware that's what's actually happening. The spell you are under pretty much leads you to not care about what you are risking, and you find that you just surrender to it, even at the peril of you and your life.
By the time summer hit, this love of mine bred a new attitude of autonomy that slowly began to consume me, eventually making it challenging to enjoy some other aspects of my life. Summertime with two kids out of school didn't leave me with a lot of free time to myself, which made living in my new state of being even harder. I no longer approached time with my kids with the same enthusiasm as I did before, having found something new that felt both effortless and challenging in the most exciting of ways. It seems that when you find this type of happiness and fulfillment, you tend to want it all the time. And I mean, ALL THE TIME. I fell deep into the feelings that this new aspect of my life elicited, as what I felt was extremely intoxicating.
I began to shift my focus from being a mother and giving every bit of myself to my kids, to being a woman and recognizing I had gone too long without giving any bit of myself to me. Now I was determined to focus on what I was feeling, what I desired, what I needed, what I wanted to do. I went running more, practiced yoga more, and sat at my computer to write more - all of this resulting in the majority of my energy and attention being taken away from the other parts of my life that needed them to sustain and flourish: my relationships with my kids and my husband.
As an adolescent, I grew up in a home where my mother often, both unknowingly and at times blatantly, behaved in ways that made her children feel like we were keeping her from something better - like if we just weren't there she would be free... free to do as she wanted with her life and free to get back to where she thought her life was going before she had given it all up at the age of twenty-two to marry my father. Birthing four kids while finding herself in an unhappy marriage most definitely was not in her plan, and we were not spared her feelings of resentment and dissatisfaction when she found herself divorced and single at thirty-five years old.
By August, I was troubled to recognize this side of my mom in myself. As most of my efforts in the last few months had been directed toward my own wants and needs, I realized it was to the severe detriment of most everything else in my life. My joy of motherhood, or at the very least the due diligence with which I approached my role as a mother, had dissipated drastically, and the dedication and effort I had always previously put into my marriage had waned. Thoughts of wanting to live an alternate reality had dominated my mind. I unwittingly had stepped into my mom's shoes, in a way, understanding for the first time what she may have felt, and disturbed by the fact that I could relate.
At that same point in time, I watched marriages end around me, learned of couples suffering in unhappy unions, and witnessed some of the most unhealthy of relationships play out in front of me in ways that showed clearly how people can get so lost in their own egos and expectations.
All these various situations and circumstances swirled around me in a perfect storm to eventually lead me to this place I've now arrived... where the sun on my March-October romance with writing, and what I can only call my mind/body/soul, has set. Although the love is still most definitely there, it has been tempered by an acceptance of reality - the reality of my choices, of my responsibilities, of my life. It's now November, and after many conflicting feelings, confusing frustrations, and A LOT of contemplation, I have brought back my attention, and intention, to the other vital parts of my life that beg for it, and most humbly deserve it.
I didn't expect to fall in love as I had. No one was more surprised than me that I began to feel and act as I did. It was both the best and the worst thing to happen to me. Through it, however, I did write... and create, and feel, and discover, and connect. That is a good thing, and not a thing I regret. I have written and experienced much more than I have published here; and I have so much more inside of me that has yet to be written. Although some of it will remain forever my own, the rest will be told in due time. I rekindled a passion that I wasn't aware existed, and I am so glad that I did.
I am still getting my legs here though. Still wading in the water of getting comfortable with sharing my life as it exists behind the velvet curtain. Some of my strongest convictions, greatest challenges, and hardest moments have been laid bare in the posts preceding this one; and I can imagine exposing my perfectionist tendencies, misguided thoughts, and intimate vulnerabilities will inevitably continue. Still, I feel a shift coming on, as all this introspection has been f**king exhausting.
I personally shared my writing on this website with only five people during the first year of its existence. As it is slowly discovered by others (and when I finally make the decision to widely share it with more than my inner circle), I can't help but wonder if anyone is going to read it, be interested, or even care in the least about what I have to say.
It doesn't really matter. Regardless of its audience, or lack there of, this place is a warm blanket in which to cuddle up, a friend that will always be there, and a love that will remain.