7 Years Ago, Today was Monday

Seven years ago today, Spring came.  The morning started with cloudy skies and sprinkles of rain but shortly after noon, the clouds parted and the sun shined through.  It was my wedding day.  The one with my life partner, my best friend, my kite string.

Exactly one year to the day before that, my husband and I had fallen in love.  We were on our way to the Chili Ride with some friends of mine.  I thought he looked handsome in bike pants and admired his truck.  When loading up the bikes, he asked me, “Do you know much about knots?”.  When I replied in the negative, he further inquired, “Do you want to learn?”.  He didn’t automatically assume I DIDN’T know about knots.  Gold star!  Once he found out I didn’t know about knots, he DIDN’T assume I wanted him to bestow his vast knowledge on the topic. Double gold star!  When I responded that I didn’t care to learn about knots, he respected my feelings.  TRIPLE GOLD STAR!

On the truck ride to our destination, he questioned me about why I had agreed to come out of the “friend zone”.  At one point he stated, “I think you are just dating me because I’m a nice guy.”.  To which I replied, “Yes.”.

I did not know at the time that my simple affirmative made his heart stop.  He had been used so many times by girls as a shoulder to cry on, a confidant, a friend, only to be left behind for another once her heart had healed.  After a breath, I went on to say, “…but I’ve never dated a nice guy before.  I can’t promise that this will work out but I can promise that I will let you know what I am thinking and feeling through this process.  I know you well enough already that if I don’t really want to be with you, you won’t want to be with me.”.  I sensed him relax as he breathed out heavily and agreed.

He let me in after that.  That hard, cynical, shell around his heart and mine started to break away.  As the day went on, more conversation, more caring, more love.  It still gives me the warm fuzzies thinking about it (“warm fuzzies” is his term, I cherish it).  Those moments are burned in my brain like scenes from my favorite movie, only more real.  I can still smell his truck, remember the feel of the arm rest.  I can see the warped steering wheel with his hands on it. It was cold that day, real cold.  The ride was hard for me but Paul was patient and supportive.  We made it, together.

We’d known each other for a while, but that day, I knew he was going to be someone special in my life for as long as I lived.  We didn’t know at we would be so happily married this many years later but we did know that we’d care for each other, always.  How many people know the exact day, the exact moment, they fell in love?  Well, we do, so we commemorated that day one year later by getting married on a Monday.

And now, this morning, we’re both up before dawn.  My son calls him “dad” without skipping a beat and wishes us “Happy Anniversary”.  I remember the pain of past failed relationships only long enough to be grateful for the compassionate, thoughtful, wise man I see sitting before me sipping coffee.  He still gives me warm fuzzzies now.  Something deep down, peaceful, calm, comforting.  He’s my husband and I am looking forward to the next 30 years.

Happy Anniversary, Handsome.

From my heart to yours,

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What do you want to do?

We are born knowing what we want.  As babies, those wants are pretty simple: food, comfort, clean butts and sleep.  As we grow up, we learn about the difference between wants and needs.  Our ‘needs’ stay pretty much the same but our wants get more complicated.  Social mores come in and tell us what we should and should not want.  Parents, religious organizations, media, social networks… They all have something to say.

Somewhere along the line, we lose touch with who we really are because it becomes clouded by the voices of others.  Getting what we want becomes more complicated than learning how to emotionally manipulate the people around us with a good tantrum. Few parents know how to turn that tantrum into a emotional processing learning experience and instead teach us to shut it down.

I distinctly remember knowing at 5 years of age exactly what I wanted and how the world worked (Robert Fulghum nailed it with “All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindgergarden”).  At 25, I hadn’t a clue.

Now in my mid thirties, beyond anything I do or say, I aim to be true to myself and encourage everyone around me to do the same.  The most common response when I ask “What do you want to do?” is “I don’t know what I want” but THAT IS A LIE.  Not a malicious, intentional lie, but no more true than a lie.  

The truth is, somewhere, sometime along the line, it was decided (consciously or unconsciously) that what they wanted was not possible.  “You shouldn’t want that”, “you can’t have that”, “forget about it”…  And they did.  It was determined that pretending they don’t know what they want and coping with mediocrity was preferred to the anguish of knowing what they want but not having it yet.  Anyone can bring it back though, if they’ve got the guts.  

The road to your heart’s purest desire is not without a few rocks and pointy objects but it’s worth traveling.  Please hear me, it’s WORTH TRAVELING. 

Trying to figure out what I want to do “for the rest of my life” is too big of a chunk to process.  So I start with what I want to do this year, this month, this week and if that still seems to big, I start with this day, this hour, this minute, this second.  I found a safe place where I can just ‘be’ without judgment.  If judgment comes in, I don’t judge the judgment, I just let it be.  Observe it, acknowledge it, but detach from it.  Feelings are not facts.  I’ve have nothing to fear but fear itself.

My latest endeavor is expressing my emotions with a drawing journal.  Sometimes I draw, sometimes I write, but it is a safe place where I can put down what is on my heart.  It’s not always pretty and I accept that.  Sometimes I am surprised by what comes out but it’s liberating to have a safe place where nothing I do is ever wrong.  

How do I know if the trials and tribulations I experience are because I am getting closer to my fountain of truth or because I am off track?  I ask myself a few questions: What am I afraid of? Am I clinging to a belief/something/someone that is causing this pain?  (If yes, I’m bringing the heartache on myself.  If no, I’m about to learn an important life lesson.)  Do I unconditionally love and accept myself right now? (If yes, I’m about to learn an important life lesson and this pain will not last long.  If no, I gotta start now.)

 

From my heart to yours,

Thanks for reading