Letting Go

This is the third time I’ve moved in four years. For the first time, as I’m unpacking the boxes of stuff, I’m watching the piles for donation and garbage grow much faster than the keep pile. I always want to keep things, especially if they have memories and for me that includes clothes.

I remember the way she smiled, shy and eager, when she saw me in my white flowered dress; unexpectedly her shirt matched perfectly. I will always, without question, think of that moment when I see that dress or that shirt. Clothes have memories.

And so I have clothes, a lot of clothes, with a lot of memories. When I was packing, I purged a lot from ‘before’ that I just hadn’t worn and now I have another big pile ready for donation. It turns out there are very few things that I want to keep when the price is a constant reminder of the life I almost settled for.

My girlfriend told me, it was about letting go, and I think she’s right. My life is so full, there’s no space for old memories that bring me no joy.

But its not just the memories, its the expectations, including the ones I used to put on myself. I forgot, that feeling, of needing to be more, if I wanted to be lovable. That belief that with a little more effort on my side everything could be better for everyone. But better was never quite attainable.

Now, my life is better, in all the ways.

My boys will always have my heart, but there was a time when I struggled to enjoy them. The energy to mom, when you are broken on the inside can sometimes be difficult to attain. Now, I laugh, smile and play with my boys far more than I get frustrated.

My family watched me get lost, but they couldn’t change a thing. I wanted that life to work and just kept trying a little harder to be more. Now, I am found and there are all the smiles; my parents, my boys, my girl. My Family.

My heart was once so confused, so unaware and lost. Now, not only does my heart sing, sometimes its a duet.

My life IS better. So I’m letting go of before.

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Dreams

I woke the other night and was overcome with the strangest feeling; I was scared and I was sad. I rarely remember my dreams and the details always allude me, but this time I awoke overwhelmed with feelings. In my dream, my girlfriend had kindly and sweetly walked out of my life leaving me wanting and alone.

I’m not afraid to be alone, to be strong, independent and fierce but after years of unknowingly searching for her, I woke curled into myself and overcome with sadness at the thought of losing her. Fortunately she was there with her warm embrace to envelope me with love and assurance, which was all I needed to drift back to sleep, but in the morning I hadn’t quite managed to shake those unwelcome feelings.

And I realized, for the first time in my life, I have a love that I’m scared to lose.

I know, that life is full of uncertainty, change and turmoil. I know that in a moment everything can change and that there will be moments, days and times where we don’t or can’t align and that’s just the nature of love, life and relationships. But I don’t want a partner who is willing to sacrifice who they are to keep the peace, because I’m not that girl anymore either.

I have a partner who challenges me to dream bigger and encourages my uniqueness, who respects me and wants me to grow more than she wants me to stay the same. I have a love that is rooted in acceptance and never asks me to apologize for being who I am.

And that is the type of love I think we all dream of, that is the type of love that you cannot create and you cannot will into existence. The type of love I have is so much more than good enough; together we have opened the door to a future full of adventure, laughter, love, light and happiness and although I never knew such an extraordinary experience was possible, now that I have it, nothing else will do.

The Magic Ingredient

Sometimes, I still can’t believe this is my life.

I am currently sitting on my girlfriends couch, clad in panties and her tee, her golden lab and my boston terrier snuggled up against me with a cup of coffee, my computer and my thoughts, while my girl is cozy in bed.  This is the only weekend we will have, all summer, where I can remove my Mom hat, where I can be me, she can be her and we can just be US.

We contemplated going away, going camping or perhaps on a weekend getaway, but instead we chose to be wrapped up in each other at home. We have visited the farmers market, cooked amazing food and enjoyed the tranquility of home.

Never have I made food with someone, the way we make food together. It starts with ingredients, thoughts, ideas and then one of us is chopping, prepping and marinading and when we sit across from each other at the table, we have the most delicious meal that neither of us could have created on our own. Together, we make everything better.

My youngest son, at the age of 6, recently told me that a meal we had made was so delicious and then he proceeded to ask me, if I knew why it was so good.

Because its made with LOVE Mom, love is the magic ingredient.

I can’t argue with that son.
Love is Love and its the most beautiful thing.

All the Time in the World

I was almost 19 when I met my ex; it was supposed to be a summer fling that turned into a 14 year relationship where I lost myself for a long time. I followed the societal ‘recipe’ for happiness: got a degree, got a job, got married, had kids and bought a house. It was  easy to just do the next thing on this list without ever considering if it was truly what I wanted. I want to believe that if I had taken the time for that reflection, perhaps I would have reconsidered at least some of those steps.

But the past is part of the journey and its brought me to a most amazing present, so I rarely dwell, but part of that ever important journey, is the lesson. I learned through my first post-separation relationship that even though the path may appear different, simply going along with what’s easy is just a variation of the same mistake that I’ve made before.

So this time, I have my eyes wide open. We talk about life and our relationship, we are honest about what we feel and where we want to go in this life, together and on our own. And the truth is, I want it all with her, but not too fast and not today. But someday. And she wants that too.

I remember one day, early in our relationship, we were discussing all the possible adventures that we could pursue and she told me ‘we have all the time in the world’ and my heart melted, just a little, because I knew I wanted all of the adventures without any of the rushing, the pressure or the need to meet some external standard.

It’s been over 9 months and we live by those words; we do what feels right to us in the moment and nothing more. And it’s the most beautiful feeling.

We spend a lot of time together, we can barely make it two days without each other and we almost always have a sleepover because there is no greater feeling than falling asleep in each others arms. We live in different cities and without question, we both know that one day we will live together, that she will come to the house that I’ve bought and together we will make it home. But when?

Every single time that we spend multiple days together, every damn day is amazing, even if its a day filled with chores and errands. Things truly are better when we are together, so after much discussion we have decided to change our someday, to a someday soon.

We’ve decided that on November 1st, the anniversary of our ‘not-date, first date’ we will take that step, she will move in and we will begin the next step of our life together. In truth, I can hardly wait for that day to come, but I’m happy that we are giving ourselves time to process, to prepare and to grow a little more on our own. More than that however, I’m confident that this time living together is what I WANT and so just like everything with her, it will be different than anything before

thankfulness

Each evening, we go around the dinner table and share both our favourite and least favourite part of the day; its an opportunity to revel in the joys and acknowledge the frustrations of the day. We also share something we are thankful for about once a week and I continue to be astounded by my boys and the gratitude they express for their home, their family and food in their belly.

home

Yesterday, after four nights at my parents home, I was thankful to be home, in my space and with my people.

As my girlfriend walked by, I reached for her and pulled her to me, so we could share the briefest kiss. Breathlessly, I whispered, I missed you; she smiled, responding with a simple me too.

She came with us to see my family and welcoming as they have been (and as much as I love them) it feels different. At home, there’s no hesitation, no question and no worry because there is no judgement or concern. At home, WE are free to be our shared US, to instinctually reach for one another with our bodies, our souls or our lips as the moment requires.

Home is so much more than the structure in which we live, home is the place that affords us the freedom to exist in our purest, truest and most authentic form. Home recharges us and provides a space to feel and to exist and if we’re lucky, home is filled with love and light and happiness.

I am thankful to be home, to hear my boys playing and laughing together, to sit around the table with my people and share the little things that make our days our own and I’m especially thankful that she has chosen to take a seat at our table.

They say that home is where the heart is and that’s absolutely true; my home and my heart are both so incredibly full and for that, I am eternally thankful.

*after publishing this, I realized it was fitting for the Daily Prompt: Partner

Terrible Girlfriend

I am a terrible girlfriend; not really, but I have my moments.

Yesterday after very long days for both of us, my girlfriend and I arrived at my house within minutes of each other. I had been out of town, driven 4.5 hours and was literally bursting with excitement to see her. We embraced, we kissed, we reveled in each others presence and began to let the weight of our days dissipate.

We fell into an easy rhythm as we chatted and eventually wiggled our way (not so gracefully) into the hammock where we could snuggle and reconnect. As we rubbed our faces against each other like cats, we began to find our balance and that familiar feeling of home.

As we swayed, she pointed at her lips and with a small smile told me that she’d lost her lip ring; I blushed, embarrassed that I’d been so wrapped up in my feelings and our shared energy that I  hadn’t seen something right in front of me.

Had I not looked at her in the half an hour we’d been together?

It seemed so obvious now that she had pointed it out. And her kisses did feel different, not better, not worse, just different. What kind of partner doesn’t notice a missing facial piercing? I apologized for being a terrible girlfriend, for not noticing something right before my eyes and as always, her response was perfect.

It’s OK baby, I know you see the inside me more than the outside me.

Then she smiled and she kissed me and I just knew that she understood. She is so much more to me than the body that houses her soul.

Touch

The words slipped between my lips, practically whispered, as I gazed at her longingly; I really want to kiss you, but I lack self restraint. As the last syllable escaped, her lips were on mine, soft, tender and embedded with lust. In that moment, the passion we shared for each other was so pure that time ceased to exist.

All there was, in that moment, was her.  Her scent, her taste, her touch, her beautiful eyes looking in mine and the softest sounds that wouldn’t be contained. My senses felt awakened and although we had reached before, I know that in that moment, our souls touched and our worlds shifted. Hours later, I would peel myself (fully clothed) off of her, the wanting and desire pulsing through my body as she said good night.

She asked me today, why I felt so strongly (at the time) that we should wait.

I was afraid, not that I could love her, but that an evening of lust could somehow taint the potential for a love like no other. I knew that we could be something special, that we who were so aligned in values, in life and in dreams had the potential to be everything I never dreamed of. In my life, I have chased lust and though the moments are lovely, it has never made my heart sing. And I was so fearful that chasing lust might ruin all the hopes I had for something beautiful with her.

My girlfriend responded simply, I was waiting for you, we weren’t going to ruin anything. And I’m sure she’s right, but in life we need to learn our own lessons, we need to live our own experiences and we need to find our own certainties. And I needed us to wait.

Now, I need her touch.

Only once, have I felt like our communication was stilted, like perhaps she was misunderstanding me, or I her. We’d been together all day, but around people and in public. We were in the shower, washing the day away when she reached for me, with both hands on my face she kissed me, deeply and passionately and when we pulled apart we both smiled coyly as she stated so simply that’s what we neededI haven’t been able to to do that all day. 

And she was right, with one touch, one moment of shared intimacy, everything was right with the world again.