Those Tricky Transitions

Life has a pretty dark sense of humor… and an odd way of teaching the most important lessons. There have been a lot of silly clichés in my head the past couple months as I try to look on the bright side; I am filled with gratitude even as I’m filled with grief and heartbreak. They make me laugh in their inadequacy yet utter perfection, like bad puns. Like “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” All I can think when I hear this is that I must be a compulsive multi-tasker, because I’m like “WHY NOT BOTH?!” Because both SO apply.

So, yeah, this happened…

Friends & Fam ~ it’s been hard for me not to say much about what’s going on, but as you all know, I am not good at keeping the feels in. And having the same conversation over & over is harder than I thought, so in the interest of keeping things simple, and not vaguebooking, even though this is likely going to spark a lot of attention we’re really not looking for, I feel it’s time to say something a bit more publicly:

James and I have been in transition for a bit now… our chapter as partners is closing. There is no way we couldn’t stay friends, but we’re trying to give each other some space. Letting go is hard, especially for me. This transition has been really difficult for both of us but after many conversations and tears, it’s just what must be. And so on we grow…

Please be a little extra patient and a little extra kind with us as we get thru this in our own ways, and please don’t bombard him with questions or advice or whatever. I am sharing this because it’s been harder for me not to say anything, and he is amazing and understanding about that even though he’s much more private on social media. We didn’t want to make a big deal out of our struggle when it could be so much worse…

So it is with a heavy heart that I share this with our loved ones, but please don’t worry. We’ll both be ok. Eventually. Change is hard, but that’s life. Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who has been there for us, listened, helped us both move and helped make this difficult time easier. Please know that there are no sides we’re asking you to pick. So grateful to have such an amazing support network. We love you!

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Change is never easy, but it’s pretty much all we’re guaranteed in life. It’s especially hard when you don’t see it coming, when it’s not your choice that brings it on, but maybe it’s even harder when it is… Endings are never easy for anyone. We all have our own ways of processing things. And the ways we process are always changing too. But one thing I have learned is that holding back doesn’t serve me. I am very sensitive and emotionally deep, which I’m sure is a bit intense.

Not everyone can handle my transparency and vulnerability, but writing, thinking and talking about what I’m feeling helps me process the sometimes overwhelming emotions I go through. It feels a little strange to share it online with friends and strangers, and may not always be safe to divulge too much. But when it comes to the real life shit we all go through as we grow, I can’t see a good reason not to talk about it. Sharing our stories and listening to the experience of others is how we connect. Connection is how we grow, create change and build community…

And so we begin this exercise in Letting Go…

I’m trying to see this lesson as a practice. One that makes me stronger, as hardship and heartbreak always do, and one that doesn’t let me harden my heart or hide its real, raw, pain but to feel it, flow through it, and then let it pass. The deep shit, the rock bottom, the darkness is what makes us human. Trudging through it all while refusing to give up all hope, walking in darkness without losing that tiny flicker of light that’s the pilot light of our hearts is what makes us learn and grow.

And so here We Grow…

Thank you, James, for sharing three wonderful years with me. Thank you for jumping in with me, probably a bit too soon, when it felt so right to be and live together. Thank you for supporting me and helping me shine, for seeing me and listening and just being there. For treating me as an equal and believing in me. I wish we had more time, but I’m glad you were wise enough to exit gracefully, and remain my friend.

I am left alone, with a heart ripped open, missing what we had and lost, but grateful to have experienced a love I always believed was possible, a connection deeper than any I’ve felt and a relationship that left me far, far better and more fulfilled than when it began.

These words popped into my head today so I had to write them down in one of many little books of snippets and bits of wisdom I keep around… “The good news is: You Will be STRONGER. The bad news is: It will hurt & it won’t be easy…”

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This is hard. Gut-wrenching, heart aching, breaking down kinda hard. It always is. Especially when it comes to love — for better or worse, I’m all in, and my love can be a bit overwhelming. But there wouldn’t be highs without lows, and life is all about dancing on the edge of darkness and light… Or at least those are the pretty poetic things I tell myself as I nurse this heavy heart and try to take care of myself while simultaneously worrying way too much about him and wondering how he truly feels and what went wrong.

Just keep swimming… Just keep swimming… Just keep swimming…

We’re not the only ones wading through the muck. And it could be SO much worse. Those cliche silver linings can make all the difference. And so can amazing and supportive friends and loved ones. Grateful and grieving all at the same time. I suppose life is full of such dichotomies. C’est la vie. <3

April Fools in Love

Kissy kissy with our Sprinkletons

I have never been able to pull of a believable April Fools prank (I’m a terrible liar) but I think our little joke actually got some people today! Hehehehe! APRIL FOOLS!

Last night James and I joked about pulling something silly on Facebook for April 1st. We decided it would be hilarious to see everyone’s reactions if we “broke up” and changed our statuses on Facebook to “single.” Then this morning as we both logged in and were about to do it, James saw all the relationship status options and decided it would be even funnier to pretend to be engaged. Plus it’s a little more positive, don’t wanna jinx ourselves! So we counted down and both changed the status at the same time (which was very reminiscent of the day we decided to make our new relationship “Facebook official” almost two years ago…). The likes and comments started flowing in immediately, but James had to go to work and I had a full day ahead of me, so we went on with our days. (The photos Facebook chose to display are a little odd, right? I proposed with a hat pin – see!)

Engagement April Fools Joke

Thankfully a few of our friends know us well enough to know that this was a prank and started calling our bluff. I got a text from my best friend in Idaho saying “You can’t play with my emotions like that! ;)” and the sweet congratulatory comments kept rolling in, while it seemed that more people caught on to the joke on his post than mine… It has been really hard not to totally give it away!

And now I am going to feel a bit bad when I have to break this news to all of our family and friends… because it’s incredibly sweet seeing all these comments and all this support. Apparently we’re not the only ones who think we make an epic match! And I’m also very glad we decided to get fake engaged instead of fake break up, because then everyone would be panicked and sad instead of excited and happy for us – though maybe that one wouldn’t have been as believable? 🙂

This has been fun! Best April Fools joke I’ve attempted yet! I really wasn’t expecting to fool so many people! But this little prank has also made me realize many things about this very special and amazing relationship that I am so lucky to be in.

For the first time in my life, I am with someone that I completely trust with my heart and my life. I am with someone that I am overjoyed to share life with and proud to call my partner in crime, and someone who feels the same way about me. But most importantly, I am finally with someone that truly sees and values my worth and is not afraid to let me shine (or loudly speak my mind, or express myself however I see fit) as I walk by their side, and someone who treats me as a complete equal. Realizing this fact simply FLOORS me with gratitude.

I have not always been so lucky, as many who have known me for a while know, and I have never felt so well matched.  It’s nice that other people can see that too.

The thing is, I don’t have any fears of James walking out of my life, but I actually like the fact that he is completely free to do so if he chooses. We are both very independent creatures by nature, but our bond and the unspoken commitment we have is the strongest force I have ever felt. I know he’s a hottie and that others are quite likely going to notice that, but for some reason I don’t feel the heat of jealousy rise up in my chest when I think about him with other women or see him talk to someone attractive. I know I have nothing to worry about. And I hope he knows the same. I don’t even need to bother filling my head with such nonsense. Knowing this feels amazing, because it was not always the case for me in the past.

The notion of legitimizing love with a legally binding contract completely kills the romance for me. Which is odd, because I am a total sap who cries her eyes out at romantic comedies (or even overly sappy commercials) and has to remember to wear waterproof mascara and bring tissues to weddings. I have no problem with long-term commitment or the idea of marriage. I love weddings and children, but I don’t really have a desire for either in my own life, and I’m not sure if I ever genuinely have. I’ve found that my relationships are happiest without the pressure that comes along with expectations of having to take things to the next step. And I never ever again want my partner to have to be asked when he’s going to “make an honest woman out of me” – blech! Thankfully, I found someone who feels very similarly and allowing our relationship to unfold naturally has created the most beautiful love story I could have ever imagined.

I much prefer to think of a romantic relationship, of true love, as a choice we make every single day. Every day I wake up next to the sexiest man alive and I say “YES” to him and to us. I CHOOSE HIM every single day, and day in and day out, HE CHOOSES ME. We don’t make this choice because of some commitment or promise we have spoken, we don’t choose it because society expects us to, or because of a legal contract, a financial obligation, or even a sense of duty, we are free to choose anything or anyone in this world, and yet we choose each other in every moment and every chance we get. And that, to me, is fucking BEAUTIFUL. Why mess with a good thing?

I’m pretty unconventional and I loathe being told what to do (especially by societal norms – ha! patriarchy, you can suck it!) – so I know this attitude is not for everyone and I have no judgement towards anyone who feels differently… To me, having the freedom to choose anything you want, but choosing to love and be with a particular person over and over again, is WAY more meaningful than spending a small fortune on ring and a wedding and then signing a legal document saying you’ll only love that person for the rest of your days or else deal with stressful legal bullshit on top of an already stressful breakup. (And don’t even get me started on the moral qualms I have about the diamond industry…). Not to say that I am totally against marriage or we’ll never do it, but if we had the kind of money for an engagement ring and a party, we would be buying property and traveling around the world. I don’t even like wearing rings!

A few of our friends picked up on the joke in our posts today, and we thank them for knowing us so well. And for those who we tricked and who are slightly disappointed, we’re sorry, we know it would be one hell of a party… er… more like a festival…

So, sorry if you totally fell for our little April Fools’ joke on Facebook today… hehehe! We’ve been laughing our asses off about it all day while we’ve kept you in suspense! But seriously, even this perpetually online, social media obsessed nerd would have more class than to announce an engagement with a relationship status update on Facebook—our families and close friends would all be bombarded with at least ten sappy kissy-faces-with-ring-bling photos via text message before anything ever reached social media. And yes, mom, you would definitely be getting a phone call right off the bat! (Not sure if my mom saw the shenanigans today on Facebook today, to be honest… she might know me too well to be fooled, though).

We may not have any plans to make this thing “official” any time soon, but we are touched by all your comments and words of support. It’s good to know I picked a good one this time! I think I’ll keep him! For as long as he’ll have me, at least…

We make an epic team and we’re glad everyone in our lives agrees, but we don’t need a legal contract or a ring to know that. Power couple status is plenty good for us for now. Here’s to many more adventures together!

Zip Line Canopy Tour on Ometepe, Nicaragua 2014