The urge to write has been nibbling at my subconscious for weeks now; an insistence that wakes me early in the morning and pulls me out from under warm blankets and the embrace of my husband’s arms. But when I get to my computer, huge mug of coffee in hand, I do a thousand other things that beckon to be completed for our start-up company (creating a logo, designing the website, planning events, etc.) I realize that I haven’t written here in five months. I’ve started, and stopped, rereading words the next day that didn’t seem to be really what I wanted to write about or how I felt and so I hit the delete button. And moved on to other, seemingly more urgent tasks. Today I am answering the call to spend the morning woolgathering about change and relationships.
In November, my lover and I married in a quiet ceremony at the local justice of the peace. We wrote our vows and exchanged rings and smiled the whole time at how lucky we are, lucky to have each other and to be loved unconditionally for the first time in our lives. Afterward, we returned home, smiling and laughing and grateful. Nothing about our commitment to each other changed that day; we were already committed to spending the next 30-40 years of our lives together (you do the math). And yet everything did change because my lover was now my husband, something I absolutely do not take for granted. Like many couples in love, we say “I love you” frequently. However, there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t thank him for loving me; sincere gratitude for the gift of his love ever present in the forefront of my heart and soul. I breathe in his love for me and exhale the nagging self-doubt and negativity of the events of the last two years that as it turned out, brought me right to the very place I need to be. Life is full, simple, beautiful, busy as hell, outrageously funny and overflowing with love.
Over the last several years, we have discovered who our true friends are. I always find it exceptionally challenging to accept betrayal with humility and grace; and I rail against the unfairness of people who make claims to be counted among your friends but who turn out to be nothing but opportunists, taking from you your ideas, your property, your hard work, and sometimes your heart. But life isn’t fair and people are weak; they want easy and often that means betraying a friend because it is too hard to stand up to bullies. We try the best we can to reach people and amend the fractured friendship but at some point we move on, hoping they come to their senses, remember who they are but if the friendship never gets back on track, we move on, secure in the knowledge that a person who truly loves us will never let us go, no matter how hard the situation is.
This past year, at Christmastime, a dear old friend reached out to me; she was in Baltimore visiting her husband’s family before traveling to her home country of Puerto Rico to visit hers. I haven’t seen Maria in nearly eight years; I made a few feeble attempts to reach out to her over those years but she didn’t respond, busy with her career in California, her new marriage, and ultimately her two sons. She found me through this blog and we made a lunch date. I loved every minute of our reunion. I had missed her so terribly and we laughed about the crazy things we’d done, the trips we shared, my amazing story and vowed to keep in touch going forward. I vow to do my part to keep our friendship kindled because it is important to me that we recapture our friendship.
Recently, my youngest brother admonished me for not letting go of my hatred of my ex-husband whom decided in his sick and twisted, bi-polar reasoning, that it was in his best interest to end the marriage and take everything, both marital and my personal property as well as my business, and in my best interest to commit suicide. My brother is smart and had some zany ideas about how I could go about exorcising these demons and killing the ex… in effigy. He’s right, and he’s very smart about this topic. I have a thousand reasons for hating the ex but he doesn’t care that I hate him and as long as I hate him, he remains ‘alive’. And I have a dark cloud in my heart where only love should reside. When people walk away from you, let them go. “Your destiny is never tied to anyone who leaves you…it just means their part in your story is over.”
I know of an old friend who chose to end her marriage nearly 20 years ago and she has held on to her anger, self-pity and regret for all that time; although she seems more bitter in recent months. Twenty years is a lifetime to remain as unhappy now as she was then. Instead of reaching out in love and friendship, she lashes out and blames others for her unhappiness. It is truly sad because her happiness rests solely in her own hands, in her own grasp. Twenty years is long time to be that miserable. I hope she reads this because I hope she stops looking at the closed door and finds the open window. People change, relationships change, life changes. Fortunately, humans are adaptable, if we allow ourselves to be.