Thursday, June 20, 2013

Past and Present

So here's a first-no quote. Just me.

I've been thinking a lot about how the past and the present can intertwine. Let's face it, most of us want to forget our past. As adults they include mistakes and poor decisions.

But what if occasionally, rarely, phenomenally our past helps or coincides with our present?

I'm living that at the moment.

This blog started last week at my parent's house in Ocean City, NJ. They've had the property since I was a kid. They both grew up right outside of Ocean City so all of my relatives live nearby, especially my grandparents who have all since past.

I try to bring my kids there as much as possible over the summer. Hey-it's free-and it's such a fantastic place for kids. The boardwalk is almost another life in itself and the beach is our happy place.

This last trip I was going for a run. Our place backs up to a bird sanctuary which I love. This time of year it's full of baby bunnies, blackberry bushes and a special oriole that would dive bomb me as I ran by.

My oriole wasn't there for the first time in three years. But a large section of honeysuckle bushes had appeared. That smell brings back strong childhood memories of hikes and adventures. I had to stop and touch them.

And that is exactly the way memories introducing themselves are, usually when we are looking for something and not finding it, something else nudges in. My oriole was gone but the honeysuckles wanted to talk.

And so is my life. For those who don't know I'm waitressing part time at Isaac's. I worked for them when I was 16, in the kitchen, along with my nanny job and occasional horse related braiding or riding. I have never been one to not work really. So when coaching wasn't doing what I hoped, my teaching was cut back, I went for what I know I can do well-customer service. I waitressed a lot in my younger days and was always good. Plus-this fits in perfectly to my kid's school schedule. Summer is a bit more challenging but shortish shifts make it doable. As a bonus-I really like the people I work with.

And of course, I'm set to marry my best friend. The kicker, he is that now and from high school. Funny right? Past and present combining?

But the past isn't always bad. Yes, we make mistakes, yes we get hurt, yes we learn. But our past is who we are-it's how we were made. If you like who you are than maybe your past did that for you in a million ways you don't even realize.

And here is where I always put a quote. But instead:

"Your past is what shaped you. Your present is what holds you. Your future is what inspires you."

Sunday, June 9, 2013

New Beginnings

Every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end.

I'm engaged.

Yes-for those that have heard me say if I ever get married again shoot me....well...load up!

I won't lie when I say I've had a pretty crappy year personally so far. It actually all seemed to go downhill in December with issues surrounding my professional life, my personal relationships and even my family. Top it off with it all happening in winter when I tend to get the winter blahs anyway wasn't a good combination. To most who know me I was the same as always. To those who know me best I was not myself and had no real idea how to get back there.

As it turns out I'm not going to get back there. Not really. I'm going to be right where I am now.

With all of the "issues" seeming to stabilize in a sense (for the moment) I finally feel able to look optimistically at the future. Which may be in part why I said yes.

Dan and I have been together for four years now. It's been great, a fairy tale  really. We were best friends in high school but we had lost touch for 20 years, mostly because he had moved to Europe (Amsterdam to be exact for the last 17 years). Once our re-connection turned romantic we took long distance to a new extreme.

My first trip to Amsterdam was like a dream. I didn't know what to expect having been in a sad marriage for 16 years I wasn't sure if I was equipped to have a normal relationship.

Turns out I am. We both fell hard for each other, laughing and connecting like we never had with anyone else. He would have married me that first trip if I wasn't so scared of the union. That first tearful goodbye in the airport was more heart-wrenching than any Nicholas Sparks novel. I stood in the passport line quietly crying, not really knowing how we'd make this work and when I'd see him again.

But we made it work, for four years we took turns traveling. He would come here, I'd go there, or we'd meet for an adventure somewhere else in the world.

It was perfect, except when it wasn't. And real people have real issues and real imperfections that can try any relationship. And in year four I decided that I needed something more stable, a present relationship I guess.

I had spent the first two years of our time mourning during the in between. I was always sad about the distance. So in year three I decided I had to find a "switch" so that I could turn it off and not be such a girl about it. I found it, but in finding it I needed to change my behavior. I became less connected in emails and texts in the apart time and that weighed on Dan who depended on my communication in his lonely travels for his job.

So year four brought about questions. Was I pulling away? Was this ever going to be more than long distance?  We had both made mistakes, did or said things that hurt the other. So what was our future?

There wasn't a clear answer so I actually said I needed to end it. It nearly destroyed both of us. But in the end it may have actually saved us. After some time we realized that we had to make it work. Dan is actively looking for something in the United States and I'm willing to relocate, if needed, within reason, so as not to disrupt my kid's lives too greatly.

So we're starting a new beginning but it came from another beginnings end. And I think that is often when the most clarity can come to us, when we see the end and look past it to what we want next, what really matters and what we are willing to work or even fight for.

So I'm happily hopeful about the future and it's possibilities.

I'm engaged.

Does someone have a bullet proof vest?

"Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope."
~Maya Angelou~