breaking up is hard to do….

there’s no easy way to end a 2 1/2 year relationship.

still, i woke about a week ago, the morning after a hard fight, and somehow i knew. that’s where we were heading.

the fight was nothing special, nothing more than had been fought about many times before. but, as i came soon realize, it was a symptom of bigger problems.

i met B a year before we started dating. he was a regular at the coffee shop where I served as a barista, and had just returned from a trip to Spain. he travelled alone, partying on the beaches and running with the bulls. i could tell he liked me immediately. i invited him for tea on my porch and he wooed me with coffee and conversation at the gallery where i worked. he was a friend to me, but nothing more.

it was nearly a year before my heart started to change. my dad was very ill and in the hospital, and B reached out to me, offered to take me to dinner. i knew if i went to him, i could let my guard down and be held. but still, i held out for another couple months. finally, i knew i was in all the way and told him i would like to start dating.

we did immediately.

i moved in about 5 months later and we began to explore new territory. we were entertained by playing fetch with the cat and enjoyed playing Yahtzee. we had tickle wars and told each other stories about our days. he tolerated me moving (and re-moving and re-moving) the furniture until it felt just right. and i tolerated his incessant sharing of random trivia and any other kind of special knowledge he had.

and every morning i would be greeted with a sweet “good morning beautiful.”

we went through many seasons together. seasons as a couple, and seasons of ourselves. we began to explore different facets of ourselves–he started a business and bought a duplex to renovate and eventually rent, and i made a couple different job changes, eventually daring to start exploring yoga and natural health. everynight we shared stories about our day, and everyday we grew and changed. and not always in the same ways.

still, our love grew and deepened and i found myself making concessions about my future. perhaps this was simply how relationships were; you had choices in life and every choice meant something else you willingly gave up. and i would. because i deeply loved him. and he deeply loved me. we were in foreign territory.

still, that fight a week ago began to shake things up. i spent the weekend with a sense of impending doom, that we were in the throws of breaking up. nothing was “wrong”, really, at least not overtly. we had just traveled to a friend’s wedding the weekend before and we was an incredibly helpful and giving person, encouraging me and preparing food for us and my friends, driving and lending his car. we hiked and laughed and snuggled at night. i felt truly blessed to have him by my side. but something had shifted and, while i couldn’t name any reason why, i knew we were nearing the end.

finally, i broached the subject Sunday night and the only thing i could come up with to describe what was happening was this:

“i think we’re at the end of our road together.”

i expected anger, defensiveness, arguments. instead, he nodded and all my reserves broke. the tears that had been coming for a couple days came flooding forward. he was agreeing with me. we were acknowledging that the differences were too great, that there were pieces of the puzzle that just didn’t fit. and never would. we loved each other dearly, but we were breaking up.

i saw tears well up in his eyes and he moved forward to hold me. we wept and told jokes and laughed, and wept some more. it is the strangest thing, being able to share everything with a partner, even the grief of the end.

as the week began, i made a game plan for moving out. i would get a storage unit, secure a place to stay for a bit until i could find a suitable apartment, then i would live by myself for awhile. try to rest, recouperate, begin again.

by Tuesday, my plan had me in fits and i began to wonder if we’d made the right decision, was it too late to change our minds, was i forcing something because i was scared of moving forward, and so on. i was staying at the house until i could finish moving, and when i got home he was there. he was gentle and soft, and i found myself being held by him, wondering outloud if we were doing the right thing. like the sensible partner he always was, he reminded me of the differences of our paths, the things he wanted and didn’t want, the things i desperately did.

i stayed with him that night, and the other 2 that followed. as we went to bed last night, my last in the house, he pulled me close and, to my surprise, began to cry. it was our last night together.

“how long did you spend wanting to date me,” i asked. “and how long did i spend wanting to marry you. and look at where we are.”

“i’m so sorry it didn’t work out,” was all he could reply.

these are the things i’ll miss. the little moments before we went to bed or when we woke up in the morning. the sweet, quiet moments that only the people in the relationship can know or understand. the moments that know one else is privy to, where you feel completely understood by another human being, where you feel connected beyond explanation.

i look at the pictures of our earlier todays together, the bright, fresh love in our eyes. idealistic love that hoped beyond hope that love could conquer all. and i look at the love he have now, so powerful and strong that it could set the other free.

this morning, he helped me pack up the last little bits of things and hugged me good-bye, just like we have done for the last 2 1/2 years. no, there’s no easy way to end a relationship of that length and width and depth, but there was something very special about this one. no anger, no hatred. just love, all the way up to the end.

and for that i am grateful.

“‘all you need is love” is a lie ’cause
we had enough and we still said good-bye
now we’re tired, battered fighters

and it stings when it’s nobody’s fault
’cause there’s nothing to blame at the drop of your name
it’s only the air you took, and the breath you left….
    {split screen sadness by john mayer}

waving good-bye.

it wasn’t love at first site.

i have to admit, when they announced they’d be drafting this punk kid from the redneck south, with that accent and that way his lips moved when he talked, i was quite disappointed.  i was only 14, after all.  what did i know about football?

over time, he changed my mind.  it was the confidence.  the swagger.  they way he could command a team on the field and exact such loyalty from his teammates.  and let’s not forget his “laser rocket arm.”

while it may seem quite silly in face of so many tragedies both home and abroad, i find myself heartbroken at today’s news.

Peyton is leaving.

and so i thought i might dedicate a blog to reflecting on and appreciating this man, quarterback, and forever Colt.

as a 14-year-old female, i was not yet into football. not as i would be later (anyone who watched those fateful playoff games against the Patriots can attest to the extremes of my loyalty).  you might say i was raised, in my football life anyway, in a Peyton-only atmosphere.  when he was pissed, so was i.  when he celebrated, i did so doubly.  when he threw a good pass or made the game winning call or just plain breathed, my heart grew just a little bit more.

in college, my friend Abby and i decided to paint a giant blue sheet for the play-offs.  we used wall paint to outline a horseshoe surrounded by the words “we believe.”  we nailed it to the front of the porch and let it fly with pride.  at the time, i had only a cheap knock-off version of a jersey, but it was only Peyton’s number that i would wear.

finally, i was gifted with an official jersey that i wore every Sunday.

while at family get-togethers…

while sewing….

while playing foosball.

with other Colts fans…

in Peyton’s locker….

and then came that fateful day.  my sis and i made the trek to Anderson to watch training camp, and i got to meet the man himself.

no, seriously.

i’ll never forget the moment.  the players had just gotten off the field and Peyton made his way to our fence.  all along the row, people were pushing and shoving, and little kids were getting knocked out of the way.  Peyton repeatedly stopped and told the crowd, in that deep, authoritative voice of his, that if they didn’t stop he would not do any more autographs.

then he came to me, and i froze.  he was right there and it was like slow motion.  i couldn’t think straight.  i vaguely hear a young kid beside me was waving his jersey and my sister yelling for me to get his autography.  but the moment was way more important to me, so i just soaked it in.  he continued to move down the line and away from me.

so, here’s to you, Peyton Manning, in the way that i will remember you best: in a Cobalt blue #18 jersey, buckling up your chin strap, all business as you take the field.

and if you never stop when you wave good-bye
you just might find
if you give it time
you will wave hello again.

you just might wave hello again.

and that’s the way this wheel keeps workin’….
-john mayer

that is the way this wheel works.  i understand business decisions and the necessity of good-byes.  i just hope that someday in the very soon future, we get to wave hello again to Peyton Manning.

quarter-life crisis.

it might be a quarter life crisis
or just the stirring in my soul

either way, i wonder sometimes
about the outcome
of a still verdictless life.

am i living it right?
-john mayer 

have you ever felt like you were out-growing your life?

like a shirt that just doesn’t fit like it used to, snuggly pulling on my shoulders.  a pair of pants that crops up the leg.  it’s not enough of an issue that the clothes have to be changed immediately, but it’s uncomfortable.

i look around me, at all the pieces so familiar.  the pictures, the habits, the traditions.  i want so badly to find my place in them still, but i can’t.  i want to feel at home in them, but find my definition of “home” ever-evolving.  my priorities are going through great upheaval.  so much so that these clothes of my life don’t fit.  what’s most frustrating is that i don’t know quite yet what to trade them out for.  it is an interesting tension.

my quarter-life crisis.

several months ago i confessed the hopelessness of my financial situation to my house community, and they graciously received me.  one chick offered to give financial advice, another offered a part-time job, and still another caught my student loans up for me. i knew i was in trouble then, but was convinced this was the path for me.

then i filed my taxes for last year.  and i nearly fell below the poverty line.  it was like a cold splash of water in my face.  i sobered up.

i started to reevaluate where my life is, where it’s going, what i want to be a part of it, what i don’t want.  since then, i’ve been seeing my life through this perspective and much of it isn’t fitting.

i need to make more money.  and i need to not feel guilty about that.  i need to pay my debt, and i need to not think twice about using my money for that purpose.  i want the opportunity to plan and afford to travel.  and the truth is, i’m no good to others if i can’t take care of myself.  i can’t keep expecting others to shoulder my burden.

it’s time to take responsibility.
i am on a mission.

and this bohemian/hippie/care-free-it-doesn’t-matter-how-much-i-make life just isn’t cutting it.

the wind is blowing in another direction and i’ve adjusted my sails.  time to move.