Love.

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I know it has been a minute since I last posted, but I’m here! I’m all settled in my new cozy apartment, in my new city, all of which I have the privilege of now calling home.

I left Arizona sprinting. I couldn’t drive away fast enough. A month prior to my move I was stifling myself. I couldn’t keep myself afloat and I eventually broke. I have never felt defeat as I had in those last few weeks. It wasn’t that I was ill in anyway, then again, maybe I was. I was so focused on meeting everyone else’s needs, I had simply forgotten my own. In a sense, I had allowed myself to get lost amongst the chaos of the people who filled my life. I allowed myself to drown in the needs of others.

So-this post really has nothing to do with me, but more so an extension of myself. I know for most of you, you have seen the updates on my life over this past year. I try not to paint a picture of a perfect life. My main goal is to keep it real and to keep it simple. But for those of you who haven’t- here’s a quick overview: just over a year ago my now ex-husband and I chose to separate and eventually divorce. As much love as I have for Kasey, this decision was primitive for me. This decision was pivotal for all that was to come, all that is to come. During a marriage you can very easily see how your future is going to play out, or at least you have an idea or some projection of it. Once we separated I saw nothing. Not in a bad way, but in a scary, limitless, -the world is your oyster- kind of way.

Since then I have dated on and off. I was broken more in the relationships that followed my divorce than I probably ever had been in my marriage or relationships leading up to that. Collectively, all of my relationships, good and bad, led me to Andrew. Through all of my bullshit there stood Andrew. I met him in February of 2014. I MET him. He and I were both contractors through Boeing. He was on site 5 days a week,while I was only there for an hour at a time, three days a week at most. I saw him regularly for years before we ever actually had a real conversation. I was married, he was married, and if you meet Andrew you’ll more than likely be met with a similar vibe to the one I was met with. A distant, very business-like, no bullshit mentality. Our conversations were vague, short and sweet; Usually about work or the most significant conversation I recall was the one of him asking me if I was satisfied with the “please don’t wear shoes when using the yoga mats” sign he had posted for me. It was all business. Interestingly enough we had both married the same year(2007), divorced the same year(2016), had been working for the same company for the same amount of time, but based on the simple conversations we had, I never in a million years would have expected to be where I am with him now. Never.

So not knowing a thing about me, he started a simple conversation as he escorted me through fort knox, which we call Boeing, back to the fitness facility. He asked what I did over the weekend. This was a shock, and I was surprised he wanted to communicate so I gladly obliged; “well. I moved in with mom and dad. So at 31, that’s exciting news.” He laughed and followed it with a- “Do you mind me asking why you moved in with your parents?” I bluntly stated; “Well, my husband and I divorced, and after living with my best friend and her husband over the summer, it was just time for me to go home.” And with a simple “OK” and a head nod, that’s how the conversation ended.

Things went on as usual for another couple of months before he actually reached out via text. I was short with my response because I suspected that’s all he wanted. Eventually texting lead to him showing up at my part time job with two pints of Halo Top Ice cream. HA! Key to my heart. That’s when he opened up to me, he told me his entire story: growing up, marriage, divorce, what was next, and what was next? But that night was a night of pure resistance for me. He was hilarious and he opened up to me more than anyone has ever before, Especially spending any amount of one on one time with someone for the first time. I couldn’t believe how much he had confided in me being we had talked so little leading up to this point. I was in hysterics the entire night. I kept defaulting back to “please don’t fall for this guy, he is so not your type.” What was my type anyway? He was funny and smart and he just.. understood me, without explanation. Things were easy from that night on. I had no idea I could communicate so freely with anyone other than my very best girlfriends before he showed up.

Our texting didn’t stop, but sleep did. I stayed up every night until my eyes couldn’t stay open another second. I would wake up early just to roll over and check my phone because I knew he was up before me. As much as technology has ruined me, I am grateful for it every day. So like a 15 year old, my mornings and nights and every free moment during the days were consumed with him. He was/is the sweetest, most open, most loving man I have ever had the privilege of dating.

Regardless, I was up and down with him in the beginning because I was suffering PTSD from prior relationships. I was honest about it, I was broken and I couldn’t give him what he ultimately deserved. But he was adamant about sticking around. He stuck around. I couldn’t figure out why, and as much as I fought it, I am so thankful he did.

When you meet him, he’s quiet, he’s reserved, a thinker and very observant. He is very much the opposite of me. I love hugs and laughter and exuberant hi’s and hellos! I have forced him out of his comfort zone a lot. Without me saying anything and because He understands the importance of the humans I’ve filled my life with, he’s forced himself to greet my people with a hug rather than just a quiet hi.
He is my perfect balance.
He encourages moments when I fly, he stands by in situations when I fall. He’s always watching and absorbing. Without judgement. He notices my interactions; he notices my energy output as well as what I take in. He keeps my best interest in mind all of the time. He has my back when my energy falters. He has been the quietest of cheerleaders, he is my biggest fan. He has been the guy in the background who wants to lift me, and when I’m falling, catch me. He has been the guy who sees who I truly am good and really terrible and he has been accepting and loving of all of me. Through all the crazy, he is completely in love with all of me. He doesn’t try to manipulate or change me, he just sees me. He sneaks in to grab me when he sees me trip up a bit or pulls the food out of my hair when I am (commonly) a mess. He’s beautiful. He wants me to be me and succeed in all that it means to be me, without taking away, without standing in front me of, he just simply allows it and stands by me through all of it.

I moved to Colorado leaving his heart in shambles, but never once did he try to stop me. Were there moments of defeat and doubt? 1000’s, on both ends. Not in the giving up sort of way, but the “Why are you leaving me?” sort of way. Rightfully so. He was watching me drown in Phoenix, and beyond his wants and needs, instead of bailing, he jumped in the deep end and swam beside me. He kept my head above water. He kept me breathing until I could leave Arizona, until I could breathe on my own, he was breathing for me. Colorado brought me a sense of renewal. He is suffering because of my decision, but he has never wavered. Times have been exhausting and trying, but it has built us stronger than ever.

I am writing all of this because people tend to be judgmental. I have allowed their judgement to cloud my own. I am here in Colorado because deep down inside of me I knew I needed this. I needed to escape and start over. I am here because the people who love me the most believed in me and supported me. Andrew was my main pillar through that. He could have easily tried to sabotage this experience. He could have made this decision harder on me than it ever was, but he chose not to. Yea, we struggle. Long Distance is crap. But he chooses me, he chooses to love me every single day, harder than I have ever been loved before. Through all of this I can’t help but love him even harder right back. He loves me, he builds me, he throws me over his shoulders when I can’t walk on my own and he carries me. He looks at me, he sees me and with tears running down his face he tells me how much I mean to him. He writes me poems and love letters; he plays the “I am grateful for…” game with me every day. When I’m unbalanced and unsure he encourages me to listen to my clearings from My mama Maly, to work on my letter declarations, to string malas and if he can in any way support me, he does. He snuggles me, he hugs me hard and in public he is never afraid to grab my hand, my waist or my face to kiss it. He tells me how much he loves me every moment he gets. He is exactly as my best friend Sam describes him; a Nicholas Sparks movie. He is so unreal I often times find myself waiting for something to go wrong. Truth, He is difficult and stubborn at times, but so am I. Regardless of the mess we create he sticks by me and loves me through and through-he loves All of me.
I could go on and on here, but I haven’t even touched on my favorite thing about him.. or better yet, my favorite extension of him; his son, Lincoln. My love for Andrew is great, but my love for Lincoln is borderline greater.

The idea of dating a man with children was a terrifying yet potential reality, but in my mind it was always a hard ‘no’ .. before I found Andrew anyway. Lincoln has squeezed my heart like I have never been squeezed before and all of my reservations on dating someone with children were immediately squashed. He is the most brilliant tiny human I have ever encountered and he loves more purely than anyone I have ever met. He just gives it. Lincoln is just like me in that sense. His dad is silent and reserved, while Lincoln is open and social and befriends everyone he comes in to contact with. If the world operated more like free spirited 5 year old’s and puppies, the world would be over flowing with the greatest love.

I will leave it at that for now. As the Rockies turn bright pink from the reflection of the sunrise, I find myself grateful on this bright day in May. And I felt the world should know it. I love you, Andrew. I’m so happy you refused to give up on me.

“The sun always relied on the moon. She simply could not breathe without him.”

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