I chose not to write about him, us, our relationship, during my time in Italy. A bit of my life I kept to myself, private, pure and sweet. We had an understanding, or so I thought. For me, a year of writing and adventure,. For him, life would continue in Los Angeles with a huge career change, an adventure of another kind. He told me he would visit me, perhaps in springtime. I burned up cyberspace with text messages, photographs and videos of the beautiful sights and sounds I experienced. Not every day, once a week or so, secure in the days between. I loved him from far away, ending my days in small cafes, writing postcards filled with dreams and clear intentions.
He didn’t make it to Italy. His first year heading up a company in a new industry, it was impossible to get away. No worries, I’d be home soon. As my return grew nearer, he seemed farther away. He texted less frequently, really only responding to what I had sent him. I chalked it up to his incredibly hectic work schedule, the time difference and my own insecurity. I shook off the doubts. On my birthday I was reassured, “Happy birthday, my love . . .” He loved me. Why had I worried?
He was away for the weekend visiting his daughter when I returned. Unable to see me until days later. When I opened the door to his smiling face, his warm embrace and kisses, every doubt washed away, the year without him vanished. He felt like home. Over lunch we talked about our time apart, its challenges and lessons. We talked about his work, our families and the happiness we shared as we sat together. He told me he loved me. I smiled, my heart full.
I told him about my plans to move to LA. Confident and strong, I put my most vulnerable self forward and excitedly chattered on about a life together, same city, same time zone. My head in the clouds, surrounded by rainbows and butterflies, his words didn’t register immediately. Wait did I hear him correctly? He was dating someone, someone he wanted to continue to date. And . . . he loved me. I was confused and disoriented. All I could manage was a quiet and pathetic, “Oh.” And then I asked to go home. On the drive I asked if he love her, “Yes” he whispered. So what I imagined would be a new beginning turned out to be another ending.
I’ve spent a long time loving him, dreaming of our future. I thought we wanted the same things, I thought he wanted me. I was wrong. My impatient self wants to skip the heartache, un-love him immediately. I want the whole mess to be painless, waking up a hundred days from now, repaired, my memory wiped clean of all the hurt. Turns out that’s impossible. My ever evolving self knows that I am meant to feel, to learn and to grow. We all are.
People are not what they say, they are what they do. Blinded by unconditional love, the romance of Italy and dreams of a beautiful homecoming, I could not see what now seems plain as day.
I saw an acquaintance on Sunday, someone who doesn’t know him or the details of my love life. She told me I was changed, calm, knowing and beautiful, with a twinkle in my eye. I smiled and thanked her. My heart warmed knowing that my life changing year in Italy and the beauty of my journey can be seen and felt by others. My memories and the many lessons are untainted by his rejection. I am fortunate to be loved by so many important, beautiful souls. My heart remains open, honest and true, unafraid of my next adventure in love and life.
I can do anything. I can be anyone. I am not left behind. I am set free.
The adventure continues . . . and I am all in.
#theadventurecontinues #downbutnotout #lifeslessons #loveslessons #ibelieveinme #shewillbeloved #lovedbymany #luckygirl