matt travels a lot for work. sometimes when he takes off it’s like a little retreat all of my own – lots of yoga, dinner with girlfriends, vino and movies, face masks galore. it’s awesome. unfortunately this is not one of those weeks.
instead i am having one of those weeks where my health isn’t amazing (more on this later, still waiting on a diagnosis), i am feeling needy as hell and a little stressed. yep, i too have weeks like this. big time.
yesterday after teaching, i headed to a doctor’s appointment in beverly hills. i got a little lost which is not surprising or even frustrating because i’m so used to it. then couldn’t get the bathroom open without a key since the valet had it (did you know that some doors open with any key? i was baffled.) lastly, the doctor, though really charming, pretty much discounted everything that was going on in my body then pricked me with more needles (and not in that oohifeelsomuchbetter acupuncture way.) i burst into tears in the car. nothing bad had actually happened. it was just gloomy, it cost me $12 to park my damn car and matt wasn’t around.
when i finally got home, i unrolled my yoga mat in front of the fireplace and just sat down. i practiced for awhile, then laid on my yoga mat and read my book. eventually some thai food arrived and i sat there and ate on my yoga mat. then i turned on “the following” and watched that still on my yoga mat. rosy joined me.
my little life raft right there in the middle of the living room.
man, this past week was such a doozy. it was just one thing after another all week long. i wanted to scream, “uncle!” but this weekend was the perfect antidote. a few lazy mornings filled with perfect cups of coffee, gloomy weather and a lot of quiet. matt got home from his business trip to vegas friday afternoon, and after all we’d been through earlier in the week, all of the massive holyshit conversations, we were ready to just enjoy one another.
we ate lunch without looking at cell phones. we held hands pretty much everywhere we went. we did things for the other without asking. we said “thank you,” “please,” and “i’m sorry” immediately, when necessary. i guess the past couple months, we had just been behaving like the golden rules don’t apply to us. i can be a bit selfish at times, and my “inner brat” has been runnin’ wild. it felt so good to be conscious, to be giving, to be present. (what the $%&# have i been doing for the past few months?!)
i am experiencing the transformation i signed up for. it’s not always pretty or easy. seeing myself in someone else’s reflection, kicking my “inner brat” to the curb, writing a future with somebody i love, who is much different than me, is hard, beautiful work.
i am learning; we are learning. every damn day. and i know this to be true: no matter what the relationship – family, lover, BFF – the golden rules make all the difference. and when you get lazy, which you’ll inevitably do, take a deep breath and course correct.
“if you love someone, tell them.
if you appreciate someone, thank them.
if you’ve hurt someone’s feelings, say you’re sorry.
and if someone’s hurt yours, forgive them.
people are important. relationships rule. the rest is just a circus.”
- peg mulqueen
since i wrote that very vulnerable post tuesday, i have heard from so many people through email, facebook messages or texts, who go through this exact same thing from time to time. the most interesting thing about this is that most of these people are those who’d i’d never ever, in my wildest dreams, imagine to be going through the same thing as me.
one of the reasons i write is to process, and then the blog is just the added bonus of connecting. a sometimes like-minded community of sorts.
as one friend said, “it’s just so nice to feel okay for not being perfect.. and more than anything the ‘imperfect’ feeling like the real ‘normal.’”
another said, “the difficult conversations sometimes lead to a deeper and more amazing understanding about each other and sometimes lead to either of us falling out of the boat again. but we keep climbing back in. and so far, neither one of us has TRULY wanted to stay in the water.”
i just wanted to take a moment to say thank you. thank you for reaching out. for being vulnerable. for getting back in the boat. for reading. for connecting.
there were several times in the past few days when i wished in a big way that i’d stayed a few extra days in switzerland. you know, where life wasn’t exactly real and i laid in a heated outdoor pool with snow falling on my face and ate swiss chocolate like it was my job. because when i got home life got very real – major relationship questions, a swollen knee that landed me in urgent care for the entire day, many other hard conversations.
my friends laugh at times about how enchanting life looks through a blog, especially this one, and i have a tendency, always have, to not want to write about the hard stuff. when i was younger, i used to rip pages about my “bad days” out of my journal. um, not normal. like everybody else, i have great days and hard days. i go through inspiring times and really bad shit. that’s more than okay. that’s life, yeah?
i hadn’t realized how much the pressure of the wedding was weighing on both matt and i. (you know, finances, endless family and friend drama, anxiety, to-do lists. probably pretty par for the course.) i mean i sorta did, but mostly we had just gotten shorter, snappier and more annoyed with one other in the past few months, and rather than doing something to repair that we just kept charging ahead, acting like this was normal.
if our relationship is a boat, one person was sitting in it and the other person was treading water.
not very inspiring.
things came a head in a super big, ugly way this weekend and we had to seriously question ourselves – “do we want back in the same boat?”
in every relationship in the past when shit goes wrong, i usually run for the hills (many times with good reason.) sitting there, both of us in tears and feeling the lowest of the low, i realized i didn’t want to go. i was ready to fight, dukes up, and not in the icky way, hitting below the belt way, i have been lately.
i know the way his hair looks in the morning, how it sort of sticks to one side of his head. i have laughed with him til i’ve almost peed my pants, and i’ve always had such awful arguments that i was ready to move to bali. he drives me absolutely insane, and he makes me extremely happy. i hate the way he drives (new yorker all the way). i love his generosity and huge heart – how he’ll cook five-course meals for my friends who normally subsist on nachos and red wine, how he buys gifts for his “nephews and nieces” (friends’ kids) every time we go over, how he supports me in every way he can, when he wrote my brother and i letters from “santa” after we fell asleep christmas eve.
the list goes on and on, and will continue to grow as we do. all we can do is work hard, love hard, and get back in the damn boat.
i have hardly glanced at my computer since i got home from portugal monday night.
we’ve filled our past couple of days with christmas tree hunting/decorating/straightening (it tends to lean in one direction), a whole lotta sleeping (jet-lagged me, at least), and holiday planning. i guess you could say i hit the ground running when i got back.
it has been seriously wonderful to be home, just as it was seriously wonderful to be away.
i was talking to one of my best friends, blaire, yesterday and she observed how i’d finally found my perfect life, my perfect partner.
“you are a total homebody. and you are a total free spirit. he supports and encourages both.”
it’s so true. i never ever thought i’d find that, or that it was even possible. it felt like a fork in the road where someday i’d hang my backpack up and resolve to spend my days at home focusing on just my family and my house. but i’ll never have to do that.
matt gets me. i’m pretty sure he gets me better than i get myself, as great partners do. he says, ” fly!” because he knows that i need that to feel whole, but that i’m always going to do turn around and fly right back. when i tell him about a big opportunity that may have me away for a couple of weeks, his answer is always to leap. to go for it. if he can come too, he’s thrilled. if he can’t, he’s supportive.
and i realize now, even though i had no idea it was what i needed, that that trust creates such a sacred bond that my deep fear of “stunting my growth” by staying put will never happen.
fly. leap. jump.
(thank you so much.)
my future husband and love of my life. most loyal person i’ve ever met. grizzly bear with a big ol’ heart. killer chef. businessman extraordinare. music lover.
what’s the best part of your day?
waking up to a hot cup of french press coffee with coconut oil and grass-fed butter at the head of the bed. rosy, our bully, at the foot of the bed. watching MB get ready to start her day. i love watching her glow in the morning.
what inspires you?
mary beth’s passion for life, my family and friends and the days that challenge me.
your favorite trip.
the summer between 10th and 11th grade. i travelled france with my french teacher madame fuchere, her husband, college daughter, her two friends and another kid from my high school. we toured paris, dinard, loire, monaco, nice, champlagne, normandy and every small town around. that trip was surreal for a 15-year-old from jersey.
what’s your ideal sunday?
sleeping in with mary beth and our pup. walking down to the farmers market. brunch and good coffee. having friends over for beers, barbecue and music on the back deck.
your favorite words of wisdom.
if, by rudyard kipling.
when do you feel most “you?”
on my deck behind the grill while watching my MB laughing with our friends, music playing, and rosy sitting at the table like she is human.
what fulfills you?
knowing 100 percent that i am marrying the most amazing woman. starting our family. the perfect medium rare bone-in prime rib and a glass of an in-your-face zinfandel.
your favorite outfit.
grey converse, dark civilianare jeans, grey t-shirt, any flannel, and one of my watches.
what’s on your ipod?
what isn’t? lots of classic rock, blues, jazz, hip hop and yacht rock.
five things you love.
cooking for friends and family.
a good cigar.
a great manhattan.
how you feel in one word today.