After a few days of relaxation and rejuvenation, I think it’s time to write. I’m ready to spill words onto the page and really embrace my story in hopes of better paving the road for the future. Tonight during a restorative yoga session, I listened to my instructor speak encouraging words about protecting our heart and living in the present. I need to better be present in my daily life. This is the first attempt.
I’m going to begin by acknowledging that there is a person out there in this world that I need to say a few words to still. I am going to say these here and then continue to write my story. If this person reads them, then great…my work is done and I have said all that I need to say. If this person does not read it, then I hope it gives you a better understanding of where I am coming from regarding a relationship I will speak about below and I am sure in following posts.
To Him, the person who knows who he is: You may not understand my reason for disappearing the way I did..you may be sitting there with anger inside of you directed at every ounce of my being… Although I am sad that you have reverted to less than understanding emotions and chosen the easier route of anger, I want to take the time to say that this is ok and that I get why you might be feeling this way.
Instead of trying to explain myself or my actions, I am going to simply acknowledge what happened between the person who knows who he is and begin sharing my journey of bravely starting over in this 2014 year.
While many of you know, this is a progressive blog. I started this without any specific intentions. I’ve most enjoyed the space this blog has created for me to escape to when needed. I’ve been inspired here, which is why I continue. It’s been three years of refining, and I think I now am ready to be really be honest and open up about some largely coveted skeletons in my closet. So, please enjoy following along as I begin to put my best foot forward here in an effort of being the open book I desire to find in someone else in my future somedays.
I’d like to begin by sharing a meaningful quote that I stumbled upon in the morning of the first day of the new year. I was feeling woozy, drunk on the idea that starting over for me was going to quite possibly be one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my almost twenty one years of life. I was feeling anxious, worrisome, and a bit shamefully guilty throughout the course of the morning hours prior to reading this quote. While it may be irrelevant information to whoever reads this (if anyone), I do still wish to communicate that the aforementioned emotions were typical for me to experience during my 2013 year on a daily basis and throughout the length of my emotional relationship with the man that shall remain unnamed.
Here lies the quote by Natasha Bedingfield, singer and songwriter that I’ve respected for many years:
“Bless you this shiny fresh year, Dear Ones.
It is untouched, uncrushed
not bruised or used.
It’s a blanket of just fallen snow, not yet walked upon.
It’s that expanse of sand just as the early tide has gone out, before the footprints of runners and their dogs lay their hurried tracks.
All traces of sandcastles or snowmen lost forever leaving room for today’s new ones.
There’s a beauty in moving forward – knowing what to leave behind and what to take with you.
Who ever we are and How ever we went about it, we have either jumped, run, stumbled, tiptoed or slid into a blank canvas. Here we are. The question now is what are we going to create on it?
That, my Dears, is entirely up to you, for it is your blank page and its is your pen.”
Feel free to take time to read that a few times over again. It provided me with a sense of relief on that New Years morning when I couldn’t help but feel as if I was haunted by a feeling of loss. I certainly read it several times throughout my day. I felt so sad. Heartbroken to have to be closing “the book” once again.
For what it’s worth, I had not planned any of this. I had not planned to be in this position nor had I planned to know how to appropriately act. For what it’s worth, this is all probably my fault. If anything, I want those reading this to know that I can acknowledge the fact that I am indeed responsible for my actions and for my part in the relationship I played a role in for some time. If I had been the strong woman most people think I am, it wouldn’t have been such a difficult thing for me to see through. But then again, I am not that strong of an individual even on my so-called stronger days.
And for what it is worth, love is much stronger than I, or anyone for that matter, could ever realize. Love can control you. Or at least it can wrap you up in a mess of vines, complicating your every rational move and making you weak in the knees until you eventually give in to what your heart desires. Love is a vicious lil’ bugger too. It will control you, greedily embracing you like a lover’s arms wrapped around you with an unleashing grip. Love will make you eventually long for that clenching embrace too…the one that you initially fought. It will not unleash you even when you ask politely, even after you put up a damn good fight. Love unfortunately will not break its grasp on you, woven like a million thick vines covering an old abandoned home deep in the forest, until you unforgivingly go at it with an axe- chopping every vine viciously in a murderous furry. It will fight you victoriously until you completely succumb to your back sobbing on the cold ground, warm and salty tears streaming down your tired face, mixing with sweat from your furry. It is not until this moment that love will then release it’s unforgiving hold on you and slowly retract its vines like claws from all over your existence until it subsides- almost apologetically- while you continue to bawl your eyes out like a baby on the dirty floor…
You can disagree with me on this description of love. It certainly doesn’t align with the storybook tales we are told of princesses and princes falling in love in a sweet and tender way. Gentle love that gives you a soothing embrace. For me, love is strong and passionate. Love is bright red and burning. It is an on or off kind of concept. It is a fight. And I can’t wait until I meet the man in my life that makes love feel easy.
This is a story about love and swimming. Learning to love yourself and others by picking your beaten body off of that cold, wet ground, brushing ourselves off, and steadily picking one foot up and venturing forward.
I suppose I should formally introduce myself now then. For those of you that have followed me previously to this point, get over here and give me a hug. I appreciate you all so much for listening to me and growing with me over all of this time. To those new here and new to me, why hello there beautifuls. I’d like to shake your hand warmly with a nice smile. Again, this is a story about swimming. Learning how to push forward in murky waters while unforgiving waves crash hard in front of us. I’ll begin with my name. Feel free to make yourself comfortable and just sit and listen for awhile.
My name is Lindsey. I’m twenty years old. A Des Moines, IA native- growing up in the suburbs west of the city in a pleasant little town called Waukee. If you want to know more, feel free to google me. I think it’ll give you everything you need to know. Unless you want to hear more specific details from the direct source. If that’s the case, I invite to stay awhile…take your coat off, get comfy. 😉
I come from an average household; happy mother and father alongside younger twin sisters, and a sheltie dog named Sallie. We support one another and I am proud to have been raised by parents who’ve taught me the value of having strong morals. I’m a junior at the University of Iowa majoring in elementary education. While I am looking forward to teaching for a few years, I strive to really leave my mark on the field of education by eventually earning my Master’s in education and working in administration someday.
Most importantly, I have huge goals for the future. I want to be a mom. I want to raise a family. I want to travel and see the world. I want to experience new cultures and go to bed with the feeling that I have truly lived in this world. I want to love another human being with my entire heart. I want to own a record player. I want to take a road trip across the United States. The list goes on and on.
I want to do lots of things as you can see. I think what is being said here is that I am young and hugely ambitious. I work hard and desire lots from this world. I have not been in many relationships. I have not dated many people. I’ve been in one serious relationship in my adult life, which exploded painfully in my face several years ago. I have not been able to fully love myself since this moment, yet I still am passionately supportive of who I am and what I desire to be in my future. It has just taken me longer to get to the point that I really desire, something that has been a fight even before my romantic relationships came into play.
Why does any of this matter to you? Valid point you make, cutie pie. 😉 I guess what I am trying to say is that foraging into the 2014 year, I had a million things on my resolutions list. I didn’t take the time to write them all out. Instead, it’s a forever evolving list inside of my head. I add things constantly as I go through my days. I want those reading this to know that I make these types of lists every new year, always have and probably always will. Unfortunately, I do not always act on them. In fact, I often build impossible resolution lists setting myself up to fail miserably. This happens every year and I bitterly go about my year telling myself that “someday”, “one day”, I will wake up and everything will be fixed – magically. I’ve made jokes in the past about how I continue to hold out for the day when I wake up and everything’s perfect. Ha. Am I the only one that thinks of Cinderella getting ready to the birds chirping and forest animals helping her get ready!? Cause I totally want that. I know it’s irrational but I have fabricated this false idea that in order to be happy, truly happy, everything has to be perfect. I have to wake up to perfection. I’m still waiting for that kind of a day. Like my own inner bully, I tell myself that everyone has got it all figured out and that I’m the one that walks around stumbling over everything I do. I blame it on poor luck, crappy circumstances, or the best one yet- “it’s just the way it is” mantra.
But maybe through trial and error, I have realized that this is not how it works in the real world, baby. I have learned that in order for anything to work, it takes an incredible amount of dedication and desire. You have to want it so badly that all you do is obsess over it, fight like those vines of love until you see results and then you forge ahead like it’s nothin’. That is the only way to really get what you desire. You have to be brave enough to leap into the unknown and then fight the bloody fight until you win. I say this, because I’ve seen it. It wasn’t until now that I’ve fully taken the leap, but here I am free falling into the great unknown and I’m the most scared that I’ve ever been. But at least I’m here and trying, right?
All of that being said, I have got a few more things to discuss with you. How are you feeling? Would you like some coffee or tea? I want you to be comfortable as I spill this all out.
So here we go- now time for the big one…I think now that I’ve introduced myself a little, it may be appropriate for me to be really honest. Remember that open book policy I discussed earlier? Yeah…I’ve got a few pages that are sticking together like an old journal that’s experienced all elements with you… I need help separating a few pages that I think might be important for the overall story. But I can do this and I think the best way is for me to spit it all out… Cover your faces, ladies and gents ’cause here goes nothin…
So, I got myself into a messy relationship with a married man lasting for about 10 months in the year of 2013.
I feel like it is always essential to mention that he and I never met in person. Unless you count the two times that he and I passed one another in our cars. Both times were complete chances of fate, if you believe in that kind of thing. The first time, I panicked. The second time, I waved and then bawled as I drove myself back to work from my lunch break. We did not ever met up and exchange face-to-face conversation. Instead, we dove head first into a virtually-based emotional relationship that was extremely inappropriate and manipulative on both ends.
I don’t sit here and type these words out of spite, anger, shame, or bitterness. Rather, I feel it is the most humble, honest, and relative attempt of cutting he and I free from the whirlwind of events that played out over the duration of almost an entire year of our lives.
I loved him. I will probably always love him. But unfortunately, I never got him. Like chasing a energetic puppy around to make him sit and just lie with you…finally catching him after a long chase, lying down, feeling him relax beside you and then as soon as you relax your arm from around him, he bolts to chase the next leaf that blows by on a beautiful spring day at the park. That’s the best way that I can describe my attempts to have this man be present with me. I could never get him to stop and really listen. However, I am sure if he were to read this, he would argue otherwise.
How’d we meet you might be wondering? So, post-breakup Lindsey was attempting to put herself out there in different ways. People in my life had suggested trying to be a little more open to new ideas especially regarding dating ventures and meeting new people. For me to be given this type of advice was a bit of a slap in the face. I’m fun, right? I’m hip and cool. Disregard the fact that by me saying that makes me indeed quite un-hip and un-cool. Uhm Yolo, anyone?! Whatever. I’m stinkin’ cool, aight dawgs. Ok, I’m going to stop digging this hole deeper and continue. ;P
So, my roommate at the time had met her decently attractive and normal appearing boyfriend off of an online dating app called Skout. Things between he and her were going great and she suggested me trying it. One night while lying in bed, I decided to just download it before I went sleep and play around with it in the morning. I set up my profile the next morning, uploaded a few pictures of myself to my page, added a bio or whatever you call that space to fill with creative shit to ‘express yourself’.. lame space in my eyes, but yeah… I did all that the next morning while I sat on the cambus to campus. I was annoyed to be doing it and felt like I could have quite possibly been the single, measly college student putting themselves onto a dating app at the time. But, I did it to please those around me and in hopes that it would help me move on from my break-up.
Long story short, and a few irrelevant details removed in hopes of keeping your attention such as the awkward first conversation and my panicking the next morning and initial deleting of the app only to reinstall it a few days later to see if my profile and information was still out there floating around, it was through an app that I engaged with the man I now am telling you about.
He seemed sad and lonely once I got to know him. He worked hard to hold my attention. At first to be honest, I was annoyed. I needed him to back off. I was no good at being chased. It freaked me out at the time for I wasn’t used to it. I did the chasing in my previous relationship, so shit boi…. this whole being sought after felt good.
Then I found out he was married.
That was tough news. Everything got so complicated from there. Instead of getting to know me, he seemed to want my help in fixing a broken marriage. ‘Broken’ seems harsh, maybe just one that was going through troubles. I tried to help by initially offering some advice in hopes of giving the guy a womanly perspective and then moving on, this obviously wasn’t going anywhere anymore. Then he wouldn’t quit telling me things about how their relationship had never really been that good; the proposal and wedding day itself had been in his eyes “catastrophic failures”.
After listening for some time and having conversation merge from the Skout app to a messaging app called Kik, an alternative to handing out your phone number directly, I felt tired of listening to him discuss his troubles so I told him straight up. I remember him being a bit offended and then him telling me that he would refrain from discussing his issues. I didn’t understand why this dude wouldn’t just drop things. I tried to disappear and would avoid responding to his steady messages.
Another important point I should mention is that he lived in a town outside of the place I was living. He and I were separated by a good 20 mi. or so. This made it seem safe to me. He and I would never cross paths I thought. I tried to justify the conversation that I felt was morally wrong by saying it was fine for me to have a few discussions in order to help the guy out because it’s not like he or I would ever met. I told myself that I wouldn’t allow any sort of emotional feelings to grow because it simply was not possible.
I’d like to pause here and tell you one other important note about myself and my family. Here I think it is beneficial for me to mention that my parents just celebrated their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary in November. In fact, their marriage is one of the longest within my family. Divorce and separation is thankfully not something that I have experienced directly, but I have grown up in a family that has largely been affected by it on both sides. In fact, both of my grandparents were divorced. Therefore, I was blessed with three grandmothers- an additional step-grandmother. Alternatively, I was never able to meet my biological paternal grandfather before he passed away three years ago. My dad never met him either and it wasn’t until very late in his life that he spoke to him for the first time since he was a toddler of two years old. Seeing both of my parents struggle with the heartache that comes with having broken homes has been a real experience of my entire life. I have watched both parents cry bitter, heartbroken tears over the experiences that come with the childhood memories lost to the reminders of how their young lives were once ripped apart and reshaped due to circumstances outside of their control. I thank God each day for bringing together my mother and father whose marriage has stood the test of time, growing stronger each and every day. I love them for taking their experiences and applying them to building a marriage that shows understanding, compassion, and acceptance through its basic bond.
I will stop here for now. This is a story about swimming. I will post the next installment soon. Just keep treading water here with me for a few.
Bless you all.