Saturday, February 25, 2012

Still Looking Up

A very good friend in Pittsburgh has reminded me on several occasions to remember to be patient and kind with myself during this time--as I am processing and coming to terms with the end of my relationship with RJ. For some reason coming to terms seems more bearable than accepting right now. My heart is sad and confused in not understanding why he walked away when we both still love each other.

Another wonderful friend wrote an email to me and shared...maybe it IS as simple as you want more than he is prepared to give. Or will ever be able to give. And he is letting you go so that you can find happiness and fulfillment.

However, I cannot wrap my head around how you can get so close to someone and then place a limit on it. That is not how I operate, and I am not sorry for that. So, I will stop trying to figure out that other kind of mentality.

The beauty of love is that there is always more to give. It does not run out. It does not hurt the person to receive that love if you are being authentic and genuine with your intentions at that moment in time. With the right amount of trust, patience and understanding, love can be nurtured exponentially and deepen the connection between two people and have great satisfaction and fulfillment. Our time in this world is fleeting and I would rather give--even if it does not result in a hoped or desired outcome--than to later question or regret not doing something more. I try to hold onto hope for myself that I will meet a man who is my match--in equally giving of his commitment, love and respect.

Most of the irritated stream of my thoughts stem from that RJ says he loves me, but did not want to hurt me if it were to end or when it did end. At some point he checked out and I have tried to figure out what was the tipping point. Did he first check out and then saw the end would have to come? Or did he put too much pressure and worry into the what if's and it took him out of the picture? Was it that he could not envision a future with me or is it that he is scared? I'm not sure if I want to know the answer to those questions. Or even if they matter.

So on that note, with the pendulum of all that are my feelings right now, I have another song that brings me a mixture of feelings. It is I Won't Give Up by Jason Mraz . I love the way the song just feels like that unabashed, got-to-give-it-your-all kind of love. There is also a patience in it, in knowing that sometimes timing may be off, but that special person is worth waiting to catch up in order to be ready and on equal grounding.

I first heard the song on the radio as I parked my car by RJ's house on the night that I reaffirmed my feelings for RJ and shared that I was ready for a deeper level of intimacy with him. I sat in the car and listened to the whole song. So, sometimes I feel sad when I hear the song because of all the potential that I saw in building and sharing a life with RJ. We shared many interests and he had many qualities that I loved about him.

Then other times more recently, I will listen to the words and think, that is how it should be and I do deserve more. I mean, it has to be out there if people write poems and songs about it all of the time. Right?

Today I discovered a few more words that struck me. least we did intend for us to work...

And there it is--the wisdom and the acknowledgement of the risk that you have to stay open and positive if you want a relationship to have a chance to develop, grow and evolve. It speaks to the foundation of the relationship. Each person's heart is so delicate and you should be mindful in how you enter and stay their world, for them and yourself.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lingering Conversations

So, after that first conversation two weeks after RJ broke up with me, we have talked a couple more times. When he came over the first time, it was after a slight misunderstanding in each of us thinking the other had something they wanted to say. When we figured out that neither had anything planned, I took it as an opportunity to talk about tying up loose ends.

One of the hardest parts was in giving RJ back his keys. As I dug into my pocket to get them out--because I knew my hands would be fumbling if I tried to take them off my key ring in front of him--RJ started to shake his head no in protest and neither one of us could look each other in the eye. He told me again that I really did not have to give them back and shook his hand away. As the tears came rolling and my voice could barely get the words out, I told him that I did not want to give them back, but that I thought it would be best. RJ took them and then hugged me tight and we cried.

It was so difficult for me to give back the keys because when I looked at them, it just brought me back to that summer day that RJ first gave them to me. I went with him as he made several copies so that if he were to get locked out of his apartment, there would be spares. He gave one to me and I remember saying with a big grin, "Really? You want me to have one." He said yes with a smile--both with his lips and in his eyes. It felt really special, and it was special. He was the first man to give me the keys to his home. It was so meaningful in both feeling the trust that he had in me and in our relationship that it was really going somewhere.

And then in that moment as he held me close, I asked RJ a question I had been burning to ask. I asked him, "Do you have any feelings of anger or bitterness towards me?" I knew the answer really should not matter because even if he did, it should have no barring on my self-worth. But I asked the question for me. I asked it because of how things ended with my ex-husband and how by the end of it A~ just absolutely hated me--hated me for existing, hated me for just being and hated me for being in his way of attaining what he thinks will be his true happiness. I know A~'s thought process was unfair and that he was projecting his frustrations onto me for which I was not responsible. There were two people on that August day that both committed to the marriage. But it was still so devastating to hear and to feel that kind of intense anger after being with him for fourteen years, part of which I thought included love and happy memories. How can you hate someone for being married to you when you are the person who was the major contributor to destroying it? And even in emotionally deflecting back that responsibility of A~'s change in feelings, I still could not help but feel that negative energy.

So, I asked RJ my question. RJ emphatically said no that he did not feel angry with me. He said that as much as he thinks this break up is what needs to happen that he still loves me and that there will always be a part of him that will love me. RJ then continued that he feels that we formed a deep connection. He said it is very hard for him to make those kinds of connections with people and that once he does, he does not let those go.

I found relief in that RJ does not hate me like in the way that my ex-husband did. I found comfort that he still had positive feelings surrounding me and what we experienced. But RJ's admission also hurt because I just do not understand how you can love someone and walk away. I just do not get it.

He did insert that if I did do something to hurt him, that that would change, but quickly reiterated that no he still cared very much for me. I told him that I don't want to hurt him. I think that comment may speak to either a fear of getting hurt or that vulnerability that we are both feeling with being unsure of how it is all really going to end. But I think that if two people want a peaceful ending, even if it is sad, that can happen.

Then RJ shared something that is reflective of his spiritual side. RJ told me that as silly as it may sound, he hopes or would like to think that in the next life we will cross paths. He said, "I hope that we run into each other and that we hug each other. And that we both say, 'Thank you. Thank you for being there in my life because you were exactly what I needed then and I got exactly what I needed from you.' "

And those are the words that I try to hold onto because in some ways it speaks of hope that there will be better for each of us to come. I feel that what RJ shared in that conversation on that day helps to validate that the time we spent together and what we had was real and that it was special and meaningful.

And then RJ read my blog...

the last one with him in it...

and he was upset.

I got an email from him, which was also in response of a few things we needed to take care of doing, but I could see the extra space where he clearly deleted some things. I felt sick because this was not how I wanted things to end, especially after our last conversation.

So, with still looking for a job and having some extra time at home, I decided to walk over to his apartment.

It was strange to walk up the steps to his front door. It reminded me of the first time I came to his door and he invited me into his apartment before a bike ride. I rang the doorbell, which was probably broken. So, I stood there deciding if I should try the back door. As I turned to go down the stairs and lifted the latch to open the gate to walk into the back yard, I glanced over my shoulder half expecting to see the old Italian couple sitting on their front stoop. Of course they wouldn't because it is winter, but in my mind's eye I pictured them as I saw them so many times that first summer and they would laugh and wave as I walked those same steps with what I imagine as a glint of excitement to see RJ. As I climbed his back steps up to the landing on the second floor, I paused before knocking, taking in the view of other tiny city back yards, the walk with the rose garden and the back of the church parking lot where so many couples and their wedding parties bustled to and from the church for the ceremony. I remembered sitting on the rails of the landing talking to my friends on my phone about this amazing guy. Still standing, I remembered the slow warming of summer mornings as RJ watered his garden or the back and forth from the kitchen to the yard for barbecues or the starry nights as we left his apartment for some nighttime fun down the block. I remembered the first summer looking out of RJ's kitchen window and wondering, "Will I be in this kitchen the following summer? I certainly hope so, it feels like it. Will that one day be us in that church parking lot?"

My head was becoming full in these fleeting thoughts. And not wanting to indulge in them for any length of time, I pushed them aside because I just did not want to feel the sadness in not ever experiencing them again. I pushed them away as I raised my hand up to knock on the door and RJ answered. He answered with a quiet hello. Cutting past the small talk, I told him right off that I read his email. He paused and I invited him to come outside. Fortunately, it was one of those warmer 50 degree winter days. But somehow the temperature seemed almost non-existent.

RJ apologized for sending me the email and that he had been avoiding reading my blog, but did this morning. I told him not to apologize for sharing his feelings and that I would rather know he was upset and be able to talk about it. I told him how I noticed his editing and that he didn't fire off everything that he was thinking and that maybe it was good to get it out and then delete it--to which he looked down with a slight knowing laugh.

Then, RJ shared that he was upset because he felt that he had been completely honest about how he felt about us along the way and that the break up was not a complete surprise out of no where. I asked him how much of my blog he read, if he had just read the one entry or others too. He said just the one. I told him that there were other entries that talked about the leading doubts and that the surprise came from the fact that I was not expecting the break up that morning. He said he was surprised by it too and it was not planned. I told RJ that he was as honest as he could be in sharing his concerns about the relationship along the way. However, I felt he was inconsistent in sharing the good things and the love that he felt for me. I felt there were times that he seemed to show he cared in big ways and I was hoping not to be grasping for straws in searching that he really loved me. I told him that you have to share the good stuff too and sometimes that includes saying it.

RJ said that he gave everything that he could put into the relationship and that he was in it fully. But RJ and I agreed that we would go round and round as far as to the argument of how one can be fully in the relationship if they are worrying or thinking about it ending. I feel that if you are in that mindset or fear, it does take you out and that was what was missing. And RJ said he gave everything that he had, which I can understand to a point. I told him that I also gave everything that I had, but there were times that I became aware that I was not in it 100 percent. I would then re-evaluate and work through those fears to then give more of myself. I always gave 100 percent of what I knew I had to give.

RJ mentioned that there were times that I would talk about the future in what if's in not being certain if we would be together or not. And then it hit me as for part of my role. I talked in what if's because I was afraid of chasing RJ away in pushing too much too soon or in getting ahead of myself. I just felt like I was not in a place to really talk about marriage with having to finish grad school. I later told RJ I was terribly sorry for that. I did not mean to give him mixed messages about if we could have a future together. But I also told him that it took time for me to get to that place to be ready and that was a large part of what I was trying to get at when I admitted my feelings to him in wanting more, more with him. But part of me now wonders, if he really wanted more then, why didn't he just say it or ask about it? Why did he not question or address it with me?

RJ also added that it is not about being afraid of him getting hurt. He said that he was holding back because he was afraid of me getting hurt. He said how he did not want to hurt me like how my ex hurt me. RJ said in all that I shared he was able to see how devastating it was for me, or in his words--destroyed me. He said it must be so difficult for my family and friends to see me in another relationship and ask what will happen if it happens again? I told him I knew I should not have told him, but he said no that he wanted to understand who I was and where I was coming. To his credit, he did listen well. And what I did share with RJ was not every detail, but it was more in that I am feeling sad and this is why so that you don't think it is you or this is the lens that I see the world because of my experiences but I make every effort to not project them onto you. I told him that I knew I was still processing the loss during our relationship and I did not want it to be unfair to him. And in some ways there was no way to process certain things related to my past relationship without being in a new and serious relationship. But I told RJ that I also feel that I have grown, become stronger and moved through it. I asked him if he had read the entry about the dream and he said no. I feel frustrated that RJ does not seem to recognize the new strength and confidence within me.

And still it remains that RJ says he just does not want to hurt me like how I have been in the past. Again, I could go round and round on that one, but his mind is made up. It is not my job to convince him to be with me.

On a final note, RJ said that if I walk away with nothing else, it is that he wants me to know that the relationship ending is not because of something that I did or did not do. He feels that we both did everything that we could have done, even with trying to replay or find certain moments that could have gone another way. He feels we both acted in ways that were true to ourselves and in giving as much love as we could give. Was it timing? Did he not feel safe coming to me to show his vulnerability?

Before I left, we hugged once more on that back porch landing under a bright blue sky. It was then that I realized how cold I felt from standing outside for as long as we did. I was actually starting to shake.

I am just so very, very sad in that the relationship couldn't work and that it has to end. I just do not get it. I do not understand how you can love someone and walk away. I am deeply saddened that he cannot see my strength and resolve. However, during this conversation and in wrapping up I shared with RJ how much his words from our last conversation meant to me. It was real.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Moment to Want to Laugh Out Loud

So, I was shopping for a new interview suit and had a coupon that I did not get a chance to print from my email. The sales girl said that if I could bring it up on my phone, she could then get the promotion code from it and still honor the coupon. Great! When it finally came up on my cheapy phone, the sales girl tried to blow up the image like a touch screen. I told her, "Oh no, phone doesn't work like that." And then she tried two more times.

I'm not sure who should be a tad more embarrassed. The sales girl who did not seem to notice my phone was open with it's slide-out-keyboard (and obviously not having a screen large enough to be a touch screen) or me with having the cheapest phone you can get with a slide-out-keyboard that does not require a data plan (because the keyboard is my crazy frill to have with a cell phone).

At least she was sweet and helped me to save some money!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Good-bye RJ

RJ and I talked earlier this week. No surprises, but I was able to talk to him about my three main areas of concern--lack of respect for not calling me, feeling like he did not give us enough time, and that he was making the decision about our relationship without that hey if you sense things are off, talk about it, explore it, and at least try to figure out the "why" before you run.

I told RJ that I felt that part of that missing piece in the relationship was that he wouldn't communicate how he really felt about me. While I respected that he did not want to lead me on, I also felt that he was holding himself back. If you love someone, you say it. You don't fear that you will change your mind or that the relationship may end sometime down the road. You have to be honest and communicate with that person in that moment because otherwise it does not allow the relationship to grow. It restricts it, creates confusion or mistrust, and puts up a wall.

He talked about how he had really been hurt in the past. But I told him he hadn't talked to me about that in a long time and I didn't know how he felt about it now. Then I said that is why you have to check-in with the relationship from time to time and let the other person know how you are truly feeling. Loving someone is scary sometimes. It is also takes a lot of work. Loving someone is a choice that you make every day.

I just feel really angry because I feel that of all people that he could have tried to be more open and honest about fears of getting hurt was with me. I know what it is like to get hurt badly. RJ said there wasn't anything that I did do or did not do in our relationship to end it. He said he just felt like he wasn't fully into the relationship and did not want to be wasting any more of my time. I just don't understand what was missing for him. And maybe I cannot relate because I was willing to put my whole heart into the relationship with what I had to give along the way. If you are not fully into the other person or the relationship, then what is the point? I just don't know why I couldn't see that he was not in it all the way. Or maybe I did, but I did not want to read into things too much and assume there was a problem and kind of create one if there wasn't one.

And I am also angry because I feel that with so much of what we talked about could have brought us closer together and made our relationship stronger before the breaking up. Had RJ been more honest and open in sharing how he felt scared and vulnerable, we could have validated and comforted each other. Again, love can be scary because anything worth doing takes thought and consideration. And if you are just mindlessly going along with it and just doing what is expected, the relationship becomes empty. And as I have been trying to tell him in coming to my own life conclusions, it is that you cannot be scared about the what if's...will the person leave me, will the relationship have to make the best decisions that you can with the information that you have at the time and how you feel about that person in that present moment.


We left on as good of terms as possible that night. There were times that we hugged and cried a few tears, but there was also a distance with it. When the conversation turned towards how we would be moving forward...exchanging stuff, communication...RJ became emotional. Either he is not fully resolved in his decision or he is trying to leave room to string me along. If it is the first thing, then I feel so angry for him making his choice in such haste. I don't understand how he can say that he still has feelings for me, but thinks breaking up is the right thing to do. Can't you nurture love? Then if it is second thing, I would loose a lot of respect for him and I don't even want to think of that as a real possibility. It is very difficult for me because I want to believe the best in people, but I am afraid I am very naive in that way.

As RJ left that night, he seemed at a loss. As we hugged, I shared that it is really hard for me to see my life without him, but mumbled that it would probably be better not to communicate. He seemed to agree, but I felt it odd to be taking the lead in setting expectations of how it would end.

After he went out the door, I walked back out to his car for one last hug. I felt like there was something still left unsaid. I told him that I would not regret the relationship with him and that our time was special to me. Then I said thank you. That is when we really hugged each other. I told him I wished we could have just one more night, but softly laughed it off...knowing it could have been beautiful, but then that much harder to let go in the morning. RJ said something like, me too. With one more hug and a quick, gentle kiss on the lips, I walked back inside without looking back and he drove away.

Since RJ was going to the gym, I decided to make a mad dash to his place and get the rest of my stuff that I wanted. I just did not want to put it off any longer and knew it would be harder later. I needed to do it for me, so that I could really begin the process of moving forward. I sent him a text to let him know so that it would not surprise him coming home, and I said that I did it out of a caring place.

I continued that I felt that we had ended things with dignity and peace when we parted. And I wrote that that I will miss the "us" terribly and that I will hold a fondness for him in my heart. RJ responded that he can't even explain to himself what he is feeling. I asked him if he wanted to come over, if there was something more to say...I kind of had that feeling that maybe he was rounding near that break when a relationship is ending and you share what was truly special about that person and the experience. He said maybe later and that he didn't think he could handle it well at the moment. I said that that window is now and that we wouldn't have much more time, but I would respect it if he did not want to come over. I was hoping he would because I felt that because we were both so raw, there could have been a refreshing honesty in just being together as a final good-bye...more than words. I felt it just before he drove away in that last hug, when you really open yourself up one last time to honor what was real and special in the relationship. So, I will just hold onto that last hug and kiss because that is as close as I think RJ can get to really letting me back into his heart to have a deeper good-bye.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Fingers and Toes Crossed

I had a really important job interview yesterday. I did my very best and I just keep praying that I will get called back for the second interview. Hopefully, the call will come in about two weeks. Keep your fingers crossed with me or send any good vibes my way!

Until then, I will just keep plugging away. I keeping thinking about the words from one of the speakers at my graduation. She said, "Don't let fear be stronger than your faith." It has become my new mantra...for every part of my life when I need to dig deep for strength.