I write when I have something on my heart, something I need to get off of my chest, and something that I need to become one with.
Blogging has become a form of therapy for me. It allows me to unleash my feelings, good, bad, ugly, unwarranted, misconstrued…all of it.
If you’ve read any of my previous posts you can probably tell by now that I’m the type of person that cares what others think of me. It’s something I’m working on but also something that exists in the here and now. I’m sure I’ll get a few side eye’s from this post, or unwelcome feedback, and that’s alright, because writing MY feelings and MY stories allow me to be honest, and genuine, while allowing the overall experience to be humbling.
This particular post took some balls. I’ve edited, re-edited, selected all, deleted all, and eventually produced a finished product. I toyed around with “should I” for quite awhile…and I decided on YES.
This is my first post where I’ll be referring to my ex as my ex-boyfriend, not my ex husband–hooray! That means progress.
Let’s rewind for a moment…When I left Germany, I kind of slithered out of there, hopped on a plane with my best friend and headed back to America. Only a handful of people knew the real story as to why I was abandoning ship but it really wasn’t any ones business, nor was I ready to be brutally honest with myself, or others.
Fast forward. I came back to the States, got situated and fell for “a new guy.” It was quick, it was passionate, and it was intense. Nothing I planned for, but something I welcomed.
Insert vacations, living together, working together, planning the next move together…and it being too much too soon (for me).
I was somewhere in between working on being solo but in a relationship at the same time. I was finalizing my divorce but also attempting to bud, blossom and nourish a new relationship. Bad idea.
Our relationship was somewhat public. People liked us together, and when we broke up it was difficult. Not only because I had to explain the entire situation to all of my clients, and he to his, but also because I felt like I had just gone through a break up that I was able to conceal, yet this one everyone knew about. It also let everyone in on the fact that I was married…and divorced. It was a blow to the ego, I was slightly ashamed and felt that it was yet another relationship I couldn’t salvage.
For a period of time after the split things were awkward, really, really awkward. Yet we soon learned we needed to devise a plan of how to work with each other. Prior to the relationship we had a conversation about “what if”. We were both on the same page in that our work ethic, and career meant more to us than our relationship- that if it ever came down to it, we’d choose our careers.
I built my new life around Philly Phitness, I loved my clients, the atmosphere and the people I worked with. I could have left, (some days I wanted to)…but I didn’t. Despite not always acting like it, we are adults, and we had to figure our shit out.
Since getting divorced, and suffering through some pretty intense growing pains I’ve learned quite a few things not only about myself, but about life.
- That no matter the situation you have to take the good with the bad, and play up the good when the bad is really, really bad.
- That contrary to my own beliefs—I wasn’t always right. (Whoa!)
- That sometimes you end up with fragments of the person you once despised and tried so hard not to become…
In Germany I would often attend dinners, galas, and community outreach events. I felt like a fish out of water. I followed along with my husband, had no idea what they (the Airmen, Troops, and all other Military personnel) were talking about, and I didn’t particularly find it interesting to talk about what rank someone was, or how they met a Three Star General…. I wanted to talk about my dreams, about fitness, and how I envisioned my life playing out.
That was something I craved, and lacked for a very long time. I didn’t have someone that fully understood and could comprehend my dreams, but I found that in my ex-boyfriend.
Perry and I grew up in two very different worlds. His mindset was something that I wanted to learn, to figure out, and begin implementing. He had been on his own for quite some time, and used that as an opportunity to figure out his life plan.
As for me—well, I was just getting to that point. Initially he had a way of coming off very cocky and I didn’t get it, yet I wanted to. I later came to realize that it wasn’t him being cocky as much as it was he being confident. He knew that everything he would do would be a success, even if that meant taking something away from his failures. He taught me that if people were jealous of my goals, of my dreams, or of my outlook then that was their problem, not mine.
I’ve always had a great work ethic but he helped me to see that whatever I really wanted, whatever I was truly passionate about, I’d find a way to make it happen despite all of the roadblocks that would come my way.
I’m sure people will be quick to judge me for blogging about my ex-boyfriend and how much he’s taught me, directly or indirectly but that’s life. You take the up’s with down’s and learn from both of them. We’re taught to move on, forget the past and get on with our future. I support it, but I also believe in allowing someone or something to teach you along the way, you just have to be willing to learn a lesson.
At first there were characteristic traits that really got under my skin, they didn’t make sense to me, and I wasn’t interested in understanding them. As time went on (especially after the break up) I came to realize why he did things the way he did, and I’ve slowly begun to admire him for them. One thing he showed me, and told me was that if someone doesn’t like me, or judges me based off of something someone else has told them—then F*ck them! You know who you are, and that’s all that matters, and that you only need the people in your life that need you in theirs.
I was with Perry throughout one of the most traumatic times in my life. I was morphing into a new being, and desperately needed to learn about myself. He allowed me to see things for what they were and understand the emotions that I didn’t think others noticed. He helped me navigate my insecurities, but also reminded me of my strengths. Reminded me that my vision, my brand, and my presence all had a need.
He taught me to take risks. One of the biggest ones I took was on him. I had trust issues, I was fragile, and needed someone to show me that I deserved to be loved. He did that.
Yet, when a traumatic life event happened for him I wasn’t there. Physically I was there, but emotionally no one was home. He depended on me in the same ways I depended on him, for love, support, encouragement, and for someone to pick up the pieces when they began to crumble.
At the time I honestly thought I was that person, I thought I was there; in his corner…but now I see it differently. If I were to write this post six months ago it would have been completely different. I would have seen it through my eyes, and my eyes only. They would have painted a picture of me being there for him, but not the amount that he required; yet as I sit here today I’m able to look back at the situation and say I fucked up, I dropped the ball, and for that I’m incredibly sorry.
I felt like the divorce and everything I was going through was so traumatic because I allowed myself to be vulnerable, because I let someone in that didn’t deserve to be, and as a result I was taken advantage of. Unfortunately the aftermath left me self absorbed, and selfish, but the problem is that I didn’t realize it until it was too late.
Michael (my ex-husband) was selfish, failed to acknowledge my feelings, and obviously put himself, (and other women) first. He had character flaws that I wanted to disassociate from, yet – to a degree I took some of them on, I took them with me, and into my new relationship. I was so focused on my healing and my recovery that I neglected to see that others (my ex-boyfriend) needed someone to allow them to heal, and mend open wounds as well.
Generally speaking, love is a noun, it’s a feeling, but realistically speaking love needs to be a verb, an action that holds a higher regard.
It’s easy to play the victim, to get caught up in our own personal drama, and allow it to so easily affect the relationship we have with others. Yet it’s that pivotal moment when you lose someone, where you begin to see who you really are. That doesn’t mean you can’t change, it simply means that you have a choice to grow into something better.
Personally I can’t always see things for what they truly are in the moment, often times I need to take a step back, or step out to realize things aren’t as they should be. If I could turn back the hands of time I would have done things differently, I would have taken more time to grown individually and not transfer such empty hearted feelings onto someone else.
I loved him (my ex-boyfriend), and still do, but my actions said something different.
Unfortunately things didn’t play out as I intended them to, they never really do- and that’s life. Yet, I’ve learned, I’ve grown, and I’ve loved, and that’s really all I can ask for.
Photo Credit: Perry O’Hearn//Costa Rica