Flowers at Wegerzyn Gardens in Dayton Ohio

a tribute (what i’ve learned)

I’ve learned…

…that things really do happen at certain times for a reason.
…that you sometimes have to look really hard to find that reason.
…to seize the chance to do something I wouldn’t ordinarily do, when the opportunity presents itself.
…that it’s just as important to find the right time as it is the right person.
…that you just can’t force it.

My friend Tina tells me that “the right man” will move heaven and earth to be with me. I’ve thought there were (a couple of) right guys in the past, but for whatever reason the timing wasn’t right. And looking back there have been “right” times but the people were all wrong. I’ve often wondered what would have happened had I met certain people at different times- would it have worked? Would they be good for me now, at this point where I am with myself, my life? I’ve also learned that the people I’ve met, who have shared a piece of my life for a short while, have taught me a great deal about who I am and what I’m looking for, and for that I’m so grateful.

I’d like to pay tribute to those people, who for better or worse taught me something about myself and about this journey we’re all on together. My friends all say that to get to the next chapter, and to really be happy, first I have to “do the work”…so…this is me, doing the work. I’m finally sitting down and pouring out what it is I’ve learned, what it is that has been rolling around in my head for a while now, attempting to form coherent thoughts- and I’m not sure what will come out of it yet, but it seems like a good idea, so bear with me.

I want to thank those who have helped me get here, who have waded with me through the pain and sadness, through the growth and triumph, through the belly laughs and tears, through the rare moments that spoke directly to my soul- you have all shown me glimpses of what love looks like.

(Sit tight, it’s time to open a bottle of red…)

MB- you are the first person who came to mind. You taught me so many things about myself. You reminded me how important music is to me, and how much better the days feel if you can just laugh with someone. Your eyes are the window to your soul, and they reflect so much light and beauty. I learned from you that what I find most attractive and beautiful in another person are the gifts that stem from within. You have talent and poetry in your soul. You are a romantic, and you have that magic dust not everyone has. You are a true diamond in the rough. You are the first person I remember ever feeling a kindred connection to- like you just understood the fabric of my being without my having to explain any of it. You got me. You also taught me that to be with someone who lacks conviction and the ability to carry out what their dreams decree is heartbreaking. It was an impossible situation, and it broke my heart to see how unhappy you were yet you lacked the ability to do anything about it. I hope it was a decision of courage to see it through, and not one of fear. I will forever remember the incredible dream that brought me to you, and the short time we spent learning about ourselves, together. Thank you for giving me that gift, and for giving me the courage to reach for more happiness than I thought I deserved. You gave me the gift of freedom and the courage to change my life.

CB- You will forever be part of my life, my fabric, my heart. I will always love the person you are, and the role you’ve played in my life and my family’s lives. Without you my life wouldn’t look anything like it does today. You have given me gifts that no one could ever hope to replace. You showed me what true dedication looks like, and how someone can love endlessly without expecting anything in return. You are capable of great love. You helped me learn that even though someone is good-hearted and kind and generous, it doesn’t mean you make a good match. One of the hardest decisions to make is to walk away from something stable. I learned that I need more to be happy in a relationship than someone to come home to, and someone to pass the time with. I need to connect. I need to feel passionate about life, and about things that matter to me. I need to admire and respect the drive in someone else, and the love they have for the bigger picture, the poetry that’s abundant in life. I need to be with someone who reaches out and grabs the beauty in life every day and feels down to their core how lucky we are to be part of all of this. I need to feel that kindred connection. I will always be grateful for the time we spent “living the dream” because it showed me that it’s NOT my dream. I learned that I don’t really want the white picket fence and dinner on the table every night when I get home. And while I can appreciate those things, I need to FEEL more than that, with someone who does too.

ER- Oh, E, where do I start with you. You showed me what a true gentleman looks like. I have never been courted and dated so valiantly before, and you helped me realize that above all, I deserve to be treated like a lady. You showed me the importance of affection and adoration, and how it feels to have someone believe that I am good to the core. You were incredibly giving and generous, chivalrous and traditional, and you helped me realize that those are things that are important to me. I loved feeling respected in that way, and I can’t thank you enough for encouraging me to expect to be treated that way- you helped me set the bar higher. You also helped me see that it’s critical to find someone who can be emotionally invested- because that’s who I am. I can’t NOT invest when I care about someone and spend a lot of time with that person. It’s in my genetic makeup to feel things deeply, and caring about people is no exception. I should have paid closer attention to the warning signs that you weren’t available emotionally, and shouldn’t have allowed myself to become more attached. While you helped me set the bar higher, you also helped me see that circling the drain is no place to be in a relationship. And I thank you for doing it, because I lacked the courage to pull the plug. I am an eternal optimist, and I always hope for the best with people- if I care about you, I’m going to hang on until the very last hope is dead. It was exhausting, and by the time I realized it was really over, I had become a shell of myself because I had been hanging on so desperately to the hope that things weren’t as bad as they seemed, pouring all of my energy into it. You helped me see that I need to see things as they are, deal with it, and move on. And you also helped me realize that even if something seems like the “end all be all”, chances are it isn’t, and I WILL move past it and feel whole again.

{Man, this wine is terrific! It’s a Malbec-Merlot blend from Argentina. Num num.}

AS- (I just let out a big sigh after I typed that one, geez, do you think I have some stuff to say here about this one?) Ok, darlin, here we go. You probably have no idea how much you’ve shown me in such a short period of time, or maybe you do. But it needs said because it means so, so much to me. Where to start. Renewed hope. I think that’s as good a place as any. When I first met you I thought you were a cool person, someone I’d become good friends with, bond with over some similar interests perhaps. After spending an incredibly little amount of time with you I realized that there is such a thing as love at (almost) first sight. I felt almost instantly connected to you in some way I couldn’t explain. And while that’s incredibly intimidating, it’s also so unbelievably hopeful to me. While on one hand I honestly could see you being in my life forever (which in itself is crazy to me because I have NEVER felt that before), I also see that if you don’t end up being in my life, you’ve shown me that it’s possible. It’s POSSIBLE. It’s possible to feel this for someone, to feel my soul, my mind, my body, connect to someone on every level, like second nature. It’s huge. You have shown me what it means to believe in things, and what it means to know who you are. Despite what you think, you are settled in your life- even though it’s in flux on the outside, you present a certain air of knowing exactly where, and more importantly WHO, you are. And nothing is more attractive to me. I love who you are; I love how we are when we are in the same room together; I love the hope you’ve given me about love and life. You are so amazing, and I am so lucky to know you. There aren’t words to describe the rest, but I don’t think I need to because I’m certain you already know exactly what I mean.

I’ve learned so much, and I’m so blessed and grateful to be able to look at where I’ve been, and appreciate the people who have touched my life and changed it forever in one way or another.

I’ve also learned that you can’t do anything about where your heart is. Not a damn thing. And that once it’s with someone, it’s going to be with them until it’s not anymore. That’s as simple as it is. And it doesn’t matter who else comes along, or who else makes you feel like you walk on water- even if you want to get excited about it, until your heart is free, you’re going to do whatever it is your heart tells you. You’re going to love that person hopelessly until it’s time to move on.

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