I DO, Run

27 Aug

I just got done from a 9 mile run. My slowest long run ever (at least in the last year). Chalk it up to the gluttony the night before, my birthday dinner prepared by my remarkable father. The menu: shrimp, halibut, salmon, tuna, crab legs and a special order tiramisu cake paired with chardonnay, a little more chardonnay, and why not another glass of chardonnay. The celebration was amazing. My run the next morning however, was not as much so. The perk was that I was on the greenbelt. I love running my long runs on the greenbelt path. I see fellow runners, bicyclists, people gliding on their rollerblades, walkers, I watch the golfers, and fall in love with each dog that I come across. Yesterday morning I was distracted by all these things and focused on sweating off the chardonnay not to mention the food. This was my first run in a long time when I wasn’t focused on “it”. “It” being the unforeseen and sudden breakup of Paul and I. I have been running to cope with “it” and the “I broke off my engagement what the hell is wrong with me” mind pollution.

So there I am, hot, dripping in sweat, feeling clean and completely empty of the gluttony from the night before and I am just staring at myself in the mirror. I’m completely raw. No makeup. Just sweat glistening on my face and my cheeks flush from the run. I’m staring at me. And I see a young woman who is new to 28. Completely vulnerable. And temporarily living with her parents. This can’t be. And I’m just staring at myself trying to make sense of the succession of events that has led me to this very moment. I keep repeating, “I broke off my engagement, wtf! I love Paul… What am I doing?”. And tears stroll down my face. I can’t delineate between the sweat and the tears. I was literally one hot mess.

Before you know it, my supportive mother finds me gazing in the mirror completely aloof and removed from what’s going on in the house and she pulls me back. She tells me to read an article from Self Magazine. I look at her puzzled. I said, “Mom, if you want me to read about health and eating more because of my running or to stop running so much because it’s bad for my joints, I’m not going to listen…”. My mother’s proper response, “Val, shut up! We aren’t leaving this house (to go shopping!) until you read the article”. I wanted to go shopping. Shopping for anything; I didn’t care. I read the article.

Holy mackeral. The title, “I Broke Off My Engagement: The save-the-dates were sent. The dress, bought. But then one woman realized her engagement was a huge mistake”, in SELF magazine. Hmm. I’m going to read this. Now granted, please know Paul is my best friend, a great love of my life. So this blog is not to bash him. This blog is just an outlet for me to vent. Before I continue I should share with you that our separation is due to a multitude of things and neither Paul nor I have any hatred toward one another. There is 100% love there. But sometimes to better yourself and grow, well you need to do so separately, as an individual to learn and make the necessary changes for yourself and not for others. That is why we are here, separately. So again, Paul, if you’re reading this, or our close family and friends, please know this decision was made so that we could better ourselves. The oddity of that statement…

So back to the article. The resemblance between the title and my current “title” if you will, struck me. Hard. We sent out the save the dates. We sent out the invitations. I’ve had my dress since last October. We have been collecting music requests to ensure our guests musical flare would be represented and to make it more personal…I had an incredibly gorgeous bridal shower hosted by my favorite girls, Lindsey and Michele. And then BOOM…in a blink of an eye the wedding was “postponed” which imminently means cancelled. Holy MACKERAL, again. I am reading this article and I’m like, I know this story, but I don’t know my ending…

An excerpt from the article: From the beginning, our relationship was extremely passionate, in the best and worst ways. On the one hand, we were newly in love, with all of the affection and even infatuation that comes with it. On the other, when we disagreed, that passion flared into epic fights…and most days we were happy, so [we] soldiered on. Over [three] plus years, we weathered a lot of storms together…all sorts of things that make you feel so invested that it seems impossible to walk away. Our lives were totally entwined, and there were some good times: family summer vacations, giant holiday feasts…

And as I read those lines, I froze. My jaw dropped. Paul and I have had so much passion, good and bad. We are human, you know! And our laughter, wow!!! We laughed!!! Laughing so much and so hard where you’re making the motions but no sound comes out until you want to cry or pee your pants. Yes pee your pants!!! We have/had that. We have/had incredible, off the wall stories that we try to share but the laughter interrupts it all and people look at us confused. We have had the most magical of memories and we had been each others rock for a solid 3 1/2 years. And for that, I am blessed.

But as the wedding was nearing, there were a few other lingering things… and at the expense of being vague, that is for him and I to know out of respect.
But when you’re staring down the road of forever, you may over analyze things (like me) or you may brush it all under the rug. I don’t posses a rug.

As a product of divorce, I don’t want a divorce. And suddenly the idea of marriage, which I quickly and excitedly agreed to a year and one day ago, seemed so final. I was raised by my mom and step dad who I call dad, but I also have another incredible dad and I recognize I turned out alright. I acknowledge that divorce isn’t always bad. (I am doing the sign of the cross and asking for forgiveness for that statement…Catholic guilt) Sometimes it is the best thing. But regardless, the D word still frightens me. I don’t want to be another statistic.

So I kept calm. I worked through my “shit” and took it out on the pavement. I ran my heart out and felt relieved after. Cleansed of worry.

Some nights I would just look at Paul and fall in love with him all over again. I love that!!! And that gave me peace and comfort. It reminded me this “marriage” thing was right.

But then it went wrong. And I won’t put any blame on either party. I do confess to being slightly selfish. A job opportunity presented itself a few months before the wedding and it would displace me. I realized at that very moment: single, engaged, or married, I would go after this job. I have to. (Another story). So I did.

Knowing I may not get this job I realized where my heart is and that is DC. I have DC fever and my temperature is running hotttt. I won’t stop applying for jobs in DC until I am there. Although this particular job is my dream job, I am cognizant it may not pan out, but praying it will. (Gosh it sucks being a realist.)

This is where one of our biggest disagreements unfolded. And by all means, Paul supports me in his own capacity. But I don’t want him to compromise his happiness and vice versa. We don’t want to have resentment for one another. We tried to talk about the opportunity; the pros and the cons… And we realized that if I get the job, I may not know until too close to the wedding. We suddenly had too much on our plate. We figured a postponement was in order as we impatiently practiced patience as we waited for the job details.

As we patiently waited other things transpired. And I tell you this, you know what love is? Love is letting those you love, go. This isn’t the first time. At 28, a year wiser recently, (that has been very difficult) I am learning that we let love go to discover the depth(s) of our love. Letting love go is selfless. We let love go so they: can chase their dreams, better themselves, discover who they are, learn who they have become. Letting “our” love go will help him and help me identify who we are at our cores. It may bring us back together or forever separate us.

After three plus years, I’m grateful for his love as I have learned to love back in a mature fashion; unlike my 16 year old to early 20s kind of love, which shouldn’t be discounted by any means…but who I was then compared to who I am today, are 2 exceptionally different versions of me. This love has taught me to be a woman: a “wife”, a homemaker, a nurturer, a sister, a mommy to my lovely puppies who I painfully miss and so much more …I learned to pick arguments worth arguing over, curb my tongue, agree to disagree, compromise, be forgiving. I learned to love whole heartedly. Something I was too distracted to do in my early years. What I am trying to say is I am thankful for his love.

I have learned love is a verb. Love gets mundane. Boring. Tried and true. Yes. But there are other moments!!! And those moments are spectacular.

As far as our relationship goes, I am hurt. I am sad. I have bouts of depression. Who wouldn’t be? But I am learning through this pain and I am discovering my strength. I can run and run to make it make sense. But it doesn’t. This predicament has helped fuel my runs to train for a marathon. I find solace and comfort in my runs as I try to cope but the pain in the heart hurts more than the pain in the calves, but I keep moving forward. That’s all I know.

This has been my boldest decision. And I thank our supporting families and friends as Paul and I lovingly decided that our wedding is a no-go.

Time will tell. And our destinies will unravel. But wow… to experience love…and to know that not one love is ever the same is so comforting!!! I know Paul and I were meant to fall in love with each other. I just don’t know “our” next chapter.

There are all kinds of love in this world, but never the same love twice. And for that, I am blessed. I have grown.

XO

As I wait for the fog to clear my head, you can find me running. But not after a night of Chardonnay and a feast that puts you in a comatose. I want to say thank you and tell you all I love you. Thank you for your support during this time.

Valgal

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2 Responses to “I DO, Run”

  1. lindabruhmulller August 29, 2013 at 8:52 am #

    You know Val,there is this wonderful saying…. God puts people in your life, some stay forever, some come for a limited time. Each there for a reason. Paul showed you that love can be precious. Ken did for me. He loved me to death. So different from my relationship with Deanna’s dad. God took Ken so early, I am sad, but Val, I am not afraid to love again. Ken taught me that to love is wonderful and I am willing to love again someday. That is quite a tribute to our love. You are aware how differently you loved with Paul, and your next time will be unique, too. Have faith, young lady. I am here… Love, Linda

  2. MyFamilyIsMyHeart August 30, 2013 at 12:51 am #

    Hey Val…I’m sorry to hear that you and Paul are not together anymore. I wish you the best of luck on your job search and on love.

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