Honestly, I didn’t think this series would go this long. At the same time, I didn’t realise this would be its’ conclusion.
There’s a magnetism, an attracting force, that constant movement and travel generates. Despite struggles, difficult conversations and strained finances, perpetual motion forces these potential obstacles into the background.
Attention is engaged on the present and strategy employed for an ever changing future. Because there is still motion, the present does not become stagnant, and the future is constantly evolving, shifting, unknown.
So what happens when 2 years of upheaval, change, transition and adventure, slows down to the pace of ordinary life? The present becomes routine. Aspirations for the future come into focus. When you’re not side tracked with VISA requirements and your attention is no longer being pulled in multiple directions at once, a sharpening of focus occurs, and an awareness occurs for things that were previously kept in the shadows.
Passion is taken for granted. Intimacy is replaced by “I’m pretty tired.” There’s comfort, way too much comfort.
This is where the insanity comes into the picture. Comfort becomes taking it for granted. This has happened to me before, but in keeping with the definition, history was doomed to repeat. The situation is different, the instigator also, and the result,
I’d previously been in a relationship that spanned 5 years, with its’ official start date postponed due to a year of travel around the world.
Travel tip #4: don’t let someone fall in love with you (and likewise) before you set off around the world for a year
Why the travel tip? You never return home the same person as when you left. What’s that, you did? Liar.
This is where the lesson began, and this guy wasn’t listening. So the muted lesson started with feelings that had slowly evaporated, the fires of passion left to smoulder and eventually die. There was ample distraction with moving to the other side Australia, followed be moving back again, while flying to work for 3 weeks every month. I can tell you right now, if you don’t work at maintaining communication, and believe me, it’s work, you’re in for a world of hurt.
A direct result of this lack of communication lead to a loss of passion, evaporation of feelings, and utter indifference. When you let communication fall by the wayside, a discussion about having kids 4 years into the relationship, with each party on either side of the fence, don’t expect a favourable outcome.
Why this depressing journey down memory lane? I thought this was a love story?!
Just a little context is required, and your patience.
So, as I parted ways with my partner of the 5 years, with the indifference of a judge (I assume), I begin my exercise in insanity. After unconsciously refusing to communicate and discuss the large issues, simply because it was something I didn’t want to have to deal with, they came up whether I liked it or not. Since I had no real experience (or skill) in navigating such conversations, the outcome was as I had feared.
So we go our separate ways.
Then I begin a new relationship a little over a year later, with all the excitement of the previously mentioned travel. We settle in, and I’m lucky that due to the unique nature of our situation, we have covered all sorts of difficult topics from almost the start. I’m happy with my communicating prowess, and things seem to be going alright.
So now we’re back to present day, tightly wrapped in comfort. The storm of change and uncertainty is finally beginning to clear.
And with so many things in life, as soon as you think everything is going along to plan, something comes along and tears that map to pieces, kicks your dog and pisses in your pool. Goddammit.
After returning from my first camping trip in Canada, there comes a heart to heart conversation, a state of utter disbelief, and incredible sadness. And I mean sad. When you can see it coming, you mentally prepare for it. You’re half ready, and you have a plan of attack. This was not the case this time folks.
So for the first time since my first real relationship, I was on the receiving end of the bad news. It was over.
What the hell.
After all we’d been through, all the upheaval, all the tears, this is how it ends, right when things are settling down?? Yup. You got it.
In the past I would have remained a complete wreck, visualising all the different scenarios of the how’s and why’s (and sometimes who’s). That’s not to say I wasn’t it utter grief, I was just better equipped to cope.
After a 20 km walk to clear my head and just be outside, I found myself calming, slipping into acceptance. It’s not that I agreed with the situation, but I could see the situation for what it was, removing myself and my ego from the equation. This breakup wasn’t done out of malice or anger. It was someone following their internal needs and wants, which can be hard to deal with when it does not align with yours.
I’m happy I have found acceptance. Denial is restrictive, harmful, toxic. It could have easily taken myself and my ego over. But all I can do is thank the same person who was choosing to leave me, thank them for their love, support, communication and encouragement over the last 2 years which has truly transformed who I am today.
You are the sum of all the people you meet and love. Whether the interactions were positive or negative, they are the building blocks of who you are as a person today.
So now the question begs, what next?
I still have my health, I still live in one of the most beautiful places on the planet, my VISA has many more months left on it, and there’s still a whole lot of money left in the bank.
All is not lost, shit, it’s only just beginning …
I wrote this on my phone while I was down by the beach, making sure I didn’t miss a ray of sunshine during this beautiful Canadian summer. I was in such a state of appreciation for where I was, and who I had become, that the style and emotion of this instalment is a little different from the rest. I was tempted to edit it into the style of previous posts, but I believe this emotion to truly capture where I am at, what I have experienced.
Thank you for following this story. In this last piece it became an extremely personal thing to write. It’s funny how 2 weeks ago I had a completely different way I thought I was going to conclude the series. Funny how real life gets in the way.
Whether you were the instigator or the recipient, I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences below. I would appreciate the ones especially about how you navigated the tough questions, the difficult situations, and dealt with the acceptance of a separation.
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