No you’re Not the Good Kind
June 6th, 2009 driving home from work stuck on Rt. 35 in miserable traffic, The Good Kind by the Wreckers was playing and I was a wreck myself. I still, to this day tell friends who know what happened, that my ride home that day was some sort of an omen. I probably knew for a very a long time but just didn’t want to come to terms with what was really happening.
Ohio Was For Lovers
I’m sure I hinted at this in my grand entrance article back in January and despite what I’d love to tell people, it was not my career that brought me here to the great state of Ohio. There was a time when I was less jaded and a hopeless romantic that believed in fairy tale endings. Part of me now, still does but I would be lying if I said my outlook on love, relationships and the true meaning of happiness hasn’t changed a slight bit.
Not sure entirely how it happened, but a few years back I found myself wrapped up in a long distance relationship, literally from New Jersey to Ohio with love. It was one of those random things that you never expect in life but are so great while you’re in them. I remember everyone around me telling me it was like a movie, and while most of the time it was, towards the end it was more of a Lifetime movie rather than a Nicholas Sparks film. I reference Big Nick a lot in my writing and it’s purely because as unrealistic as his stories are, many of us still cling to his version of happily ever after, as if it were the only definition of true happiness. Though the ending is still undetermined, my movie has been very different.
After about a year of traveling back and forth, the happiness I felt when being in Ohio was unmatched by anything else I’d felt in any other place and so I decided, “we decided” that we’d take a leap of faith. In a very short time, I packed up my life and left the Garden State behind. I remember thinking, I’d never felt such a sense of hope and belief that true happiness was right across state lines. Was it about the relationship or was it more? In retrospect, I believe that the relationship was merely a gateway to so much more that was in store for me, yet I, like many, had to stumble through tragedy to find my way.
Reality Kicked In
Every relationship has its honeymoon phase and over time things change, not always for the bad, but things become how shall I say, less intense. I wouldn’t say that the love faded but feelings certainly changed. Moving away from everything one knows does something to a person. It leaves you feeling like you could do anything in the world if you really put your heart and soul into it. For a long time, I felt like I was playing a role rather than living to my full potential. I was working from home and seriously lacking in social fulfillment. My life became all about the relationship and nothing about me, or my dreams, what I wanted out of life and in some respects I started to sabotage my own happiness . Whether by an act of God or some force of nature, in the Spring of 2009 I was laid off. It didn’t take long to secure a new job, but it meant having to leave the home and back to a 9 to 5 gig. I adjusted to the role change fine, however, the relationship did not.
I believe for the most part, despite my not being entirely happy that I did everything in my power to make it work but after a while you start to think, a relationship shouldn’t require that much work. Still, in my heart this person was the first and only person I could imagine spending my life with. So, I compromised a great deal of myself to make it work but I think after a while my subconscious gave in and I just stopped trying…I still struggle at times trying to understand where we went wrong but some things are just not meant to be and when you accept that, it becomes easier to understand.
About a week prior to the end, we had a conversation about the future and what we both wanted. That talk to me, was a new hope and even though there were things we still needed to work out, with nothing but sincerity or so I thought, he assured me that he wanted us to be together forever. Then the lights went out.
For no reason that day in my car driving home, I cried hysterically thinking that any day it was going to end. All I could think of us was that I had picked up my life and left everything for nothing, that if it were to end it would kill me inside. I happened to check my phone sitting at a light, Facebook of course and noticed that on my wall was silly gift ring from him with a message saying, “You said I’d never give you a ring, love you can’t wait for you to get home” a message that is still lingering out there in cyberspace waiting to be caught by some “memory algorithm” I’m sure. Well, some things on Facebook are not so official and it was probably him just trying to make me feel better, as he often did. Strung out and tired as usual, my mood was far from pleasant when I got home despite the gesture. Instead of leaving my day behind me when I walked into my home I picked a fight about something so trivial, something that I should have just let go but I didn’t. That was about an hour before he told me he didn’t want to be with me anymore, that the relationship wasn’t working for him. I believe in my heart that it was that argument which was the last straw for him and it wasn’t that I didn’t love him, I just couldn’t find that balance to separate my work life and home life. Pressure to be perfect in all aspects of my life weighed heavily in my mind, despite his endless effort to assure me I was perfect in his eyes. I know that it probably killed him to do that to me and though it was painful, he did what he had to do for his own happiness and I don’t blame him.
In the months to follow, he later told me that he had developed strong feelings for someone else and several months later they were together, despite some things that kept them apart early on. Today he his engaged to that person and they are to be married this summer. He describes her as the “one” and in some twisted way, they inspire me and give me hope that maybe second chances do exist.
What Happened Next
I listened to a whole lot of Rascal Flatts and drank a ton of wine. No sense in sugar coating it because I was an absolute mess. There were other things that just pushed the knife deeper and deeper and all I could think was when is it going to end. Though my struggles continued, I shortly began to see one blessing after another bestowed upon me. He wasn’t a bad guy, we just weren’t meant to be and I started to realize that had I cared that much about the relationship, I probably would have tried harder myself. After a while, I started to see the reasoning behind all that had happened, you know that silver lining people are always ranting about. From where I stand now, all of my sadness might have been worth it. It’s shaped me in some respects and ignited what some probably think of as an obnoxious spirit within me I never knew existed, a spirit that now will not let me settle for anything less than extraordinary for my life. All of it lead me here and not just to Dayton, but to my life, a life lived as it was intended to be lived. It may shock many to hear, but him and I still remain good friends even now after all that has happened, and that says a lot. He’s genuinely happy in his life and so I am. Many in my life are baffled by that, but such is life.
Because frankly, shit happens and there’s no better way to put it. We all go through things in life that bring us down but we all have the power to pull through and make the best of any situation, if we allow ourselves too. I could have easily packed my stuff up and went crying home to New Jersey but I didn’t, I stayed. Almost two years later, I am more successful then I’d ever imagined I’d be and it’s not about my career it’s about how I view myself and feel about where I am headed in life. Happiness can be defined in so many ways and yeah, I once clung to the idea of a fairy tale romance being it for me. It still may be, but for now I move forward each day making the most out of what I’m given. Moral of the story is, never give up because you just never know what can happen if you just believe it will be ok. I used to say that I’d never be that girl in her 30s still single, yet here I am…, successful, extremely happy and yeah I’m single but I still feel like the luckiest girl in the world. As young professionals we may struggle finding the balance, but that doesn’t mean you should settle because you think your time to find love will run out. Never stop trying to fulfill your dreams and be part of things larger than yourself. Happiness is all around and if we just let go of all we’ve been told maybe there’s a few surprises waiting around the corner. Just don’t give up.
Love may have brought me here, but faith is what has kept me here.