Fleeting.

Sigh.

Sometimes I just have to stop and remind myself that it’s all temporary.

Perhaps that shouldn’t bring my restless and tethered existence so much peace, but it does. And that realization breaks my heart, because sometimes that’s all that keeps me going.

The love and the pain, the tests and the trials, the people and the relationships that I cross paths with – life and everything it stands for.

It’s just temporary.

So when life is constantly stirring up storms within me, I keep fighting with the mere faith that this too shall pass.

As does everything else.

Motherhood.

“You’ll understand when you have your own kids!”

Remember all the times your mom said that? I do, and I remember thinking, “No, I’m not going to be a crazy, smothering, overprotective mother.” Well…I couldn’t have been more wrong. I’m a crazy, smothering, overprotective mother.

One of my greatest fears when I was pregnant was dying. Not for myself, but for the life I was about to bring into the world. I was afraid of not being able to see him, listen to him laugh, watch him grow, take his first steps and be there for him. That broke my heart, and it was precisely in those moments I realized I have never wanted to be more alive than I did then. 

I was afraid of leaving my baby without a mom. I mean, who could better care for him than I can? Who would raise him, and tend to his needs, and spoil him? I wondered if the  man I loved enough to have had this baby with would raise him the way I would have wanted. Would he stop and think about what I would have done, or wanted when making important life decisions concerning our child? I wondered if he would consider my desires, or would he leverage the needs of the living over the dead. My mind wandered…and briefly, I let it.

Having a baby is like having a piece of your heart walk out of your body. It’s when your heart starts to beat outside of you. It’s an unspeakable vulnerability.

It is also strength, persistence and unimaginable, unconditional love.

I didn’t think it was possible to love another soul so deeply, until I became a mother.

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Why do we settle and not fix?

Why do we settle for things, people and situations instead of fix them? This is a question I’ve asked myself for a long, long time. We’re so quick to want to leave and abandon a relationship than to stay and fix what’s wrong. In the off chance that we stay, it’s because we settled and not worked through our problems. This by the way, is dangerous territory. Tread at your own risk.

Sometimes we settle because it’s been too long. Sometimes we settle for the kids. Sometimes we settle because we’re afraid of the backlash. Sometimes we settle because of the stigma attached to a failed relationship. Sometimes we settle because that’s all we know after awhile…

So we settle, we settle, we settle.

They say you shouldn’t settle for a mistake because you spent a long time making it. Here’s the thing though, all those philosophical quotes and sayings only sound good in a book or when you’re scrolling through your Instagram feed. Long story short, it’s easier said than done.

In all these years and my struggle with the understanding of why people, myself included, settle for unhappy situations and less than what they deserve instead of work towards fixing them is because it’s easier than acknowledging just how far gone and broken everything really is.

I’ve learnt with my own relationship that you can’t fix what doesn’t appear to be broken to both of you. You wait for the boy that wooed you and swept you off your feet, and he doesn’t come. You wait for the man that went the extra mile just to catch a glimpse of you before and after work, because it was worth it. You wait for the man that liked to spend time with you; like actual quality time with you. You wait for the man that made your heart skip a beat, and instantly made you smile. You wait for the man that promised better, that promised more, that promised forever. And he doesn’t come; but he’s here, so you tell yourself it’s because life happened. You settle, you settle, you settle.

Life happened. What does that even mean though? He got so busy doing life he forgets to stop and tell you he loves you. That he’s so used to you inherently being there he takes your presence for granted. That you come after life has happened – last. That he’s stressed, worried and just overworked. Maybe it’s habituation. Maybe he just doesn’t have a romantic bone in his body…that’s okay right, some people just don’t but they mean well. Right? Or are you just making excuses now. I think so, this sounds a whole lot like settling again. Because, you’re not supposed to love someone when it’s convenient for you, or when everything else in your life is on track and you have the time for love. Or when you need them, but not when they need you.

You don’t love conveniently, you just love. You just do, you love like it’s all you know. Like it comes naturally to you like breathing does. Is that so hard? Apparently.

We settle. We settle. We settle.

You see that couple, you so desperately want to be and your heart aches. But you can’t beg to be loved a certain way. You can’t force someone to love you the way you’d like. So you brush it off, pick up the pieces of the dignity you have left, stand tall and you settle for what you have. You pretend it’s okay, and you make do with the love there is.

I often ask myself though; what if there comes a day and when you’re tired of settling. I mean…there ought to be a, “that’s it, I’m putting my foot down,” moment in everyones life. So you fear that moment…when the love you receive will not be enough, when the reasons you settled for will not be enough, when nothing will be important enough to make you stay. When you won’t care how long its been, when you won’t care what the kids will think, when it won’t matter what people will say, when the stigma of a failed relationship won’t bother you.

Will you be the couple people gossip about splitting up after a decade long relationship. Will you be so barren of giving, and longing, and not receiving that you won’t even care anymore. I don’t know. For now….you settle, because…

…there’s still love left.

So with heavy hearts, and broken hearts you kiss each other goodnight, mumble words of love and do it all over again tomorrow.

 

Silence breaks the heart.

Maybe they’re both just broken, and they’ve lost their way…maybe they need fixing, but they can’t fix each other and they know it too. So they tear each other down – unintentionally of course – slowly, piece by piece. 

He used to be a fun, laid back and full of ambition kind of guy. A hopeless romantic, a little adventurous and passionate even. He enjoyed listening to music and even more so singing along. He used to be alive. 

She was an outgoing, confident and independent girl. She had purpose, and direction…always indecisive, she might not have known where she was going, but she knew she was headed somewhere and she believed in the beauty of the journey. She believed. 
 
He stopped living and she stopped believing. And they didn’t even know it. 
 
He loves her, he says she’s the centre of his gravity. 
She loves him too, she says he’s her best friend.
He made her feel special, he made sure she knew he cared. He would go out of his way to go see her even when he couldn’t, he made time, he made it worth it. He put himself out there. He made her feel something. She used to make his heart skip a beat, as he did hers. His face would light up when he saw her and she could see how happy she makes him.
She used to tell him everything about her and her life, and he listened. He believed in her more than she did in herself sometimes, he believed in her goals and he made her feel like what was important to her was important to him. She trusted him with her life. When she looked to him for advice she knew that he always had her best interest in mind, that he would never compromise that, that his words were free from malice and deceit or a conflict of interest.
They used to talk. 
And then life happened, then came the silence. Silence breaks a person in ways many don’t understand, you really have to experience it to know the pain it causes – but its better you not understand this one, trust me. Silence adds gaps and causes voids that sometimes cause more damage than harsh words, and foul language, or yelling and screaming. In fact, sometimes – most of the time – she’d prefer the latter.
They lost their way.
They lost their spark, and the fire burnt out. 
She wanted to be his number one, she wanted him to fight for her, for nothing else to matter more than her. She wanted for him to choose her. 
 
She’s not. And he didn’t…but he still loves her. 

Will it be enough?


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Happy Birthday to Me!

I turned 24 years old two days ago but I didn’t feel like celebrating this year. Which is a pretty big deal actually, I’m usually very excited about my birthday. I start thinking about what I’m going to do weeks before. Last year I planned a dinner with some of my closest friends, some great people I had the chance to work with for a while and a few casual acquaintances. We went to my favorite restaurant, indulged in some delicious food and side conversations, and caught up with old friends and then part ways at the end of the night.

As I mused over what I should do for my birthday this year, who I should invite and where we shall dine I came to a sudden realization. I realized nothing really changes year after year…except for the faces across the table. After that I asked myself what the point was and promptly decided I didn’t want to do anything this year.

I think back to the guest list from last year…my 23rd birthday dinner was the last time I saw some of those people, there are others that have moved on and that I have lost touch with, and there are close friends that have moved away and it just wouldn’t feel right without them.

On the bright side, I haven’t only lost people in my life as I transition into my 24th year. I have managed to meet some great people in the last year, create some unbreakable bonds that I know will be with me for the rest of my life and also reconnect with old friends.

Between deciding to and not to celebrate my birthday I realized when it was over that I actually did. I surround myself with positive energy and people that chose to be apart of my life everyday, and make it special. I didn’t have to go out for a fancy dinner at my favourite restaurant, get dressed up and hassle people to RSVP by a certain date so I could make dinner reservations. I have an amazing husband that called and wished me at 12 sharp, twice – how awesome is that? He celebrated my birthday from across the world, bought and cut cake for me and was the first to wish me without fail. A family that called and sung happy birthday to me! My brother who managed to find me the most amazing cake – Cookies and Cream (yes this is why he’s amazing)! My friends who went out of their way to plan my birthday regardless of anything that I said or how many times I said I didn’t want to. And last but not least my second family that celebrated my birthday like it was theirs. The day was full of pleasant surprises.

I received a lot pleasant birthday wishes, and phone calls that put a smile on my face. While there were a few calls that I waited for, that did not come…I realized at the end of the day that I had a fabulous day. From the 12 am phone call from my husband to the birthday messages to the cake and the surprise at the dinner table down the very last minute I celebrated my birthday without even realizing it.

With that my friends, I realized that I celebrate every day of every month of every year…because these are the people and the positive energy that I surround myself with! There are good days and bad days, but it’s not entirely such a bad thing that the faces across the table have changed…its life.

The only thing I ask is to be able to spend it with family and friends next year…and for the faces across the table to become constant as the years go on!

Cheers to better times!

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”
― Douglas AdamsThe Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

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