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Thursday, 8 March 2012

What a difference a few months can make!

So today I received a beautiful note from a friend I made in South America while I was dating “The Bachelor” long distance.  Getting her cute little note this morning sure got me thinking how different life can be in such a short time…. 

The last time we saw one another was in the airport in Rio de Janeiro.  She was with her family, getting ready to hop a plane to Florida for a vacation in Disney World. 

I was travelling home after having been unceremoniously dumped the night before by a man I trusted.  I managed to keep it together until his name came up… then I dissolved.  Not the Demi Moore, single tear, beautiful cry, but that ugly cry where you end up as nothing but a big ball of tears and snot ….The hugs she and her husband gave me in that airport, were a welcome kindness, even though I'm sure they had to change their jackets afterward.
14 months ago, I seriously thought I would never survive the pain from the loss of my dad, let alone losing the support of the man I thought had my back, just two weeks later, but the best thing he ever did for me was to leave me.
The slow realization he had been cheating on me when he announced his engagement to a woman from the country he'd been working in just a few months after dumping me, put icing on the cake.  Thing is, I don’t regret the time I spent in that relationship. I grew a lot during those years.
On the positive side, the Bachelor is very patient and has a gift for making people see their potential.  It’s a talent that makes him a great boss.  He helped me see what I was capable of achieving both professionally and personally.  He helped me see myself in a different light, and I am a far more confident woman because of the time I spent with him and alone during the 3 years we spent in a long distance romance. 
His gift to me is that I am now the happiest I’ve ever been in a relationship. Bar none.
While we have no doubt crossed paths a million times I know I never actually MET CG until that first internet date.  Even though we hung out at the same bars, and later lived in the same area of our city, I know, because if we had, there’s no doubt I would have fallen for him. 

I’m a sucker for that amazing combination of thick dark hair and blue/grey eyes, great smile and dimples.  His sense of humor would’ve sealed the deal.  We couldn’t have lasted though.  The younger version of me would have driven him nuts with my insecurities, and I would’ve eventually mistaken his self confidence for arrogance. 
I told him once I wouldn’t have appreciated the man he is if I’d met him when I was younger.  His response was “I wasn’t ME back then.”   I thought that was an astute point.  He has obviously changed and grown over the years as well.  He's gone through the breakup of a marriage, and raising children alone which has no doubt helped him grow as a person.

  Our 23 year old selves may not have fit together, but our 49 year old selves sure seem to fit like two puzzle pieces.  We GET each other.  We have spoken almost every day in the past 11 months, and have never run out of things to say.  He is the first person I want to share good news with, the one I need a hug from when things are tough, the best person to seek advice from, and is the only person I want to see naked.
I've heard him tell his daughter and son many times, "Don't marry a person you can see yourself growing old with, marry a person you can't picture living without."  I would change that a little because to me, it has a little desperation to it.  I would say "marry a person you don't WANT to live your life without." That implies a confidence and a choice to be together.  I would prefer to be with someone who WANTS to be with me to someone who can't be without me. 
I count myself lucky to walk beside a man who is generous, self confident and strong.  He has a good moral compass, and I would bet my left arm he woudn't cheat.  He is professionally successful, and personally comfortable in his own skin.  He strives to be a “good man”. 
Does that mean he’s perfect?  NO.  I don’t want perfect.  Perfect is boring.  I’ve said before, he’s just enough “bad boy” to keep me entertained, and our kids perpetually disgusted by the fact their parents are still… um… “active”…. And nothing could be more fun than making them squirm a little.
I don't WANT to live my life without him, and don't WANT to picture my life without him in it, but if he chose to leave me, or if I decided I needed a committment he wasn't able to give, I COULD, albeit unhappily. 
Am I perfect?  No… I just try to be grateful for all the lessons I’ve learned over the course of my life… and I try to be as charitable as possible…

I truly hope the now-reformed Bachelor gets everything he’s wished for in his new marriage… yup, all that, and THEN some… See, NOT perfect …
LATER…

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