Four Nine

The date echoed in my head. 9 April. It was like recalling a dream from months ago: I knew it had significance, but I did not know why.

And then I remembered. It was his birthday.

He was my first real boyfriend, my college sweetheart. We dated for a solid year and half before things began to warp like an old record. We started out starry-eyed and in love; he was the ying to my yang as we shared so many adventures together. After that first beautiful year and a half, we had several intermissions and reboots of our relationship, all of them foiled – mostly because there was always another girl or he was too selfish to care. The emotional abuse he inflected on me should not have been tolerated. We were not compatible, no matter how much my heart told me we were.

It’s been over a decade since we ended it all. A year after our last attempt at being a couple, we met in a dusty midwestern bar at my request – the kind only washed up locals go to – and aired all our grievances, caught up on each other’s lives, and reminisced about those good old days. Not only was it cathartic, but I also got to spend a few hours with the same guy I had fallen head over heels for so many years ago. I knew that persona was temporary, however. We ended on a good note as we hugged in the parking lot long after last call was announced. While it felt good in the moment and as now looking back, the days and weeks that followed that meeting left my scarred heart bleeding and infected. The ebb and flow of time have softened that scar. I told him never to contact me again before we parted. Here I am, nearly 15 years later and he still has kept that promise and I am grateful for that.

I found myself thinking about him randomly, on his 34th birthday. I know so little about his life now, but I choose to keep it that way. It meant taking people off of my social media feeds that were still strongly connected to him, despite the fact he lives over 1,000 miles away. This cold hearted sniveling super rat (as Holly Golightly would say) is a husband and father now. His wife is a nurse, blonde, and has one of those smiles that lights up a room. I don’t know what he does for work, but I’m going to assume it is in the same vein of his college major. Despite the healing and the time that has passed, I have no desire to reconnect with him or view his online profiles or to know details about his life.

With all these thoughts swirling in my head, I found myself praying for him. Last I knew, he was not a Christian. His priority had always been himself. Maybe it’s different now with a family; maybe it’s not. I lifted him up in prayer in honor of his birthday, that the Light of Christ may shine into his life. That he may turn to God in those moments of both triumph and disaster and for a truly spiritual Christian to reflect the love of the Father to him and his family.

Perhaps we’ll meet again in Heaven, both of us washed clean in robes of white. That would phenomenal .

So here’s to him on his birthday: may this 34th trip around the sun be beautiful and covered in the glory of the Lord.

90 minutes with her

I stared at her for nearly 90 minutes the other day.

I see her every so often at work, mostly at home.  The tops of her hips are soft with proof of her love for sweets.  She’s aged in the past few years; the lines under her eyes are deeper.  Her lips are more set, but it’s her eyes that bother me the most.  When I see pictures of her, she’s usually not smiling and has this weird aura of sadness around her.  But to be around her, you’d never know unless you’re usually preceptive or have a knack for reading the unspoken.

I am her.

Since I’ve started practicing Bikram yoga (that’s a series of 26 yoga postures in a 40C/104F room) I’ve gotten an eyeful of myself.  You see, one side of the yoga studio is a wall a mirrors – it’s so you can adjust yourself to be in the correct position.

Often times I have such a look of determination on my face – balancing on 1 leg is a tall order for someone like me who walks into the same garbage can everyday at work.  Sometimes I am successful, other times I am not.

The studio I go to is very friendly and they reiterate that while the yoga series does not change (it is the same thing every time), our bodies do.  Somedays we are yoga rockstars and other days we’re botching the pose that requires you to lie on your back and relax.  It is the ebb and flow, just like the ocean waves on the shore: they never touch in the same exact place.

I’m finding the same with myself.  There’s going to be several more 90 minutes sessions staring straight into her deep set hooded brown eyes.  I hope through 2016 there may be a hint of a smile on her face, her eyes lighter with laughter amid the glimmer of another adventure on the horizon.

Writing Challenge Day 11: Your Current Relationship

10 years ago this month I met a man momentarily during a job interview tour. I remembered him because he was hot and had beautiful blue eyes. Nearly 2 years after that fateful encounter, we were married.

Despite the fact that I suck at long term relationships and the age gap, marriage has been very good to us. There have been a few bumps in the road, and some major potholes that keep turning up, but I’m chalking that up to life isn’t fair and we’re both deeply flawed people.

It’s to the point now where I feel bad when I’m off adventuring and he is not there by my side. I want to share all my adventures with him.

The ebb and flow of our relationship continues – 2015 has been particularly challenging for us – the treacherous waters were difficult to navigate. I’m looking forward to the new year of gently rolling waves and a more fruitfulness.