“Most of us think of paradise as a place where nothing has ever gone wrong. I disagree. We often find our safest and most beautiful places where lava once flowed. These are places where we’ve been able to find the beauty because we’re not living in the past anymore. We’ve not only outgrown it, we’ve outlived it. It doesn’t always happen fast, but it happens… We can find our way around the lava where it flowed and build something beautiful on it when it cools. ”
— Maria Goff, Love Lives Here
(Parttyy Grasss Dance Fest!! The ole skiier hitting the dance slopes move, try it once you’re hooked)
This month is a time that I celebrate with my best friend by my side and a love in my heart that grows deeper each day for this woman. This journey started a few years ago, but in many ways I still feel as if this is the beginning. I still feel like the nervous dude with gorgeous luscious locks working up courage to ask out my beautiful friend. My friend that I could fully be myself around. My friend that filled me with so much excitement when she called me from 1,000 miles away that past year. My friend that understood what it was like to let my competitive nature turn me into a five year old throwing a temper tantrum. My friend that challenged me, understood me, and attracted me by simply being herself. Which is so wild because looking back now, we were so different. I guess that’s part of the beauty of falling in love. We fall for the person that stands in front of us, but grow into the people that we ought to be for each other. As I walked up to her that summer night to ask her if I could take her on a date, if I could be given a chance, I had NO IDEA what would happen. I had no idea what she would say. I had no idea about the pain and surprises and joy that would follow. I had no idea about the unorthodox path of loss and detachment that we would walk together and apart. I truly had no idea. And I still don’t. I don’t know what is in store for us, but as we step into the unpredictabilities together, I have a teammate. Both of us learning in our stubborn and controlling ways to trust the process and face life wide open. I think reality has done some work loosening up our clinched fists of control and fear. Perhaps we have a pinky starting to become free and moving towards open hands. Lolz. But we are doing this journey together. It is incredibly liberating to build this relationship with her hand in hand. After all the back and forth, uncertainty and immaturity, and holding back… we are now in a place of commitment to one another that is eager to build something beautiful. Together.
(Fran’s response to my chinstrap… #dueces #getyolife #Christmas2k17)
Glimpse of the Journey
So I walked up to her that summer night and asked if I could talk to her. We went to the side of the building away from our friends and I looked her in the eyes and said, “Hey, I’ve been thinking and I was wondering if I could take you on a date?” I’d like to say that she was overcome with stored up excitement and screamed, “YASSSS!!”. But what fun would that be? What would another predictable rom com love story contribute to the universe?! Her eyes got wider, shocked by the reality that those words just came out of my mouth. And maybe more shocked by the words that came out of her mouth, “Sure.” Sounded like a green light to me. I walked away with an energy and vitality in my step, unable to anticipate the ways that the relationship would bulldoze my idealistic wishes. Yet, reality never betrayed me. My energies and vitalities only became refined, not lost.
Our dates that summer gave us a taste of the goodness of spending time together. The natural attraction to each other excited us, but the hesitancies came in waves. Hesitancies of not being ready for the seriousness of this relationship. The next year and a half would be filled with this back and forth cycle. Not healthy in many ways, but part of our story. These times were the erupting volcanoes of hurt, uncertainty, and hesitancy. These times provided us the experiences and spaces to attempt to discover ourselves in deeper ways.
We’d date for 2-4 months, then decide to break-up after many struggles, long talks, and frustrations at not being able to pin point the issue that stood in between us and the relationship we both wanted. After a few weeks/months of being apart, we’d decide it best to get back together. After a year and a half of awesome times and bad times together, awesome times and bad times apart, and trying to trust each other but never truly committing to the relationship, we decided to break up “for good”. End of story.
We got back together 7 months later. Ready to dive into this relationship together like we had never done before.
(Classic Steve Irwin choking an alligator… honestly the acting quality is unbelievable)
Now and Transforming
Here we are a year later. Approaching 4 years of best friendship. Rocking and rolling. Obviously there are many details to this story, especially that time apart and this new time together. There are summits and valleys. There are moments of true joy, and moments where I lose to her in HORSE (it was an off day and the basketball at the Urec was way too pumped up). One year into round four of this relationship (the last round for sure) and we are enjoying showing up for each other. I think that’s my answer to the question: what’s different about this round? We are showing up for each other. Day in and day out. Rain or shine. We are stepping into life with each other, letting the friction make us new, and following the desires of our hearts. We are messing up a lot. Lots of blemishes and ugly moments of trying to communicate. But the insecurity of not being truly loved in our hearts is being healed. Because we are in a place where we do not call into question the presence of the other person and the love in their heart. Trying to grow in patience and understanding. We are here for each other, learning together, and aiming for a higher love.
(Adventuring… are we sponsored? Ehhhh, some would say. However, Columbia and Patagonia are not in that number unfortunately)
This post is not about some milestone that we achieved finally or a way to publicize our story, but a genuine sharing of my encounter with the mystery of life. The unpredictability of reality. The gift of the journey. Someone unforeseen.
|It is precisely this factor which comes from the outside, the touch of the mystery in our lives, and man understands it when it is revealed; and it reveals itself entering into the life of the individual and thus into society and history as forgiveness… Our relationship could not endure without falling into forgetfulness, if we were not to let ourselves be taken by a factor bigger than us which becomes forgiveness in living the relationship. And this is so impressive as regards our existence: without forgiveness we could not exist, we could not continue living. I cannot consider my activity unless within the terms of that forgiveness which comes from without me, i.e. from the mystery which makes all things and invests me and embraces me and gives me courage and renders me capable of continuing until the next time.
— Luigi Giussani