I had 6 too many drinks last night.
That was a regular occurrence, and then some, ‘back in the day’. Always trying so hard to forget. And then I stopped. I came to some honest truths about myself. I stopped ignoring that I was smart enough to know that a path of self-destruction would not lead to anywhere I really wanted to be. Not rocket science, easier said than done.
Ours is not a conventional love story. This is the the story of how we met. I’m not going to get all poetic in describing how we fell in love because, well – I don’t feel like rolling that way right now. If you want some of that you can go here, or here to visit some of what my alter-ego produces. I am going to give you a brief background about where I was at before we met, about my tour for self-love. I also won’t get into all contributing factors about why I was such a mess. That would require dissection. Dissection which I have waded through, but not necessary to share with the internets quite yet. Perhaps ever.
This is a common story that lies in the heart of many of us, for all of our various, worthy reasons. This is a story about how attaining my own self-love and worth brought me the patience and discretion to not settle in a relationship; to be confident on my own and low and behold, just when I was not looking – unfurl the delightful wrath of a big, strappin’, goofy, dark, sensitive, genius, folkie, love-god upon me.
Back to the tour. This excerpt, from a FB note I wrote a few years ago, after that tour – still rings true today.
I finally carved out a space in my heart for a sign. I tacked it up with big scrawling font stating, ‘love, freedom and history spoken here’. Always thirsty, waiting for more juicy magic to creep in. I’ve waited through pages of countless books, through slow hands of innumerable clocks, thousands of sunsets, and uncountable blessings and constellations. I’ve waded through my days when things were dark and painful and I closed my eyes at night numbed by self-prescriptions and casual comforts; still waiting for magic to happen to me, to heal me.
It’s happened in waves, through beautiful relationships, un-wavering love and acceptance, brutal honesty and a hunger never vanquished to LEARN and love, and nurture (myself and others), some more.
I don’t want to be like anything that tries to get me to buy my dreams instead of making them myself. I’d rather tend the wounds of my dreams when they crash into someone else’s reality than give them up. I’d rather make maps of their scars and accept their ever-changing forms than buy into that huge pre-packaged dream that’s sold out in the global supermarket. I don’t want to fall back into a rhythm of complacency.
It hasn’t been an easy undertaking, rebuilding my worlds. It’s habit for the juice of dreams to get wrung out in theory and cynical pragmatism, to be questioned into a corner of silence and defeat. But slowly, as I have lived in my own worlds, worlds I have dreamed and created, worlds which sometimes surprise me, worlds I share and speak about loudly, the resistance becomes innate.
It was quick. The year I decided to leave everything. The city I lived in, which never really felt like home, (despite some amazing friendships I had made there, I had also created a world of havoc and disarray; void of very little self-worth.) I put all of my furniture in storage, lined up a spring and summer’s worth of contracts. Paying and volunteer gigs working for festivals (music and film). I, in essence, became a vagabond. Nothing as adventuresome as globe-trotting, but, I was not responsible enough then to afford that, nor did I have the time to research work/visa’s abroad. I needed to get out…do something fast, because I felt as if I were about to blow.
I wanted to be proud of myself again, I wanted to not WANT to be in love so desperately. I needed to like myself again and be happy on my own. I needed that more than anything. I needed to focus on the mess of decisions I had made regarding my academic/career path and get over the guilt. (I still hold some of that guilt.) I needed to decide what I REALLY wanted to do. Basically I wanted at least an ounce of true happiness and satisfaction. So I prescribed in some minimal adventure and challenge. It requires strength after all, even if one is miserable, to pack up everything that has been yours, familiar and mundanely the same for nearly 10 years. To leave the ones you love because it’s just not enough; is no small feat.
It was at end of that summer – 6 months after I had left Niagara when I met him. At the time though, he was just a cute boy/man. By the crackle of the festival fire, his flirtatious grin and sparkly eyes charmed me. He was definitely more boy/man that evening in his hoodie with curls bouncing around as he flirted and joked with all. Interested but reserved I remained; I was there with another guy! It was at the last festival of the summer season where we met; a darling and impressive work of art, love and community. The Shelter Valley Folk Festival. He was (is) old pals with the Artistic Director at the time, and tight with many other of the organizers. He was accomplished and impressive with his vibe. But. I was dating someone else and although, deep down a feeling like no other resonated within me around him/about him. I did not feel anxious. Or desperate.
I knew after meeting him, without even knowing (or holding much emphasis onto), that we would wind up on the same path. I knew that the fellow I was with – although sweet, handsome and totally into me, (a rarity it seemed), was not for me. It was months later that we communicated again and had our first date. The rest just flowed. While rocky at times – we were inseparable ever since. Now, nearly 4 years later we have an amazing child and are expecting another. We just bought a house and he decided he wants to MARRY me! And I decided I WANT to! Hooray for small miracles! I am honoured that his family have passed on a family ring to me – from the BSM’s gran on his dad’s side. It’s an elegant, timeless piece – totally vintage, white gold and diamonds. Totally me. Also hooray for men with great taste.
This story is dedicated to all you kick-ass women out there who have lost faith in yourself or in love. Just hold onto yourself for dear life and honour the skin your in. Set goals and OWN them. The rest will fall into place. I think maybe there’s something to it.