I have one week left until I embark on my trip to Italy.Like everything the past few years, once again my life is in a holding pattern and about to shift dramatically.Only this time is very different from all the rest…this time I have learned lessons that are taking me to that next "phase" of my life. When I say the next phase, I mean my 30's.While I have to do some serious contemplation about my next move….I have done the legwork to get to this point. This will be my LAST entry…the calm before the storm.This entry will be different from all the rest; it will be a compilation of everything and an end to an era. I am about to write the conclusion to a magnificent journey.I am firm in my belief that it is not how this particular journey ends…but the road in which I took to get to this moment in time, and I promise all of you…it has been a wild ride.
They say if you aren't good at loving yourself, you will have a difficult time loving anyone, since you'll resent the time and energy you give another person that you aren't even giving to yourself.I feel this statement pretty much sums up a decade of my life.For 10 years I fought to figure out who I was, I hid behind societal rules, family pressure, and mentally hindering relationships.I changed jobs frequently, I never valued my self worth, I gave and wasn't given, and I was complacent.Relationship after relationship I tried to change the person, I dated the same person with a different face over and over again.I latched on to others dreams, because I was never able to formulate my own due to fear.I pushed men away when they got too close, I never committed, I chose men specifically that I knew wouldn't commit and that I could throw away.For 10 years I have been unsure that I want a family, children, or any type of domesticated life.I have fought for my "career" over and over and have always chosen work and money over any form of love.I have silently sat by and watched as each of my friends have moved on with their lives and forged through relationships to make them work. I have watched as my mother's health has deteriorated. I used it as an excuse to stay close and make poor decisions about men, out of fear she may never see what she has always longed to see…I longed for a time to run away. A chance to breath, a chance to find out who I really am, a chance to break all the rules and only worry about the person who really matters…me.
My life changed when I stepped on the plane to come back to Australia.When I decided to put the fear aside, the disappointment of others to bed, and only worry about the single most important person, myself.
People have these expectations of us, parents especially. I have figured out that we can live our entire lives trying to please other people…meanwhile, not only will you never really please them, but at the end of the line…you can look back and you will have missed everything. Everything that is important anyway.
I found work here in Australia at a not for profit charity organization.If I had kept my mouth shut, I'd be well on my way to getting sponsored and have an Australian visa. Something else has happened to me though in my time here…I have finally learned not only what I am capable of, but also my value and worth.If you're reading this right now….I want you to sit back and think for a moment.What is your worth? What do you value yourself at?The larger question…if you do realize your self worth, how do you parlay that into your daily life?
Let me share with you what it took me 10+ years to understand, and what I will be taking with me into my 30's on May 29th. Not settling for less than what you know you deserve in your relationships. Asking for what you want and need from others. Speaking your truth, even though it might create conflict or tension. Behaving in ways that are in harmony with your personal values and finally making choices based on what you believe, and not what others believe.
It seems simple enough, but truly it is a lot harder to live a life with full integrity and not let fear guide you.
By learning all of these lessons, and more…I have started to cultivate things that stick. Everything else…disappears as quickly as it comes.The reason why my gorgeous friend in Florence, Italy has remained in the running is simply because he lives his life with full integrity with everything he does.He is not afraid of the tough questions, he is not afraid to take leaps, learn, grow, and continue to work to make the changes to find true love, happiness and peace.Whether or not he and I ever decide to move forward is not the point.Nothing has been wasted time; it has only been a journey in which we have had to ride the waves.The universe has tested me numerous times over this journey. It has thrown roadblocks at me, other men, different jobs, sickness... CHOICES.
I have made a very close friend here in Australia. He is quite older than I, has 2 beautiful girls, and had a wife who died from cancer 12 years ago.He did everything right. He married the woman from university, settled down, had 2 gorgeous children, and now…he is alone and again searching for that certain someone to live out the rest of his life with.I mention him, because he has stolen a piece of my heart. His zeal and love for life, craziness, free spirit, intelligence, sense of adventure, and kindness has touched me in so many ways. Even up until 2 days ago…he saved my life, literally.I was venturing out for a paddle on a canoe off the Bronte beach, got knocked over by wave 1, reached for the canoe, and was slammed under by a second wave that took my breath away…I don't remember anything except trying to come up for air, disoriented, kicking hard, when I heard his voice and he grabbed me.The current was incredibly strong and I honestly couldn't kick any longer…He did get me to shore. The first thing I thought about though was…at any moment, you can stop kicking and there may not be anyone there to save you.No matter how exhausted you become…is there an alternative to not kicking? No. I now know, there is not.
While we all make choices in life, some of us make choices in order to please others, and never ourselves. I have fought myself for a long time on what do I really want? Do I really want kids?I can be honest and say it has never been a driving force for me. I don't look at children and yearn for motherhood.What I yearn for is stability, security and a love that shakes the core of my being. A relationship that truly mimics my grandparents, something based on respect and courtship, something that lasts and can stand the test of time.One afternoon, I was sitting at my friends flat looking through his pictures of his "other" life….it was only then that I truly realized…I want to create my own photo album regardless of what may happen in the future.I want all the silly little birthdays, knee scrapes, and tears, graduations I want to pass on life to a little person. I feel I finally feel this way, only because…I am free of the past and I value my future and myself.I don't want those pictures because someone else thinks I should have them, I want them because I now know its my time. This particular friend has helped me to trust men again, open up, say how I feel and what I mean and talk about all the positives and negatives that come along with parenthood and taking that next step. I have also learned from him not too give up on what your heart wants, because if you really want it, you will find it in many areas. His support over the past few months has helped make me a stronger person.It's a beautiful feeling knowing I have cultivated such a true lasting friend, someone who I cherish and know will find the love he most certainly deserves.
My path could include finally finding a partner in Italy who fits my exceedingly high "intentions", and has courted me in the most romantic, fulfilling way…It could only work now and couldn't have worked a year ago…because I don't need him, I only want him.
Monday, May 17th 2010, will start the next adventure of the decade to come…I have been clear to all those that I need to be.I will not accept anything moving forward that doesn't fit inside my true core beliefs.
I am not lost in life, I have finally been found. The best symbolism to uncertainty is the ocean. The water goes up and down…the only certainty lies in breathing and kicking…while waiting for that next wave....