The Three Month Mark

In life I believe that everything has a bit of a probationary period. Some range longer than others. If you start a new job for instance, it’s usually three months before you are able to obtain any kind of benefits from that set job. You take your car to a mechanic, it’s usually a few days before you can tell whether or not they’ve really done a good job repairing your car. You maybe order some Chinese food from a new spot that just opened and within a few hours you can tell if you’ll ever be ordering from that place again.

The same holds true for relationships.

The dating scene has always been quite a challenge for me. Long ago it took me absolutely no time to fall “in love” with someone. I quickly learned that by always jumping in head first that it could be truly painful for the heart. Though the heart is strong and resilient, there is no need to place it in a constant state of unnecessary vulnerability. Slowly I began adapting what I call The Three Month Mark. It was a three month period in which I noticed I would “dip out” of a relationship for one reason or another, the underlying reason being that I knew it simply would not work out. It wasn’t something that I purposely set myself up for. It was more like I slowly noticed what it was that I was doing. I had found my own way of protecting my heart by purely building up a wall. It wasn’t a wall made of pure cement. It was more like dry wall, where it seemed thick and impenetrable, but if given the proper tools one could knock it down in no time. There were a few that came close to getting through that three month mark, but in the end it was intuition that led me to know that to enter a true relationship with that individual would just later lead to heartbreak whether it be them or me who was left broken. The three month mark was a way of me getting to know someone, who they were, their intentions, before getting attached. I started noticing that within three months one could discover so much about a person before it was tragically too late. Before the heart became truly involved that is.

That is until I met the love of my life. My soul mate…

He walked into the dark and empty nightclub, alone and radiating an energy that just seemed to pour out of his soul. His eyes locked me in and I knew that very second that I had met someone truly special. I just hadn’t known how special they would become until later.

The night we met we spent the entire time talking. Just two strangers surrounded by good music, watered down cocktails, and shitty disco lights. We spoke about all good things in life never once spending time on a negative sentence. From that night on our friendship developed past the point of something typical. It was as though we had picked up right where we had one day long ago left off.

Quickly things escalated. We spoke every single day and spent every free moment together. We became exclusive within days, unnaturally quicker than with any other person I had met before.

It wasn’t until recent that I noticed that we had hit our three month mark. We had taken a trip up north to meet each other’s parents. It was when sitting with his mother in their cozy little living room, warmed by a fireplace, and surrounded by the sounds of Jazz music coming from his father’s room that it hit me. The thought had never crossed my mind before that moment. We had overcome that self imposed probationary period without even the slightest hiccup. I had met his friends. I had met his family. I had been thrown into his Georgian culture, engulfed by food, drink, music, language, and tradition, and had not only survived but actually came to love. The same went for him. I knew the very second the realization of our three month mark hit that this was true. I had finally found what I had so terribly wanted for so long and this time I hadn’t even looked for it. He had arrived unexpectedly yet at the perfect time.

I’ve come to truly fall in love with him, quickly and without fear. I had no preconceived attitudes towards him. I felt no reason for a wall to be taken down for one hadn’t even been built. I’ve given my heart completely to this person without conditions or concern and I thank The Three Month Mark for this. It has kept my heart protected for all this time. For when the moment truly came it would be healthy and happily willing, without fear, to love again.

People have asked me, “Well how do you know that this is it?” and all I can answer back is all I’ve ever heard, you just know. It’s a feeling of certainty that no one can confirm other than the true inner self. It is a moment that arrives and it whispers in your heart. A feeling no person can describe. That’s how you know. You’ll know when you realize that from the moment that you met, there was never a three month mark.

img_20161018_103935-2 Photo Credit: Natal Galvan

Apologies

It’s New Years Eve.

I guess it’s of no coincidence that I’m here writing. This time of year has always had many people thinking, looking back on their year, analyzing things they could have done better or maybe the things they would have changed.

I happen to think that this year I did as best as I could.

I think back on the four people, for instance, that I wrote sincere apology letters to. Apology letters because I felt that in some way I had inadvertently hurt them and no one deserves to be hurt without being genuinely told “I’m Sorry”, whether the hurt was purposely inflicted or not.

Not one of those four people responded to my letters.

I can’t say that I am at all surprised. It takes a different kind of strength to go back and relive a moment long ago forgotten, forgive, and move on. I was certainly prepared to never hear a word from any one of the people I reached out to. So why spend my time even writing out those sincere and heartfelt letters?? Well it’s simple really. If life becomes easier when you learn to accept the apology you never got, then imagine how much easier it is once you receive the apology you always deserved.

I think about the many times I have been hurt by those close to me, by those I loved very much. I remember there was a time when all I would desire was to receive an apology from them and then move on from the hurt, together, and start fresh. I can honestly say that I never once received one and I learned to move on and forgive anyways. I learned to accept that apology I never got and released myself from the chains that grudges had me bound to for so long. I thought to myself, “I don’t want to be that person. I don’t want to be the person who hurts someone and never says sorry. I don’t want for someone else to have to move on from a situation alone when an “I’m Sorry” could be the very wind under their wings to help carry them away from that pain.”

I wrote the letters and when I sent them out I felt good. I felt good because not only was I acknowledging a mistake I made, not only was I reaching out in hopes to make their life a little better, I unknowingly was releasing myself from guilt that I had held onto for quite some time.

I came to realize that in the apologizes I had written intended to ease someone else’s burden or pain, I had released my own. It was a beautiful thing.

I don’t look at it as though my letters were unanswered or ignored. I mean they could most likely have been, who knows, but those letters still served a purpose. A purpose much stronger and even more beautiful than I had ever intended.

I start this new year on a clean slate, maybe not with everyone else, but definitely with myself. As my 30th birthday creeps closer excitement ripples through my soul because of all that I have learned not only in this last year but in the last decade. The biggest lesson being, Forgiveness.

Not just forgiving others, but most importantly yourself.

1389073_399867570145113_1248921031_n-2Photo Credit: Natal Galvan

To The Myself of The Past

I look back on the last ten years of my life and it amazes me how much I have changed. When I turned 20 I felt like I had been through enough to know so much about life. Maybe compared to others my age I did. I felt like an adult and believed I had known all I needed to know in order to be a productive member of society. I worked very hard, 5-6 days a week between two jobs, and eventually had enrolled in school. I knew how to save and budget my money and did so successfully. I kept up with the bills, paying them all early, never skipping a payment. I made sure I stayed on top of everything, micromanaging every aspect of my life to the point that I had begun to try to micromanage everything and everyone at work. I wanted to always make sure I went above and beyond my responsibilities. I wanted to make sure I always said and did the right thing, even if that meant sacrificing my own happiness. Reading my journals from back then, I relive the stress and the unhappiness I was living day to day. There was always something to be done. There was always someone to please. I read and relive the frustrations and as I do I come to a realization. Back then I used to blame the world. I would get angry and upset if someone didn’t acknowledge the hard work I had put into something or if the sacrifices I was making was being over looked. I blamed the world for being so hard on me and not giving me the easy life that I felt so many others had. The funny thing was, most of my hardships and frustrations were purely self inflicted. I would take upon all these responsibilities, I would go above and beyond, and instead of doing all of that because it was something I wanted to do for myself, I was doing it because I wanted to shine in other people’s eyes. I was looking for that reassurance. I was seeking that approval. I was getting mad at everyone else for not being proud of me, for not appreciating the things  I was doing, when all along I should have been my own biggest cheerleader. I should have been proud of myself.

Today I am way more relaxed. Sometimes I giggle because I believe my mom thinks I may be feeling a little too relaxed, haha. Living life is now much more important to me than spending my time micromanaging it. I began going with the Universal flow of life and haven’t stopped since. This new plan of not really having a plan has been truly working for me. I know it because I’m actually happy. Sure, I took a break from school. Once I started to think differently, things within me changed, and what I was once so set on doing with the rest of my life is no longer something I want to pursue, so it’s back to the drawing board on that one. Sure, I may not have a lot of money like I once did. Yet, it isn’t something that I’m upset about. Money comes and it’ll go. I still get to do many of the things I want to do and the things I haven’t been able to do are just things I look forward to one day doing. That one will come. I breath easier. I laugh louder. I enjoy the days of boredom when I have nothing to do. I enjoy the stillness of those quiet times. More often than not I am able to stop and take in all that is around me and give gratitude for it all.

My 20’s was a period of learning. As I slowly creep into my 30’s I will take all that I learned and apply it, while still accepting all that I will learn as I continue to evolve into the woman I will someday become. If I could give the myself of the past some advice, I’d simply tell her this,

“Stop. Take time to look at the vastness of the world around you. Take time for yourself. Learn yourself. Listen to yourself. Feel what it is that makes you happy. Follow that feeling and never let go. Stay true to your good heart, but most importantly stay true to yourself.”

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 I don’t fear death because of the act of dying. Death is nothing but a rebirth. I fear death because I don’t want to ever stop learning, even if only for a little while. -natal galvan

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