Saturday, August 6, 2016

When the Worst Thing is the Best Thing

Hindsight is probably the most wonderful thing in the world. I wish that current Izy could wrap up past Izy in a very nice dressing gown and tell her that everything would work out.

I wish I could tell her that it would be better than she could imagine, that she'd find somewhere so magical in the world she'd literally cry, real tears. Happy tears. After five years of searching, I found somewhere I loved enough to stay and it just happened to be a tax haven.

That she'd meet an amazing guy from where she's headed, before she even arrives there, in a different country, so unexpected that only a divine fate could have made it happen.

Then a few short months later, she'd find herself a proud owner of a ridiculous puppy called Inca that spends at least half of her time with her tongue dopily hanging out the side of her mouth. She's probably my greatest teacher: everything is always amazing for her, she is relentlessly happy.

I wish I knew that I'd figure out how to outsource basically all of my business, so that my spare time could be spent reading multiple books a week, drinking way too much delicious coffee where it's actually grown, walking through cobblestone streets and chasing Inca around the house.

I wish I'd known that the worst thing that I thought could ever happen could really be the best thing. Because from the deepest hurt, always seems to come the deepest strength. When you have nothing to lose, you have a bare foundation from which you can etch out every dream and desire, no matter how weird it's seemed in the past. Because when you're so broken that every thing has shattered, you can take your time putting the pieces back together exactly as you'd like.

So if you're having a moment where everything feels so bad, remember that maybe your worst thing may in some way become your best thing - or at least your greatest teacher.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

I Deserved Better

After 1.5 years of waiting for him to be ready to travel, after helping out with his expenses so he could move out of home and focus on university, after teaching him my entire business so he could make a decent income... after supporting him through everything.

He cheated on me and then looked me in the eye and lied to me over and over, even though I knew something was wrong.

Then when I confronted him, he didn't give a shit.

I had made mistakes in our relationship, but I had been honest and done my best to make him feel happy and confident again.

And it was nothing compared to this.

You know, there were all the warning signs; first he cheated on his previous girlfriend with me and it was SO EASY for him to do it. Then he lied to her, and lied to me.

And eventually when they broke up he had all these reasons she was so shit, and I believed them because I loved him. But maybe she wasn't even that bad, maybe he was the shit one.

There's absolutely no reason to cheat on someone like that, especially on holiday, especially after what a hard year I've had (and he knew that more than anyone).

But you know what, he'll be justifying his actions by focusing on EVERY shit thing I ever did and probably adding to them too. He'll be lying at me, attacking me, and bad mouthing me, so people feel sorry for him and to remove the blame for being a shitty person from him.

I gave him everything; I gave and gave and I loved and I loved and this is how he treats me?

It makes me feel sad that I blindly loved such a SHIT person for 2.5 years.

Because that's what he is, a shit person.

Because a good, kind person would never lie and hurt their girlfriend likes this. They'd never let them walk away in hysterics only to spend a few days of transit so upset they couldn't eat or sleep.

They wouldn't then slander them on Facebook and attack them.

That's not how good people act.

It's taken three weeks but I'm thankful things ended. Already so many amazing opportunities have come my way. I had my busiest week of work last week - made almost $8.7K in one week. I've spent heaps of time with great friends and made so many beautiful friendships I'll forever treasure. I got a little something special done... and I'm free. I'm not being held back by a selfish, financially draining, last-minute, vain, selfish asshole.

Maybe I'll always love him, maybe I'll always worry about him but I don't like the person he has become. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Letter I Don’t Think I’ll Send

I want to write to him, there’s so much I want to say. I made an agreement I wouldn’t contact him for two months... why? Because I need some space and time to heal and think. It’s a stupid number, from a stupid book, that suggest it’s a good length of time. I know I’ll be fine without him, yadda yadda yah, but it doesn’t mean I never want him in my life again - in some capacity.

So I thought it might be helpful to write the letter here that I’ve been itching to send him. Maybe I’ll never send it, maybe I will... but I’ll wait a few more weeks before I make a decision. Part of me hopes he gets in touch, that he lets go of his ego, his pride and whatever else and just puts it aside to make things right.

If I wrote to him today, this is what I’d say.

Dear Ben,

First of all: I love you.

It has only been through the loss of you and the pain caused by our break up that I’ve learned the depth of that love. It is unconditional. I love you inspite of what you’ve done. I love you for your faults, your weaknesses, your strengths. I love it all. I think I’ve seen you at your worst and I’ve certainly seen you at your best and I love you.

Secondly: I forgive you.

I don’t know why you did what you did, I have a thousand reasons that I’ve made up that might explain it or justify it. I’ve drowned myself in cognitive dissonance and tried to figure out the path of least hurt. But with every explanation, no matter how good nor how bad I arrive at the same place: I forgive you. Not because what you did was okay, but because I want to forgive you. Holding it against you, being mad at you for it, being angry for what happened... all of those options are more painful than understanding you’re human, you’re imperfect and you made a few big mistakes.

Sure, I wish you’d been more honest, I wish you’d talked to me about how you felt - because I would have moved heaven and earth to try to make things work. But you didn’t. It is what is is, and while you’ll probably never know how much you hurt me or how much you changed the world for me through that hurt, I forgive you.

I'm sorry for the hurt I caused you too. It was never my intention. I tried my best to support you, to help you grow, to love you and to be present with you but I was not perfect. I'm sorry for the hurt I caused you.

Third: You have been my greatest teacher.

Through you and the loss of you, I’ve learned so much about my self. I think you were like a drug for me, so intoxicating, so addictive... probably not really that good for me, but so good. A part of me feels like we’ve done this dance before, it all feels too familiar. Perhaps in another lifetime. From the moment I met you, I felt like I knew you. I craved you. Even now, I still do.

From the very beginning I was terrified of losing you. I never really relaxed or enjoyed what we had, because I was so wrapped up in the possibility it would not last forever. That terrified me. I couldn’t imagine a world without you in it - I never wanted to NOT know you. I still don’t. Now we’re apart I realise my life would just be fine without you. Not the same, and maybe it would always have a Ben-shaped-hole, but wonderful no less.

I have learned that I spend my life living in the past or living in the future. I’ve had a lot of hurt in my life and as much as I’ve tried to make the most of what I’ve had, I have held onto a lot of it. The loss of you has forced me into the present moment because the future is a bit too sad without you in it right now and the past is too painful. So here I am, staring at the beauty of the leaves moving in the wind. Listening deeply to my breath, feeling my toes tingle and the blood rush to my head when I finish an inversion in yoga.

All I feel today is gratittude (okay, sure, there’s a little bit of sadness, I just want to hear about your day and tell you about all the amazing things that have happened in the past 2.5 weeks)... I am grateful. I’m grateful I knew you. I’m grateful I had the opportunity to know you, to learn you, to be vulnerable with you. I wish a million times over things had ended differently, but they didn’t. It is what it is.

Thank you for teaching me more about myself than I have learned in a lifetime.

And please, next time you meet a girl who would move mountains to be with you and you don’t want to be with her anymore, just let her know. It will be hard, but if you ever cared about her at all, you’d want to save her the heartache and the self-questioning that I have just endured.

I wish you a world of happiness.

Love always and forever,


Saturday, September 20, 2014

Two Weeks

I've allowed myself two weeks to mourn the loss of this relationship. A week for a year's worth of love, adventure, planning and dreams.

You see, I really, really, really thought I'd marry him. It didn't scare me; in fact it thrilled me. I could imagine myself old and the bucketload of stories we'd have to share and remember. And I liked that picture. I didn't really care if we had kids or not. I didn't really care where we were or where we went, because he felt like home.

But that's not the reality any more. In fact, the man I fell in love with seems so far removed from the valium binging, lying, cheating man that I left on Koh Phi Phi.

This Sunday is a special day, as it's the day we were supposed to fly to Paris - the city of romance. I was so excited about revisiting Paris with him as it was a city I had not manage to fall for last time I visited.

It was painful cancelling the rail passes I'd organised for us, the beautiful hotels I had arrange and the car hire for the South of France.

I tried to offer him everything; a career, support (emotional, financial), love, encouragement, friendship, companionship. Everything. Yes there are mistakes I made, but I admitted them and was prepared to do anything to move forward and ensure we could have the happiest time together.

I waited 1.5 years for him to be ready to travel, I know I would have done anything to make him happier and more secure in the relationship, even if it meant ending the relationship amicably. 

Looking back, when something falls apart, you can see the small moments that you should have perhaps done differently. The things you wish you could change. The words you wish you could have said a little louder, or the sentences that should have lingered a little longer.

The truth is, and as much as I love him and what we had back: I deserve better. I deserve honesty, I deserve an apology, I deserve someone who looks me in the eye and doesn't lie. Whether it's about stupid things like phone contracts or important things like the fact he had actually cheated.

I know I'll live an exceptional life, because that's what I want from life. I thought it would be exceptional with him - and that excited me - but I know very well it can be exceptional without him.

Part of me hopes he messages me before Sunday, to talk, to think things through, to decide where we stand and where we want to stand. A bigger part of me, who knows him fairly well, assumes he won't contact me. Because if he contacts me he has to admit that he acted in a selfish and hurtful way.

You see, when you're cheated on it - it hurts. It makes you question the entire time you spent with them, your self worth, why you gave so much for them to only care so little, and what else they told you was a lie. It is soul crushing. It is the most pain I have felt in a very long time.

This year was one of the hardest, most challenging years of my life and the silver lining of it was that we were embarking on a wonderful adventure together; traveling where we wanted, earning a lot of money, and setting ourselves up for the future.

Yes, we argued a lot before we broke up. I think it was in part because we were trying to find a balance between work, traveling and maintaining a relationship. We were moving around too much because of the sponsored stays, which I only did so many of because he wanted to. I knew we needed time to relax and unwind, and that's why I chose to stay so long on Koh Phi Phi. It's a shame he cheated before we had a chance to see how things worked out.

So Sunday it is, I close the door. I'll throw away the key and he can forever be the guy who "it could have worked out with, maybe, in another lifetime". It is sad that the person I loved most in the world will also now be the same person who hurt me the most. But perhaps that's natural - they say energy cannot be created nor destroyed, just changed from one state to another.

The thing is, as sad as I am it is over, I have a good feeling about my future. I've completely rehashed my business model in the past week or so. I've made plans to visit a friend in Bangkok next week, then I'll book some flights to Buenos Aires. I'll learn to salsa dance in South America, I'll become fluent in Spanish and instead of giving my heart to one man who doesn't know how to to look after it, I'll give it to the world.

A few years ago I found this quote, and it feels as poignant now as it ever did: If you love the world, it will love you back!

I love this world and the crazy adventures I'll be embarking on next Wednesday!