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It's in the Journey, Not the Destination

Why I'm okay with not knowing if my relationship will go the distance.

Photo credit B.D.Rafalski June 2017

This is me, on one of the happiest days of my life.  Actually, my happiest day in about three years.  I was with one of my favorite humans, about an hour north of Steamboat Springs, CO standing on a mountain just before sunset.  He took this picture.  

In this moment, that he caught so authentically, I was barely wearing any makeup, and I felt like the most beautiful, wonderful, amazing creature on the planet. I felt real. I felt seen.

See this friend, he's not just any friend. He's the friend that after my divorce a year ago, I heard a song and thought of him. He's the friend that after I sent him that song, wrote back and became my friend again, even though we hadn't spoken in years. He's the friend that speaks my language of crazy and travel and joy, the exact same way. As he says, "Our souls mirror each other." So this moment, it was a big moment. Big feels. Real feels. And I was high. Cuz, you know—Colorado.  

I did not go to Colorado to love him. I did not plan on loving him. I did not have any intention of opening that door again. I, a grown-ass woman, recently divorced, and fiercely independent, had zero intention of letting anyone touch that part of my heart again.  

So that went well. Clearly, I stuck to the plan, cuz like, I'm here writing about it. 

I knew I was in trouble when he opened the door that first night in Denver because, after nearly eight years of not seeing one another, we flew into each other's arms. And the hug never seemed to end. We drove up Lookout Mountain, and then went for a beer at a local brewery. We never stopped talking. It was surreal and beautiful, and I knew before the night was over that there was something about him that I just couldn't (to quote Brokeback Mountain) "quit."  

So we went to another friend's wedding together, we went camping, stood on a mountaintop and held each other, and we held each other a lot over that week in many different ways. I took terrible pictures of him with his camera, and he took really genuine photographs of me. And I fell in love. Though, to be honest, I think I was halfway there before I even saw him.

Flash forward a month and a few, and I'm back in Toronto. We talk every day. We Skype once or twice a week, mixed in with phone calls, texts, and Facebook messenger. It's complicated, and scary.  He isn't ready for a relationship, and I don't like distance. So here we sit, in a weird limbo of sorts. Loving each other, not wanting to love, but wanting each other, both of us unsure of where this will go, or if it even should go.

The funny thing is, that if this were the me that married my ex-husband, this uncertainty and confusion would be killing me. I would want structure and a solution, and I would want that solution to be my solution, not his. The woman that I am now, appreciates the journey she is on. It hasn't been easy to get to this stage in my life, but I know that beauty exists along the path to the summit and I take a lot of pleasure in pausing to appreciate it.  

Life is made of moments. Some are wonderful and glorious and reach deep within our souls to make us brighter and more beautiful. Those are the moments that are such pure, unadulterated joy, that even if pain or uncertainty follow, the beauty of those moments aren't lost. This moment, that he caught on film, was one of those for me.  My heart was in my eyes, and my soul was on fire. I was in my mountains with the man that I had been missing, without knowing it, for seven years. No matter what happens with us going forward, it's moments like this that make everything worthwhile.  

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