At the Bar: The Whoa Moments

I looked into the ocean and there he was. His back to me. His broad shoulders and thoughtful head tilted to the side listening to what my dad was saying. I sighed with utter relief and utter contentedness.
Less than a year ago I sat on this island, in a local coffee shop, writing about my failed relationships and where I could potentially be headed. Where I had been and how I had gotten to this point where I knew that what I had been investing into so many relationships was not about finding someone who was right for me but how I so wanted to be right for someone else.
The whole idea of that makes me shudder now. I’m embarrassed it took so long and every time someone says “I told you it wasn’t supposed to be like that” it pisses me off….I know that it hits a very sensitive nerve. Yeah, it might not have supposed to be like that but it took all of those situations to get me to last summer.
Last summer I sat on this island for a week and read and I wrote. I woke up in the morning and I ran. I did so much self reflection that if you looked at my screenshots from Instagram, the inspirational quotes during that time period you’d be like WHOA GIRL WHOA. Cool it. And after that week, I left this island knowing one thing. This life was mine. I controlled what I put in it. And I committed myself to that idea from that moment on.
A month later, I met him.
3 weeks after that, he met my parents.
6 weeks in, I met his mom.
8 months in, we had a dog together.
So, now, at nine months in, here we are. On that same island, with both of our families, enjoying a very normal, but very special day on the beach. So relaxed, so free, so simple, and yet in my heart, so very important for me to recognize.
I used to think that to be by myself could mean that I was lonely. That I hadn’t found “it” yet and that I was still searching for my place in life. And yes, people will tell you every day, “when you’re happy by yourself you’ll find your person and you’ll be happy.” And YES, that’s what I’m saying. But there’s no prescription for finding yourself. There’s no step by step manual. There’s no way to resign yourself to saying “I’m by myself and since I say that I’m happy alone, I must be.” You have to do it your way. For me, my way was stripping away the people pleasing. Stripping away being who I thought I should be. Who I thought others wanted me to be. When I was actually by myself and knew the power in that, when I wasn’t afraid to know what was right for me….there it was.
And now, here we are. Families meeting. Bonds intact. A house full of people in which our lives have fit together. Smiles, calm, quiet, peace, and then, big belly laughs because we know the good things in life.
Today I stood appreciating the view in front of me, and tonight I appreciate the family I have placed around me.

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