Tuesday, April 28, 2009

life and love

A fur seal pup in the Galapagos Islands. The mom leaves the pup alone while she feeds at sea, and comes back to shore and must to find the pup by its cries and scent. Sometimes I feel like the helpless alone pup like this - am I the only one?!
Copyright (c) 2007 Wendee Holtcamp



I have to admit, as I mentioned in a recent blog post, that I had been feeling pretty down lately - really a lot worse last week. It has been a lot of up and down over the past few months. This really is not all that new. We all have ups and downs, right, at least that's pretty standard for me. But I started feeling a real sadness in my soul and I couldn't quite identify where it came from. I also realize it's been a while since I have been very raw and honest on this blog, which is sort of my trademark. I decided when I started it that I would be open and honest about my feelings and about life. As I like to say, I want a life of radical honesty and transparency.

It becomes challenging to do so, though, when other people are involved. I can't write about my present feelings and emotions without mentioning the people who are intertwined in my life and who affect my moods. I don't want to do that to people who may not want to be talked about. I try not to talk about my children too much, to protect their privacy, and the same goes for those closest to me. I may tell stories about things that happen to me, but it's not obvious in any way who that story happened with. I do that on purpose. But when you're dating someone, as I am, it's kind of obvious who you're talking about! Right? After my break-up with the man from Australia I dated, I decided that although I may put photos and the like up, I wouldn't really talk extensively the personal nature of my relationship.

However it feels like it's time to say a little something. I am realizing that my downs have mostly been related to confusion and communication issues in this relationship. There's no doubt that they can have a real toll on the heart and soul and mood. I am someone who didn't really date much before I met my ex-husband, who I met at age 20 (and oh don't we think we are so old and worldy wise at 20?). My ex and I had a whirlwind romance, and were engaged after 6 months. We got married two years later but we lived together for nearly all those two years. And we were married for 10 years. The intensity of that closeness happening all so quickly had long-lasting effects on our relationship - not good ones. We didn't have a chance to learn one another's idiosyncracies slowly. Today, we are great friends and I'm so grateful for that. But we also shared a lot of communication breakdowns from the start.

During the marriage, we went to counseling and read books and I learned so much about communicating tools and techniques, and about the differences between men and women, and about prayer and about growing in spiritual maturity and understanding of my faith. And I learned, post-divorce, that a lot of what I may have once "blamed" on him turns out to have been a lot me all along. True there are always two people involved in every relationship. But it's also a good and illuminating thing to truly shine the light on oneself. However, it can also be very painful. And it is a lot easier to understand with one's mind than to implement them when it counts - in the heat of the moment.

Since my divorce I've really only dated a couple of people. And the relationships didn't last long, and the two more 'serious' ones were both long distance. So here I am, 5 years after my divorce with someone who lives here near me, and feeling like a teenager who doesn't really know how to date. And similarly to my relationship with my ex, D & I have gotten very close very quickly. I love that man, he is such a good soul. He is warm and loving and kind and gentle and sexy and sweet. And we sometimes frustrate the hell out of one another. And when that happens, it makes me want to run for the hills. But I really don't want to. The more I know him, the more I love him. I see so much beauty in his character.

In the deepest part of me, I want to stay put, and learn to implement all the tools and techniques - including praying and seeking God's will - in real time. Oh God it can be challenging! I'm so blessed by his patience with me. Because I tell ya, sometimes I feel like a big huge loser with all of this. Shouldn't I be more mature by now? Shouldn't I be more secure? Shouldn't I be able to make myself happy and not allow someone else to affect the state of my emotions? Would that it were so simple. I can do that, I can make myself happy when I'm sad, but it feels like the only way involves moving on and clearing the plate of a relationship, and that isn't something I want to do. So my mind goes into self-torture mode... Sometimes I think I want that, but in the deepest part of me, I don't. I don't. I don't!!!

And day by day I'm learning that through his loyalty, and through my own. I'm learning about myself, and about what I believe true love to be - selfless giving to another person and seeking their own best, and loving them despite flaws, and forgiving. And through that, we bring joy and acceptance and peace into one another's lives and souls. D&I do that for each other, at least I can speak for myself anyway, and despite some turbulence at times, it truly is beautiful and lovely. I don't know the future. I don't even know tomorrow. I am only just learning to understand the geography of my own heart.

Here are a few photos from the past few weeks.

Hugs rule. Doesn't my face look kinda like the lost little seal pup? LOL.
Being dorks!
Grilling chicken at my house the other week. I call this is my "I don't need a man grill." :) I put it together from like a zillion pieces out of the box, with no help!

Doug made me dinner! It's usually me who makes him dinner so this was an awesome surprise - what a sweetheart. Then we watched HEROES Season 1 episodes.

Kisses rule too!

It was a beautiful day the other day and we went to his apartment's pool for the first time this year. This photo cracks me up! (And after the sun, came the rain... it totally flooded last night!)

I love this photo. A bit out of focus but cute.

5 comments:

PeaceFromTrees said...

I encourage you to write more about those closest to you... And to write it NOT as reflection / narrative, which can easiely lead to hurting them... But write it as dialogue, metaphor, situational conversation... Even nearly fiction...

Tell a specific detailed story rather than sweeping generalizations / reflections!

That way there is much more to interpret and their is privacy for them too! That way those of us who enjoy your writing style will get juicy personal insights!

Blessings, Deane

Scott Schwarz said...

Your writing is a blessing. I truly enjoy reading what you teach/write about the creatures around us in various publications as well as what you just shared in your blog.

Remember - nothing worth having comes easy.

Best,

Scott

WENDEE HOLTCAMP said...

Aww thanks Scott. :)
Deane - great idea - I will have to recall a few stories to exemplify some things. The kids, now they always say funny things I can add here!! They get "mad" at me cuz whenever they say something I find hilarious I say I'm gonna put that on my blog! And they're like NO! LOL.

Sus said...

Oh girl, do I feel your pain. As you well know, I didn't date but one guy before meeting my now-ex-husband and..can you believe it'll be 6 yrs on May 19th of me being single??! Man it goes so fast.

I have no answers except to say that thru trial and error we get to where we're supposed to be and thru friendships such as yours, I'm in a much better place than I was 6 years ago!

Love ya girlie!!

WENDEE HOLTCAMP said...

Thanks Sus! I know can you believe it's been so long? It's truly hard to believe. I am so glad we are both so much better than that tough time in our lives post-divorce!! And here's to many happy years!!