We broke up.

Yep. We broke up. We are two individuals. No longer a couple. No longer a team.

We came to a realization. We were both miserable. Loving each other. Enjoying most of our time spent together. And, waiting for the chaos to unfold.

It needed to end. We need space. We need an opportunity to go our separate ways. If we are led back to each other, great. If not, it was an interesting run. Either way, if we stop this now, we can still be civil. We can even be friendly, and we can eventually be friends.

If we stop it now.

If we continue going this way, we will hate each other. There will be no going back. It will be too far broken.

That would be a loss.

Too often people stay too long. They beat the hell out of that dead horse. They hold on to a relationship for an outside reason. Finances. Property. Comfort. Kids. They make each other miserable because they don’t have guts enough, or resources, to let each other go.

It’s sad.

We freed one another, and it feels good to be free.

Update: I held on to this post for days. Felt too real to admit I’d failed at another relationship. But then the realness hit. I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t going to be happy. The relationship was over. We weren’t compatible. I was done.

What I know:

I’ll never date another man without kids. He can’t understand parenthood and sacrifice the same way.

I’ll never lose my voice again. If I’m not being heard, then I’m talking to the wrong person.

I won’t give more than I’m getting expecting him to catch up.

I won’t allow myself to follow blindly.

I won’t allow myself to be talked down to.

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Hello 37!

Every year, I assume this is the year I’m gonna figure it all out. I go into it with clarity and focus, and then things start to slip. LOL.

This year is different. I don’t have a big plan or any major agenda. I’m going to enjoy the ride. I’m going to explore what I don’t know, and be insanely confident in what I do know.

It’s that simple.

There are so many beautiful things to enjoy, and I’m not taking myself too seriously. I’m gonna loosen the reigns and appreciate more moments. I’ve been way too tightly wound.

I just feel so sure that I didn’t make it 37 years to fall apart now. So relax. Calm down. Enjoy the show.

My actual birthday, January 24, was amazing. Thanks to everyone who sent me birthday well wishes. I appreciate it much more than you know.

XOXO

Disclaimer: This picture was taken on my birthday vacation, with a fresh blow out to counter the saltwater attack. Thanks to Emma from Scotland, in the cruise ship salon. It was right after lunch, cool air blowing from every direction, and totally relaxed reading (the Gideon series from Eric Jerome Dickey) and watching the Gulf of Mexico off the back of the cruise ship. Spent the day before trying out a variety of Cuban cigars, having a delicious margarita, standing in clear blue waters, and haggling over unnecessary purchases all in somewheresville Mexico.

God is good. Life is good.

Here’s to 37.

And just like that…

It was over.

I’m single again. One minute I was someone’s girlfriend, and then I wasn’t. I went from talking about forever to being single in a moment. It’s hard to grasp. It’s a lot to process. I’m not sure how to manage this.

But, I’m okay.

No one died. Our lives go on in new and interesting ways. We move forward. We continue to grow. We face new teachable challenges. We chase new goals. We do everything we’d planned, just apart. And, that was a call I made. I set us free.

Update: I didn’t set us free. I just loosened the rope holding us to each other. We were so tightly bound, but not as tight anymore. I have no idea what the future holds.

And just like that…the saga continues.

New Year

I notoriously say, I don’t make resolutions, I make decisions.

Some things never change. And this year, I’m making the decision to take care of myself. Like really take care of myself. I’m putting myself at the top of my priority list. And, I’m focusing on the things that make me truly and genuinely happy.

1. I love being Blaise’s mom. Love. But, motherhood is hard. It’s so incredibly hard. And, I pray over my role as a mother every single day. I just want to give motherhood more of my time. I want to be present for my son more. I want to realign MY priorities.

2. I want to be healthier. I started to figure out this healthier lifestyle stuff last year. I started moving in the right direction, but I struggled making a full commitment. I wanted to have it both ways, and that’s not realistic. I’m taking care of MY health and MY body.

3. I have some major plans, and my finances need adjustments to ensure that’s all possible. Major adjustments. Like a reintroduction to what it means to save. So, I’m reading and researching everything I can find to educate myself. I’m budgeting. I’m figuring it out. I’m taking control of MY finances.

Ultimately, I want to take ownership of my life. I want to be a more committed and confident mother. I want to balance my finances. I want to take control of my health. I want to be happy, for real.

I want 2018 to have ALL the follow up that these other years intended.

Easy enough, right?

Communication

C. O. M. M. U. N. I. C. A. T. I. O. N.

Had a hiccup in my relationship recently. I’m using the word hiccup to mean epic disaster that almost ended everything.

Yep. Hiccup.

Basically we had another communication failure. It’s kinda our thing. We’re two independent and head strong individuals trying to learn how to function as a team. We are both better at individual sports than team events. We don’t even do relays.

It’s tough.

Yesterday was the final straw though, for me. It was just too reminiscent of the obstacles I thought we’d gotten past. It was too dangerously familiar. I couldn’t cope. I couldn’t do it all, again. I was ready to cut and run.

He was holding on, to me and the smallest piece of information that could change everything. His pride kept him from sharing everything. He was torn between what he wanted for us and what his plan had been. He wanted to please everyone. And, instead of telling me the issues, he was going to sacrifice everything.

What?

Seriously?

Instead of telling me you’re scared, you’d tell me goodbye?

Unacceptable.

This is a team. We are teammates. We handle all our obstacles together. And, we never, NEVER, let fear be stronger than love.

Long term expectations on short term relationships

As a single woman, well past 30, rounding the corner to 40, I have made a lot, A LOT, of bad decisions in relationships. My primary issue in is that I have given short term relationships long term expectations.

Where is my church fan? I should be waving it at myself shouting “amen”.

Ladies, and gentlemen, I get it. I completely understand that you are hoping against hope, and praying with all you’ve got, that some relationships will just work themselves out. You are perfect for that man or woman, but they aren’t perfect for you. They are NOT perfect for you. They aren’t even good for you. That relationship isn’t good for you. That relationship isn’t a long term relationship. It’s a reason or season, but not a life time.

Short term people tell you they are short term people, through words and/or actions. I had an ex boyfriend who claimed to want forever with me, but he never discussed marriage. He wanted a child with me, but he never discussed a family. He always stopped short of committing to me. The relationship was saturated in missed opportunities and let downs. But, I loved him. And, because he said he loved me, I stuck it out. It was bound to get better, right? Eventually he would see that I was perfect for him. I was supportive of him. I was committed to him. I was in this. Right?

Wrong. He showed me time and again that we were short term. Maybe we would shack up for a bit. Maybe I could join the baby mama team. Maybe I could look up in another 3 years and realize he had been consistently telling me that I wasn’t the one.

Mercy?!

Because as motivated as I should have been to leave, he was motivated to keep me around. I was offering up a wife life to him, with little expectations. Human nature was telling him to soak that up. I understand. And, he didn’t owe me anything. He’d told me what I was getting. If I wanted to stand around hoping for more, I was the fool.

He was a reason for a season. He had a clear point and purpose in my life. I needed the lessons he provided. And, I’m grateful.

But, how do you know when long term really equals long term?

You will just know. The behavior changes from anything you’ve seen before. You feel it in your gut. Your person isn’t being dragged into this idea of forever by you. They are happily walking into forever, eyes wide open, eager about what’s to come. You are having long term conversations. They are initiating some of those conversations and not avoiding any of them. Their plans have you in them, and your plans don’t intimidate them.

I’m there. Finally betting on the winner. My guy discusses us as a team, not two individuals that happen to be in the same time and space. We plan our life, our family, our future, our finances, our investments, our needs, our wants, and our goals. We have real arguments that aren’t sugar coated to avoid upsetting the other person. We laugh with and at each other. We sacrifice to support the relationship, and we build each other up to be the best version of ourselves.

I didn’t know what long term felt like until I got to where I am. I only knew the short term was uncomfortable. I only recognized the struggle. I thought forever was going to be a battle.

Long term IS a challenge, but short term with long term expectations is damn near a war.

There’s levels…

Shahs of Sunset S6E11

“There’s levels. There’s levels. There’s levels. There’s girls that you’re friends with. Girls that you sleep with. There’s girls that you date. There’s girls that you engage, and there’s girls that you’re gonna marry.” – Mike Shouhed, Shahs of Sunset

I’ve been living in the levels. All the levels. 

“Hello, my name is Leandrea, and I’ve been living in the levels.”

Sheesh. 

There’s girls that you’re friends with. I’m a great friend that’s a girl. I don’t need too much attention, just the occasional plus one, respond to my text, take most of my calls, and keep my favorite snacks and drinks at your place for hang outs. I’ll advise you on your relationships. I’ll support your courtships. I’ll stand up for you at your wedding. I know my place. 

Girls that you sleep with. AKA: Friends with benefits. One night stands. A hook up. Fuck boys. Fuck girls. I don’t want to be that. I don’t want to be that girl. Let’s be friends or not. Let’s date or not. But, I don’t wanna be a conquest. I’ve been that level, and it doesn’t sit well with me. It’s not a good look. 

There’s girls that you date. I’m perfect at this level. I’m an ideal dateable girl. I think I’m fun, a chameleon that can make most situations work. I’m available, with notice, and I’ll try almost anything once. I will hold you down. I’ll build you up. I’m charming with your family, and I’ll be friends with your friends. 

There’s girls that you engage, and there’s girls that you’re gonna marry. I’ve been engaged, twice even. Never married. Not yet. I don’t know that I’m even ready to be that girl. But, I’m down the street and around the corner from the final level, and it makes me want to vomit in my shoes…a little bit. 

Marriage isn’t necessarily the finale any more. Divorce is always on the back burner. It’s just simmering waiting for either person to turn up the heat. Sheesh. But, I’d like to think I’ll only do it once. I want to believe it will work until something like forever.

When I’m ready. 

Maybe I’m just the dateable girl. Converting into the live with girl. Always the plus one and vacation with girl. The never ending friends with girl. Maybe those are my levels. 

But, true success lives just outside of our comfort zone, right? Maybe? That could just be a clever self help slogan. 

We end up living through the levels. It’s life changing. It’s challenging. It can be overwhelming. 

So, I’m almost in the last level. Struggling, but I’m here. And, I’ll do my best to see it through. Because this is the plan. And before I got to this level, it was all I ever wanted. Now that I’m here and it doesn’t look the way I expected it to look or feel how I expected it to feel, I’m doubting everything. EVERYTHING. But, I’m going to try. 

 If it all goes to shit, I can just start over…right?

That’s not really how I’m moving into this, but it’s the truth. If it all goes to shit, we move forward…battered and bruised. That’s okay too. 

Side note: This post went in its own direction. Definitely organically written, zero planning, and off the cuff.