13 years ago I met a man who had the same birthday as me. That was enough for me to declare him “the One”.
Seven months into the relationship we were on our first romantic trip together. Somewhere between Madrid and Barcelona one afternoon I was feeling tired, hungry, and in need of rest. He wanted to go hiking. I was hoping we would eat dinner and cuddle. He decided to go for the hike with Claire, a beautiful, younger than me, woman he had just met. “I want you to stay with me” I said. He left with Claire.
I cried for hours in the green tent. There was a full moon and the sky was perfectly clear. I plucked my eyebrows, took a shower and got into the sleeping bag. I did not sleep much and cringed when he came back to join me about four hours later (felt like ten). I pretended to be asleep and did not say anything.
I betrayed myself.
When I woke up the next morning I felt like I was not me. I felt dirty, untrustworthy of my own actions. I felt like I had done everything wrong, but was not even sure what.
After 300 (100,000?) miles of driving in tense silence, when we finally took a break and walked into a park I grabbed his hand in reconciliation in the name of: “I stand by my man”, even if it meant: “I betray my own soul”. Something crashed within me, it was a physical sensation, a falling down, a breaking glass, a metal flavor. I went on to live three years of my life in a relationship that was not meant to be.
Recently I had a very difficult situation with a family member that called for me to re-define what “standing by my family” means. These are not easy decisions, but I learned that to be true to myself many times I must disappoint others and their expectations. Staying true to my own soul in an intelligent way is the priority. Finding the boundaries of my own truth is a lifetime challenge. I hope I can keep exploring the edges of it.
This, of course does not work as an excuse to get out of commitments that are solid, it just means that in certain cases, extreme cases, confused cases, challenging cases, life needs to be taken as a conversation rather than a black or white matter. It means life is fluid and needs re-thinking, presence, brutal honesty and a deep honoring of our own souls.
As per the ex-boyfriend, he is now happily engaged and living abroad. I wish him happiness, he taught me a big and expensive lesson.
Pictures in this post link to their source.