The Great Love of Your Life

This phrase has been haunting me for a few months now. It keeps coming up at random. So I’m finally putting my 2 cents in on it.

If you feel you lost the great love of your life (not due to death), you haven’t. You lost what you perceive to be it up to that moment in your life.

I feel that the person who is the great love of your life never leaves you. It’s a bond that never goes away. Neither of you can walk away from it because you both know what it is.

It’s an unconditional two-way street.

Which can really suck sometimes because your brain might say to walk away, but you can’t.

Looking back at my long-term relationships, one could say that I lost the great love of my life. I don’t feel that way. Yes, I had some super intense, head over heels, you’re the only one relationships, but they all ended for whatever reason. If it was THE great love of my life, why would it end? Is life itself too hard to hold onto something so precious? Is the universe as so cruel as to rip that type of love away from us, just so we can regret it for the rest of our lives? Or maybe it wasn’t what we thought it was? Maybe looking back on it, it was flawed and we just couldn’t see it? Or perhaps it was another lesson in love so when that great love of our life finally walks through the door, we can recognize it?

Maybe it’s the hopeful romantic in me that refuses to believe that the great love of my life has come and gone and now I have to settle for less.

Maybe I’m a fool for believing in love at all.

At least I still have hope and faith that the greatest love of my life hasn’t passed me by.

And you should too.

The Joshua Tree Epilogue

It’s been 6 months since my trip to Joshua Tree National Park.

Life is very different from what it was before the trip. Even though it looked like I transitioned back into the hum drum pretty well, I didn’t. I don’t think anyone really does after adventures like that. It’s as if your brain chemistry changes. Nothing is the same ever again.

There is the eternal itch to pack up my bicycle and just ride.

To anywhere.

To nowhere.

To oblivion and back with a detour through hell just for shits and giggles.

To ditch everything I’ve built here in the Denver/Boulder area and just disappear on the open road. As much as I love to ride, it’s hard now to get on the beer bike to commute or get groceries because all I want to do when I start peddling, is to keep going.

When I first started biking (instead of buying a car) in March of 2011, it was just a means to and end. To get somewhere I needed to be. To not spend money on something I didn’t need and saving my carbon foot print for flights to far off destinations. It was practical, logical, and reasonable. Never did I think I would love biking, that it would become so intertwined with my contentment. To go longer than a couple of days without biking, I would become mean, moody, and hate the world.

All because of a bicycle.

The beer bike has become more than just a piece of equipment or a means of transport. It’s a symbol of the the ideas I love most in life. Simplicity, hard work, freedom, perseverance, and as the Taoists say, being the uncarved block, or pu.

In Joshua Tree, I found what so many search for. The stillness of inner peace and the contentment of love and being one with the universe. Every time I get on my bike, I feel it all over again. That’s now why I ride and why I will never stop.

To anywhere and nowhere and all points in between, it’s just me and my bicycle.


Valentine’s Day and Realizing that You’re Still Broken

avalentines_day1I hate Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day seriously makes me wretch those little heart candies with messages like the girl from The Exorcist(sadly I do like eating them). Could I be a unicorn, spewing rainbows of hearts? Hmm…maybe I AM a unicorn!?!?

Anyhoots, back to the matter at hand. Who the hell thought it was a good idea to make one day about love/romance?!?? Personally, I would not mind if we went back to Lupercalia, the ancient Roman festival that was celebrated around the 13th-15th of February. Getting hit with a bloody goat pelt by a hot naked guy running past me sounds WAY more fun than most Valentine’s Day dates I’ve had. It seems that this singular day has always brought more disappointment than joy for me.

Which is why for quite a few years now, I do something totally non-romantic on that day. Last year, my friend Chris and I checked out the Mammoths and Mastodons exhibit at the nature and science museum. Most years I’m blessed with DeVotchKa having a show on that night, like this year. What better way to forget romance and love than to listen to songs with lyrics like this:

From You Love Me

Now there is an ocean of time
Between your life and mine
You look happy and you’re married I bet
And oh my Lord how you’ve grown
To find me still alone
I am humble
I’m still trying to forget

When you said you loved me
I thought you loved me

That song always gets me like a hole through the heart. Okay…so maybe that song isn’t the best example but it’s a damn good segue to realizing that I’m wonderfully still broken.

1264547548_3844_fullNo matter how much work I’ve done on myself, there’s always more. Broken hearts are the gifts that keep giving.
In my most recent inquiry into “why I can’t find Mr Right/what do I keep doing wrong”, I have become acutely aware that the break-up from May 2010 STILL haunts my subconscious and heart. Hooray…? Now what the heck do I do about it?

Let’s take the way-back machine to that time to set the stage:
We talked about having kids, buying a home, moving in together, career moves, big vacations…you know, the stuff that makes you think that this is it. You’ve found the love of your life and it’s going to be awesome with this person. He challenged me. I can say I’ve never been more scared than to be upside down in a kayak trying to get out for the first time ever. Yeah, I know, not so scary especially since we were in a pool, but for me that is HUGE. We woke up together, went about our day, and then came back to one another to dream beautiful dreams. There weren’t too many days where we didn’t see each other. He was all the cheesy stuff romantic people say about having a best friend and a lover. He was my favorite person to be with even when we were pissed at each other.

We started as friends. I fell in love with his cherubic face and how those beautiful blue eyes looked at me. 

Apparently I was so in love I didn’t see the signs. I figured he was just so super busy with work and stressed that he just didn’t have the energy for me. So I tried harder to accommodate him and his schedule until his work finally lightened up. It didn’t get better.

At the end of April 2010, while I’m getting ready to go to a conference I ask if we could talk more about moving in together. Both our leases were up in August and I wanted to know what we going to do. That’s when he dropped the bomb on me. He didn’t think he was ready for any of it. I was dumbfounded.

I cried for the whole month of May. I would wake up and cry while I was trying to get ready for work. Sometimes I would cry between clients. I would cry while eating my lunch. When I made it home for the evening, I would make dinner and cry more. Sometimes I would read a book or watch a movie so I could stop crying for a while. Then I’d crawl into bed and cry myself to sleep. Repeat for next 31 days. I cried a good portion of June too, but not as much on a daily basis. I was in shock and dehydrated.

Does that sound unreasonable? Does it hurt when your spouse dies? Is it worse to know that they’re still alive and they just don’t love you?

Looking back, I started to wonder why it tore me up so much. It wasn’t the first time love had gone awry for me.

It hit me yesterday. It was the real potential of a future. All the talk about what we might do or wanted to do together. In past relationships, there was never any talk about that. There was talk of vacation plans or whose parents house we were spending the holidays at but it all felt mundane. He and I would stop to look at houses walking back from brunch. I believed that we would do all the things we said. I really believed with all my heart he was my best friend and lover and we could do anything.

Which explains why I get pissy when a guy I’m dating doesn’t pull through with what he says he’s going to do. Or why I also get fidgety and nervous when he tries to get me to commit to an event more than 3 weeks out. Or how I seem to find the stupidest thing to nit-pick over so I don’t get attached. How about not letting him push me out of my box? Yeah, I end up just pushing back. Does it seem like we get along really well? I’ll figure out a way to sabotage it because having you be a lover and best friend is not going to happen. You get to have one but not both.

Because if you had both that means you could rip my heart out like he did.

It amazes me how much that has influenced every relationship since. I’m not sure how to un-program it from my brain. At least the awareness of that moment and those habits can help me recognize when I’m doing it so I can stop. Maybe unprogramming happens when a friendship turns into loving partnership again. Perhaps it’s the moment when I feel I can trust someone to honor my hopes and dreams.

And maybe someday my Nino will magically appear and we’ll live happily ever after…


Did I mention, he moved in with his girlfriend?

Of which, I’m happy he finally has made that jump but that nagging question hangs out in the way back of my mind with a meek little voice, “what’s wrong with me?” NOT that I want him back, oh no, but I think it’s a valid question to ask. Without asking questions, there’s no impetus to find answers, therefore no reason to grow as a soul having a human experience. The soul wants to love unconditionally. It’s being human that makes it a bit more complex.

Either way, this little gypsy is going to dance her little butt off at the DeVotchKa concert on February 14th. I’m going to sing with all the songs and forget that there’s a holiday about love. I’m going to forget that I’m a hopeful romantic for one day. And I’ll probably weep during one song which I’m allowed to do since I’ll be in a sea of couples.

Valentine’s Day can go bugger off.



Somedays I’m so tired that as I’m falling into bed, it feels like I’m falling into his arms. Perhaps a certain level of exhaustion does that to the human brain; makes it believe it’s in a different reality. Why it would do that, I’m not sure. Maybe so the transition to sleep after a hard day is seamless…to help let go…

…let go.



…I’m so safe inside his arms. So safe…

The world just disappears with one blink. In one blink, I’m inside his arms and safe. I could swear that I feel his warm breath on my neck. His fingers, ever so gingerly, toy with strands of my dark hair before sweeping them off my face. The sweetest of sweet kisses graces my cheek, just next to my ear. A sigh mixed with love, adoration, and relief escapes my body. In all my exhaustion, I somehow muster the strength to turn over to see him.

His beautiful face…it makes my heart swell to the point of overflowing. I’ve traced the lines of that face in my mind a thousand times just this week alone. Every time my lips touch his brow…cheek…jawline…nose…kisses deposited to the bank of my heart’s desire. I could never stop doing this. I never want to stop. Nothing matters if I can not lay even the smallest of kisses upon his beautiful face.

With a kiss comes the scent of him and his day: sunshine and mountains, coffeehouse meetings, running downtown to meet friends for a beer, or just farting around the house all day. All the things my day was not. He knows how tired I am. A chaste kiss on the lips is the unspoken voice that says to me:

“My love, it’s time to sleep. Tomorrow is another day and I’ll be here when you wake.”

As if I’m a rag doll, I find myself flipped over easily with strong arms and legs wrapped around me, nose nuzzled against my ear.

And I’m safe again. Happy to be in his arms. Wishing it could always be like this. If only I could hold onto this…

…If only…

……….If only….it were real…

Maybe this happens to me in waking dreams when I am exhausted so I do not fight the hope that burns inside me of what could be.

The Road to Enlightenment Was Never Smooth 2.5

900 yearsIf you judge people, you have no time to love them. – Mother Theresa

Over the course of my life, I’ve tried to not pass judgement on anyone. The old adage “don’t judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his moccasins” has held with me ever since I heard my Grandma say it. There are days when it’s easy to do, when my heart is open and my feet feel light. Then there are the days when the world is falling down around me and the application of this is almost impossible. I’m not perfect…I’m human but at least I try my best and admit I’m wrong when I realize it.

I was wrong.

This time, I’m actually glad that I was wrong and caught it early. I’ve been stuck in this crazy loop of not opening myself to love, not just on a romantic level but on a universal one, which has caused me to judge and shut down my ability to love. It’s a tool to protect myself. Note: not a good tool, but one none the less.

He’s too emotional.

He’s an ass.

He’s a frat boy.

He’s too hipster.

He’s so cynical.

He’s too young.

The list goes on and on…but where does it stop? It stops right here with me. I can choose to not get stuck at the first impression, to take the time to actually see someone, to walk in that person’s shoes. At the same point, both parties have to be open to letting their guards down, putting their egos away, and just being who they are. It’s hard to invest time in someone if you’re always afraid that they might break your heart, whether they are just a friend, a colleague, a love, or family. Remembering to not shut down after being hurt is important for healing. As cheesy as this sounds, remaining open to love is the best way to heal. Accept long hugs and gentle kisses. If you have friends that are cuddly, invite them over for movies and cuddles. Be around the people who love you and want you to grow as the wonderful human you are.

Don’t turn away love and support but being aware that you need time to grieve in a healthy way is also important. Of course only you know how and how long to do that, but don’t let it consume your life. I have heard of cultures that once a loved one dies, you choose how long you grieve for. Once that time is up, you’re done. It doesn’t mean that you forget the person, but you finally pick up the pieces and move on. I feel that a grieving period should be applied to all grieving situations that do not involve death, such as a breakup either romantic or other. That sounds a lot better to me than just bottling it up because we’re supposed be “strong” or going on a drinking binge.

A few peeps recently have schooled me once more in my lesson of judgement, acceptance, and patience.

It’s funny, actually. Once I got past the frat boy, I saw a sensitive, loving, giving, witty, charismatic, cuddly, innocent, front-range sprite. I’m excited to go run amuck with him or just lay down in soft summer grass and look at clouds while pondering the universe. The ass: he just looks at the world with a twist and isn’t scared to say it. I also think he’s there to shield the sprite, in a greater universal concept sort of way. Sometimes bright souls need protectors to ensure they stay bright. The cynic: some hurts go so deep, it’s hard to see the light. I would never have known how much hurt this person went through and how hard he’s struggled to come back to feeling okay.

These are things I would never have seen if I had stayed in that place of judgement. Being in a place where I do not judge, to be accepting of others’ paths, to be compassionate, to hear the stories, to be patient enough to let the stories unfold when they are supposed to, to open my heart, to give love (agape, eros, philia, or storge) and to accept love, has ultimately made me a happier, healthier human being, spiritually, emotionally, and mentally.

Sometimes this way of being brings me sadness and grief, but it’s always worth it.


Being an “Adult” Sucks: Round 2

I love you, but you’re going to hell.”

Those were the last kind words the woman that I called my mother said to me.

All because I would not let her convert me back to being a Catholic.

The past 4 days have been a serious trial for my roommate and I with her staying at our house. We’re both very relaxed people, accepting of a lot but we have our limits too. Robin can take care of herself but to see my mother rail into her like she does to me…that is unacceptable.

I’m not against people having faith in any religion. What I can not stand is zealotous behavior that goes against the basic principles of someone’s chosen faith, especially when it’s aimed at my loved ones and I. A healthy conversation about spirituality, faith, or religion is always welcome but it seems that so few people can actually do it without getting their panties in a bunch.

I should have listened to my instincts.

I should have told her that coming for Christmas was a bad idea.

Maybe this was supposed to happen so I could finally let her go and say no.

All my life, it felt like I was never good enough for her. The realization that most of my self-esteem issues originated from her hit me on day 3. I can accept that maybe she did that to me because she wanted me to be happy and work hard to have a better life. At the age of 37, I don’t need her telling me that I’m living in sin and leading a horrible life. 

So what if I don’t have a car? That’s my choice. To have her keep digging me about not having one, telling me I’m crazy for not wanting one, and saying she’s buying me a car that I don’t want because I obviously don’t know what’s good for me…

That’s the tip of the iceberg.

The look of pure anger on her face when I “sided” with Robin about how rude she’s been as a guest in our house to us and Robin’s brother dissolved the last shred of guilt I had about being a bad daughter. Whether I am or not, it doesn’t give her the right to treat me or anyone else that way. Telling Robin she’s to blame if I don’t go to heaven is not cool. That is not her job or anyone else’s. 

After watching her get in the cab, I hugged Robin and started to cry. I felt horrible for letting her come into our peaceful, happy home. I felt sad that Robin was subjected to such disrespect and outright meanness. I was relieved that we didn’t have to do 4 more days of that. I felt pity for a woman who was so unhappy and angry she didn’t realize it.

Family isn’t always defined by who you share genetics with.

It’s who you share love with.

Being an “Adult” Sucks

Friends“She’s had a few really bad boyfriends…”

Being an adult sucks.

Kids, put it off as long as you can because once you start acting like one, everything changes. I’m not saying to be irresponsible or a fool. Do all the cool stuff that comes with being over the age of 18 but don’t buy into the “adult” mentality. It sucks all the fun and awesomeness out of life.

You start forgetting what inspires you. You forget how to have a good time without booze. You stop appreciating the small things. Having wonder in the world around you goes out the window. You forget how to be open and love. You start pontificating about bullshit. You wait to speak instead of listen. You accumulate baggage and don’t know how to let it go.

Last week I got schooled, yet once more, in how bad it sucks to be an adult.

There are only 3 people in my life right now that I would go to hell and back for. Two are childhood friends. One of them basically told me that we can no longer be friends due his dating situation. The amazing amount of sadness and heartbreak that I’ve been feeling is overwhelming. I could see how horrible he felt as he told me this. She has never met me. Quite oddly, I saw this coming.

But nothing really prepares you for the blow.

It’s like being in that scene in A Fish Called Wanda where Ken rolls over Otto with a steamroller while he’s stuck in the concrete. I was stuck in the concrete of my own shock, unable to move my feet, just nodding, smiling, and as the steamroller of his words and the look on his face crushed me , said:

I understand.

You’re in love.

I’m okay, really…

She’s important to you.

I’m happy you’ve found someone.

You have to do what you have to do.

I was good. I didn’t cry. I try not to in public especially when I’m at a fundraiser. I kept my game face on and did my best to keep my emotions in check. Because that is what adults do. Since I get to see him only a few times a year these days, we kept talking like nothing had happened. I wanted to enjoy probably the last conversation I would ever have with him. I wanted to remember each moment.

Then it hit when I least expected it. My fidgetting and looking up at the ceiling failed my eyes and I wept a little. It was the thought that I might never see him again and if he married to her, I probably would not be invited to the wedding. Not seeing someone because they are dead is one thing. Knowing they’re alive and healthy and wondering how they are but you’re not allowed to be friends anymore…hurts more than you can imagine. I tried to quickly wipe away the tears. I tried to force myself into a different emotion. I prayed to a mericiless Universe to not let him see those tears.

Of course my prayers fell on deaf ears.

That moment went by like 50 years. It was just a few tears but it felt like they just wouldn’t stop. I didn’t want to be sad. I wanted to part ways with a smile on my face and happy he’s in love. We’ve known each other over 20 years with ups and downs. We grew up down the street from each other. Our mothers were friends and worked in the same factory. He saw me get married and divorced. He was always there, even when he wasn’t physically there. This is NOT how I wanted it to end. Not this night and definitely not the friendship. After I quickly wiped away the tears, it was the reassurance again:

I’m okay, really.

No really, I’m okay.

I just got a little verklempt.

I’m fine.

Just like the adult I’ve learned to become. We continued catching up and discussing as we have for the past 20 plus years.

I went dancing later that night. Promised myself that I would go at least once a week to shake my groove thang from now on. It used to be the best way for me to figure out life. Just the music, my thoughts, and my friends. He used to be my best buddy for going out dancing. Not that night and never again. That night I let the music drown my thoughts. I allowed it to silence everything and just take my feet and body on a journey out of myself. That was the last place I wanted to be: inside my own thoughts and emotions. I wanted solace from this storm. I wanted to just curl up, be held and cry for a while. Since that wasn’t an option, dancing was my best bet.

All you readers out there, I hope the last words you say to one of your best friends never has to be this:

“I love you. If I never see you again, I hope you have a good life.”

I’d still go to hell and back for him.