So there I was enjoying the hot Florida sun, languishing with the post race crowd in the cool waters of a pool. I looked over to my left as a fellow runner (whom I met earlier at the race) walked in wearing a Red Sox cap and T-shirt. “Hey, where are you from?”, I shouted to him as he approached the water. I was surprise to learn that he had grown up in a town not too far from where I was currently living. Before I knew it, he had climbed into the pool beside me. An immediate sense of ease came over me as we began what turned into a 2 1/2 hour conversation.
I will spare you the details; they are not important. Suffice it to say that we each felt a shift occur. A connection. Certainly we were not the only ones to witness this event. Fellow runners and my own teenage sons were keen observers as well. My parents -especially my late mother-were thrilled to see me enjoy myself for a change. (I was in the midst of a nasty divorce, feeling drained and lost.) My mother sang this man’s praises later that evening, but I had no expectations. After all, we lived very far from each other and I was still not legally divorced. Her reply was simple: “Well, you never know.”
And that’s right. You never do know. Pivotal changes can be subtle. They can be the beginnings of something new without any tangible or obvious or even immediate changes. In my life, meeting the man I love helped me to return to myself. He did not come into my life to save me-that was up to me. He came into my life for many reasons not the least of which was to show me the profound sense of peace that deep love and commitment can bring.
We have been together nearly five years and will be married in a year and a half. My hard work raising my sons is done. I have given birth to myself once again. I will be moving away from a place that I have known all my life to embrace a newer culture and climate. I have never been more afraid and more ready. Living out loud and truly free with a man who loves me for me.
Many thanks to Kelley Rose for hosting Kellie Elmore’s Free Write Friday this week!