Independence

Independence

You learn a great deal about yourself while living alone. You find an inner strength you may not have known was there. You find reasons to smile when your better half is hundreds of miles away. You find ways to share your strength and love through the distance that is  temporarily separating you.

Twenty-five days ago a new chapter began for Jason and I. A chapter that brought him to Southwest Florida, while I remained here in NE Tennessee.

I have gone through a slew of emotions in that time period. Emotions that have ranged from happy to sad and everything in between. Those consuming emotions even led to a few break downs that I had to push myself through … which sometimes took too long to conquer.

The best part of those emotions is the love I have for this man has never wavered or been questioned. Jason’s love is what helps me through each and every day a part.

We have grown “heaps” in this time span. We have shown each other that the foundation we created cannot be rocked even in the trying times we are experiencing right now. Our communication has only strengthened. Yes, even through the countless hours we are both working to make ends meet to close this chapter.

The first night he was away I started something that I now look forward to doing every day. This new routine shows Jason that my spirits are soaring even through a couple hiccups. This new kind of sharing, I know helps him through his 15 hour days of work.

One of my favorite times of the day is at the end of Jason’s work day when my phone begins ringing. It’s his comforting tone, his reassurance that carries me through another day. It’s those simple, but yet powerful words “I love you” “I miss you” and “see you soon” that continue to give us both the strength we need.

The beauty of all of this is I have become extremely independent. A kind of independent I have never experienced before. An independence that is invigorating, empowering and incredibly satisfying.

I am proud to say that I have not been confined to my home while Jason is away. Independence.

I am proud to say my appetite that was pretty nonexistent at the beginning has resurfaced. I have dived into a new-found passion of finding new black bean recipes and making myself an incredibly delicious meal. Independence.

I have found the strength to carry on. To continue one of my found loves – running! Yes, although I bring Lucy with me, Independence.

Lucy and I have been venturing down to the Greenbelt quite often, which continues to help me sort through my thoughts, while keeping the positive energy flowing through every cell of my body.

Today we ran 3.78 miles. I’m proud of us for going this distance, especially since it was one of the hotter days since the awful cold winter months.

LUcy 2Whenever we are done with our run, I let Lucy explore and sniff an area on the Greenbelt. Often times it’s the same area.

Lucy 3She loves watching the ducks, which were quite active today. They were quacking, splashing and making all kinds of noises drawing Lucy in and keeping her attention.

Lucy 4 I have to admit the picture below is my favorite of today.

LucyThat oh so long tongue . . .

Signs of spring continue to surface all over Kingsport. It’s such a beautiful time of the year.

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flower editI know we are nearing the end of our time a part and a new countdown will begin soon. A countdown of when I can see Jason in person. A countdown when I can go running into his arms. A countdown of when we will be in the same space again.

I truly believe there is nothing we cannot accomplish as a couple, and as two separate individuals.

Bittersweet

Bittersweet

The last two days I have been stuck in doors because of the rain. So, this morning after a good night’s sleep, Lucy and I headed to the Greenbelt.

The weather was gorgeous with temperatures climbing into the 50’s. There was not a cloud in the sky. It was the perfect morning to go for a 3.21-mile run.

As Lucy and I ran our old route, emotions were definitely tugging at me as I took in the scenery for all it was worth. It’s going to be hard to say goodbye to the pure beauty of Northeast Tennessee.

This place will forever stay in my heart.

This area has given me a sense of peace that I cannot fully explain.

It’s definitely bittersweet.

So, half way through our run, we stopped, so Lucy could go to the bathroom, and I could enjoy one of my favorite places on the Greenbelt . . . a waterfall that was flowing pretty good today.

20150315_113227 editThis is one of my favorite sounds. The rushing of the water, the cascading of water down the rocks. The sound, and sight, pulls you in, clearing your thoughts, giving you a sense of clarity, all while mesmerizing you making it hard to look away.

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Although I know I will find a new favorite spot to run in Fort Myers with Lucy, I’m truly going to miss my home-away-from-home.

It’s my go to place, my therapy, my path that cures all stress.

I’m so happy Jason and I decided to move to Kingsport almost two years ago. It was a move that brought us closer as a couple. A move that gave us a deeper appreciation for the outdoors.

Our run this morning was so good for my soul. It gave me the clarity I needed once again to get through this time Jason and I are spending a part. Time that neither of us want to spend a part . . .

As always, here’s a glimpse of the Greenbelt through Lucy’s eyes.

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Lucy

 

Rollercoaster . . .

Rollercoaster . . .

I have definitely been on a rollercoaster of emotions this week, which I have to admit is very exhausting.

Yesterday, although my day did not start with a phone call from Jason, nor ended with a phone call from him . . . well, it went okay . . . until sleep completely escaped me.

The highlights of my day yesterday, day four of Jason being gone . . .

A phone call from my mom and my older brother Bill, as well as an overdue much-needed run with my best little buddy, my puppy Lucy.

I had a ton of copy editing I had to accomplish for one of the newspapers I work for in Arizona, which kept me extremely busy.

A phone call from my mom prompted an escape from my computer. She knows me well and knows what will help.

Exercise.

Almost every single day since Monday, my mom has made it a point to call and check up on me. I look forward to that friendly phone call, even if there is not anything new to share. There’s a huge comfort that comes with just hearing her voice.

So, after she told me to go for a run, I listened. I threw on my running clothes and put Lucy’s collar on and we headed to our old stomping grounds. Thankfully that portion of the Greenbelt that we enjoy using was open.

It was however a muddy mess with portions of the path still underwater. Yesterday I just didn’t care . . . I needed that run more than anything.

Although the music was streaming through my headphones, I couldn’t tell you what I was listening to during that 3 mile run. My thoughts were jetting in every possible direction. That was exactly the therapy I needed. Sometimes you don’t fully know everything you’re holding in until you are faced with open space and a route you want to complete.

As Lucy and I embraced the 70 degree temperatures and occasional rays of sunshine, our speed was not fast, but consistent until my body told me no more.

I felt good when we called it quits. I was proud of myself for making it to the Greenbelt to go for a run.

Here are a few pictures from yesterday . . .

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20150312_170143 editI was on a runner’s high after we returned home. It stayed with me for quite a few hours. I was excited that my meal, a recipe I found on Pinterest, tasted great. A mixture of hard-boiled eggs, avocado, onion, Greek yogurt, lemon juice and pepper on multi-grain bread topped with a tomato. It was delicious.

With a full belly, it was back to my desk to finish the copy editing I put on hold. This is when I received a surprise phone call from my older brother. I absolutely love hearing from him. No matter how many miles separate us, he’s always there for me, always looking out for me, always making sure I am okay. There’s truly nothing greater than a love from an older brother. His understanding voice, his open ears, lifted my spirits enabling me to finish my work for the night.

I watched a few television shows before heading to bed. I have to admit I was really looking forward to my phone ringing once more. The phone call never came.

I ended up falling asleep, waking to a text from Jason. A text message I never answered.

Last night I only managed to get a few hours of sleep. I thought for sure with exercising and, well, being exhausted from the week’s events would bring on the sleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.

Unfortunately I was terribly let down . . .

I wish Jason was here besides me, or I was already there besides him. I sleep so much better when I know he is laying besides me or in the same house.

My strength is there, although not as strong as I need it to be at times. My smile comes and goes as the tears take its place, still at the most random times.

This experience, although is still in the beginning stages has proven to be difficult, but not unmanageable.

I am beyond grateful I have Lucy, my sweet, affectionate, cuddly, beautiful puppy. There is truly no better companion than that of a dog.

Lucy makes me laugh, keeping my spirits high.

She gives me the comfort I need throughout the day and even while we are sleeping.

Ever since Monday, Lucy snuggles even closer to me in bed. Her body is curled up against mine at all times, never straying away. This comforts me in a way I cannot explain.

Today she has not left my side. She’s been asleep in my lap while I work at my desk, occasionally looking at me with those puppy eyes. I can feel her telling me it’s okay.

Every day is a new challenge. Every day I am faced with new and old emotions. Every day I pray that our time a part is almost over.

I love being independent, but I love having Jason here with me. I love sharing my life with him in the same space without hundreds of miles separating us.

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I only hope that the strength I know I have stays consistant from here on out. I need more of my good days that are filled with high spirits. Those feelings, those emotions, will make the time a part easier to handle . . .

Embrace them

Embrace them

Today marks the third day since Jason left for Florida.

Emotions can be a tricky thing from time to time. Sometimes they are easy to keep in check, while other times they leave me feeling completely paralyzed.

Yesterday started off great . . . I talked to Jason on the phone shortly after we both woke, and I had plenty of work lined up to keep me busy.

Unfortunately as the afternoon progressed, my emotions rapidly raced out of control. Before I knew it, my chest began to hurt, the tears started streaming and I couldn’t budge. No matter what I tried, who I talked to, I was an emotional mess.

The work that I should have been doing quickly became an after thought as my mind became cloudier as the minutes passed.

Text messages from Jason slowly got me out of my mindset. A phone call before he went to bed helped even more.

So, last night after I finally forced some food into my stomach and watched one of my favorite shows, the tears stopped, the smile slowly surfaced.

Today I woke up exhausted from the emotions that took hold yesterday. The exhaustion was also because I haven’t had a good night’s sleep since Jason left.

It’s so hard being away from your best friend, your one true love. The hardest part of it all is not knowing exactly when he will return.

We are creatures of habit. Creatures of routines.

I’ve come to love receiving a goodbye kiss while hearing have a good day from Jason before leaving for work. I got used to him popping in throughout the day when he had a minute, which was always a highlight of my day. I have fallen in love with having him home at night, while we enjoy dinner together, watching our favorite shows.

Our routine changed drastically over the last few days. Although we hear from each other often, phone calls and text messages, it’s not the same as having that person right there in front of you.

But, our new routine quickly shook off some of the groggyness when I was greeted with my good morning text today. After our phone call, I was determined to keep my emotions in check and have a good day.

Tomorrow it’s going to be another challenge to overcome. Jason starts working at one of the jobs he was offered. Yes, I’m ecstatic because that means we are one step closer for him coming to get me. Unfortunately, this means he’s going to be super busy and our communication won’t be as frequent.

The events of today . . .

I started my work day and got a lot accomplished before taking a break for a trip to the grocery store.

My stomach growled. My stomach was actually telling me to eat. This alone was huge. So I listened.

I made a grocery list of a few new recipes I found on Pinterest and headed out the door. I treated myself to a burrito, which I actually finished. I was stuffed for the first time since before Jason left.

The positive momentum carried on throughout the day.

My good friend of more than 15 years called me today to check up on me, which completely made my day. It was so good to hear a familiar voice. It was so good to hear from a friend that I have known for years.

Shortly after we finished our conversation I received a surprise message from another friend who I have known forever.

It’s those types of out of the blue calls and messages from friends that kept my spirits lifted today.

Sometime after 6 p.m. a ray of sunlight came bursting through my office window. For the majority of the day I could not see Bays Mountain in the distance because of the cloud coverage and the rain.

I didn’t think twice. I saved everything I was working on, and headed into the living room to put on my shoes. I changed Lucy’s collar and we were out the door.

I needed a breath of fresh air. I needed to keep my thoughts clear. I needed to keep my great day going.

We headed to our normal spot on the Greenbelt, only to find a sign stating it was closed. The beauty of the Greenbelt is there are lots of different entry points throughout Kingsport.

We headed to the Boatyard portion of the Greenbelt. I’m so glad I decided to go for a walk with Lucy tonight. The temperatures were in the 60s, and although it was still somewhat cloudy, it was exactly what I needed.

We walked a little more than 2 miles. Well, Lucy ran as I speed walked behind her trying to keep up.

The sunset was absolutely stunning. I took more than 40 pictures tonight . . .

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Today was a beautiful day.

I proved to myself that I am strong enough to make this time a part work. I showed myself that I can keep my emotions in check, while getting important things accomplished. While enjoying this “me” time.

Emotions are a tricky thing. Emotions are a good thing.  I’m slowly learning how to embrace them, while still keeping them in check.

Flowing freely

This morning I faced the most difficult experience I have ever had in my life.

I have been dreading today since Wednesday. I’ve been trying to slow down the days because I didn’t want Monday to become a reality.

This morning I knew was going to be hard. I just had no idea it was going to hurt this bad.

I feel that Jason and I became even closer this weekend. Every thing is an open book between us, well it always has been. But this weekend, I feel we shared even more. He read my emotions, and I read his. I shared my feelings and he shared comforting words, while he too expressed what he was feeling. There were many times we found comfort in being close to one another, often times not sharing any words at all.

That’s the beauty of really knowing someone. You can read their body language and know when a smile is needed, when a kiss can bring some comfort and when a hug can change the overwhelming feelings.

I felt his nerves yesterday as he was packing, as he was preparing to leave for Florida this morning. His nerves were my worry of what the immediate future had in store for us.

As soon as he started packing his bag the tears began. I was faced with our reality. Packed bags meant the day was almost here.

The beauty of this decision that we made together is exactly that. There was no arguments. There was no heated discussions. There was no yelling. The decision struck us both at the same time. As the weighted decision started taking shape and the logistics were being discussed, we both tried to be each other’s strength.

I will never forget the words of encouragement Jason shared last night and this morning. I will never forget the strength of his arms as they engulfed me trying to give me as much comfort as he could. I will never forget the love I felt when he shared “I promise.”

One of the things that stuck out the most, that has me smiling even through the tears ,is the frame he grabbed to pack of him and I. A picture that exemplifies the fun we have together and the love that we share.

Last night we fell asleep in each other’s arms. Last night was the last time we will be able to lay next to each other for I don’t know how long.

This morning when his alarm went off a little after 3 a.m. my chest instantly began hurting. I slowly made my way out of bed after he was done in the bathroom. I sat on the couch and watched him put the last little bit in his bag. The strength I was trying to brave quickly vanished as the tears began rolling down my face.

This was it . . .

After Jason zipped up his bag he sat on the couch next to me. We were now faced with what we were both dreading. The inevitable.

Jason stood up, as did I. I couldn’t look him in the eyes because of the tears that were flowing freely as I walked rather quickly into his arms. The crying only became harder as he wrapped his arms around me, kissing the top of my head and my face.

This man is my everything. This man is my rock, my best friend, my strength when I have a hard time finding it.

So now as I sit here and write this blog the tears are flowing once again.

My tears became his tears as we walked outside and stood on the front deck still trying to put off the inevitable. One last hug, one last kiss, one last time saying I love you was just that. I couldn’t let him get in the car, although I knew the time had come.

I grabbed Lucy and put her in my arms after Jason made it to his car trying to calm the tears, trying to calm my body as Jason shut the door to the car. By this time Jason’s tears were flowing just as freely. He told me he couldn’t drive away if I was standing on the front porch. One last kiss, one last I love you and I turned around and walked in the house. As soon as the door closed I almost fell to my knees as the crying intensified. I somehow found some strength and walked to the window and peeked outside. I saw Jason wave goodbye and then watched him pull out of the driveway. I watched until I couldn’t see his tail lights any longer.

I knew today was going to be hard, but didn’t know how much it would hurt.

After battling my thoughts I was finally able to fall asleep almost three hours after he left. My sleep was filled with dreams of this beautiful man of mine. I woke to a text message from him sharing how far he made it and he hoped I was able to fall back asleep.

After taking Lucy outside, I came in and called him. I needed to hear his voice. He sounded just as emotionally drained as I was, but still giving me words of encouragement.

I’ve said this many times before. I have the love of a man who would move mountains to make sure we are okay. I know we will be together once again very soon. I know we will feed off of each other and be okay during our time a part. He’s given me the strength to keep my head held high. He’s given me the love to make it through this time.

This weekend only reaffirmed once again that I found the perfect man for me. I have found the man who I want to spend the rest of my life with. I have found my soul mate, my one true love, my best friend.

I pray that the rest of his trip is safe and he makes it to his destination safe and sound. I can’t wait until we are able to Skype tonight, so I can see his beautiful smile. So I can see his comforting eyes. So I can hear his voice, which calms me time and time again.

I know the result of this decision is only going to bring us closer as a couple. I know this decision is only going to improve our lives and take away some of the stresses we have encountered as soon as we are together again.

I love you baby, more than you will ever know.


Here’s a recent post that shares why we had to make this decision:

https://meghan80.wordpress.com/2015/03/06/an-extremely-hard-decision/

An extremely hard decision

An extremely hard decision

The life as we know it in Kingsport was shaken pretty hard on Wednesday, which resulted in a quick action plan. An action plan that left us both in tears as the discussions began.

After dropping Jason off at work on Wednesday, I came back home and began writing one of the many articles I had to turn in to meet deadlines.

As I was working, my cell phone rang a little after 11 a.m. as Jason’s face filled my screen. After saying hello, he said I have to call you right back. My phone rang again a few seconds later only to hear, I’m walking home, come pick me up.

I threw on my shoes, grabbed my purse and was out the door. I’ve had phone calls like this in the past.

Within minutes Jason came into view on the side of the road walking. I stopped in the middle of the road, knowing the cars behind me were far enough away. Jason got in the car. I asked him if everything was okay. He replied “No. I don’t want to talk about it.”

The ride home was pretty quiet, as my thoughts shot in every direction of what could have happened. When we got home, we both got out of the car. Jason came around to my side and said “I know you mean well, just give me some time.”

I respected his wishes, knowing he would share once he settled down.

Well, that all changed when he walked into my office and asked how much we still owe on his car. After I looked it up for him, I asked, what’s going on?

That’s when the events of the morning unfolded and I learned that Jason’s boss told him to leave for reasons I think are absurd.

My response of course was if he can unravel and get that nasty that quickly, I don’t want you working for him anymore. You’re done babe.

I worked for his boss for a little while creating labels for him for cheese and bread. The beginning of our working relationship was nice. Towards the end, I started to not care for him anymore. So, I finished all the work he had given me, provided him with the files and wiped my hands of the whole situation.

After Jason contacted a few people he knows in the area asking if they had work or if they know of anyone looking for help, we decided it was time for a major change.

That change, like I said, shook us pretty good.

That change . . . well, we knew deep down, was in the cards.

That change we both knew would allow us to breathe a little more. That decision would take an incredible amount of weight off our shoulders.

That change, like I said had the tears flowing quite frequently.

That change . . . another move.

It’s time to leave Kingsport and head back to an economy that is striving . . . Fort Myers where our family and friends are.

On May 1, it would have marked two years since we moved to Tennessee from Fort Myers. Almost two years of trying to make it work in an economy that does not offer any assistance to stay afloat with the little wages provided.

I am so proud of us for giving this new home of ours more than 100 percent. We gave this place a lot of blood, sweat and tears trying to stay afloat, trying to make a living.

Sometimes you just have to know when it’s time . . . when it’s time to cut your losses and start again somewhere new. When it’s time to come up for air and breathe a little easier.

We found a new kind of beauty. We found a new sense of peace. We found a passion we enjoy together . . . hiking and enjoying the outdoors for all it has to offer.

All of those findings happened here in Kingsport and surrounding areas. This move has made us stronger as individuals and as a couple. The amount of love I have for this man grew leaps and bounds since we made this move together to NE Tennessee.

This is only part of the reason I was a ball of emotions.

Yes, although financially we have struggled for way too long, I am going to miss the mountains, the pure beauty of this state. I am going to miss the seasons.

I am going to miss the beauty of this area.

So, our decision was made. We were saying goodbye to Tennessee, which meant a new plan was in place.

Jason was offered two jobs on Sanibel at two restaurants he worked at before we left Florida. Two jobs that are available to him just as soon as he could make his way back to Florida.

Yep, bring on another round of tears . . .

After long, hard discussions and weighing all of our options, the plan that’s in place has my emotions at an all time high. Has Jason’s at an all time high.

I’ll be completely honest. Every time I think of Monday morning the tears begin to form. Anxiety I have not felt since we first moved here is in full swing. With that said, today’s been the first day I have had an easier time breathing.

Monday morning Jason’s hitting the road to head to Florida and start working at the jobs he was offered. Monday morning I will be saying “see you soon” to the love of my life as I stay here in Kingsport and he travels hundreds of miles south.

This was such a hard decision. A decision we both were not too keen on making. A decision we still are not too keen on making. A decision, unfortunately we both know is in our best interest.

My wish is that the time frame we have predicted will be much shorter than we anticipate. A time frame that will bring Jason back to me quicker, so we can pack up our house and get on the road and make our home in Fort Myers once again.

I know Monday is going to be incredibly hard. But, I know our relationship is so strong that we will give each other the strength we need to make this all work. The strength we need to get through us being  a part.

I have so much respect for this man. So much love. He is my dream guy. He is the guy that will move mountains to make things work. He is such a hard working person, such a determined person. I know I will always be okay because I have him by my side.

I cannot wait to join him in Fort Myers and be surrounded by my family once again. I cannot wait to give Dorene a hug and have my best friend within 30 minutes from me.

I know this is the right thing for us to do.

I just hope what the immediate future has to hold will be easier than my brain is telling me.

Emotional day

Yesterday was a lot harder than I had anticipated. 

As I started getting ready yesterday morning, Lucy instantly knew something was going on. Once we walked downstairs she began shaking, which really didn’t vanish until we were half way down the road.

You see June 13 marked the day that she was being spayed. Our day started rather early because I had to drop her off at the vet at 7:30 in the morning.

The bad part of this whole scenerio is Banfield is right next to the Kingsport Greenbelt where we go for our runs.

The excitment slowly took over Lucy as she became aware of where we were. As the car continued to go past our regular destination, she began shaking again. After I parked the car, we sat there for a few minutes as I gave her a few last scratches, which she throughly enjoyed.

We walked to the front counter and as I was given paperwork, the nurses took her from me and walked away.

I was okay until I walked back towards the car with no puppy.  I have no idea why I became so emotional, but my eyes began filling with tears as I sat in the car.

At this point in time I was reminded how much this little puppy and I have shared in such a short amount of time. I cannot put into words what kind of bond we have formed.

Jason and I were able to save her when she showed up at our doorstep, and in a sense she saved me too. I love having a companion with me all the time, especially with how much Jason works.

I knew Lucy was in good hands, but she was still going to be given anesthesia and undergoing surgery.

I’m a worry wart, a very big worry wart.

Once I arrived back home I started to work on some articles, which was weird. There was no puppy under my desk, no little puppy footsteps following me everywhere, no breaks to go for a walk outside.

Jason and I made an appointment for our kitty Leo at Banfield for 9:15 the same morning. This was very hard. I could hear Lucy crying, but I couldn’t go and comfort her. Her surgery hadn’t started yet, and wouldn’t for another hour or so.

After bringing Leo back home, I went back to work, while watching the clock. The wait for the phone call, oh the wait.

I was finally able to settle down when the phone rang and I was told that Lucy did really well and we could pick her up after 4 p.m. Now a new wait was before me. Thank goodness I had a ton of work to get done.

This part of my day I will never forget. When the vet carried Lucy into room #2, she was wearing a light blue bandana. I stood up and walked towards her. I knew she knew who I was, but since she was still highly medicated her look was so far away. It felt good to pet her and let her know I was there. It felt even better to carry her to the car and bring her home.

After we got her home, Jason headed to the store to get us dinner.

I lost it .

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As she sat in her bed, she looked at me through extremely cloudy eyes. Lucy was right in front of me, but yet so far away. That look made me cry.

As humans we can verbally communicate how we are feeling. Although I know this puppy, I had no idea what she was thinking, how she was feeling.

Overwhelmed was an understatement.  I’m such a softy, such an animal lover. This puppy stole my heart from day one.

I’m happy to say the cloudiness slowly went away and the alert, loving puppy joined us by the end of the night.

She slept all night with a cone around her neck to prevent her from licking. She stayed close to my side,  often times repositioning herself to get even closer.

Today Lucy was back to normal for the most part. She definitely wants to be active, which I cannot let her do quite yet.

The hardest thing this week is going to be preventing her from jumping, running and chasing the cats up the stairs. I’m hoping we will have a successful week of recovery.

I love how much of an impact an animal can have on your life. I’m excited to see what the future holds for this little pup and I!