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.

Flood of memories

Flood of memories

A flood of memories took hold this morning after Lucy and I went to Bays Mountain. The first adventure Jason, Lisa and I had after we arrived in Kingsport almost two years ago.

This morning I needed more than just a run. I needed to get lost in the woods for a little while. So around 11, we started getting ready to go for a hike.

As soon as we arrived I spotted a chipmunk, which I haven’t seen since one of the first times we went hiking at Bays Mountain. The best part was Lucy had no idea what I was looking at, so I was able to capture a shot. A picture with food in his mouth.

I knew it was going to be a great hike after that.

chipmunk

We first headed to the spot where that adventure took place. That adventure almost two years ago. An adventure that led us to a waterfall.

waterfall 3As soon as I heard the noise I became emotional. As soon as I stepped out near the top of the waterfall memories came flooding back.

I felt Jason with me . . . wishing he was beside me instead of hundreds of miles away.

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waterfall 1All of my memories from that day in May 2013 consumed me as I found a rock to sit on and take in the scenery. We had so much fun that afternoon exploring the outdoors of our new home.

IMG_3141 editWe created so many of our own little adventures that day. So many adventures that made me begin to beat my fear of heights, all with the help of Jason by my side.

The laughter filled my veins as I looked around, really looked around, and remembered the fun we had that afternoon.

IMG_3144 editI sat there on that rock for as long as Lucy let me.

IMG_3145 editFor as long as she allowed me to listen to the rushing water while sorting through my thoughts.

IMG_3146 editOf course those thoughts began tugging at the tears I somehow managed to prevent from falling. Happy tears. Happy tears of how far Jason and I have come since that day. Since that first adventure.

IMG_3151 editLucy finally had enough, so with a heavy heart we kept on hiking.

There was a smile on my face from that moment on, especially when the flood of memories continued of everything Jason and I have seen since we moved to Kingsport in May 2013. The smile was because a relationship that was already strong when me made that move together, has only grown leaps and bounds since then. That smile was because I have the heart of a man who will do anything to make me happy. This time a part has proven that on so many levels.

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IMG_3171 editThe further we hiked the Lakeside Trail the deeper in thought I became. There is just something about the outdoors that fully allows your mind to wander. Although I was deep in thought, the noises of the outdoors still captured me, as well as the beauty that lined the trails.

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IMG_3176 editI’m so glad I had Lucy with me. She brought me back into the moment as she too enjoyed the outdoors.

As always, here’s our hike through Lucy’s eyes.

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One of my hopes before leaving the house this morning was spotting signs of spring. I was so excited when I saw a tree along the water that was showing life again. The only tree along the path we decided to hike.

My trip was complete. I’ve been excited about spring all winter. It is one of my favorite seasons. There’s something special about watching nature come back to life.

spring 5

spring 4

spring 3

spring 1

spring 2It’s hard to believe that tomorrow marks two weeks since Jason packed his car and headed to Florida to get us ready for our move. A move that would bring us closer to family and friends.

There is not a day that goes by that I don’t miss Jason. There is not a day that goes by that I wish he was here with me, or I was there with him.

This transition period, however has shown me what I am capable of . . . what kind of strength I have. I have become independent on a level that has made me proud. A level of independence that has shown me I am much stronger than I have ever thought or gave myself credit for.

Today was a great day. A day that made me think of all the beautiful moments Jason and I have shared since moving to NE Tennessee.

One day down . . .

One day down . . .

One day down . . . . hard to say how many more to go.

So far today no tears have been shed. This alone is a huge accomplishment. Yes, I’m a very emotional person, so when you add a an experience like yesterday into the mix . . . well . . .

For no reason at all, and at the most bizarre moments, tears fell freely yesterday.

They started because of text messages exchanged between friends and family, Facebook comments from friends sharing their experiences or simply just looking at one of my favorite photographs of Jason and I. Those tears made sense.

The trip to the bank, on the other hand, took me by surprise.

Yesterday after leaving the bank, I was driving down the road, a road I travel quite frequently, when all of a sudden they started falling. Within a couple of minutes the tears stopped, although the thoughts about Jason and I carried on.

Jason and I

The best part about my day was when Jason made it to Fort Myers and the text messages were being exchanged more frequently. He was so good about calling or sending me a text message every time he stopped letting me know where he was, how he was doing and how much further he had to go.

Although I knew he was going to be okay on the drive, it’s my nature to worry. So when I got the text that he is now in his parents driveway, the weight on my shoulders, which I didn’t know existed, became lighter.

There were a string of text messages that had me laughing out loud when he started explaining why he couldn’t fall asleep. I could hear him, I could sense the laughter as he was typing the words. The best part about these messages is they appeared right before a board meeting I had to cover last night. Those messages lifted my spirits, giving me the strength to smile and put my emotions on hold for the duration of the meeting.

From that point on I felt my mood change. I felt a little lighter. Jason did it once again and he’s hundreds of miles away. Jason lifted my spirits. With those simple goofy texts he reminded me that we are going to be okay. I still have the love, support and humor of a man . . . I just don’t have him right next to me.

After I returned from my meeting, before going to bed, my breathing and mood returned to its normal state. I talked to Jason. I heard his voice, his reassurance, his love.

I had to share how much of an impact that phone call had on me, so I took a picture of Lucy, my puppy and I, and sent it to Jason. My smile was genuine, big as always, to show Jason we will get through this.

I didn’t cry myself to sleep, like I did that morning after he left.

Before I drifted to sleep on his side of the bed, I remember my thoughts turning from how much I miss him already, to this is only temporary, we will be together soon.

This morning I woke to a text message from Jason sharing his thoughts on the picture I sent, which were followed by more messages and a phone call. Yep, hearing his voice put me on track . . . I already finished a few articles this morning and turned them into my editor.

When you share the kind of love and support that Jason and I share, you can overcome any obstacle you are faced with.

My spirits are high, which I know is giving Jason the positive energy he needs to accomplish our plans and goals.


Here are the two blogs that explain how we got to this point . . .

An extremely hard decision: March 6, 2015 : https://meghan80.wordpress.com/2015/03/06/an-extremely-hard-decision/

 

Flowing freely: March 9, 2015: https://meghan80.wordpress.com/2015/03/09/flowing-freely/