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.

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.

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/

Clarity

Life sometimes can throw you curve balls and send you on a winding road that is hard to navigate.

The outcome of your destination is completely up to you.

Things for me have been a little stressful lately and it’s been somewhat of a struggle to juggle everything.

It hit me hard yesterday. It became crystal clear that something needs to change when I went to the gym to relieve some stress and I walked out the door not feeling any better. This was an eye opener. The gym is my get away,  my piece of mind, my clarity.

My thoughts were muddy, a little scattered.

I came home and started working and was pleasantly interrupted by a phone call. My mom was calling.

As soon as we started talking, I let it all out. It’s amazing how much I really needed to get stuff off my chest. That’s the beauty of talking to mom. Everything is revealed, everything is laid out on the table. My shoulders became a little less tense and a smile and laughter filled the room.

Two-hours later we finally said our goodbyes.

This conversation of course made me miss family. We are going on 13 months since leaving Florida.

When I moved to Arizona, I was able to visit home at least every six months. At the end of every semester at Arizona State University, I was packing my bags and heading to the airport.

Things are different now.

The difference is, I haven’t had that overwhelming urge to leave, to get away from the life I am now leading.

That just goes to show I’m in a much better scenerio, a much better relationship now. I havent wanted to flee . . .

For the first time in my life, my home is where the love of my life is. My home is where Jason and I are.

I still want to head back to Fort Myers, not to go “home,” but to visit friends and family. I hope we can make a trip back south soon.

After mom and I hung up, I started to work again. Although I felt better, my thoughts were still a little scattered.

So, I put Lucy’s collar on and we headed to the Kingsport Greenbelt. We both obviously needed to be outdoors.

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As Lucy led the way, it became easier to get a hold of my thoughts. I began to smile as her trot became a full run.

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My life changed pretty drastically after we adopted this little pup in April. She has had such an impact on my life.

It’s true there really is a special connection with a dog.

I absolutely love having her with me all day, but my life has changed.

My routine . . . .

My gym time has been cut back immensely because of her fear and anxiety of being alone. We still haven’t conquered her “okay” of being in a crate while I’m gone. So, I have a hard time leaving her home alone.

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While we were out on our walk, well run a good portion of the time, Lucy made me smile. I became carefree, living in the moment. Her excitment for the  outdoors, well it was a breath of fresh air. The breath I needed.

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After more than two-miles we decided to head back home.

Those thoughts that I thought were sorted out became jumbled again. As Jason and I talked later that night, well rather early this morning, it all came out again. He has a way of making me look at things in a new light. He makes me dig deep and calls me out when I give him an answer he knows not to be the full truth. We got down to the nitty gritty, the solution of what has been hanging over my head. That solution of course didn’t come without a bag full of emotions.

We finally made our way upstairs.

This man means the absolute world to me. The love, unconditional love he has shown me, takes my breath away. He loves me regardless of my faults. He loves me for me. It’s apparent he will do anything and everything in his power to make sure I’m okay. To make me smile, laugh and get the most out of this life we are sharing.

I woke up smiling this morning. I have refocused my energy and thoughts,  thanks to my mom, my forever companion Lucy and Jason.

My mom starts to break down my walls as best as she can over the phone, while Jason jumps in her spot and  completely destroys them.

I am grateful that I have two such wonderful, caring, loving people in my life. Jason and mom work as a team without even knowing it to get me to better grounds.

So as the new day unfolds,  Lucy and I are going to part ways for a few hours while I take another shot at the gym today. Yesterday I bought her a kong to help keep her busy while I’m away. I hope it works.

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I know better

I have found that going to the gym has unfortunately been placed on the back burner these past few weeks.  Although going a minimum of three days is still better than none at all, I would rather go five or six times a week. This is what I’m used to, this is what keeps the stress levels down.

When I worked out with my mom in Fort Myers, my day started off at the gym, yep bright and early at 6 a.m. It’s hard to find excuses of not going when you go first thing in the morning. There was no, “I’m too tired,” at the end of the work day.

Although I work from home and make my own schedule, I’m still struggling with putting my work down for a couple of hours to go to the gym. That struggle comes when I look at my white board and see the amount of articles that are due.

I, of course know better. I know that if I do not make time for myself, I become stressed, which has a domino affect on my writing.

I’ve been waking up and going straight to my desk to start working, which I have found turns into a day without going to the gym. I get caught up in writing, editing, interviews and waiting for call backs that my day gets away from me.

I know better, days like this is when I need the gym the most.

The worst part about this is I am a member of a 24-hour gym, so I could really go at any time. With that said, when I put in a full day in my office, my brain becomes so drained that it makes the rest of my body tired as well. It’s sad, but I would rather walk downstairs and unwind in front of the TV, instead of lacing up my running shoes and hitting the gym.

On Wednesday, I started working around 8:30 a.m. The light in my office was not turned off until 7:45 that night. It was a productive day to say the least. I turned in five articles (three to one publication and one each to the other publications I work for), as well as many hours worth of editing for sections I am responsible for doing. My stress level was pretty high that day as I worked towards meeting my deadlines.

I was beyond tired …

Jason of course helped with that stress. He would pop in every once in a while, sometimes bringing yummy treats to brighten my mood. I would also walk downstairs and sit on the couch with him for 5 or 10 minutes to pull myself together again.

My stress level tends to grow, as the need to walk away from my desk and take a break rises. That day, going to the gym would have been helpful, but I couldn’t tear myself away for the fear I wouldn’t meet my deadlines.

So, Thursday I had Jason make sure I was really awake when he said goodbye before heading to work. Although it was hard to get out of bed, leave my warm covers behind, I did it and left the house before 8 that morning. It felt fantastic to start my day off on the right foot, a morning at the gym. I love starting my day off with a run, some weight training and other cardio training.

My spirits tend to stay high when I have that physical exercise in my day.

The best part about all of this was when I arrived back home there was a message waiting on our phone from Jason. He was checking up on me to make sure I did wake up and go to the gym.

It’s always helpful when you get the encouragement you need to get back into your rhythm again.

So, today I continued that trend and started on the right note again. I was out the door a little before 8 this morning. I was on my way to the gym.

I ran 1.5 miles and did more than 6 miles on the bike before ending my workout. On my way home I stopped at the grocery store to replenish my smoothie supplies, as well as grab ingredients for dinner. Today my smoothie was a mix of frozen strawberries, mangos and pineapples with a fresh banana and kiwi with orange juice. It was absolutely delicious, a wonderful treat after a great workout.

I am determined to keep myself on track, yep that means go to the gym first thing in the morning before I sit down at my desk.

When I finally made it to my desk this morning, my stress level remained low as I kept in stride and turned in article after article to my editors. I was also able to connect with some sources to finish three more articles that are due this coming week, articles I was worried I would not be able to finish. So, when Jason leaves for work tomorrow, I will put in those few hours to finish those articles and turn them in, so I can start next week on a clean slate. This of course will happen after another trip to the gym.

Hopefully then on Sunday I can take a day off, the first since the last Sunday of January.

Exercise is an incredible outlet, one that I am so thankful I found all those years ago.

What a journey . . .

What a journey . . .

These last few months have been a rollercoaster of emotions as Jason and I plan our move to NE Tennessee at the end of April. His non-stop working, my endless hours researching and our few hours of seeing each other at the end of the day are finally paying off.

At the beginning of the week I started to make phone calls to all the apartment complexes that fell within our budget and looked appealing. Slowly I crossed places off the list as prices they advertised were more than we were willing to spend. Fortunately one of the complexes steered me in the direction of their sister properties located within the same city.

An email, which appeared in my inbox from the complex assistant manager of the sister property, was promising and the more we exchanged information the more appealing it became.

Today I made a phone call to talk with the assistant manager. That conversation enhanced the excitement I was already feeling for the complex and the apartments floor plan, which includes a fireplace! (Oh the little things that excite me!) This apartment is below our budgeted price and half of the fees that were required at the other complexes were either eliminated or slashed in half. The more we talked the more information she shared about the community and what it had to offer Jason and me in terms of the outdoors. Once again I dealt with someone who was incredibly helpful and willing to track down more information if we wanted.

Now, all we have to do is pay a minimal application fee and complete the form online to secure a place for us to live once May rolls around.

What an invigorating feeling … I am helping pave the path to our new destination. I have accomplished a task I set out to do, providing one less thing for Jason to have to worry about.

With the acceptance of our application and background, we will go from an apartment in SW Florida to an apartment in NE Tennessee.

I am beyond thrilled for our move, for our new adventures, experiences and future this new destination provides us.

It’s a blast to plan our future and slowly cross another thing off of our checklist to make this move become a reality.

Endless phone calls

As soon as I woke this morning I began calling endless apartment complexes in the Tri-City area, so my boyfriend and I will have a place to live once we move.

Although the internet is a wonderful thing to have, I become hesitant from time to time because I do not know exactly what the property or surrounding area looks like. This is one of the reasons I wanted to call each complex and get a feel for those working in the office, as well as ask questions about the area.

So, as I went down the list we had comprised of what we found, I slowly began crossing some off as they did not accept pets or wanted the cats to be declawed before moving into our new home.

After making six phone calls, I decided to make one more before taking a break and going for a run.

That seventh call gave me all the hope in the world. I left a message on the answering machine of this particular complex in Kingsport. About an hour later I received a phone call back from a girl who was born and raised in the area. She was incredibly sweet and her accent was adorable. We spent a good 15-20 minutes, if not longer, on the phone not only talking about the monthly rent, security deposits and what the complex had to offer, but also what the community that had to offer.

As she found out a little more about Jason and I and what our plans were, she instantly began giving me websites of places to look for jobs, as well as information of where we could go hiking and enjoy the outdoors.

Before we got off the phone, she told me she would email me information, as well as send my contact information to her three sister properties in the same area, so I would have that information as well. She also encouraged me to call her if I wanted any additional information about this community.

If she is an indication of what the people are like in the Tri-City area, I am ready to make it my new home. Her personality kept our conversation going, it kept the questions flowing, which in turn helped me find out a little more information about the area.

My excitement of the area instantly grew as she shared the endless opportunities to go hiking and explore the outdoors. I only wish I could share that excitement with Jason in person, instead of through texts, since he will not be home until much later.

The excitement builds as the countdown of seven weeks before we move continues . ..