Facebook memories can be such a kick in the gut sometimes. Especially if you are at all like me and put so much out there.
I know I put a lot of personal stuff out there. I always have. I have always been a heart on my sleeve kind of person and in this digital age my sleeve is social media.
And in the last 12 years I have posted a lot on Facebook. Most of it good. Because as I said in many (MANY) a post, I lived a charmed life. I knew it. I did not take a second of it for granted. I publicly declared it because I wanted the universe to know how grateful I was for every single second.
So fuck you Daniel. Fuck you for letting me believe for one moment that I ever made you feel like you were not enough for me. Fuck you for the lies. Fuck you for the cheating. Fuck you for the disrespect. Fuck you for letting me believe you cared. Fuck you for the humiliation.
But also thank you Daniel.
Thank you for showing me what I wanted from a partner. Thank you for pretending to love me so now I know what I want for real. Thank you for the support you showed when I wanted to be a wedding planner. Thank you for the moments that were real.Thank you for helping raise my boys into the incredible, kind, caring, gentlemen they are. And thank you for showing them how much lies hurt. Thank you for the family you gave me. Thank you for making my dreams come true.
Thank you for the life we had. Because even if it wasn't real to you, it was real to me.
Bet you didn't see that plot twist coming, did you?
Last week I had dinner with a group of friends for my birthday. Xander made me a delicious chocolate covered strawberry cake. There were old friends and new friends. It filled my heart to have so many come and share a meal with me.
And if you missed it, Rob gave me the most beautiful gift. He put so much thought into it, it honestly gives me chills just thinking about it.
Paris has always been my dream destination. I guess for a poor girl living in a trailer park, Paris was the most romantic place I could think of...movies and TV made it look so beautiful and glamorous and only the richest people could go there. I loved it so much I took 4 years of high school and a year of college French desperately trying to learn the language JUST IN CASE I ever actually got a chance to go. But I never really thought I would make it there.
It was just a dream.
And yet, I did go to Paris. And it was everything I ever dreamed it was and more. I cannot properly put into words how much that trip meant to me. I loved and appreciated every single moment of it.
But now it is sullied. Now that I know that all those trips he didn't take me on - which I completely understood for financial reasons but did not lessen my desire to go - he was flirting with (and to be honest, probably more) the French Whore. They made the city I love into a nightmare for me.
So when I first saw Rob's gift, I was nervous. It was wrapped in a map of Paris with a square around the Champs Elysees. And I opened it and it was a beautiful necklace that is the street grid for the area he had on the wrapping. And I'm not going to lie. My first thought was...not Paris.
But then he told me the reason he chose Paris was because he wanted me to have a reason to love it again. And the thought behind the gift is so beautiful that it brought me to tears (and truth be told, I'm crying again right now). And it is one of the most beautiful gifts I have ever received and definitely the most thoughtful.
I'm so lucky to have found Rob. I admit I am still cautious (thanks Daniel). I'm still afraid to trust my heart. I'm still worried that it isn't real and that one day I will wake up and my world will be turned upside down again. I'm concerned that my feelings for him are borne of out fear of loneliness. I don't think they are. I think my feelings are genuine. But how do you know?
Chase says I think too much...worry too much. I just need to embrace what I have and enjoy it while it lasts. And I am trying to. I look forward to the day when I stop questioning my own motives.
In the meantime, I am doing my best to enjoy the here and now. Rob is kind and funny and thoughtful and smart and generous and handsome and he clearly loves me. I enjoy spending time with him and I miss him when we are apart. And I do love him.
So thank you Rob. For making the first move, for your patience, and your love.
And since I am posting this on Thanksgiving, it wouldn't be right if I didn't once again express my gratitude for my friends.
For Susie for ALWAYS being there for me. For rushing to be by my side on the worst day of my life. For hating him because I can't. For so many reasons I could write a book. I love you. Always.
For Magan for also always being there for me. For dropping everything to come and be by my side on the worst day of my life and staying with me for days while I tried to pull myself together. For letting me cry the first day and then helping me take the right steps the next. For our wonderful vacation - thank you for still letting me tag along. I am so grateful for your friendship.
For Matt for still being my brother. For being the first of the family to reach out to me and tell me you love me and that I will always be your family. I don't know if you will ever know how much that meant to me.
For Julie for calling me from Japan to check on me. You listened to me cry for at least an hour. From JAPAN. How do you thank someone for that?
For Christina and Trisha for dragging me out that first week and listening to me cry for hours in a bar (oh my god I was such a cliche). I am so incredibly lucky to have friends like you that care for me.
For Kelly for being there. For being a shoulder to cry on and giving me a place to stay the night before my divorce was finalized. For your friendship over the years.
For everyone that came to my divorce wake....Mitzi and Mike, Kristy and John, Kim, Rebecca, Brandon, Collette, Betty, Magan, Erika (please forgive me if I have forgotten someone)...thank you all for coming out to support me that day. I hadn't seen some of you in double digit years and it meant the world to me that you would come and be with me.
For all my new friends at the Pub for making me feel at home. Embracing me and letting me in like I have always been there. Do you have any idea how amazing it is to have the love and support of complete strangers? And again, thank you to Matt for sharing such incredible people with me.
For Meri and Jen for giving me the nudge I needed to seriously start looking for love again. And Meri - for just being here for me after all these years.
For those of you that reached out to me privately to tell me you heard me. That you were going through something similar and that my words were helping you. I am humbled and I thank you.
For my new friends I have because of Rob...Louise, Kristen, Brian, Cory, Elliott...thank you for sharing such a wonderful man with me and bringing me into your fold.
The truth is, this list could go on forever. I can't name every one that I am grateful for so just know that if you are reading this, I love you and I am so glad you are in my life. Whether we are longtime friends or budding friendships, I am a better person having known you.
And finally, I want to express my love and gratitude for my boys. Your love and support this year has kept me going. I sometimes fear that I told you too much about what was going on, that I jeopardized your relationship with Daniel (I really do still want you to have one), but you are grown men and make your own decisions. And I am so proud of you both.
Here's hoping you have a day filled with love, gratitude, and delicious food. Happy Thanksgiving!