“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts…”
- William Shakespeare - As You Like It, act 2, scene 7
People come in and out of our lives all the time. Some you encounter for a brief moment (the random person standing behind you at Starbucks last Tuesday, or someone who picks up the glove you just dropped on the ground). Others are there for a long time (a childhood friend who you’ve known since you were both in kindergarten). Some aren’t around long enough (a parent who’s life has ended, who at times you really need to hear their words of encouragement).
I think that all people come into our lives for a reason. They guide us along our path, providing wisdom, support, or an opposing view, causing us to think about our journey. We build bonds with family members. Those bonds may weaken at times but they remain our family and our connection to each one of them is unique. We make friends along the way, and if you’re lucky enough, like me, those friends are there for you through thick and thin.
I’ve said it all too often yet never enough, I have an amazing group of friends. Some step back and allow me to go along my path and make my own decisions. Others will tell me if the steps I’m about to make are the right ones, yet they allow me to choose the steps I make. All will be there for me if I’ve made a misstep and I need a hand to hold, a warm body to hug, or a shoulder upon which to cry. And when all is said and done, everybody has learned something new, about ourselves and each other.
Relationships happen when you least expect them. I’ve not had many, but those I’ve had have taught me great lessons. As I’m now dealing with the end of my current relationship, I’m thankful for the opportunity that I’ve had with a very special man. I’ve learned that I’ve faced one of the greatest challenges in my life so far. The ability to say goodbye and let go of someone I love.
Anthony’s entrance was defiitely unexpected. During our first meeting, I felt completely at ease with him and there was a sense of excitement. I could not wait to know more about him. He made me laugh and he made me think. I believe I did the same for him. Each outing that followed brought more laughs and warm feelings. Not once did I feel the need to pretend to be someone I’m not, nor did I worry about my family or friends welcoming and accepting him.
In the nearly five months we were together, he played the role of friend, lover, jester and confidant. He taught me about living life, about how I feel about myself, and about my ability to feel for others. He caused me to laugh until my stomach hurt, and caused me to cry until my eyes were red and swollen. He made me think about what I want out of life.
Anthony moved to the West Coast on Sunday. We ended our dating relationship on the best of terms. We both agreed that we will be a part of each other's lives. He has checked in on me to see how I'm doing. I've talked to him about his house hunt, we've both laughed about pictures of lunch and funny wigs.
The last days Anthony was here, he stayed with me. It gave us a lot of time to really talk about things and it turns out we were very much on the same page with a lot of things. Had it not been for this amazing job opportunity and the lure of a fantastic adventure, it seems likely we would have been together for a long time. Yet, I'm not sad when I think about that. Oddly enough, a feeling of calm came over me because it took me back to my friends all telling me to relax and enjoy, something that as much as I say I did, I never fully did. Oh I was probably 92 percent there, which is a heck of a lot more than when I was with Matthew. Though to his credit, I discovered Xanax so a shout out to him!
Now it's on to new adventures. It's time to look across the stage and see the next act. Like any great book, I'm sure there will be unexpected twists and turns in the story. I welcome them. It goes without saying, that I'll probably prattle on about them here, too.