Monday, February 15, 2016

Things I can do

So I have been busy with my personal self created to-do lists. 
Top on that list was (see I did it) updating my personal artist website.
My old website was managed and maintained by a friend...and by friend I mean ex-boyfriend.
I maintain a relationship with my ex, it has been over 25 years now.
The Barren has zero issue with this, and I am beyond thankful that one of the many fine qualities is that he understands that people mean something to me, and that my past comes with me.
 So having a relationship with my ex totally makes sense to him and he respects that.

We (ex and I) decided long ago that we could not throw away all the time we had spent together,
 so we would stay friends, plus it was the adult thing to do. 
I know that this is quite unique and makes some people very uncomfortable...but that is just a fact.
He decided to sleep with someone else, so I left him (had to get a jab in there somewhere)
 I met The Barren about 6months there after.

I am not going to say that we had a perfect relationship, or that this friendship has not be hard at times, but we both feel it is worth maintaining it.
We were young and said hurtful things, I lost myself in the process. Some of what was done/said has taken a long time to grow past or let go of...but time marched on and we seem to always go to one another for some sense of support or creative guidance.
His partner (the same one he was with when we were together) had a hard time getting on board with it, but has come to understand that this friendship is not going anywhere 
and it is not a threat to them or her.

Over the years the ex has helped me make creative decisions, and is a good editor and creative sounding board and reference guide. We help each other out with creative things as we seem to understand each other that way still.

I had been wrestling with website design options and he stepped in and researched all the pros and cons of each, helping me see the highlights of them. I get overwhelmed with minute details and he helped clear that up.
We had decided to met face to face to discuss the final player/options and styles a coffeehouse he'd never been to before...I had been emailing and texting with him constantly but had not seen him face to face in over two years! 
When the time came for us to meet, he was no where to be found...
I could feel my heart pounding and all these feeling from when I was a teenager came back...
he is blowing me off
he "forgot"
his partner had a tantrum and he is not coming

I texted The Barren and asked how long to wait...he responded that the ex is notoriously late, and to give it a half an hour. I paced in my mind while trying to maintain my composure in my seat...slowly sipping tea. When the half hour mark arrived I slowly packed up my things and decided to walk around the block, thinking I'd catch him just arriving or check another nearby coffee house that maybe he was there instead.
Turns out that he was, at another location...the first one we talked about meeting at...but changed from that place to the new one.
When he saw me, he gave me a look that made me feel like a silly 19yr old again...he was disappointed, frustrated and convinced that I had gotten it all wrong.
I took a deep breath maintained a smile and said, "I'm glad we found each other."
He said he had looked into the coffee shop I was waiting in but, didn't dare enter it as he had never been there before. So he returned to the original local assuming I'd be there.
(I was sitting at a table that was blocked by a stone column so he could not see me from the outside).
We walked back to the coffee shop I had just left, in time for me to continue finishing my tea (they hadn't even cleared the cup and pot yet)
He sat down and we began to catch up a little. I mostly listened, he was nervous and it was awkward...needless to say we chatted and switched to a smaller table when we realized we didn't need a wall plug as originally thought.
 The morning sun was out and beaming me right in the eye and side of my face...making me sit back farther and farther..the ex noted that he could see the sun beaming me, but that he was in the shade and so didn't stop conversation, it did make me realize a simple and sweet thing about The Barren*

The talk of the website was minor, as I had most of my ideas clearly set and when I had had enough of the sun and the conversation had turned to filler I offered to drive him home, so he didn't have to walk back. We drove back to his place, I dropped him off at the curb and waved goodbye.

I then proceeded to go home, set up my account, and begin designing the new website.
In the last week it has formed into a completed vision, that I made all on my own.
The kick start was a rough one, mostly filled with self doubt over my abilities, 
but that turned out to be smoke and mirrors and trick doors.
I even designed a new name logo....
I sent a link to the ex last night declaring that it was live, and he responded that it looked great!
I was quite proud of myself.

I feel as though I am free from a shadow.
Like his control over my web presence is no longer over me...
I have taken back control over me again.
I doubted my abilities but I was wrong....
I can do it, and well at that!

*The Barren always makes sure I am out of the sun, if I was at this table with The Barren, we would have packed up and moved to another with no words or fuss...just a matter of fact and no pause in conversation.

It is amazing how things from many years ago can still feel so fresh and accessible in our hearts.  
The ex has never wished any ill will on me and always expressed his desire that nothing come in my way, so I continue to pursue my fact when I told him I was getting married, he wanted to make sure that The Barren would never snuff out my artistic desires or freedom of motion.
Then declared he was off to join the French foreign legion...hahaha
When I told him I couldn't have kids, he sent a sweet note that it was super sad, and wished it would be different for us.

He broke my heart 25 years ago, but in the middle of it all I had the strength to march onward with my head held high and find myself again and the person I was meant to spend my lifetime with. 
I am thankful, he in turn found his life mate too.
We have grown since then, said a lot of "I didn't mean that" and versions of "I'm sorry" and can now joke about things...
at least I can, in fact I still refer to a painting he gave me when we broke up as
"what I got in the divorce settlement"

I can hold my head up high, feel smart and do things without hesitation.
I can do all these things!