Yesterday I had the privilege of spending a few hours with my sister-in-law, nephew, and niece. Life discussions with Mindy are always good for my soul, because she is just one of the most level-headed, say-it-like-she-sees-it kind of people I've ever met.
One of the things I've realized over the last few weeks (and after several talks with different people I love very much including the one I had with Mindy) is that in my reluctance to share the bad that was happening in my life, I've also excluded so many people from knowing and truly understanding the good, and they are struggling with it.
A couple weeks ago, my soon-to-be nephew posted a question on Faceb**k questioning people's decisions to stay in or go back to what most would consider and judge to be a 'black and white' situation. In short, I tried to explain to him that decisions regarding someone you love and are in a relationship with may not always be black and white.
I think it's easy to look at someone else's circumstances and think, or even say aloud to someone else 'I can't believe they made this choice' or 'This person did x, y, z, and those were horrible decisions'. But the truth is, no one can say exactly what they would do in your circumstance unless they've lived the exact life you have.
For so long I was as guilty as the next person for having these exact same thoughts. It wasn't until I found myself at a crossroad - that I had been so sure of what I'd do if I ever was there - that I realized there are situations/circumstances/factual details that have the ability to alter your views. Looking in from the outside, things may seem black and white, or as some like to say 'wrong is wrong', but I know that is simply not the case.
Six months ago, my life changed when Bill made the almost 10 hour drive to come to Tampa and support me while I walked 60 miles in support of breast cancer. He was a chauffeur from the airport to dinner with Gloria and Taylor, he was a cheerleader out on route, he was by my side when I got the phone call telling me that a mass had been found in my stepmom's kidney, and he was waiting for me - at the finish line. As I walked hand-in-hand with Gloria into closing, we passed a man who has been my friend during some of the darkest hours of my life this past year. A man who, earlier that month had flown to Indiana to be my support when I was staring at another cancer diagnosis, and refused to let me face it alone. A man who would walk through fire to make sure I am safe and happy and know that I am loved. Gloria waved and smiled at Bill, put her arm around my shoulder and squeezed me tight. She looked me in the eyes and said, 'That man is a good man, and it speaks volumes that he is here to support you right now. The road ahead may not be easy, but don't let him go. He loves you, and anyone who is around him for more than two minutes can see it.' Thank you, Gloria, for your words. They changed my life.
Everyone who knows me, knows that my life was a little crazy at that given moment. I had just moved out of my house, and I was coming home to have two surgeries. I was living in a 'gray zone', and to say it was not ideal timing to be navigating a newish - long distance - relationship would be a major understatement, but we both knew how much we valued each other.
This road hasn't been easy, we've had to endure some bumpy, weathered places in the road, and we learned early on that it really is 'us against the world' but Bill has renewed my faith in having a relationship in which I KNOW my happiness and well being actually matter. To put it simply, 'he is everything I never knew I needed in a life partner', and there is not a day of my life that goes by that I don't know how incredibly lucky we are that our paths crossed.
With that being said, had someone told me last summer that I'd date and marry him, I would've told them that they were crazy, and that it'd never happen because of how our paths crossed.
It wasn't until I was actually standing at that crossroad that I realized things aren't always as easy or clear cut as they seem. Sometimes there are many factors involved that those looking in will never see or understand, and they will judge you based off their assumptions. For me, discussing the good has been as limited as admitting the not-so-good, so I've heard a lot of assumptions that are just that 'assumptions'. Here is what I want to say, the good really is great now, and I would've never been this happy if I didn't chose gray.