Thursday, May 3, 2012

No Regrets

I wrote a blog post for Beast back in March about some recent life changes of mine.  Not everyone here follows the Beast blog, so I wanted to take a few minutes to update everyone on what I've been up to for the last few months, why I've been on such a writing hiatus, and where I'm headed within the next few months.

In late January, Jim and I broke up.  Yes - after 5 years, we ended our relationship.  An external observer would never have seen this coming.  We never fought, were 100% committed and faithful to one another, laughed constantly, never ran out of things to talk about, and genuinely enjoyed each other's company.  So what went wrong, you ask?  I never got a ring put on my finger.  Looking back, I could maybe have been more vocal.  But my girlfriends will argue that I shouldn't have had to be more vocal: after 5 years, you either know or you don't, right? Shit, after 2 don't you??  Maybe even 1?  Really, 5 years is just too long and we grew too comfortable.  We also had differing views on marriage, which I only discovered AFTER all of this went down.  What disappoints me the most is that, somewhere along the way, Jim's concept of marriage changed.  I'm not sure if it was his sister's or his best friend's divorce that changed how he viewed marriage, but it definitely deviated from what we had once discussed.  To me, marriage is more than an engagement ring and a piece of paper that says we're legally married.  To me, marriage represents a deeper level of commitment.  It's a solemn vow that you make in front of your friends and family - a vow to stay with the other person, through good and bad times.  A vow to not throw the relationship away when times get tough.  A vow to work, every day, at communicating, sharing, loving, respecting, listening to, and worshipping each other.  For me, marriage is forever.  There is no divorce, unless my husband cheats on me, beats me, or verbally/emotionally abuses me.  Otherwise, you work, you fix do whatever needs to be done.  But you don't give up.  When you get married, you become one, and you are a team.  There is no more individuality.  I firmly believe in that.  When we broke up, an engagement ring was referred to as a "trinket," and marriage was referred to as, "some jewelry and a piece of paper."  Ouch. 

I went back and forth with my decision to end things on an almost daily basis within the first week of breaking things off with Jim.  Was breaking up the right thing to do?  Will I look back on this decision in 2 years and realize that it was the biggest mistake of my life?  The answer to both of these questions is, "Who knows?"  Who really knows?  We can only make decisions with the information we're given at the time of the choice.  For me, 5 years and multiple marriage conversations should have been enough for someone to know A) if they want to marry me and B) that I definitely see myself as a bride and a mother.  My ovaries and eggs won't wait around forever, and neither will I.  I've got shit to do. 

The breakup was not easy.  If you've never been in a long-term relationship, you can never understand the loneliness that comes with sitting on your couch by yourself on Friday and Saturday nights.  My weekends were always spent with Jim.  From Friday at 8pm through Monday morning, we were inseparable.  So, to go from constant companionship to none was extremely difficult for me.  The first few weeks, I cried every night.  Not so much because I missed Jim, but because I missed companionship.  This realization is what eventually made me understand that I made the right decision about ending things.  I missed the presence of the person more than the actual person.  But then that made me feel like a Goddamn terrible human being.  How could I so easily dismiss a 5 year relationship?  How could I get over it so quickly and be so ready to move on?  How could I be ok with breaking up with someone who treated me so well for so long?  I think it is partially due to the fact that I knew LONG before I broke up with Jim that I shouldn't be with him.  I knew after 2 years that he had commitment issues.  They had nothing to do with ME, but more to do with his previous relationships.  Regardless, they affected ME, and that, in turn, affected the way I viewed the relationship.  For the majority of the 5 years I was with Jim, I never felt he was as committed to me as I was to him.  I can't tell you how much that hurts.  And that hurt and distrust is ultimately what caused our demise.  And maybe I buried those emotions, or maybe I just wasn't fully aware of them.  Whatever the case may be, they slowly worked their way to the surface, until one day, I simply could take it no more.  Perhaps it was coming back from Las Vegas in December with no ring on my finger, or perhaps it was my parents getting upset that I still didn't come home for Christmas with a fiance.........who knows.  All I know is that I literally woke up one day and decided I was going to breakup with my boyfriend.

Jim is a wonderful person.  This blog post is not, in ANY way shape or form meant to be disrespectful or slandering of him.  We've all got our own shit and emotional baggage to deal with: I am not immune.  I have some trust issues, and it often takes me a while to let people in; I'm working on that.  Some of Jim's friends told him (and eventually me) that I was "disrespectful" for writing my Beast blog about this topic.  Those friends have since been deleted from Facebook, because I really don't need that bullshit in my life.  On the off-chance that this blog makes its way to Jim and his friends, I want them to know that was never my intent.  I want nothing but the best for Jim: I want him to move on, to find a great woman, and to (hopefully??) get married and have a family.  I am sad that he's upset and scared and hurt - I shed many a tear for HIS emotional pain.  But, damnit, I was hurt and scared and lonely, too.  Am I supposed to sit around and not move on?  Am I supposed to do nothing to help myself get over this shit?  Writing has been, and will always be, my I blogged........and I felt better.  So, suck it.  And it's my blog: I'll do what I want.

After a few weeks of hardly eating or sleeping, I started to feel better.  I was starting to get used to being alone, and it no longer bothered me.  I adopted new sleeping habits (going to bed at 2am every night is NOT ok), started hanging out with new friends, was able to get more shit done around the house, and spent more time with Trotter.  I was feeling better by the day.  This was not an overnight change: it took me a while to feel comfortable in my own skin again after this breakup.  But it was the best thing that's ever happened to me.  I'm a COMPLETELY different person, mentally and physically. 

This breakup coincided with a job change, as well.  I started as a Line Manager at Parexel International, and have about 25 people reporting to me.  The new job was/is stressful, and requires a lot of time, attention, and organization/planning.  So, that coupled with the breakup made my March a really interesting month.  I also went to the Arnold in March with Beast, which proved to be a much-needed getaway.  I met some great people, was able to finally connect with the Beast family, and it provided me with an opportunity to get the hell out of North Carolina for a while.  Praise Jesus.

So, where am I today?  I'm great: I quit teaching spin at Sync in order to free up some time for ME, I've been enjoying my extra time with the fluff, and I've obviously been enjoying more time in my kitchen BY MYSELF. 

For my competitions this year, I'm going to start with the OCB Presidential Cup on August 11th up in Washington DC.  After that, I'm going to try to do 2 more, probably each about 2-4 wks apart, and then that'll be it for me and competing.  Sad, but true.  I've had my fun with it, and I'm really enjoying where I am in my life right now without competing.  Everything is perfectly balanced for me, and I don't need to step foot on stage to prove anything to myself or to anyone else.  I'll be updating more frequently as I prep, so stay tuned!!


  1. You're awesome.... 5th paragraph, last couple lines!! Teeeehhheeeeee!

  2. I love you Beth. You are a strong beautiful person. You will get through this difficult time with dignity and grace. Even with "shit" to do. **smile** - Jenny G.

  3. I really enjoyed this piece...thanks for being so open and honest. As someone in a long term relationship with still no ring, I can totally relate and understand where you are coming from. You have to do you so rock on!

  4. Always gotta look out for #1 - that goes for you, too!

  5. I imagine this wan't easy to write. I am so proud of you! I am glad you are moving forward with such insight.

  6. Thanks for sharing this, Beth. *hugs* :) Welcome back to the stage! And I'm in your corner!