Lazy Sunday Morning
The pitter patter of little feet, that’s something I never expected to hear. It’s something I never expected to want. But I found myself in many moments with him wanting that sound and more. I pictured it. He said things that made me picture it. Even though he said things that eluded to it, I didn't fully believe him. But that didn't mean he didn't make me want it. A lazy Sunday morning with pancakes for breakfast, the counter tops a mess from the babes wanting to help, while he made me my morning coffee even though he himself hated coffee. I pictured this more than once. Somehow what I wanted for myself no longer existed and all I wanted was that lazy Sunday morning.
I had a plan for my life. Achieve all I wanted in my career, travel the world and live my life answering to no one. I never planned to clean up flour spills or have the babes that made the mess in the first place. I never expected wanting forever with one person and the picture-perfect nuclear family. These were all things I was too scared to want. But with him, I thought they were attainable.
My wants all changed when I met him. He said all the right things. He did all the right things. Even before he met me, he told me I might be the person for him. “But the fact that you said Maldives (and even know those islands exist, whether or not you know how bad the rest of that country is doing) means, you just might be the one for me...” He said he could imagine how cute our mixed babes would be. “Our babies are going to be the cutest. Like Joanna Gaines.” That Chip and Joanna Gaines reference made me think of Fixer Upper, Magnolia Farms and their life. He made me stop and think. He made me believe I wanted these things as well. Of course he did. I fell for him before I even met him.
When he came into my life I was at a place where everything else was on track. My career, my passions outside of work and my personal life were all where I wanted them to be. I was at my peak. I was in a place ready to accept love and open to letting love in. Now I know this is why none of my guards were up with him. I’m extremely guarded and cynical when it comes to letting new people into my life. It’s something I rarely do.
Simply put, I have trust issues.
Crazy. We both thought it was crazy, a good crazy, that we connected and clicked so quickly. “Yeah it's been weird. In a good way. I also never feel this way with people this fast.” And I completely agreed, “And with you I feel like I keep having to remind myself and be like... Jen you've known [him] for like a week.” In the moment, our time frame didn’t bother us. We thought it was crazy but we didn’t care. I thought he would be my person. I thought we had a future, which is so dumb considering how long we were actually together. But he said things that made me feel like forever was in the cards for us. I was falling completely head over heels for him. Unfortunately for me, he had unresolved feelings that he at the time wasn’t even aware of.
We talked for about two weeks before ever going on our first date. Those two weeks of back and forth, that's when I fell for him. When we finally went on our first date, I was so nervous, anxious and excited. I remember our first date as if it just happened moments ago. I barely ate. I picked at my food, made a conscious effort to sit up straight all while I kept wondering “hmm, does he like me?” I remember he wore this burgundy short sleeved collared shirt, his hair was suavely pushed back, he had the dreamiest eyes and a smile that made you go weak at the knees. Even though I was incredibly nervous, it was probably the best first date I've ever had. Heck, every date we had was amazing. I don't know if I could pick a favorite.
Although if there is a date that I wish didn't happen, not because it wasn't amazing but because it was, that would be our Disneyland date. Wait, maybe our second date. That was the date we shared our first kiss. Ugh, probably our Palm Spring getaway too.
“I have to say that was the best "first kiss" ever. Although I'm not sure it's a "first kiss" if it lasts like an hour...” This is the message he sent me after our second date. And you know what, it was the best first kiss ever. The electricity in that moment was something you couldn’t recreate. It was one of those Noah and Allie moments. We stood there, in the parking lot at South Coast Plaza, having a goodnight kiss that lasted almost an hour. There was nothing I could say besides “Definitely best first kiss ever,” because it was.
I've been to Disneyland twice since I went with him and now the magic seems to have disappeared. I got really sad both times I went to Disneyland after him. When I walked down to the end of Main Street and looked to my left I saw the table where he jokingly told me he loved me. When I walk past Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, I think of the only photo I had with him. When I walk past Space Mountain I think of the embarrassment I felt when my boss caught us kissing outside of the attraction. I had the perfect Disney date with him. Since then, the magic Disneyland used to have has disappeared. It’s no longer the happiest place on earth for me.
The week of our Palm Springs trip I got a message from him. “I caaaaant wait omgggg. I thought about it so much today. I'm so excited. And get you and one of my favorite places on earth for a much needed getaway.” Eighty percent, that's how certain I am that Palm Springs was the weekend that I starting falling in love with him. That was the first time I got to fall asleep and wake up in his arms. We got to explore Palm Springs and he was such a good sport putting up with my need to take photos for my blog. Watching him take photos was probably one of the sexiest things I've ever seen a man do. He was in his element, he was so captivated by everything he was capturing and in that moment you could see it... this was his passion. I don't think there is anything sexier than seeing a man doing something he loves. Watching him take photos around Palm Springs and Joshua Tree, that made me fall hard.
The first weekend of Coachella, about two months after our Palm Springs trip, was the first time I made it back out to the desert since I went with him. I had such mixed emotions about this. Palm Springs was a city I loved before him and became a city so special to me because of him. But once things ended Palm Springs was a place that reminded me of my heartbreak so I was scared to go back.
My desert trip was so jam packed that I barely had a minute to think and dwell, until the last night at least. After Neon Carnival my girlfriends' and I sat in a teepee just talking and goofing around and he came up in conversation. It made me think of our weekend in Palm Springs and then the sadness came.
You must find me to be quite foolish falling for the words of a guy. Heck, I still find myself foolish. But when we talked, I’d look into his eyes and I'd see it. He believed the words he was saying and that made me believe him. He was falling for me, just as much as I was falling for him. When we were not together I craved him. I just wanted to be next to him, feel his touch on my skin, taste his kisses and feel safe in his arms. How foolish I must sound. The person that made me feel so safe ended up being the one who broke my heart like it has never been broken before.
I spent more time being heartbroken about our relationship than in the relationship itself which I find to be undoubtedly pathetic. It ended in such a traumatic and unexpected way which is why I still find myself thinking about it. In short, I never expected it to end. If anything I expected our relationship to grow and flourish, turn into “I love you” and that lazy Sunday morning all while we traveled the world together… that’s what I expected.
We started a list of countries that we wanted to travel together too. We both had a yearning and a curiosity to discover the world, experience different cultures and kiss each other in all the countries we listed out. One night he messaged me and told me, “I need to kiss you in at least 30 countries” and my reply was “I’m holding you to that… I don’t think I could have thought of anything better than that.” It was probably one of the most romantic things anyone has ever said to me. He then replied, “In the whole world?” … I thought it was a trick question and when I told him that he said “I can think of one… kiss you in 31 countries.” Smooth. That’s all I can say now. That line was so smooth. I was falling in love with him and I didn’t even know it. We fell asleep that night adding to our country list.
Our lists were practically the same and he loved that. I would have thought ticking the countries off one by one would have been something so simple for us. I thought we’d travel the world, fall in love with the places we discovered, while we fell in love with each other. It never crossed my mind that we wouldn’t even cross off one country together. I thought the first would be Bali. We talked about it enough. He showed me this photo of him standing on a swing in the ocean in Bali, looking out into the sunset. I imagined us swinging on that swing together laughing and smiling, while we watched the sunset like we did on our third date.
I always had a smile on my face when I was with him.
He never made me smile more than when he told me why he knew I was the person for him. He had asked me first and without any insecurities or fears of being rejected, I told him how I knew he was my person. “Honestly this is gonna sound so weird, but it was before I actually even met you. Just from our conversations I started having a crush on you and I was so worried that when I met you there was a chance it would be luck luster which would have sucked. But it wasn't. I went home after our first date and told my girlfriends' I liked you.” After I shared mine, he shared his. He responded with “Partially the same. I'm pretty picky. And I don't even go out with people that don't pass certain conversation tests. So the connection I had with you immediately was different. Then you are gorgeous so that always helps. First date I was happy that you seemed to be real, just as gorgeous and the same person I was texting with. Even with the shyness I could tell you would come around. And then the icing on the cake was the parking lot on date 2. It's a really big difference in a relationship when sexual chemistry is like that opposed to just being ok.”
Oh man, our chemistry.
One word. Electric.
As I type this and read it over, it makes me smile. It brings me back to that moment when I was so happy with him. Then reality sets in, he’s not here anymore and all I’m left with were these perfect things he said. I giggle when I read him talk about our sexual chemistry. That was one department we excelled in.
Every touch was electric, every kiss led to about fifty more, we were like teenagers who couldn’t keep their hands to themselves. I wanted him every second of every day. The way he’d kiss my neck or nibble on my ears… when I think about those moments, I can almost feel it in my body again. For a millisecond, when I shut my eyes, there he is kissing my neck and nibbling on my ears. It’s crazy that my brain so vividly and so perfectly remembers all these moments with him. There are days when I wish I was in some sort of accident that gave me short term amnesia. As much as I try to forget and not think about him, I’ll see something or go somewhere that triggers a memory and there he is in my brain, so crystal clear as if he were standing right in front of me. How is that fair? I doubt he thinks about me and the hurt and heartbreak he has caused me. Does he think about the moments we shared where he eluded to a future?
There were days he would have me send him selfies of myself just because we weren’t together. He used to tell me he’d scroll through my Instagram just because he missed me and wanted to see my face. I wonder if any part of him misses me at all? Because even though time has healed my hurt, like an idiot there's still a small bit of me that misses him. But again, I haven’t experienced any short term amnesia so the memories I shared with him are still here.
There are days when I want to just go to him and talk to him. As much as I miss the kisses and the cuddles, I miss being able to talk to him. I’ve actually seen him twice since the breakup; he never saw me. His office is pretty close to my girlfriend’s house and one day after work when I was headed there we were at the same light next to each other. I saw him and immediately faced forward, I don’t know if he saw me or not but I saw him. He was so close to me, yet we were worlds away. We were no longer on the same page. I was still there on that same page he left me but he had closed the book and tossed it aside.
The Wednesday morning when he woke me up to kiss me goodbye before he went to work was the perfect ending to our fairytale romance. In that moment I never would have expected that particular goodbye to be the last goodbye. But it was and today I’m okay with that. I would’ve hated for the last goodbye to be tainted with heartbreak. I still smile when I think of that morning because in that moment I pictured many more mornings like that. Today, I don’t wake up to good morning kisses but I wake up smiling and ready to seize the day and with that, I’m okay.
The night he ended things, I was completely blindsided. I texted him earlier that day about lunch. We would have lunch a couple times a week but this lunch I was really excited and nervous for. I was gonna tell him all the things I felt about him and how happy he made me. I was gonna tell him that I was undeniably falling for him and I couldn’t imagine not knowing him and not having him in my life. But I guess everything I felt, was diametrically different from what he felt.
How foolish of me.
What should have been a where do you want to go for lunch response, was something completely opposite. When he texted me back, I got a novel of a response. With longer text messages you always see the bottom first, so all I saw was “please don’t hate me.” Then I asked myself, “why would I hate him?” I scrolled up to the top of the message and started reading something that would completely break my heart.
“Hey sorry. I flew back this afternoon and then my phone died and didn't have a charger. Buuut I guess there are some things I need to say. Definitely not easy. I feel like my life is pulling me in so many directions right now and it has been pretty uncharacteristically stressful. With work being so busy lately and it just starting to get into our busy season, not knowing where I want to live or what is best. If I even want to live is so cal anymore since most of my friends live up north now. All the changes at work and if I want to stay there or move on to my next venture. It is making me not give you the time or attention and I don't think that's fair to you. I really enjoyed the time we spent but right now I'm not sure if I can put everything I have into it with everything else I have going on. :/ I feel horrible and hate to have to write this. I have never really been in this situation before but I just feel like I need to figure out these big decisions before I can do anything else. Please don't hate me.”
I’ve never experienced having a smile turn into gut wrenching sadness within seconds. Maybe this is one of those emotions everyone needs to experience at least once. Although, I would have been okay being blissfully ignorant.
This is the response I got when I was asking him to lunch so I could tell him so many things that were opposite of what he had written. I still cry when I read that message. Not just because I was left heart broken, but because I honestly never ever expected it. That initial break up message left me confused, I thought he was messing with me. I called him right after I got that text and he ignored the call. That’s when it clicked. He was serious. This was real life. This was actually happening. He was throwing me away in a message. I felt like I had been punched in the gut, hit by a bus and left for dead in some ditch. At that point, all I could do was speak my peace.
“Honestly I feel like I've been completely blindsided. I think you owed me this conversation in person or at least over the phone. I don't hate you, I just wish you would have talked to me about this when you felt like uncertain about us spending time together. Because to be honest like I said, I got no inclination of that from you. As much as I tried to not get ahead of myself I thought we were on the same page and moving forward in the same direction from our conversations and just the time we spent together. So if I was wrong then that's my fault, but I don't know... I don't think I was. If I was putting too much pressure on you to spend time with me, you could have just let me know. I know you have been super busy with work and I would have totally understood. But this I don't entirely understand. Why would you go away with me, make plans with me and then this? I think I'm just more hurt and disappointed cause like I said I didn't think this is how you felt.”
As much as I was hurting in that moment, I tried to stay as rational and level-headed as possible. I sat in my walk-in closet that night for almost two hours, crying in between my dresses. Beyond melodramatic but it’s where I felt safe. He left me broken hearted, confused and hating myself. How could I so easily discard the plan I had for my life and replace it was the fantasy of a lazy Sunday morning? For someone who always stands their ground, I let my feelings for him push me around and waver all the things I used to be so firm on. That was what really upset me. Yes, the heartbreak was unimaginably painful but the fact that I was tricked into believing a fantasy, that’s what upset me.
“She was a smart girl, until she fell in love.”
The weeks that followed were bad. I was depressed, my anxiety was at an all-time high, I felt worthless and so insecure. I wanted so bad to be okay, I tried to pretend I was and put on a brave face. It didn’t work. I wasn’t fooling anyone, let alone myself. How did I let someone tear down the amazing me I had built? A woman who was so happy with life and career was screwed over by love.
Love isn’t a word I throw around very often. When I say it I mean it. After the time that passed, I realized why this hurt so much. I had started falling in love with him. He had every quality I would want in a partner. He ticked every box on my hypothetical checklist. He kept me on my toes, he challenged me and he embraced the good, bad and ugly within me.
Very few people know that I struggled with an eating disorder and used to cut myself. These are things I told him because of how safe he made me feel. We were in line at California Adventure, waiting to go on Soaring Around the World when I told him about these things. Instead of looking at me like damaged goods, he hugged me and told me these are things I should be proud of. I was able to overcome such darkness and come out on top.
Like I said, he embraced the good, bad and ugly. He made me feel like I was deserving of happiness and for a brief moment in time I found a world of happiness with him. How sad that a ten minute, augmented reality attraction was the only way we’d actually travel the world together.
During the weeks of healing, I slowly started to feel like myself again. I was getting out of bed, having fun and not eating my weight in ice cream. I was no longer self-medicating myself to survive the day. Instead I tried again to find the beauty within each day.
I went away to Lake San Marcos for a girlfriend’s birthday three weeks after I had my heart broken. This trip was the first time I had felt like myself again. I was laughing, smiling and just happy to be alive, surrounded by people I love that loved me back. That night my phone went off and when it did it was a very distinctive text tone. I had never removed his personalized text tone, so when I heard that noise I knew it was him and I froze.
I was upset, angry and if he was near me I could’ve smacked him. I only made it past the first sentence before I had a full blown panic attack. I’m not a religious person by any means, but I thank God every day my girlfriends were with me when he finally messaged me. I had all the love and support I needed. It took me almost half an hour to get through reading the message once.
I was emotional, to say the least.
“I have thought about what this message might say ever since the first post. And now, after number 4, I feel like it's finally time. It has come full circle.
You have every right in the world to feel the way you do. I'm not happy about the way things went down. You deserved better. I know that. Everyone knows that. But as you said, I don't know if I could have handled it in person either. You were great. You were so good to me. And I don't know if I have ever felt so "loved" (I know you don't throw that word around lightly after reading your first post.) I don't know if I have ever been with someone who I could tell so clearly was just as excited to spend time with me, as I was with them. So, I couldn't even imagine having to do this in person. Obviously, as it turns out, I'm not strong enough to do that.
While we connected on so many levels, there was just something that, at the end of it all, wasn't clicking on my end. Is that your fault. No, not at all. In all honesty, am I completely over my ex? No. I'm not. And that's not fair to you. And it wouldn't be fair to anyone. It's my fault for even putting anyone in this place to hang out with me and develop feelings when I'm not sure if I am willing to feel those feeling a back yet.
I hope that you know that none of that was fake. None of that was a person I was pretending to be, like you said so many times. Am I perfect? Not even close. Am I a good person? Obviously, after this, you might feel otherwise, but when it comes down to it, I am. And everything I said and felt and thought was real. But at the end of the day, there was something here that turned me into something that was way less than you ever deserve. And maybe that's just the universe's way of pointing you in the right direction of what you truly deserve. Someone who loves you and treats you the way that you so graciously treat others.
So, why am I even saying all this? Because like you said, you at least deserve that. You deserved an answer. You deserve way more than that. And you deserve way more than me.
I truly wish you the best. And I think you are on a girls weekend and are finally feeling better so I really really hope this doesn't pull you away from that and your happy self.
I know I kept asking the universe for answers, but in retrospect, I didn’t want them. I didn’t want to hear him say lovely things about me again. As much as I was hurting and finally got the answers I was asking for, they only made me like him and miss him even more. At the time, this message gave me a false sense of hope that when he finally resolved his feelings he’d come back to me. It made me think that lazy Sunday morning was a possibility again.
But I read it now and all I see is a message telling me that even though I am so amazing, loving and gracious it still wasn’t enough for him. I wasn’t enough for him.
We’ve chatted here and there since everything blew up and ended, our banter was still like it was before. But I don’t have hope anymore. I don’t expect anything anymore. I think that was my problem. I expected all these things to come to fruition based on what he was telling me when I should have been smarter than that. I should have known I couldn’t expect anything from him. I know not to expect anything from anyone. But with him I expected the world.
He was my fairy tale, a fantasy that was damn near impossible to attain. Today, I’m okay. This time a month ago, I thought smiling again would be impossible. I had my heart broken like never before, almost beyond repair. I loved and I lost. But here I am today, happy, smiling and just as spicy as before. I’m grateful to him for showing me the amount of love I am capable of. I’ve slowly been opening myself up again and in doing so I’ve reconnected with exes from my past and even met some new guys. Who knows what will happen with that or if they will even go anywhere. But I think the fact that I’m even talking to guys and open to exploring is a good sign.
Love takes time and somewhere over the rainbow and down the road on a Sunday way in the future, I’ll get my lazy Sunday morning with the person I'm meant too. A person who loves me and treats me the way I graciously treat others. A person I truly deserve.
This short-story brings this chapter of my life to a close. I've learned so much about myself these past few months whether I wanted to or not. As much as I claim I'd rather be blissfully ignorant, I know that knowledge is power. I'm able to learn and grow. I know what questions to ask and what to watch out for.
This has also pushed me to reevaluate where I am at in my life. Orange County now seems too small for me; I've been thinking big city again. Maybe, just maybe within the next year, Los Angeles will be getting its favorite Valley girl back. Who knows, only time will tell. Until my next love story or heartbreak…