Wednesday, January 16, 2013

London



Piece of the Berlin Wall

It seems when my heart goes through a rough patch I have this almost irresistible pull to go to London. I was talking to TF and DrK on Sunday about that as we were shopping for a picture for my office and looking at pictures of London in the store. I actually have priced tickets for a quick trip over - my passport wants a workout before I head to the Dominican Republic this spring - but it has been prohibitively expensive unfortunately. I would love even three days in Ruth and Ray's kitchen.

When I first lived in London in 1998 I got on a plane less than a week after suffering my first major heart break. I think, from what I've heard from others, that first love can be the trickiest. Tyler and I were the very best of friends for a year before I realized I didn't actually have feelings for his best friend Will but was actually deeply in love with Tyler.

I remember coming home from my sorority's formal, to which I had taken Will, and having this realization but not knowing what to do with it. Thankfully, Will realized the same thing and was in the process of talking to Tyler about it when I went to his room to hang out that evening. It wasn't an easy transition to something more than friends but Tyler and my relationship wasn't the easiest either.

Oh man, we fought. We bickered, and picked, were mean and fought and fought. He put holes in walls. But we loved each other too. A lot. I've never had a friend who was more loyal than him. I'll never forget him picking me up and carrying me from my boat (we were on the crew team together) to my parents' car after a regatta because I had cold feet with no shoes and I was beyond my exhaustion point, having just won a championship and puking at the end of the race from exertion. I remember him chastising me multiple times because he didn't feel I gave myself the credit of my "beauty" - a problem I still struggle with today. One time he took a picture off my wall and shoved it at me yelling "look at this picture! Do you not see yourself and how beautiful you are!?" Those words went a long way back then.

People could never understand our relationship. My 35 year old self looks back and doesn't quite understand that 20 year old relationship either but I fell in love with Tyler and he was the first man who had the privilege of my ever faithful and deep love. He earned that love and he was a good steward of it for a long time.

When I was preparing for my semester away Tyler asked me to stay. When I told him I needed to go to London for many reasons, some practical - I was enrolled at school there and not at WU, I had paid for it, had my ticket, etc, but also for some emotional/life reasons, he couldn't forgive me. So he broke my heart.

I remember sitting in the Chicago airport on a layover and crying for three hours. It was 15 years ago and I remember it like it was yesterday. I wasn't sure how I was going to get through but similarly to what I've been doing these last three weeks I made the decision every morning to get up and get out of bed and see what the day held.

My life was changed those six months in London. I attribute a lot of who I am today to my time there. I was a walking mess when I arrived. I knew no one on my program and I didn't know anything about where I was going, what my home stay was going to be like, what my school life was going to be like or if I would make any friends.

Of course, because I live a blessed life I was blessed beyond belief despite my grief. I went on a tour with 12 other people in my program for the first three or so weeks we were there. Those people became very very close friends. In fact, had it not been for my relationships with them I never would have considered moving to the Midwest for law school (the program we were on was through the University of Wisconsin so many of the students were from the Midwest) and I never would have met the people I met there, or had the life experiences I had or probably be in the place I am now. Had I listened to Tyler we probably would have still broken up and who knows what my life would look like today.

But really, the point of all of this is that my heart healed in London. It took probably every minute of time I had there but I came home healed. And right now that's what I long for. A city that will wrap me up and heal my heart.

As I said before I haven't been able to find a ticket that has allowed me to run away for a week so I've been here, minus a quick Seattle trip and a trip coming up to Denver. It's probably best. I tend to run away from the tough stuff. Someone told me I shouldn't be afraid to sit in my emotions right now but I am terrified of where that would lead me so I've kept busy instead. It's been good. I'm not healed by any means but I'm still getting out of bed.

Through this breakup with SHF I've seen a lot of God's preplanning. It's kind of nice to realize he sees what's going to happen before we do and has a plan in all of it. When SHF and I started dating in the fall God knew we were going to break up in the winter so he put things in motion. He planned to have ClubA visit two days after we broke up. He planned for Sweet Pete and Rob and Jeanette and Kirstin to be available to love on me in Seattle last week.

And he planned for me to get some London. My city that will wrap me up and heal my heart.

About a month or more ago my friend Sarah emailed me that she was going to be in Spokane for two weeks in January. Now I want you to hear these details - she is a lawyer in the Air Force. She has never been to Spokane. She lives in DC. I haven't seen her for 9 years.


Suzie, Sarah and I at the top of the Eiffel Tower

At the time it was just exciting that I was going to get to see her but then suddenly it became essential. On Monday, I got to sit down at the Elk with a girl who was a big part of getting me through one of the more difficult times in my life and talk for two hours like I saw her the day before.


I saw God in my relationship with SHF from the beginning. I am still struggling to understand what happened at the end but I definitely have seen God along side me through this part that came after the end. This visit with Sarah is just one more example of his planning and protection of me.

I have to remind myself that if God put these things in place months ago to help pick me up he knows what he is doing in my life in general. There must be a path that I'm just not able to see at the moment. In my head I know that. I know that very strongly. My heart is having a tougher time with the adjustment. It'll get there. I get some more "London" time this week before my trip to Denver. Those pieces will get glued back together again.

Piece by Piece. Slowly but Surely.

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