A question of forever.

I know what I want from my life, from a relationship, from a partner. What is it you want?

I want a companion who is an integral part of my life. Will you be friends with my friends? Will you come to baby birthday parties and holiday potlucks with me? Will we travel the world in search of adventure? Will you come to thanksgiving? Will I ever know your family? Will you be a part of mine?

I want a relationship that sustains me and that grows into something meaningful. Would we move in together? Will you comfort me through the hard times? Will you hold my hand on long flights and take the stairs instead of the elevator when I am afraid?

I am flawed, wounded, self-conscious, jealous, angry. I am not beautiful, sexy, compassionate or kind. Will you take me as I am? Will you love me on my worst days as well as my best?  Will you forgive my sins and forget the harsh words I utter when my temper flares? Will you want me even when you compare me to the other gorgeous women who will surely be attracted to you? Are you ready to be exclusive and commit fully?

I want to know that I am safe from the pain and torment of our failed past. Can you promise me you will always be honest? Can you say for certain you won’t search the internet for other women? Will you still sign up for dating sites? Will you continue to speak to all your ex-girlfriends? How can I know what we have is real when it was so easy for you to spend a year with someone else? How do I know that you didn’t say all the same words of love to her? Are you still be searching for something better?

I want a partner for life. Can you see yourself being in this relationship for the long-term? Will you marry me one day? Will you take care of yourself and live a long, healthy life? How will your religion affect our relationship? Will you stay with me through the darkest nights? Will you be by my bedside when I’m 90 and in the hospital? Will you sing to me and tell me stories when I am weak, sick, confused? Will you celebrate a lifetime of love with me?

I want a real, grown-up relationship with all the transparency, honesty and commitment that that involves. I want a forever. I want someone who, each and every day, will choose that they want to spend their life with me.

Tell me what you want.

Elle.

Love it will not betray you 
dismay you 
or enslave you. 
It will set you free. 

 

A story of two years, three words and the truth.

The truth is I love you too. Being with you was the most mesmerizing, beautiful, gut-wrenching, heart-breaking, transformative experience of my life. When we were happy, it was the happiest I have ever been. I look back on our time together and I remember sun-filled mornings, profound conversations and long, perfect kisses. In the months we spent together I was more myself than I have ever been before. You made me feel more alive than I believed possible. I was intensely happy and completely in love with you.

But it was a lie. We weren’t happy, we weren’t in love. Our relationship was made of lies, secrets and betrayal. Your deceptions created chaos and turmoil that nearly destroyed me. You didn’t respect me or value me. You were always looking for something better, something more. We had no foundation and I could never ever trust you.

It has been almost two years since the day you walked out the front door and I walked away from my life. Two years since my heart was ripped from my chest. Two years and not a day goes by that I don’t think of you. Two years of comparing every man I meet to you. Two years of special moments that deep-down I hope to share with you one day.

And then today, you write to tell me you love me. Three simple words that change everything.

But nothing has changed, not really. You are still Muslim and I am not. You still want kids and I might not. I still want to travel the world and you want to stay in Canada. But more than anything else, I still can’t trust you. I want to share my life with someone who respects me. I want to build a life with an honest, decent man. I want to spend holidays with my family, to make champagne toasts to our happiness and to share wild adventures in the far reaches of the globe. I want a partner with whom I can live the life of my dreams.

I wish I could write you back and tell you the truth. Tell you I love you too. Tell you that I want to see you, hold you, and be happy after two long years. I wish we could go back to sunny afternoons in the park, intense discussions of world events, quietly doing the dishes together and long nights in each other arms, but we can’t go backwards. And the hard, terrible, heart-breaking truth is those three simple words are not enough. 

I love you always.

Elle.

Losing him was blue like I’d never known. 
Missing him was dark grey all alone. 
Forgetting him was like trying to know somebody you never met. 
But loving him was red, burning red. 
Remembering him comes in flashbacks and echoes. 
Tell myself it’s time now, gotta let go. 
But moving on from him is impossible when I still see it all in my head burning red. 
Loving him was red. 

#45 – The Time That I Didn’t Go To The Vatican…

I have never been a very good tourist. I often don’t know what important landmarks a city boasts. I rarely do any research before a trip. I don’t like tour busses. I hate lines. And I don’t like other tourists.

So when everyone told me that I absolutely had to visited the Vatican, I took their advice with a grain of salt. Wanting to make my own decision, I did some basic research. I read about long lines, hordes of visitors taking photos of priceless paintings and strictly controlled access to see the most famous pieces. But I was so intrigued by the complex history, the breathtaking art and the stunning architecture that, against my natural inclination, I decided to visit the Vatican. I should have known better. 

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#44 – The Time That I Toured The Colosseum…

I have wanted to visit Rome for as long as I can remember. I grew up listening to the stories that my mum, a Fine Arts major, would tell me of her travels in the late 1970s. Vivid descriptions of her wonder as she experienced her textbooks come to life had my imagination running wild. Near the top of her list of highlights was the Colosseum. She remembered being overcome by emotions as she walked through the ruins. She told me that she could feel the gruesome history in the air around her. Continue reading

#43 – The Time That I Did A Juice Detox!

This time last year I was standing in the cold misty rain, surrounded by a thousand green revellers, drinking a pint of Guinness. I had just arrived in Ireland and was ringing in St. Patrick’s Day in the heart of Dublin. The chaos, the crowds, the drinks, the newness of it all. It was exactly what I had been craving and what I thought I wanted. So why was I feeling so sad? Continue reading

#42 – The Time That I Haggled For Fruit In Croatian…

One warm, sunny morning last October, I walked through a crowded, busy market in the old town of Split. Located just steps away from the harbour I could smell the sea breeze and see the bobbing sailboat from where I stood. I wandered slowly around the packed stalls with their mountains of sweet, ripe, fly-covered fruits and vegetables. No intentions. No thought of where to go. No plan for what to buy. I just observed. Continue reading