Friday, September 23, 2016

Love

I am trying to come to terms with the fact that I might have found the one person who is just perfect for me. For a while, and if I'm really honest, even now, I've searched for something I don't like about him. And because I couldn't find anything big and obvious, I even paid close attention to all the little things. And there were some, but none of them lingered, none of them turned out to be the spark to light the fire of doubt that would eventually eradicate the affection and relationship. Sometimes quickly, sometimes painfully slow. But there was no such spark. And hence, no easy way out for me. Even things like burping, snuffling, or leaving the bathroom door open while peeing didn't bother me at all. I still love this man.

There are the obvious things I love, like his looks, his smile, the sound of his voice and his laughter, the way he treats me and what he says and does to let me know that he loves me. Which would be enough for me to know he does, but he even tells me he loves me. His storytelling, his curiosity and intelligence, the joy I feel when being with him, talking to him, and listening to him. But what is most important, he challenges me. I've had relationships before with men who tried that, but I never let them. Not sure, what he does differently, and it's not easy and I still do resist. And yet, I do try things I never wanted to try before. And I'm learning so much about myself. Things I already knew but never fully accepted. Because it scared me to do them. To accept who I really am and to take action based on that. Action like doing things that I never thought I could do. But the more time I spend with him, the more I realize that the reason I have been holding back is not so much the fact that I don't have the skills, education, talent, and experience but rather that I don't give myself enough credit. He makes me read, watch and listen to people who are like me and incredibly successful but who I thought I didn't like and, consequently, ignored. And the more I do that, the more I realize how much power there is inside of me. Dormant and unused. And how much good there could be done with it. If only I acknowledged who I really am, rolled up my sleeves, and went to work.

He made me watch a movie about someone who has used his empathy to not only build a million if not billion dollar business but also change the lives of thousands of people in a way that causes an avalanche. Those thousands will go out and change thousand more lives and so on and so on. And despite his success and the decades he's spent doing this, he still feels the pain of every single person he talks to. And, I'm sure, the pain of everyone else. And yet, he does not falter but only gets stronger and continues changing lives. I understood, that feeling all that pain and having all that empathy can be such a powerful thing. And you don't have to get rid of it to be happy and successful. You just need to use it for your and everyone else's benefit.

I've heard a highly regarded consultant speak about leadership, using words and examples I used when I was nineteen. Then, I didn't know that my attitude and demeanor at work was the attitude and demeanor of a leader. I've never seen myself as one but, somehow, many people around me have. And that without rank, without orders, without bullying. Just because of me and the way I do things and treat people. Not that I was unaware of all of that. But somehow, I didn't want to go there. And now there is someone who makes me want to go there. Better, he makes me want to go there and I allow him to do it.

And again, like so many times before, I feel like I'm pointing out the obvious here. Millions of successful people became successful because of this one or a few people in their lives who triggered something. Who challenged them and supported them in a way that no one else had done before. That made them see themselves like they really were and not like they thought they were or should be. And this can be anyone. A colleague, a partner, a friend, a coach of any gender. I am in no way saying that a woman cannot be truly successful and happy without a partner. Sometimes it's quite the opposite. But no one, really no one, can be truly successful and happy alone.

Love, I think I've finally understood what it is. It gives me the courage to fly. I always knew I had wings and even knew how to fly. And I surely knew how good it felt to fly. But I didn't do it. God knows, why. And here comes someone who just gives me the last push I needed to do it. Somehow I feel not only the courage but the strong urge to fly. And take off and it's like nothing else I've ever felt or done and I never want to stop again.






Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Goodbyes

In less than two weeks, I will pack my things and move to Arizona. Bye bye Bay Area. I don't think that I am fully aware of what this will mean, yet. Leaving the kind of friends you don't find every day and everywhere and a place I thought was home. Leaving California and all it's beauty and benefits. But I don't really have a choice here and it does feel right. Albeit an incredibly sadness I have to move on.

A few things happened since I finished my trip. The day I came home, I felt so lost. The neighbors had moved out and the garage was almost empty and clean so I hardly recognized it when I drove inside. They had taken Chewy, their cat with them so he didn't come running like he always did after I returned from a long trip. And when I walked into the apartment, my skin started itching because of the two new kittens who lived there now. These guys were hiding under the couch for a few hours before their curiosity and hunger, I assume, drove them into the kitchen. And while it lightened my mood to play with them and watch them, it also made me itch more. Not to mention miss Chewy even more.

It didn't feel like home at all. After having been away for such a long time, it didn't even smell like me, anymore. I didn't know what to do to help me come home. Feel home. Home. I wondered where that was now? 

In order for you to be able to follow from here I need to tell you a story that I did not include in my blog. And it's the reason why I didn't write as much as I could have written along the way. I am not going to write about it in detail, given that many of you already know what has happened. Long story short, I met a guy while I was in Phoenix and after I had left, we spent hours on the phone every day, I flew back to see him twice, and now I am going to move to Arizona to be with him. My sarcastic and rational self who doesn't believe that love like this exists, keeps looking at me with a raised eyebrow and asks "Who are you and what did you do to Eva?" But that is what happened and it feels like nothing ever has before. With every phone call and every time I see him, it keeps getting better and better (sarcastic self is about to barf). I don't really know how to describe it and I still can't quite believe that we've met and feel the same way about each other. 

Now, I had made the decision to leave the city even before my departure. I just didn't know where to. And I am sure that Arizona will only be a temporary solution for a few years. But I'm excited to explore the nature, go hiking, backpacking and ride my bike. And live in a quiet suburb with a view of cacti and coyotes. Avoid the heat in summer and enjoy the weather during the rest of the year. 

As I couldn't shut up my sarcastic self completely, I wanted to spend all of August with him to see if we could live together. Before I made the decision to give up my place and leave. A week before my departure, however, my father called and told me that my mother, who had been battling cancer for the last two years, had gotten a lot worse. They had sent her home a few weeks ago and I had only talked to her on the phone the weekend before. So I booked a flight and hoped that she would still be alive when I got there. She wasn't. I left Wednesday evening and she died Thursday morning while I was still on the plane to Zurich, watching a huge northern light over Greenland, staying on my side for hours.

My mom died. She's gone and will never come back. And just like that, everything else became irrelevant. From Zurich I flew to Frankfurt, got a rental car and drove to my home town. Where my brother and father opened the door. We spent the rest of the evening with a bottle of wine in the kitchen, remembering her. Every moment, I expected her to come into the kitchen, asking us what we were doing, sitting there. But she didn't. She would never walk into that kitchen again. We all felt like crying but none of us did. We knew that, if we started, we wouldn't be able to stop.

I don't want to write more about it. It hurts and it is going to hurt for a while. It doesn't help that I see my mom's face every single time I look in the mirror. But I know that she doesn't have to suffer anymore. And that helps. And I feel her with me all the time. At times, I can even see her sitting somewhere, mostly on a cloud or just somewhere in the air, floating. I can hear her laugh or comment on what is happening. And I love that. When I am really sad and feel overwhelmed, I can even feel her hug me tightly to make me feel better. And something else happened, that made it feel less painful. My father had sent out mail to family and friends to tell them she died and let them know then the date the wake would happen. My mom's half siblings with most of whom she hadn't been in contact with in over 20 years, came to the funeral. Loyal as I am, I never thought of reaching out to any of them, myself. But when I saw them again, I was so glad to know that my family is bigger than I thought. It felt like even though, I had lost my mom, I had regained some uncles and aunts. A few more people who knew her and who I can exchange memories with.

There are three and a half more months left in this year. I am not sure I could take any more big events. I just want to settle in, enjoy the quiet life in the suburbs for a while and plan my life in Arizona.