To Munich with love

One week from today, I will be sitting on a plane, heart broken and excited at the same time, on my way back to the United States.

Since my last entry a few weeks ago, you could say that a few things have changed.  I spent the remaining time with my family here soaking up the sun and enjoying their company as much as possible.  My summer with them was incredibly therapeutic and helped heal my soul in so many ways. Besides healing me, however, I think I was also able to make a positive impact on their lives as well - especially my Mamie.  She has struggled to process Pauline's death, and when I arrived would cry at the mention of her name.  After spending most of my free time with her, I believe I was able to help her in some way.  While no one will ever forget or "get over" this tragedy, it is possible for your daily life to move forward and to honor Pauline in a positive way.

For most of July and August I was privileged to have the opportunity to totally relax and spend countless hours laying in the sun one the sand next to the ocean.  This is the only time in my entire life where I have had more than one week of vacation at one time, and the first time in approximately six years that I have visited the beach!  I am typically pale as can be throughout the entirety of summer, as I spend all of my time working, but this summer I decided to just embrace my good fortune and get a tan.  Between eating relatively healthy, fresh food, and continuing my exercise, I was able to forget some of my hang ups and clear my mind enough to spend most of my time in a bathing suit.  It's amazing when you "fake it to make it" and eventually your mind itself shifts in a positive direction.

Which leads me to my next development... I know several of you were (justifiably) concerned about my nascent relationship with Pauline's former boyfriend, Benjamin.  During the first weeks of us bantering back and forth, I mulled over the same questions a million times in my mind.  As time went by, and the date for my return to Munich approached, I became even more nervous - thinking when I arrive he will be disappointed, or it will be weird, or it will feel wrong, or our friends will be angry, and a million other negative thoughts.  I am pleased to report, however, that the second we laid eyes on each other at the airport, every last little negative sentiment disappeared and we just melted into each other.  It could not have felt more right.

The past two years have been difficult for us both.  Between my up-and-down relationship and excruciatingly painful breakup with Juan and Pauline's disappearance and death, both of us were definitely in a position to feel like we would spend the rest of our lives alone.  Even after having a bit of fun with Allan, I still felt like I had a gaping hole in my heart in the shape of Juan.  Being with Benjamin has made me realize that it's not a matter of a hole in my heart - he has taken my heart and completely enveloped and wrapped it up with the utmost care.  My God, he is spectacular.  His kindness, generosity, and sensitivity astound me.  He is so level headed, but understands emotions like no man I have ever met.  We constantly make each other laugh and see eye-to-eye on important things. If forgot how it felt to know that someone was genuinely interested in your hope and dreams and fears. He is intelligent, clever, hardworking, and curious. And perhaps the best of all, he looks at me with the same kind of admiration I feel for him.

We spent Saturday in Salzburg and had such a lovely, easy, natural time together.  Sunday we spent the morning in bed, and it wasn't long before neither of us could hold it in any longer.  Like he was ready to burst, he trembled and told me that he loved me.  In the past, I have always accepted this sentiment graciously and waited with careful consideration to reply.  Before I even arrived in Munich, I knew I was already in love with him, so of course I said it back.

He is not afraid of my past and my heartbreak.  He is not afraid to discuss the serious things that are a part of our lives, mainly a huge ocean and the need for one of us (likely me) to relocate.  I was clear that I could never move my life so far away from everything without knowing I would be married, even though moving to France is something I have wanted to do for my whole life.  He said he would NEVER ask me to do that unless he was sure he would have me forever.  He is buying a plane ticket for Thanksgiving and wants to meet my family.  His parents have already invited me for Christmas.

We both just keep saying that it can't be true.  Life isn't this good.

And at the same time, I know it feels exactly how it should feel.

Sorry to be gushing uncontrollably about this.  I know there have been times in my life where this would be the last thing I would want to read.  But I suppose it is good to share so that we all realize there is good in the world and you are entitled and bound to be happy at some time.  We do not all need to remain broken - or at least if we are broken, we can put our attention on healing ourselves and helping to heal others through love.

I have also learned through a string of many relationships, that when my partner makes me feel inadequate (for whatever reason) my dysmorphic thoughts abound.  When I am treated with kindness and affection of the most true sort, I am somehow able to relax and treat my body with the respect it deserves. (Although my God, I really wish I had a scale right now... I'm actually quite sure I have not gained, and possibly even lost).  This is no way universal, but I'm sure someone else must feel this way.

So, I leave you with some photographs from our weekend and I will return in about ten days.


Eli said...

You are in no way, shape, fashion, or form the only one that feels this way. When I started dating my current boyfriend my life changed dramatically, and rather quickly. I used to make fun of this, but the moment it happened to me I realized that I was an idiot. I went around to people apologizing for it, even. I'm so glad you and Benjamin have found each other. Love is a beautiful thing. As for possibly moving to France, I understand your desire to move only if you intend to marry. My boyfriend is from Germany and once he moves back home he asked me to go with him. I'm nervous to pick up my entire life and move, but I love him and we both want to get married so I'll cope. I've got a few years to prepare myself, thankfully. I've selfishly turned this away from your wonderful self, I am sorry. I wish nothing but the best for you and Benjamin.

Miranda said...

Sooo happy for you!!

Peridot (G+P) said...

*Hugs you all*

You never do forget, but it becomes possible to remember them with a bit of a smile instead of incapacitating grief.

I'm still cautious, mainly because Juan was a total dick and you're both still grieving. If you're both Pauline's last give to each-other, so be it. Just look after yourself, ok?

I hope you two manage to grow strong and heal together. I like the thought of you begin with someone who makes you feel good instead of constantly putting you down. OMG BATHING SUIT TIME! HIGH-FIVE! Of course, the weather would help encourage you, too :)

Hmmmm, if he relocates to your place I can crash on your couch and drag you to yarn shops and touristy places. If you relocate to his place I can crash on your couch and drag you to yarn shops and touristy places. (See how I'm totally just inviting myself to your place :p)

Pretty pretty pretty places and dear GODS what a poser XD (Jk, jk)

Love you so so so much Dese. Look after yourself and travel safe <3

Jéanne said...

You sound truly happy for the first time in a long time. I am so, so happy for you, Sarah! You deserve all the love in the world! I hope you have a wonderful remainder of your holiday and that you travel safely.

Gorgeous pics, especially the third one! Très beau!

Tout mon amour:) <3

Jenn said...

OMG this is all so DREAMY!!! I loved reading every second of it <3 I'm so happy for you, SO happy.


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