When I’m feeling low (especially with the pile on that is 2020), it’s so easy to keep pounding myself further into the ground. The loss of a long-term and long-distance relationship feels especially defeating when a tremendous amount of emotional energy went into it. Life-changing efforts went into sustaining it for nearly five years. 

What could I have done differently? Could I have done more to salvage things? The world keeps spinning but I feel like I’ve flown off its axis. 

When my dear friend offered to do a tarot card reading for me, I jumped at the chance to connect with him (even by Zoom) and to talk about hope.

As we caught up and he started pulling my cards, his faith in me and cards kept giving me some of the peace of mind that I was seeking. Some reassurances I wasn’t willing to give myself. That this pain is temporary.

Most importantly, I had someone who knew me so well, reminding me who I am, the choices I made and the risks I took to get to where I am. Those didn’t belong to anyone else but me. So while my boyfriend’s job moving to Lebanon meant a new destination for me, I made it home all by myself. With an absentee partner, it was up to me to go out on my own. It taught me a lot about myself. Stretched my comfort zone. I grew and expanded my circle of friends even more. 

My friend’s words snapped me out of it. I left my secure job five years ago in New York City, because I felt something was missing and needed more in my life. This exact day five years ago, I followed a guy (that wasn’t right for me) on a one month trip to Sri Lanka, Maldives, Kenya, Uganda and Zanzibar, which landed me at the right place and time to meet the man I needed at that moment in my life – a point my best friend reminded me of recently. 

When I wanted to finally pursue owning a hotel barge in Europe these last few years, I set out to take barge school on my own in France and went to see the ideal one for sale (that I’m currently trying to finance). If someone didn’t want to get onboard, I would go by myself. Life is too short to wait on others, including a boyfriend. Whether it’s positioned as looking out for your best interests or too far “out of the box,” there will always be a lot of naysayers or “dream zappers” – in the words of Ash Ambirge, The Middle Finger Project.

This post is part venting, saying my peace about how unbelievably betrayed and disappointed I still feel. And another part, I hope this helps someone else see the light at the end of the tunnel. Don’t lose yourself or forget what really defines you. If you put yourself out there and loved with all your heart, you did that. That’s brave. 

Some advice and something that I always did while in this or any relationship, was to stay true to myself, maintain my friendships and always have a social life that was my own. And, don’t water down your dreams for someone else.

Lots of times when people leave long relationships, it’s like getting dropped off in a river without a paddle because the relationship was everything. I never let a relationship define me, however, I think I got pretty close to letting this drag me in the last few years as my self esteem and confidence dwindled, always putting his work and needs first. 

Then during this tarot reading, I voiced something that I think I always kept close to my chest. My love for Lebanon had eclipsed who I came there for in the first place, and I was holding onto something that wasn’t there anymore… for the love of Lebanon

Just this October, I packed up my life in Lebanon to come back to the US, and of course, the pandemic continues to rage on, wreaking havoc on all our lives. When I do go back to the country, it will be on my own terms, and I will keep organizing travel there. More on that to come as I’m leaning into all that I love about Lebanon to be able to share with others.

Time will heal. And I will still be me. Or a better version of myself when I spend the next few months in self-care mode, pursuing the things that light me up.

Have you put yourself out there for a long distance relationship or took a big risk? I’d love to hear from others and their brave moments.

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