I thought long and hard before deciding to write this blog. It’s kind of personal, but it also tells a story of the power of love and what it can do to a person. I’m not much into one night stands. I quit that gig many moons ago, and really prefer to have long lasting relationships. This year I stumbled upon one, but it had an expiration date. I knew that going in. I promised myself not to get too involved (sure Iva, try telling your heart that). Here’s the story of my love affair and the lesson that follows. Grab your coffee, this may be a long one….here’s my love story.
This little town
I live in a small indigenous town in Guatemala. Plenty of locals, not many expats but enough to have a relatively decent social life. It’s a pretty tight knit clan here so when someone new blows into town we kinda notice. And I noticed this one. Actually I think he noticed me first. I didn’t pay too much attention to him. Seemed like a nice enough guy, good looking American.
The dating scene is pretty dismal here for a woman my age. Most expats are slightly older than me which isn’t an entirely a bad thing. The bad thing is that most of them are alcoholics. Very bad. Around here, you pretty much wait for someone to show up, that also happens to wanna stay, that isn’t an alcoholic and not too badly broken. The struggle is real.
And then this happened….
I carried on my life, business as usual, until I had to move into a new apartment only to realize that this guy would be my neighbour. Fair enough. A girl can’t complain when your next door neighbour happens to be tall dark and handsome.
I knew not to get too involved. I knew he was not here permanently. I knew that if anything started it would have to be light, fun and not too serious. I also knew he was an alcoholic. Step away Iva…far far away.
We would all hang out, me, my landlord and my neighbour (let’s call him John shall we?). Motorcycle rides, nights out at the local watering hole. We would all go home together. We just hung out and had fun. And then chemistry started happening. I saw the way he looked at me and he wasn’t so hard on the eyes either.
Go easy Iva….careful….
What boundary lines?
Before I knew it, we were walking down the street holding hands. He would often sleep over, we hung out a lot. We were almost always together. I fought with myself almost daily. What are you doing girl? You know this is wrong and so bad for you and where are your boundary lines? Did you forget that just a few years ago you left an alcoholic and swore to never do that again? Did you forget that already?
Apparently I did.
Apparently when you’re lonely, or should I say, tired of being alone, and some good looking dude gives you attention, there are no more boundary lines. Phfft, gone, nudda, zippo. We were having fun. So much fun. We were total opposites and just had a blast together. Oh how I was starting to love this man. He was smart and fun and funny and caring and kind and intriguing. He accepted all my quirkiness and admired me for who I was.
It’s not all roses and sunshine though…
We hit bumps. We hit many bumps. He was an alcoholic and that played a big part in our many bumps. I set myself up for that. I knew it would happen but I ignored it. I was slowly starting to become aware of the fact that I was addicted to the company, no matter how damaging it was to me.
3 months after I moved in, he moved across the lake. I had mixed emotions. I was relieved. I needed the break. I was sad. I was gonna miss him being next door. I visited him on weekends. He would come here. We maintained our relationship until one weekend his drunkenness got out of control and I walked away.
It took a devastating night of drinking for me to find my boundary lines I had once lost.
Oh how my heart ached…the love story took a turn for the worst.
I deserved that one. I knew all along that this was bad for me but I went in full steam ahead with my rose coloured glasses on and heart wide open. Yup. I deserved that blow. Way to go Iva. Did you learn your lesson yet?
A few weeks went by and we made contact again. I told him I still wanted to spend the last little bit of his time here in my town before he went back home on one condition, no drinking. He agreed. I was happy. We were both happy again.
The expiration date…
The day he leaves is coming up soon. Really soon. Like 3 weeks from the day of this blog kinda soon. We will kiss and say goodbye, the shuttle will take him to the airport and I may never see him again. My love affair will be over.
Do I regret this love? Not one tiny bit. My heart had a chance to feel love and give love and be happy. There is nothing ever to regret about that. I learned boundary lines lessons, again. Hopefully this time they will stick.
Where there is love, there is life. There is no wrong love. The heart never lies. Love is a feeling that can’t be denied and shouldn’t be controlled or guarded. Love is real and if you have love and feel love, let it be. Nothing can ever replace that feeling and I am fortunate enough to have had that feeling with John and it is something I will carry with me forever. Had I denied myself of that I would also have denied myself of beautiful memories and a sweet summer romance.
Don’t deny your heart, ever. The heartache goes away but that feeling of love never will.
Bartender, line up the tequila shots por favor…this one is gonna hurt like hell.
Peace and Love