#spillthebeansonlove Chapter 42 - It’s here, it’s finally here and I should be jumping out of my skin excited, and I am, but I’m also really, really scared. I find transitions to be overwhelming and intimidating. I’m trying to change that thought process and instead use words like: this transition will be exciting, exhilarating, full of possibility, potentially my best chapter yet, but retraining the mind takes time and a lot of practice. I am however up for the challenge and believe I can change my mindset with a lot of meditation. I say all of this while brimming with excitement like a pot that’s about to boil over. It’s quite the mix of emotions.
Guapo and I have had the loveliest 2.5 year relationship. Long-distance, relationship. Sometimes it feels like it’s not long-distance by how much we talk, Facetime, and get to see each other, but when it really boils down to it, it’s long-distance and we both also have a lot of personal space.
I have my friends here; he has his there. We were grown adults with careers and roots in our respective cities when we met. Unwinding that takes a lot of time, deep contemplation, and way too many circular conversations both with him and within my own mind.
The good news is I’m going through this process with a very kind, patient man who tends to see the glass as all the way full. I am definitely a glass-half-full gal; he is definitely a glass too full and spilling over the edges kind of guy. You know, like a martini filled to the top of those very impractical glasses as you try to walk from the bar to your seat or the foam of a beer sliding down the side of a frosty mug.
Does Guapo move NORTH, or do I move to SOUTH? The million-dollar question.
Come join me as we enter the daily thought process of Elise’s mind:
We both love where we live. We both love our careers, we both have great friends, we both want the best for each other. Guapo’s family lives in Florida, mine doesn’t live in Pennsylvania. Guapo has 25-year deep roots in his career in Fl, I have 6.5 years in PA. Guapo has sunshine year-round, I have the blessing of seasons (except winter, winter and I don’t get along and boy is winter long). Guapo can get a job anywhere, but he would be starting over with his contacts. It took me three years of auditions to get mine.
These were the endless swirling thoughts in my head, and this was the question we faced every single day for the better part of 2.5 years…who moves where?
The easy answer – no one moves. Everyone stays put. We break up of course! Cut your losses, call it day, say thank you…move on. With Guapo, this ‘go-to’ answer of my past just wasn’t an option. This one felt different. This timing in life felt special. If I ‘TMI’ this moment, the truth is that I had fleeting thoughts of this idea at the very beginning of our relationship, but his charm, kindness, consistency, and first thing in the morning sweet messages kept those thoughts from ever growing into a real possibility.
So, after years of dating, months of conversations, and pro and con lists as long as CVS receipts, two people who aren’t even in our relationship ended up making the decision really easy for us.
Those two people are my Mom and Dad.
You see, I left the house I grew up in at age 18 and attended college three states away. I took a semester to travel Europe and study in Spain. After that, I moved to the West Coast, my brother, the East Coast, and my parents stayed in Texas. We were living in the three distinct vertexes of a triangle.
Later, I worked on and off of a cruise ship that circumnavigated the globe. I made friends all over the world. I spent my holidays with friends instead of family. I celebrated my birthday and life milestones and was surrounded by the love and support of amazing friends, who turned into family, but all this time I was away from my actual family.
After 13ish years on the West Coast, I moved cross country to Pennsylvania for QVC, and although I got a little closer to my brother and his family, I was still quite far from Mom and Dad.
Over the years we would fly to see each other multiple times a year, but it took planning and effort. Some years we would see each other five times, others just two times. We remained close through phone calls and emails, family group texts, but what were we giving up by not living near each other? What did that feel like to ‘go home' for Sunday dinner, or call Mom and Dad and invite them over for a backyard BBQ?
The pandemic woke many of us up and I was definitely a product of that. Over the past two years, my thoughts and priorities began to shift until one day I woke up feeling like one of those cartoon characters that got hit over the head with an anvil and sees stars. Out of nowhere, time smacked me in the face and holy smokes would you look at that, 22 years had passed. Twenty-two years of not getting to experience life with my immediate family. Really important, precious time that we can’t get back.
It’s as if my eyes finally opened. My gaze broadened from its laser focus pinpoint view to a wide-angle lens.
When I stop to really think about it, I’m not even sure what I’ve done, or what I’ve really accomplished that has true depth to it. Yes, I’ve achieved lofty goals and I’ve seen much of the world. I’ve captured dreams and made new ones, bigger ones… but I haven’t done really simple things. I haven’t locked arm and arm with Dad as I walk down the aisle or see my Mom hold my baby for the very first time.
What I do know is that I don’t have regret for how I spent my time, in fact, I’ve been quite happy, and have had a very multifaceted life. It's just that now I'm experiencing a transition in my priorities…pretty sure that’s called ‘growing up.’
So, when my parents said to me, ‘We will move to Florida, but we will not move to Pennsylvania,’ (FYI – this is strictly due to weather preference) Guapo and I knew that the decision was made. In fact, not another word was uttered. It was just so perfectly crystal clear. We had been given the gift of assurance, calm, peace. We could stop thinking, stop questioning, stop creating hypothetical situations. We had our answer.
This was a HUGE relief.
It doesn’t mean that my transition will be easy. I love my current life. Leaving my friends, my job, my favorite place I’ve ever lived (my condo in Philly), will be tough, there’s no doubt. But this one sentence was the push we needed to make a final decision and settle into our new reality.
There are a lot of emotions wrapped up in this decision. Most of them don’t involve too much laughing (my favorite pastime), but there is one part that continues to make me giggle.
When I think about Guapo in this situation, I can’t help but smirk. How innocently he asked if I would like to move to Florida. Two and a half years later, I say yes…and two more Ivy’s do as well.
How quickly the question we’re all asking now has changed from: Who moves where? To...
Is Guapo ready for THREE Ivy’s to move to Florida? (I actually LOL as I write this).
Good thing he’s so patient and kind because this is about to be a whole new kind of adventure…stay tuned, perhaps my story is just beginning. This is potentially the best chapter yet.