‘Just living is not enough’ said the butterfly,
‘One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower’ – Hans Christian Anderson
I am currently in a relationship that is my third long term relationship, while the length of time we have been together is still short compared to the other two, the plans we have together and the commitments we are making to each other are up there with those I made during my marriage to my ex-husband. The quote above for this week’s Quote Quest made me reflect on relationships in general, both mine and other people’s and why I think the quote is absolutely spot on.
Both my past long term relationships weren’t bad and even when they ended while they weren’t right for me and they no longer gave me what I needed they were a far cry away from the toxic or abusive situations other folks can find themselves in. Truth be told though, all I was doing in those relationships at the end was living and I knew deep in my heart that I needed the sunshine, the freedom and a little flower. It’s not that those relationships never had those things, but eventually, the sunshine faded, the freedom lessened and the flower wilted and that made my soul incredibly sad.
At various points in time, I think the natural ups and downs of relationships means there’s sometimes a little less sunshine, freedom or flowers than you’d like, but with patience and hard work in good relationships those things come back in abundance and all is right with the world again. In relationships that are no longer working, I feel like no amount of effort or time-lapsed can give you back those things you so desperately desire. One of the things I find most upsetting on behalf of others in when they are in that situation where no more can be done, but instead of leaving and finding their sunshine, freedom and flowers, they stay in a relationship that is effectively over and just settle for merely living.
Now don’t get me wrong I know it isn’t always easy to leave a relationship. Especially a long term one that you have invested so much of yourself into. Believe me when I say I know how hard it is to leave, to turn you back on something that was part of your life for so long. In the case of my marriage, it was arguably still a decent relationship, I guarantee it is a situation one many would have stayed in with very few grumbles. I truly believe that would have done us both a disservice though, neither of us deserved to just exist in a ‘good enough’ relationship’. We both were destined to go and find other people who not only felt like living but felt like living in days of endless sunshine, with epic freedoms and blooming beautiful flowers to surround us.
This year has been a dumpster fire in terms of the world around us and my heart breaks for those of you have been hit hardest by the effects of Covid-19. Overall it has been a great year for me, but I want to acknowledge that I know this isn’t the case for so many. At the end of last year when Mr F and I began our dalliance with no strings attached fucking I could never have imagined what 2020 would hold for us. It has on many levels been epic and I hope we are blessed with enough luck that some of our decisions bear fruit in 2021. (More on that in future posts).
When I consider why it was that I was initially attracted to Mr F is comes down to one simple fact. I realised he made me smile every time I saw him. Not from the moment we started fucking, but form the moment we met. Every shift at work that saw us working together would result in him putting a smile on my face. If I knew I’d be working with him the following day I’d genuinely look forward to my shift. If I got there and saw him instead of another manager I’d instantly be thrilled.
Now I see him every day. We wake up in the same bed each morning, I see him when he’s fast asleep, just showered, sweaty after work and all the other moments in between and I have to admit he just makes me grin from ear to ear every single day. I know it would be easy for folks to say these are still smiles of a honeymoon period and honestly I understand their thinking. I know myself though, I know my past experiences and never have the smiles come this often and this easily with so little drama to offset them.
Alongside that, I also get to be all versions of me at once with him. Despite my marriage not working out, I did enjoy the years I spend looking after my ex. I was a stay-at-home housewife/mum for many years, while he supported us financially and I do not regret a moment of that. Then in my last relationship, I could be the kinky/alternative me, which again I embraced and enjoyed every moment of. Neither of those relationships could facilitate all facets of my being though. One didn’t have room for kink and one absolutely had no time or space for domesticity.
Mr F, however, is hella on board with the domesticity and the sexy fuckery and while I’m not all that fussed with including many kinks these days, we dabble with some and more importantly I do not have to hide any aspects of what I’ve enjoyed in the past. I have said it before but I’ll say it again, this is the most free and most me I’ve ever felt while in a relationship.
As for flowers well I feel like we have got lots of them in bloom right now. When my little boy raves about how much he loves having Mr F live with us, that’s a flower. Of course, he is the sunshine in my life in his own right too, but he blossoms for me in so many ways, so often that it is hard to keep count. Today he insisted on loading the washing machine for me because I said I wasn’t doing any jobs on Sunday, and his response was ‘well if I do it now you won’t have to do any jobs on Monday either’. He is 8 and already far more capable of thinking of others than grown-ups twenty years his senior.
Between him and Mr F, I just think I’m the luckiest woman alive. Having both my boys under one roof is perfect. It’s not our forever home, but it is the three of us together and that makes me so freakin’ happy every single day. These are simple joys, making them both dinner, knowing Mr F will climb into bed beside me after a late shift, hearing about the conversations they have when I’m not around, watching them both be daft with the cat, discussing what we’d all like from a future home, future pets and future adventures. Those simple things mean the most though, my home is the place where I will find all the sunshine, freedom and flowers I could ask for.
When I see other people discussing their own situations and it is clear their home is more grey skies, endless restrictions and wilted weeds my heart goes out to them and I wish they could find their way to a life they truly deserve. I know that sounds judgy as hell and I don’t mean I think that way when someone is having a bit of a tiff with their partner, or in a stretch of tough times. I mean those folks who have continuously stated their relationship isn’t working, for years on end, with very few positives but endless negatives. It makes me so sad to know they are just existing, just living and not soaking in all the marvellous things life has to offer them.
For me this quote made me ponder relationships, but that isn’t to say I think those good things can only come from having a partner in your life. I absolutely believe those amazing things can come from all kinds of adventures if we are just brave enough to admit we haven’t found the thing we most want from life and go searching until we find it.