...the sun rose without you darling, and it's a beautiful day

s you know, I'm not a big valentine's day person.  I like having an excuse to celebrate love, whether it's for a significant other, a best friend, yourself, but I know that today can be a really hard day for some people.  It certainly has been for me in the past.  It can be heart wrenching, sometimes, to watch people happy and in love getting flowers and chocolate and kisses when all you can feel is the ache in the pit of your chest.  I was over at Babe Vibes today reading the stories of heartbreak from women around the world.  It was a refreshing change from most of the valentine's day content, and I really appreciated how it acknowledged that this day sometimes isn't about love.  Valentine's day isn't sunshine and rainbows for everyone, and it can hurt, but reading other people's stories about heartbreak can show how the pain isn't the end of the story, it's just a part of it.  

I was inspired to share an old post of mine.  Despite being a raw, vulnerable post about heartbreak, it's always been a favorite of mine.  By the time I was able to write this post and take the pictures of these texts I was starting to talk to Dan more, via texts, phone calls, and Facebook, and I think maybe feeling the hint of maybe being able to let myself love again was what helped me start healing and write this post.  It's been almost 5 years exactly since I wrote this in February of 2010, and it's amazing to think about all the things that have happened since I was in the throes of that heartbreak.  In that winter of 2009/2010 I couldn't imagine loving again, I couldn't picture myself ever being able to trust anyone else with my heart.  I had trusted James with it so wholly and in the end I was left shattered.  Healing was a slow process, painfully slow at times, and I felt gun-shy and insecure for a long time.  

If this Valentine's Day is marked by heartache rather than roses, it's okay.  It's okay to feel shitty on Valentine's day.  It's okay to hate this day and be angry and sad and hurt.  But know that heartache isn't the end of the story, it's just one chapter.  And you're a strong, badass lady, even if you don't feel like it when you're curled up on your bathroom floor crying into disintegrating pieces of toilet paper covered with smudged eyeliner.  Your heart is stronger than you think, and it's capacity for healing is otherworldly.  So, Happy Valentine's Day, because even if you don't feel like it, you are loved and you are worthy and you are beautiful.  Even with smudged eyeliner and puffy cry face.

"This post is going to be a little (okay a lot) more personal than my usual posts. I keep my personal life out of my blog mainly because I like this to be a sanctuary for me. When I'm blogging, I don't have to think about the rest of the world, it's a perfectly wonderful place full of nice people, pretty pictures, and encouraging words. And, honestly, this blog has been the one thing that has kept me going at times, the one thing I look forward to when I feel like everything around me is crumbling.

Back in June, the love of my life decided that I was no longer the love of his life. I immediately moved out of Spokane, where I'd lived for four years, and sought sanctuary with my family on the west coast of Washington. I promised myself I wouldn't cry, and I didn't. I didn't cry for months. I refused. Then, when we came back to Alaska, everything fell apart. Not literally, I mean, my life is perfect, really. But, when the person you thought was going to spend forever with you on this big adventure of life leaves, it's not something that just goes away. Coming to terms with him leaving, well, I'm still not sure I have. The things he told me... I just don't know how someone says those things one day and then another day does not mean them anymore. I'm not asking for anyone to feel sorry for me or tell me someone even better will love me someday.

Anyway, it's taken months for me to reach this point. It felt like I was in a horrific car wreck, and I was stuck in traction. I pushed everyone out of my life because I was too proud to admit I failed. Figuratively, I didn't want anyone to see me in that condition, strapped to a hospital bed, covered in casts. He got out of the wreck unscathed. He moved on, I was crushed- incapacitated by grief. My favorite human being no longer desired me. Four months later I was crying myself to sleep on a daily basis, sobbing into the blankets, stifling my cries– he was in Germany, dating a new girl. I could hear him calling her "darling" and "girl," "cutie" and "sweetie" like he used to call me.
It still hurts sometimes. But I've healed. The casts are off. I'm doing great in my physical therapy. I'm walking on my own. You guys have been a major part of that. All your kind words lifted me up on a daily basis. Every comment made me smile.

I don't want to be a downer, but I've finally been able to get to a point where I could do this and I wanted to share it with you guys. I have kept all his most wonderful texts to me since I met him in 2007. I've never been able to delete them, and I still can't bring myself to, but I can finally look through them again without completely falling apart. I've wanted to take macro shots of my favorite ones but it hurt too much until now. I don't really know what these mean to me right now, I'm sure some day it will make sense, but I thought I'd share them with you guys. These aren't all of them (that would be a huge post and many would not make sense to you guys. I mean, my text inbox can only fit like 4 new texts before it's full, so I have a LOT of saved texts. I'm a pack rat, even digitally...), but these are the most meaningful.

I feel like the Brave project is a huge part of the healing process. I can't wait to get out on the road on my own and do something entirely for me, something I'm truly passionate about and that makes me completely and totally happy. It's going to be wonderful and I just can't wait. And I can't wait to bring all of you with me!