Ryan's death created a sense of resolution urgency. All of the things I wanted to do, all of the things I wanted to be and my ability to focus on the grand picture, came to the forefront. A massive light went off. One filled with clarity and wisdom. One that cut right through the bothersome small things in life and boom! Made me realize that we've got this one life and only a short amount of time to live it to the fullest. Why waste a breath of energy on something that isn't aligned with happiness, laughter and fulfillment?
Bickering, complaining, bitching. Blah, blah, BLAH! I suddenly had zero tolerance for any petty problems.
I would walk out during conversations. I'd check out when someone started to rant. Often I would go into an immediate trance. Someone's lips might be moving and sound coming from their mouth, but I was in a parallel universe. I often pictured myself in the North Cascades, climbing solo one of the Liberty Bell spires. At the top, I'd soak in the sun and the alpine views. I'd just be. It always calmed me down. And sometimes Ryan would join me there.
I remember asking him questions without really saying anything. His presence provided affirmation that I was on the right path. That my internal wisdom would carry me through. That I was discovering something more about myself that not many people get the opportunity to do. I absolutely trusted myself there.
My resolve to live a life full of adventure, rich with experience and no regrets became my mantra. I wrote down places to travel. Places that Ryan and I wanted to share together and places that I wanted to go on my own. A daring woman was burning inside of me, ready to take risks I had oppressed. Ready to live the life of my dreams. Not what someone else thinks I should do or be - my dreams, my life.
Ryan and I talked years ago about moving some where new. Somewhere with more sun, mountains and outdoor adventures. I wrote about moving on multiple occasions: Tahoe, Colorado, Northern California. Yet it never manifested. I suppose we weren't ready. After he passed, I found myself longing to relocate. To start fresh. To begin a new adventure and really get in touch with who I am.
It's not that I didn't identify with Seattle or the Pacific Northwest for that matter. I dearly love my family and friends. But long ago, I oppressed the burning desire to live in a sunny climate. And now with my new found clarity and resolve, I was ready to make the move. To take the leap into Lovers Lane.
At the top of my list: Colorado. A state full of sun, mountains, snow and no rain. A place where I could learn to further love myself. And in turn, enable me to open up and fully love Benjamin. Luck would have it Benjamin lived in Colorado Springs and fate would have it that five years prior I put a Garden of the Gods poster in a dream box with full intention of living there. It's funny how things work out.
But moving to a sunny state, a long way from family and friends was risky. I didn't have a job lined up. Just a girl with big dreams, a mending heart and so open for new experiences and love, that I knew it was bound to work. Thankfully I had the wisdom that to be happy, truly happy, I had to follow my heart. That when Ryan died and some time had passed, I needed to move on, in my own way. My drive, my passion, my livelihood died in Seattle. And although I tried to keep it alive, to rekindle some flame back into living there, I knew change was certain.
My internal voice whispered gently at first. Too much change all at once, especially during the year of firsts, might have set me further back. Or worse, it would paralyze me. I still had my moments though. Moments of panic, waves of grief and sadness. When I resurfaced from the storm, the clarity and wisdom remained. That and I experienced another breaking point.