I left Hawaii and arrived to San Jose California. I spent a few short days on a mini layover vacation at the house of Nicolle &family. I’ve met some really tremendous friends and people through this internet world, but hands down, no competition, Nicolle is one of the most amazing. I’m lucky her awesome (but absolutely crazy— a good crazy) husband emailed me one day to purchase a sponsor space for his wife’s birthday…. months went by, now years, and she (and he too) is someone I’m more than grateful to have as a friend. Last year, from San Jose we day tripped to Berkley and San Fransisco to explore a bit. At her home, we ate tacos, sipped tequila, and sat on her couch discussing a bit of everything, but mostly what life might be like for me when I got back to Florida again.
A year ago, I left Florida for Massachusetts. (One week later, I headed to Hawaii). I needed an escape— a long escape, a short one, it didn’t matter. I was tired of Alex and I’s inability to find a common ground and co-parent. I was left struggling to get to work each week as his schedule would unexpectedly change time and time again. He would go to work, and without him coming to pick up Marlowe, I would have no choice but to call out. I was tired of the unfairness of our co-parenting, that still felt like sole-parenting, and I did the only thing I could do, find a move forward to benefit myself and my kid first. Weeks later, I found myself at Nicolle’s. She shared stories of her and Brian and I discussed my good and bad thoughts on Alex. I told her that there was a good chance I would be going back home to Alex and I possibly working on our relationship again. I was hesitant and cautious, but our distance apart seemed to benefit our relationship, giving us time to breathe and surprisingly enough, a time change provided time for Alex and I to communicate with each other, being able to connect, from a distance.
When discussing future travel plans this past month, Nicolle realized, it’s been one year since our last visit. One year (or forty nine weeks to be exact) since I last sat on her couch, unsure of my future in Florida and my future with Alex. One year ago, I used travel as an escape away from the shitty shit I was going through. Now returning, California became a new kind of escape, an escape to spend more time with the man that has worked so hard with me this past year. A relationship we both made scarifies for and grown into. How quickly and steadily things have grown and changed for the better this year, for me, for him, and for us. While there were and are a fair amount of people I would have liked to see and meet up with in California, one year later, my only real plan for this escape was my time with my husband, our kid, his family, and Nicolle.
This year, we met Nicolle and family in the city, we went to the park that the girls were too young to enjoy last time, our families sat together for Asian food, ice-cream, and planned to see each other soon. The whole rest of the trip, Marlowe cried and whined for two things, her doggy in her home and her ‘best friend’, Audrey (Nicolle’s daughter). As promised we saw them again soon—- on our last full day in town. The girls played, the guys picked up drinks and tacos, and we spent our time, on that same couch, with my now husband and with people who were once strangers, then internet strangers, and now people who I consider family too.
ps. that chicken in the first photo? she freaking loves me. one year later, I told her it was time for our annual photo and she walked right up to me and into my arms. Thanks bb chicken, I love you too.
pps. that bread I brought back to florida last year? I guess it’s pretty obvious that it was for Alex 😉 He loves me too.