I was once in an unhealthy relationship a long time ago. It filled me with grief, self-questioning and uncertainty. Once I got out of it, I had to learn to love myself…as I am…with both my weaknesses and my strengths. The process was filled with obstacles. I learned through trial and error. Those experiences created patterns.

Patterns are hard to break. They’re as challenging as starting a diet, avoiding chocolate, exercising, and eliminating alcohol.

A pattern clings to you like a leech; sucking you to the marrow.

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At first, you blame everybody but yourself. Then, you embark on a journey of self-discovery. And in the end, you realize that you must learn to love yourself; faults and all. I learned to do it despite my emotional baggage.

And then I met someone.

Someone different.

That someone understands me and loves me as I am. That someone makes me want to be a better person and to grow stronger with every passing day.

But that someone has emotional baggage too. A far more recent past that sometimes catches up with the present. Sometimes you meet a person but the timing isn’t ideal; although you can’t explain why. Nonetheless, you jump in with both feet; convincing yourself that this time you’re exactly where you need to be.

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Your feelings grow. Feelings of complicity and tenderness. Feelings of friendship. The chemistry grows stronger. This is the stuff of many a great literary work. You take mental pictures of the beautiful moments, lest they disappear. You paint a canvas in your dreams; images of your story… your story, and his.

It’s an imperfect story filled with obstacles. A roller coaster ride that serves as a backdrop to your story.

Although it isn’t perfect, I know the grass isn’t always greener on the other side, nor do I want to venture there.

Every relationship has its challenges but let’s not forget that it’s a team effort.

I’m filled with wonder as my fingers fly over the keyboard to capture this story. I cannot say the same of the past because the person I left there is lost to me.

Today, I face dead-on the challenges in my relationship and although I’m sometimes tempted to “skip the country”, I know that in the end, I’d want him to be there when I arrive at my destination.

I aspire to greater things because everything seems possible with him by my side.

Life with him isn’t black and white, or even shades of grey, it’s pastel and dusted with glitter… even on rainy days.

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Maude Sénécal

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