A few months ago, I decided I was going to pack up my bags in Nashville and move to South Florida—a place where retirees flock like migrating geese.
You know you’ve made it when you’re a huge hit with the 65+ crowd.
It’s all good. I got an AARP membership, doe.
At the time, I felt like I was on solid ground: a move felt right, responsible, and dare I say it…adult-like? It just seemed like the next transitional step I was supposed to take in life. I was in (what felt like at the time) a steady relationship and everything was gravy in the life of Hannah. I remember talking to my friends on the phone, never having any drama to report when they asked me how things were.
Then, my Floridian earthquake happened.
I was all kinds of shaken, stirred and f*cked (figuratively).
After my move, something deep inside me began questioning my “rock solid” relationship.
Before this, people would always be like, “Oh, you’ve met your forever person. The love of your life! SO CUTE!”
It was a nice sentiment, and I’d always accept it, but something always felt off. The type of off you want to turn all the way off and ignore until the year 2067. #casketready
I’ve always been an intuitive person, but I wasn’t taking any time to listen to how I was actually feeling. I was fully tuning out a huge problem in my life: I was replicating the relationship and future marriage I always wanted to avoid.
It was an old family recipe that had been passed down for generations on both sides:
Just add one cup of contempt.
30 shots of stonewalling.
180 ounces of defensiveness.
And 1200 liters of criticism.
When I got back from Spain, I had this unshakable feeling that something had to change. Every day, I was waking up unhappy, knowing that this was a problem I could never fix or really even talk about with my partner. When I tried to, I was met with days, even weeks of silence. No matter how understanding or communicative I was, discussing any kind of problem always triggered avoidance and led to a complete shut down.
For so long, this relationship was my security blanket—it was warm, fuzzy, comforting, supportive, understanding, kind and loving.
But during the final weeks, nothing about it felt secure. I felt like I couldn’t trust it. I couldn’t keep pouring effort and time into it, because I was only half of it, and the other half was unmoved and unmotivated to grow with me. The other half was far too focused on just focusing on the other half and not this thing we were trying to build together. There’s no way it could’ve stood a freaking chance.
I wanted to grow in this relationship, but in reality, I grew out of it.
I knew I needed more. I needed a true partner—someone who wanted to build a life with me, not just vacation with me.
There were random days this summer where all I could manage was staying in bed and crying all day, mourning the loss of something that happened in such a brutal way. It was a legit text message breakup. We tried talking on the phone, but I was so incredibly hurt with the whole thing, it was pointless. So, this person who’d been a huge part of my life suddenly just vanished into thin air for good, even though I knew it was for the best.
I questioned why I was led here, what the future would look like, how I’d adapt and move on with my life. Everything felt overwhelming. I hurt in a serious way, not knowing if my choice was the right one, but feeling deep down that it was.
Over the past month, I’ve slowly been patching up all the crevices left from this earthquake with the cement of finality.
There’s no going back to how things were before, but I have everything I need to rebuild something wonderful. I know that I’m a supportive, loving, emotionally-stable person who would complement someone who is equipped to be in a mature, communicative relationship.
Rebuilding isn’t easy. It took so much determination, discipline and focus, but I’m proud of where I’m at now. I’m proud of myself for adapting, meeting friends and wanting more for myself.
I feel mentality sharp, spending more time to read and write my own content, I’ve become much more social than I’ve ever been in my life and I’m also in the best shape of my life. I’m excited to write more, work on business ideas, start a podcast (maybe?) and even start rebuilding a love life (it can’t all be work, although it’s a good distraction).
More importantly, Ryan Flynn, Queen of Asses, told me that I now have a little shelf of an ass!
I love who I am, how I feel and the person I’m becoming.
This isn’t a like “I OVERCAME THE ODDS, SO EVERYONE CELEBRATE ME!” thing, either. There’s nothing heroic about not letting your life slip into a wormhole of sadness and despair, but there’s kind of a beauty in it that I can appreciate?
As Ernest Hemingway wrote in A Farewell to Arms, “The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills.“
There’s more to this quote, but it won’t make sense to this particular post, so I will leave it out for the sake of relevancy.
Any way, I’m sure Hemingway intended for his books to be chopped up in little pieces and used as out-of-context quotes. Isn’t that every writer’s dream?
Not going to lie, staying positive about why I’m here and why life put me in this situation has been a challenge. It’s been a lot of work, but I feel reinvigorated by letting go of the things that weren’t serving me and upsetting me. I know this will lead me to a brighter future.
A few vases got rattled around during my Floridian earthquake, some books flew off the shelf, and I may have lost a couple of marbles, but the damage caused makes me appreciative for glue (friends, family, the potential for new love).
Oh, and both of my favorite authors became famous at 29, SO LET’S MUTHA FUGGIN DO THIS SHIDDDDD.