It's been 3 weeks since I took the plunge. Yes, I did it. Left my other life to start all over again! I know lots of folks thought I was crazy to do this, many thought brave, while others just wondered, but I knew that I couldn't live with myself if I didn't do it. No, I'm not going to live my life saying "what if ?"..ah ah, not me.
Here's what happened: Out of no where, and I mean NO WHERE, I met a wonderful man unlike any I had met in the USA in the past 20 years. One who has all the qualities and beliefs that I do. One who is dedicated to his family and responsible for his actions. A man whose word is golden. Does what he says! Oh my, follows through and most importantly does not put himself first when it is not right. That is commendable. Not to mention he is a fantastic cyclist and loves the bike. These seem to be rare qualities today in the male species in San Francisco. Now I know that may offend some of you men readers, but trust me if you are like this, you are already spoken for. Am I right?
OK, a little history:
After my 12 year marriage dissolved, I had a good 15 years on my own. After dating men who just didn't seem to be "the one", I stupidly found my self in a relationship with one who was not truthful, considerate or sincere, but I somehow dismissed it. All I can say now is " MY BAD". I overlooked all the important signs as I thought he was the one!!! I learned the hard way that I was VERY VERY wrong. After that debacle, I gave up. I sincerely thought I already used up my chances and maybe being single is what's supposed to be! At that point, I made a complete attitude adjustment. I decided to focus on all the GOOD people in my life. I should focus on putting my positive energy to all my existing wonderful friends, clients and colleagues. Not that I already didn't but now I gave a greater appreciation that I had this!! I felt blessed. No longer would I give to those who would just take it and run without some sort of positive return. with that, I don't mean monetarily, but truth and true friendship. Life was once again GOOD.
Then it happened. I was so content "doing my own thing". Of course, for those who know me means I had some training intense training goal. This time I chose a one day cycling event in the Italian alps. 3 BIG epic climbs all is one day!!! YES, my kind of fun. Being used to doing things (even taking adventures alone) I thought nothing of spending 5 days in the Dolomites training and acclimating before the race day. Sure it would have been nicer to share it with my friends, but no one could come and play, so I had to represent solo!
It was there that I met Mr. X. Immediately, he treated me like a true gentleman and wooed me in an old fashioned way. I was completely caught off guard. After a brief whimsical conversation 2 days before the big bicycle event, he unbeknown to me, went out of his way to search me out. I had no clue! As I reached the finish line after 9 hours of climbing and descending, I euphorically reached the end in the afternoon heat. As I rolled over the line, I heard someone call my name! "Who knows me here?" I'm thinking as I trekked up to this mountain town solo and spent the last 5 days training alone. There he was, all cleaned up and smiling. I still had no clue. "What a coincidence", I thought. "there is that nice Belgian guy". If you have ever done any long distance grueling physical event, you will understand the euphoria that occurs afterward as well as the loss of logical thoughts. "Hey, how was your race?", I say. "I finished 2 hours ago" said the Belgian. Even then it didn't register in my head why he'd be at the finish line 2 hours later. "oh great!" I said and we began to go over details of the climbs etc. Our conversation flowed freely, our sense of humor and energy seemed to flow. Again I thought nothing much of it except I was SO happy to talk to someone!!! (a nice someone to boot) I will not bore you with the details but can now happily say one year later we are going to get married and here I am living in Belgium. ( However Mr X did confess to looking up my name/race number at the registration and that his waiting at the finish line was NO coincidence) I was so naive.
So why am I blogging? I'd like to share my experiences/observations of a new American Expat trying to meld into a new culture. Sure, it's going to take time and I know that, but sharing it can broaden someone else view of life elsewhere. After all there is life outside of the US of A. Please don't get me wrong I will always be proud to be an American, I just want to show another view.
so if this interests, feel free to read and comment!