So the second part to this story takes us to Colorado. Where I've moved. I've been living here for two months without ANY of my five kids, or Mike. Its been hard on all of us. My kids miss me, they miss Mike, and they miss Mike's kids. I miss all of them, my heart is in Bozeman and in Whitefish, and I spend a LOT of time on the phone with Ethan and Bodhi and Mike and his kids.
And its just not enough. Because I love them all fiercely. It was hard, we have hit a few big bumps. We took a few steps back along the way to make sure that what we were doing was smart, healthy and right. Its tough to be in a long distance relationship. We split up for a few days a couple of weeks ago. And we both realized in those few days that what we have is worth any distance.
Mike is up for a great International Medicine job. If he gets this job, he'll be around the world in Africa every other month. If I make the demo team, I'm going to travel 60 days out of the year. We are just right for each other. And if we are going to make this work, we have to be completely dedicated to its success.
We have to be willing to go big with our hearts. To commit. To huck. To make a soft space for the other to land. Mike met me in Bozeman over the Thanksgiving holiday to help me drive my stuff down to Aspen, and to see this crazy world I live in. To meet my friends, my trainers, and to look at the schools and the ranch. Because we don't know how this is going to work, but we know we need to eventually be together, we are opening all the doors we can. That includes Mike looking at what it would be like for he and his kids to possibly live in Aspen one day. That includes me looking at Whitefish for the summers at least.
Its complicated. People don't believe it will work. But we have chosen not to plot the finish. We have chosen to be dedicated to growing our family, our love, our relationship, and trusting that the path will open that will allow our family of seven to be together one day.
To do that, Mike and I worked hard during the week he was here to learn what triggers or concerns each of us had. There has to be a huge amount of trust, and both of us have been hurt badly in the past. And we've hurt others.
Here is what we came up with: Its our job to respect the position of our other. In other words, Its my job to "hold space" for Mike. Not like "How would Mike feel if he were here?" But he is here. Always. In this space that I hold for him.
And so, part of my job is to make sure that people know that I'm with Mike. That I respect that position, and that I need the help of the people in my life to respect that position as well. And I think this is where lots of us fall down.
I can put it out there, "I have a boyfriend." And if a guy chooses to flirt with me anyway, well that's his problem, not mine. But that's not entirely accurate. Because my job in this case is to not only respect Mike's position, but to make sure that others respect it too. And if they don't I have the choice of either making sure that they do, or removing myself. Because someone who is not going to respect the fact that I am with Mike is not respecting me.
And Mike is doing the same thing in Whitefish. And in this way, we stay connected. We feel connected. So far, it has worked well. We have worked through some tough jealous times, a feeling that neither of us likes to have. But we both want the same thing. We want a strong, healthy, brave, loving, patient family. We want a family that feels like a nest. And that example for our kids starts with us.
So we are willing to do what is hard. Because even though we don't get to hug and smile and play together right now, our hearts are still connected. I feel those kids in Whitefish. I miss them terribly. Just like I miss my kids in Bozeman. But we will be together soon, and when we are, it is truly magic like none I've ever felt.
Michael, I'm grateful for you. I want to see your light shine as bright as it can shine. And I want to help you make our kids' lights shine like highbeams across the wild. Thank you for your bravery and your love. You make me feel like I can fly.