Under the influence

I’ve been thinking lately about the influence others exert over our lives. It’s lovely to think about how with a new partner you experience the heady sensations of love, infatuation, respect, admiration and deep connection. The challenge I’ve been pondering over lately is how we can create internal positivity out of a situation that isn’t so wonderful.

I lived for ten years in a violently physical and emotionally abusive relationship. I lived with fear and anxiety, painfully heightened situational awareness and crushing loneliness from being isolated from my family and friends for a decade.

And yet I carry no ill will or anger towards my ex spouse. I won’t lie, there are moments where I feel the loss of years that I gave to him. At first I felt they were wasted. Which did anger me. But I slowly realized that nothing in life is wasted, experientially, if you take the time to think and feel deeply about the situation and most importantly, learn from it.

I have gained important insight into myself and how I deal with conflict, or more honestly, how I avoided it. I have learned how important kindness is when choosing a romantic partner. I have learned how to apologize for what was mine to apologize for and to let go of the rest.

It has taken another decade to heal from the wreckage of those years. But with time comes some perspective. And I’ve also come to realize that I’m strong, and kind and open to give and receive love. Those are huge wins for me.

I hope to influence others for the better. Through the sharing of my knowledge but perhaps even more importantly, for the sharing of my compassion for those in life’s darkest places.

Autumnal thoughts

It’s here! The day I wait for all year long: the first trip to Mayer Bros Cider Mill in West Seneca, NY.

For me, the trip marks the opening of the autumnal season. Let the apples, apple pies, cider donuts, cider slushees, and the odd cheese curd, commence. (Not all at once, of course, I’m not a glutton!).

This year I’ll be bringing my boyfriend, Kim and educating him in all the ways of Autumnal Edibles. He’s just as excited as I am. (Not really! He’s a summer guy). But he loves me and so indulges my long standing love affair of all things Fall.

Interestingly, he lives a stones throw from the mill. Which definitely weighed in his favor when we first started dating. It may have been the first observation I voiced when we decided to start spending more time together.

And so dear readers, happy Fall!