What a Dog

I had the talk with my family. I didn’t stretch myself as much as I’d hoped, and at first I was really disappointed. However, I can now see that it was a step in the right direction, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I did my best, and I’m closer than ever before to being open an honest with them.

We made it to Budapest! All three of us, including my 12ish year old 14 pound dachshund mix! Dogs are truly amazing. My heart was full of gratitude to Bartley throughout this trip. It’s just overwhelming how much dogs trust us, and are capable of doing scary things they don’t understand, because of that love and trust.

It may seem crazy that we decided to bring him with us, but the last time I left him with friends or family for an extended amount of time, he got extremely sick. When I got home, he could hardly walk, and his fever kept getting worse for weeks. It took several weeks to figure out what was going on, and one night when he hadn’t left the closet for most of the day, we actually said our goodbyes to him. I didn’t think he would get better.

Bartley is such a fighter. He has survived heartworms, distemper and distemper related neurological problems like seizures and encephalitis. I got to see much of that fighting spirit on the long journey.

He is a senior guy, so the thought of leaving him for so long, especially after he got so sick last time, didn’t seem to be an option. However, the thought of taking him on such a long flight didn’t seem like the best idea either. He proved me wrong! From staying in his tiny kennel (on some sedatives) at my feet on the plane, to trekking it through airports, (somewhat drunkenly) sometimes up stairs that must’ve looked like mountains to him, this dog was by my side. He was 100% in it, because even though he didn’t understand what was going on, he trusted in me.

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Perhaps the most beautiful moment was the night before we left. I was rummaging through my luggage… and he ran and got inside of his travel kennel. This is something he has NEVER done before.

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He had to tell me – you’re taking me with you this time. ❤️

And, beyond all of these more serious positive qualities he has, he also just has the most fantastic personality, as pictured below: Stretched out on the couch, mini tennis ball, in mouth, ready to play.

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Love Means

Love means being able to be open and honest.
Vulnerable.
Love means choosing to go ahead,
And say what needs to be said,
When it’s not what they want to hear,
When it might hurt,
When it causes an shift, a tear, a (momentary?) split
In the relationship.
When it shakes up how they thought you perceived them.
Because love means
Challenging each other to be better
Challenging each other to be honest,
First and foremost,
With themselves.
And love means,
Respecting yourself enough to say what you need,
Knowing yourself well enough to know what you want,
So that your connection is stronger,
More authentic.
This love isn’t easy,
But it isn’t about sacrifice,
Or waiting,
Or wondering,
Or hoping,
Or avoiding.
Love means being able to be open and honest and vulnerable.
And believing they’re still going to be there,
When it’s not what they want to hear,
When it might hurt,
When it causes a shift, a tear, a split,
In the relationship.
Love means doing all of this,
And receiving it as well.

Love Means.

Closer to Being Ready

This goes for my upcoming trip, and the talk I need to have with my family before I go. Our place is almost ready for our Airbnb guests, which means we’ve (finally) made the whole place more comfortable, and we managed to declutter! Areas that have had random piles for months (or even years?) are finally open, and it feels so good. Everything seems to have a home which is amazing as well. We’ve been working really hard though, and are definitely exhausted. We only have a few more steps to go, the lengthiest of which is going to be to actually pack for our trip, AND pack up our personal belongings so our guests don’t feel too much like they’re sleeping in someone else’s room. 🙂

As for the family part… well, I got it all down on paper, and that’s something. I even told my dad and brother I want to meet with them on my brother’s next day off, so if I do have the guts to say all of this, there’s actually a set time to say it. Worst case scenario, we just have lunch instead.

Why am I so scared? I guess it has to do with acceptance. I want to know they’re going to agree with me, even before I say the things I need to say. I’m worried they won’t like what I have to say, and may become upset or argue, and I won’t be able to stand up for what I know to be true. Part of me is also really afraid they’re going to say, we’re sorry you feel that way, and I’ll be left to follow my word, which is that if that’s the case, I have to step away for a while.

I need to know that that’s a possibility before going into this conversation. I’ve worked really hard the last few years to build up a healthy life and supportive community outside of my family, and have come to accept that under most circumstances, no matter how scary, I really am going to be okay. That doesn’t mean the prospect of losing closeness with my family isn’t difficult to stomach.

I sort of forgot to keep track of my points last week, so since it’s Sunday, I’ll just start over today. 🙂 Today was a 2 point day.