The Head and the Heart; Part one


Almost a year since I first left Melbourne; and to say that a lot has happened would potentially be the greatest understatement of my 29years of life! I should have had plenty to write about; stories words and happenings should have been tumbling out of my head faster than my little hands could keep up… instead my computer and I have been having a Mexican stand-off, both staring at each other, one daring the other to do something, to little or no avail. I am not sure if I just had far too much to process, or the magic carpet of life was moving so inexplicably fast that it was all I could do to keep from tumbling off the edge… I guess sometimes life just has to be lived and breathed, emotions felt to the core, and then when we finally re-emerge on the other side, perhaps we will be able to digest and reflect on all that has been.
So where to begin now then? I figure a 2-part saga should bring us all up to speed nicely!!
As most of you know 1 year ago I packed my bags, and left Melbourne after an 8month stint to return to Croatia, with no other motive other than to find out if there really was something between myself and the man I had left behind in a foreign country. For those that really know me, know that this was a huge move for me. I have tried to live my life guided by intuition rather than reason, and it has taken me around the world, on many adventures. BUT while I am a bit of a hopeless romantic, I have always been a little more cynical when it comes to my own love life and have typically opted to run from, or push it away. So while traveling by myself was nothing new, the fact that I was crossing the globe for a guy certainly was! Simply put – it scared the living shit out of me!! But when it came down it, I really had nothing to lose, I would either arrive in Croatia and discover (that like so many other guys before) that there just wasn’t that spark anymore and it was nothing other than a beautiful summer romance – that ‘shooting star’ across the night sky of my love life, something to remember and reminisce over when I was old and grey… OR, the alternative that it was real – and you know what, I honestly don’t know what option scared me more because if the latter was true – then what??! With the purchase of a one-way ticket, my fears at bay, bags packed and I was on my way...
Again, how everything happened was no fairy tale – when he first walked up to me at the Airport in Zagreb I  was happy to see him (also a little pissed because he was 2hours late), but definitely didn’t think that within 3months we would be husband and wife!! He grabbed me, we kissed, and it felt totally natural and yet completely foreign at the same time. We had only really been together for a few weeks before I initially left Croatia, and then had had 8months apart, now here we were standing face to face outside the airport, backpack by my side, no idea what we were getting ourselves into, it was far too much to comprehend, or speak about, and a little awkward to tell the truth, so our conversation was based around where we would stop for lunch - small steps... It all took a lot of navigation – navigating ourselves and our relationship, while being all up in each other’s grill; BUT honestly within 2 weeks we were in a natural rhythm with each other, and there was no question in my mind that this was the right decision.
However let us not get ahead of ourselves; to say that it was easy would be the next greatest understatement of the year. There were many difficulties to come, most of which I faced within my own mind. It turns out that living in a small town in a foreign country away from family and friends, not speaking the language and not working was a perfect storm of sorts (who would have guessed), leaving me standing in that small fishing boat staring up at the wave of fears and doubts that was about to crash down on me.
 By all accounts I was living the dream! Living in a beautiful foreign country, with a man who loved me, days spent tanning, writing and reading, simply enjoying life as a lady of leisure for once in my life - WOW, when I say it like this, what comes next sounds even more ridiculous... However this did not suit me at all, for someone that is used to working, being busy and being social, this quiet life gave me far too much time alone in my own head, which can be a very dangerous place to be. I was a mess, I was not myself, I was a bat-shit crazy-mega-moody bitch prone to burst into tears at the drop of a hat, the flick of a cigarette, heck even the edges, clutter and colours of our room got me all worked up into a knot that not even the greatest sailor could undo!
  I didn’t like myself, so I had no idea how this man liked me, let alone loved me. Yet he seemed to shine nothing but love on me in some of my darkest hours. This darkness was my greatest light though; because while I was finding being in Croatia so hard, loving him was easy, and at no point did I want to do what I had always done – which is to run away, and this said it all. This time there was no running, no hiding, I had to go deeper into myself and face more of my demons than I ever had, ask some of the questions I had never asked and feel some of the emotions I hadn’t allowed myself to feel; all of which had been compressed over the years of giving myself to everything and everyone, but never truly searching inside. One night in one of my usual episodes of tears these words spilled out: “I don’t like myself!” It was a shock to me. For everything I feel I have ever tried to give to life by living with all of the vigour and courage I can muster , there are also a lot of versions of myself that I simply am not proud of (mostly related to alcohol), yet I have never said this out loud. In these dark moments my mind painted me a picture of all the words and hurtful/shameful actions I have ever done, leaving me with a contorted portrait of myself I didn’t recognize or didn’t want to know. When I heard these words it was like a slap in the face, how could I truly say this or think this about myself, the one person I am stuck with for the rest of my life??
The mind is so incredibly powerful, and it had crashed down on me, leaving we washed up and thinking that this was all I am. I could write pages and pages on the words, emotions and memories that my ego tried to drown me under; but all I really need to say is that through all of this, there he was, not judging, patiently waiting, shining a beacon of love for me to make my way back (a journey into our own mind is not something anyone else can navigate for us, we just need them to be there on the other side).
 Again it was a summer of contradicting and conflicting emotions. I went through some of my darkest moments, and shone brighter than I ever had in the love of this incredible man; time dragged in the days spent in the realms of my mind and also sped by transporting us to the end of my 3month visa. Through everything I never questioned my decision to be in Croatia and with this man, I loved him, pure and simple. So coming to the last days before my visa was to expire, we were faced with a relatively big decision… to put our relationship through the test of distance again (was 8months not enough?!) or take (the craziest) leap of faith and get married??

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