“When I decided to leave my job, I wasn’t completely ready, at least not financially. But, after the eighth week of me standing in the living room crying when I had to leave to go, Jon finally said, ‘Just quit. You can’t keep doing this to yourself.’
He was right, but it was still scary. I’ve never not been employed. I have a mortgage. Credit cards. Living expenses. Groceries. Insurance. I have a Kaitlyn, and those Kaitlyn’s are really expensive. Dogs. People and things that relied on me. But by staying there, I was losing things. My self worth. My confidence. My passion. My energy. My self respect.
And so at some point, I knew I couldn’t keep going back to a situation that was slowly and very painfully ruining my life. But, I still struggled with the idea I also have to be responsible and find a way to live and pay bills and flourish.
It wasn’t until the ‘bad’ completely outweighed the ‘good’ so much that I decided to take a leap of faith and dive into what I’m hoping is going to be my best life, directed by the best version of me.
And as I’m figuring that out, and bugging you all to sell your houses, my partner Jon has quietly and very unassumingly made a plan for our survival. Start the business. Market it like crazy. And then work so hard, sleeping is a luxury.
And that’s exactly what he’s done. He spends every day, at least 12-14 hours a day giving quotes, writing bids, and doing all the labor himself, although now he’s recruited my other favorite guy, Shane, to give him a hand from time to time.
But in reality, he’s doing it all. He’s waking up at 4. Grabbing his coffee. Loading up his things and quite literally, making his community more beautiful.
And I am proud of him. So proud it makes me emotional. So proud I catch myself teary-eyed because he’s not out there doing it just for himself. He’s doing it for me, and his little family. And probably the dogs.
And sometimes, I feel guilty. I mean, I’m trying to get Real Estate going with some success, but it’s hard. Especially in this market. But I’m trying. And so today, I told him I felt so guilty about him taking care of everything and he stopped me, looked me in the eyes and said, ‘What about all the times you’ve taken care of me?’
In that moment, I knew he ‘got it.’ In that moment, I knew he knows for sure what love is, just like my late husband Chad did and so many of your significant others. Love is not just an emotion, or a feeling, or a gesture. Love is taking care of each other, even when only one of you can do it.
I made a promise to myself after Chad died: if I ever found that again, I would recognize it and never take it for granted, because we all know how easy it is to do so. Maybe the person you love irritates you. Maybe they’re messy. Maybe they snore. Maybe they get snappy. And maybe, just maybe, you love them and they love you in spite of it.
Because that’s what love really is. Putting those things aside, and recognizing their value and worth and standing by them when they can no longer stand alone. And sometimes this means picking up all of the responsibilities until those can be shared again.
Ebb and flow. Ebb and flow.
Man, I’m so glad he’s swimming in the deep end with me right now. We might be treading water, but I know for a fact we’re going to make it.
After all, we have each other.
If you have it, I’m so glad. Nourish it. Never let go. And if you don’t, I hope you find a Jon someday. There’s nothing quite like it.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Diana Register of Meridian, Idaho. Her books “Grief Life” and “Grief & Glitter” are available in print and on kindle. You can find more of her books here, and her podcast here. Connect with Diana on her author Facebook page, and Instagram.
Read more stories from Diana here:
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