Breaking Up Is Hard to Do

“Write hard and clear about what hurts.” – Ernest Hemingway

Last weekend was the last adventure for me and Morgan, although I didn’t know it at the time.  Portland and the surrounding area was blessed with warmer than usual weather and we took advantage of it by going for a hike at Washington Park on Saturday.  I’m still breaking in my new hiking shoes and halfway through the hike, my left heel decided to blister.  Another mile or so and the pain became too unbearable so I decided to give barefoot hiking another try.  Unfortunately, that is when the smooth dirt trail turned to gravel and the next steps were more painful than the blister.  We decided to cut the hike short just a little bit and called a cab to take us back into the city from the Hoyt Arboretum visitor center.  Once home, I gave my feet a good rest so they would be ready to go again on Sunday.

Washington Park

With the weather continuing to cooperate, and being unable to sleep, we got up extra early and headed for the coast.  We decided to go to Ecola State Park.  There, I was quite excited to see my first eagle in the wild.  Cole met a friendly little Boston terrier and for the next twenty minutes, they were the best of friends.  They ran and played and tore up the beach, zooming quickly all around us.  After a few hours, we decided to brave the crowds and stop in at Cannon Beach.  After walking the beach a bit toward Haystack Rock, we decided to grab some lunch at a spot with outdoor seating so Cole could join us.  Afterward, we went to Neahkahnie Beach in hopes of relaxing and perhaps even taking a nap in the sand.  Unfortunately, Cole wasn’t having it and decided he must “protect” us by barking at all the other dogs who walked nearby along with their people.  Exhausted, we decided it was time to head back to Portland.  Apparently, all of Portland was on the coast with us and decided to head back at the same time which resulted in a congested and slow drive home.

Eagle at Indian Beach, Ecola State Park

For the past couple months, I had been struggling with some difficult feelings about my relationship with Morgan.  I had begun to notice that we may not see eye to eye on some important things.  I also noticed that the passion and excitement that once existed in the beginning of our relationship had all but faded away.  I still loved spending time with him though.  He always treated me well, we enjoyed hiking together and both seemed to really just enjoy being together, whether it was watching TV, listening to music or going out to dinner.  Was that enough though?  Unintentionally, I started to pull back. I was more irritable when we were together.  I kept to myself more.  I was eating and sleeping poorly. I knew this wasn’t right.  I know how passionate I am when in a relationship that is going well and this was not me, not a happy me at least.  After a very difficult conversation for me to initiate, we agreed that we were better friends than partners and decided to end the romantic relationship and begin a platonic friendship.

Cape Falcon, Oswald West State Park

I know without a doubt it was the right decision.  Right does not mean easy though.  I’ve been through enough of these breakups to know what to do to get myself through these first few difficult days.  I usually keep busy with cleaning my apartment, hiking, photography, going for walks with Cole and spending as much time with friends as possible.  My friends have always been a big part of this process and I don’t have a lot of people here in Portland yet to rely on.  Making friends has been harder than expected, partly because I haven’t made meeting people a priority.  It was easy to spend most of my time with Morgan.  The coworkers I opened up to about the breakup have been really supportive and my friend Genie here in Portland was super sweet and took me out for a drink after work as soon as she heard the news.  Sadly, everyone else I can open up to lives in Wisconsin.

Cape Falcon, Oswald West State Park

Cole and I headed to the coast yesterday to hike the Cape Falcon trail at Oswald West State Park.  We took our time and really absorbed every inch of the muddy, five mile trail.  We sat in quiet reflection for quite a bit at a couple of the best viewpoints along the trail.  There is something so comforting about the ocean when you are looking down on it from high above.  I have to admit, I am quite jealous of the seagulls who get to spend their life doing just that.  After the hike, we went to Manhattan Beach to wash the mud from our feet and relax on the beach. I hoped to start a new book but about two pages in, I found I just couldn’t concentrate.  I was surrounded by couples and people in groups with their friends.  Suddenly, even with Cole by side and the soothing waves crashing on the shore, I felt overwhelmingly alone. I wished so much in that moment that I could just enjoy being alone in a place that had always brought me comfort and joy. Instead, I packed up and headed home. Once on the road, listening to music, I felt much better. 

Today, Cole and I slept in.  Since it was a bit cooler and rainy, I spent the day leisurely doing things around the apartment. I know in a short amount of time, life will get back to normal and I’ll feel at peace once again.  I already feel better today than yesterday.  In the meantime, I’m focusing on what I can control.  Forward momentum and working toward the goals I’ve set are key. I’m confident there is a bright light at the end of this and that somewhere, the perfect person is waiting for me. 

To see more of my nature photography, click here.

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