While my life has been nothing short a complete whirlwind over the past few weeks, it feels damn good to be in London. I had kinda been dreading this trip, just because meetups are such an intense week of work for me.
As soon as I walked into the hotel lobby, I hear “MONICAAAAA!” and I get tackled from behind by Chad. Victoria grabs me next and we spin each other around in a circle. Then after that the rest of the group circles around me and I get to hug everyone, Stefan and Andrea… everyone.
And this is the first time I’ve seen my coworkers that are also managers in person since… September? We work together as peers in a management position in a fancy tech company. We literally work together, every single day. I just only get to see them in person a few times a year.
Davide pulls me aside and gives me a deep kiss and pat on the ass, before he takes off. And then I spend the rest of the day working with my colleagues. Which mostly consists of Victoria, Chad, and I laughing so hard and GIFing each other messages in Slack, even though we’re sitting next to each other. They’re some of my closest peer group friends.
I gave a presentation to the whole meetup on how to manage excruciating conversations with teammates. It went over super super well. I was proud of the slide deck that I came up with. And we all decided that I clearly win the award for best GIFs in a slide deck, ever. If you know me at all, you’re not surprised.
After dinner, we jump onto the a tube and go sightseeing by Buckingham palace. I’ve been in London for less than a solid 24hrs and I’ve already picked up a solid English accent, which I use to make Chad laugh so hard tears stream down his face, which only eggs me on more. After Buckingham palace, we rent some bikes and ride around the park, and I spend the whole time quoting the Sandlot and Goonies.
Afterwards, we meet up at a pub with the rest of our colleagues for a few pints. My boss is pretty drunk at this point, but we all end up having this hilariously transparent conversation about major pain points within our divisions. By the time I get back up to my hotel room, it’s 1am. I’m pretty drunk and Davide is out drinking with one of his friends who lives in London. He gets in late and the second he slips into bed I jump on top of him and we focus on making the few hours we have alone really count.
In all, it’s an amazing week. It’s 95% work… but getting to fit in some sight seeing and bonding time into every spare moment. I love it because we push and challenge each other in ways… that you don’t usually see.
One of the main takeaways over the past few days, is the title of this post “Most fish only grow in proportion to the size of their environment and then stop.” and then deeply looking at my environment and asking how much further I can grow. Professionally, I feel like the sky is the limit. Personally, I felt like… there is still stuff I’m figuring out.
What I know I need
I know that I owe it to myself to live the greatest life I’m capable of living.
Lately, I’ve been really frustrated with myself… last week was fucking hell. I felt like I had taken ten steps backwards. I resorted to taking care of everyone else, except myself. In those moments, Davide was there and focused on taking care of me… and really protected me from taking on anything else. I genuinely appreciated that.
Here is the thing, you get to decide after every failure, every defeat, every life altering mistake… what kind of person you are. What kind of person you’ve been and what kind of person you’re finally ready to become instead.
Growth is every bit as painful as it is beautiful. Lately…. it’s been crazy painful, but then I have weeks like this where there is so sooo much beauty and damn growth because of that pain. Yet I find myself really mentally beating myself up for the rough weeks.
I’ve been thinking a lot about what makes a person right for you. For me, it starts with someone who wants the same lifestyle as you. Because that by definition is what makes them right for you.
I want someone who’s eyes light up when mine do. I want someone to be inspired by the same forces that drive me forward. Someone who makes me the very best version of myself.
I’ve fought long and hard for my freedom. When I think of the person that I’m going to say my vows to. Marrying him won’t be the end of my liberty. It’ll be the beginning of it. He will be the person that I dive head first into life with.
When I plan an adventure, he’s going to be the person I want holding the map. And will be (and Davide already is) the person I want to dance around the house in my underwear with.
I don’t want to just settle down. I want to take off and see the world with him. To faraway countries and corners of the world that would only look half as amazing with him by my side. He is going to be in pretty much every adventure for the rest of my life.
Thing is… I don’t want to be with someone who agrees with every word I say. I want to be the person he challenges to change, to grow, to expand in ways that wouldn’t have ever occurred to me before I met him.
I want to be the person he isn’t afraid to challenge because sometimes I do need that extra push. And you can bet your ass, I’ll be pushing him to greatest heights too.
With all of that being said…. when I see all of that. Do I see Davide?
Davide and I
Things between Davide and I have been great.
He is happier here in Europe. He just feels at home. I can just tell the way his face lights up when he smiles. He feels at home. I can honestly say that he is one of my absolute favorite people to travel with ever, even over my best friend. We are just so on the same wave length and play off each other super well.
We were sitting in Central Park a few days ago… in the area that was just completely deserted. He even let me go down on him there. Usually he wouldn’t let me do something with such a high chance of getting caught, but he was feeling adventerous.
Afterwards we just laid on our little blanket and talked. Cuddling a little when we had this conversation.
We talked a lot about our relationship. Deep stuff. First and foremost he wants me to feel as sure about our relationship as he does. The problem for me is that Davide wants me to get pregnant. He wants to start a family. He wants to be married already because he knows without a shadow of a doubt that I’m The One for him.
I feel like sometimes… all of that overwhelms me. I love him… deeply. I think that he is just an incredible human and the support he gives me… is just unlike anything else. He is there for me and in my corner more than anyone else. I’ve never ever doubted how he feels for me.
It’s just the overwhelmed thing that gets to me. I asked Davide to calm down a bit. I love that he’s so sure about me and us. But I feel pressured when he starts to talk to me like that. The baby talk? Too much. Constantly wanting to elope? Too much.
Also I’d like for him to figure out what he wants out of life… out of a career before we start a family.
Here is the thing… I work extremely hard. I have an incredible super well paying job. It could support us both easily and I have no problem with that. But it would drive me insane if Davide’s sole purpose in life was just… me. He needs to have his own thing.
Problem is, because he literally left everything behind in Positano…. that’s not realistic just yet and navigating that for us has been hard.
We talked a lot about his career, to make it possible for him to travel with me and contribute as well. He’s super into digital media and thinks he can do something around the traveling that we’re doing.
I feel like right now I’m happiest in Kauai or traveling. Financially as long as we’re renting out the house as a vacation rental and don’t go too crazy with the traveling locations, we’d be in a pretty good spot. we discussed cheap locations: Bali, South America, Spain, and Greece. Maybe New Zealand in the winter?
We talked a lot about marriage and a wedding. I do love him deeply. That isn’t a doubt for me. What I do doubt is the timeframe he wants to get married. I feel like I have some things I need to wrap my head around first. I want to make sure that I’m going to be growing in this relationship.
He feels like this trip and us focusing on our relationship during this time is going to make me feel a lot better and more confident about eloping. We are at our best and happiest when we’re traveling. Maybe he is right. I guess we’ll find out. He loves me so much, I feel like he just worships me. Really my own concern is if he’ll challenge me to grow the way I want to grow.
He promised me that he wouldn’t bring up a wedding until I’m 100% sure and had no doubts. All he asked was that I keep an open mind and not write off getting married this summer. We agreed to just focus on our hearts and how we’re feeling. That seems reasonable to me.