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"Is there something better out there for me?"said Linda. "A better relationship is what I mean. Does the perfect relationship await me somewhere out there, or do I have to work with what I have?"said Linda. Sam was not prepared for that question, and wasn't quite sure how to answer it, not wanting to mislead her friend. "Well-, she said, "that's not such an easy question to answer.""Can we start with some easier questions like Ãƒâ€šÃ¢â‚¬Ëœwhat would you like to do today? --Wow"said Sam, "you sure do cut to the chase.""Where should we begin?-
"I know that you're not happy in your current relationship, that's a given"said Sam. "The question that you need to ask yourself-, said Sam, "is can I see myself with this person in five, ten or twenty years.""If you're cringing at the thought of anything long term, then there is a definitely a serious problem.""The questions now are, what is the problem exactly, and is it fixable, and if it is, are you both willing to work at it.""You talk about me cutting to the chase Miss Sam, you aren't exactly beating around the bush yourself.-
"Well, you know my history better than anyone else, so you probably already have the answers to those questions, and can probably verbalize them easier than I can. You asked what the problem was, well, I'm not sure that I can narrow it down to just one thing, although maybe I should put some thought into what the root cause of our conflict is, that would be a good start. Once I figure that out, I can let you know if I think it's fixable or not. I'm willing to give anything a shot, but the question is, is he.-
"Well,"said Sam, "if you think that I know what your problem is better than you do, you're wrong there, I can tell you that much. I certainly have some ideas that I have shared with you, but I'm certainly no counselor, that much I can tell you. I think one of the main issues is your different backgrounds and how your different upbringings causes you each to see and deal with things differently. I think that's a good area to focus in on and think about.""That certainly sounds like the advice of a counselor,"says Linda, laughing aloud.
"The thing is-, said Linda, "I think you have hit the nail right on the head so to speak. I've thought of that a number of times myself, but I've never really delved into the idea too deeply and I think that I need too. Growing up was a very different experience for each of us, and I think that's a good place to start. To do that though, I would need to ask him some questions. I have some general ideas about his time growing up at home, but I might need some more details to complete the picture.-
"So,"said Sam, "it sounds like you've got your work cut out for you with this. You might want to procure the help of a therapist to help you through this.""That is a great idea,"chuckled Linda, "but for that too work, both of us would need to go, and the other half isn't too open to the concept of therapy. We've tried on a few occasions in the past, and we end up walking away with him putting more of the blame for our problems on me. It's such a nice feeling to be blamed for virtually everything.-
Linda continued "He gets out of the sessions by saying that I should just go by myself, because he doesn't have any problems, and I'm the one who needs help. He's promised to go with me a number of times, but has only went with me once or twice that I can recall.""Well,"says Sam, "I really don't thing you're going to get far with that route then, and I have too wonder if there's really any hope if he won't go with you. Admitting that there is a problem and acknowledging that you need help are crucial steps.-
"This thought has crossed my mind" said Linda, "trust me it has. I've sat and wondered many times if there is any hope for us. There are times when everything is okay, then there are the times when I ask myself Ãƒâ€šÃ¢â‚¬Ëœwhat the hell am I doing here.'""I know that you've been struggling with this-, said Sam, "and that it hasn't been easy for you. At some point you have to ask yourself if you really want to continue like this. That's a tough question, but we both know that the tougher part is following through, that's been proven.
"No kidding-, said Linda "do you think I have a problem with following through? That seems to be the story of my life lately, and I know it needs to change. I get an idea, get all excited about it, and start to make things happen, then I lose interest and forget about it. Maybe I have such a fear of failure that I'm protecting myself by not allowing myself to get to the point where I can actually fail. I've experienced a lot of what I would classify as failure in my life, and I can't handle much more.-
"Has anyone ever told you that you're a very insightful person?"Sam replied. "You take the time to think things through and figure out what's going on underneath.""Thank you-, said Linda "it's nice to get a compliment, I appreciate you saying that.""I just wish that I had the courage to make the changes in my life that I need to. I have a feeling that things could be better for me, but then again I could be wrong and just end up even worse off. That's another problem I have, I tend to second guess myself a lot.-
"I know,"said Sam, "and there's really no reason for you to do that. You take the time to thoroughly think things through, so you just need to have more faith in your decision making abilities. Anyways, if you don't mind, I'd like to talk about something different now; I need a break from the relationship stuff! How is work going so far? "Good,"replied Linda, "I'll just have to keep it that way and not screw things up.""Wow"said Sam, "you just never let up on yourself do you? Give yourself a break once in a while eh!!-
"Oh all right,"said Linda, "I'm sorry, but it's just second nature for me. It is going pretty well and I am enjoying it. It's a fairly laid back environment, and I guess that's one of the things that I like about it the most. I hope that it lasts.""I do to,"said Sam, "you've been out of work for a long time and it's good to see you getting back into the groove of things again.""It feels good too,"said Linda, "trust me, it does. The hours are good and it gives me the money I need.-
"This is a good thing-, replied Sam. "I'm happy for you, really I am. On that note, I do need to get going because I have some errands that I need to take care of.""Okay then, said Linda ,-thanks for listening, you're so good at it "Hey,"said Sam, that's what I'm here for, not a problem, anytime hon. I'll see you later then, keep smiling okay, things are starting to look up for you."After Sam left, Linda sat back down in her living room and started to reflect on her life and where she's at right now.
She wondered how her life might have turned out had she made some different decisions. Futile thinking, since we can't go back and change the past. It's something that she thinks about just the same. Her thoughts then turned to changes that she wanted to make in her life. Getting in better shape, getting more focused with her writing and developing more patience were among a few of them. Her writing had been on her mind a lot lately. She felt that she could really accomplish something with her writing, but was disappointed in herself for not being more disciplined.
It was her true passion, but life often gets in the way of what we really want to do with our time. That's when we need to take control and prioritize our lives. If we don't take the wheel, everyone and everything else will. This is something that Linda was realizing more and more these days, and she seriously needed to get back in the driver's seat of her life and so some serious steering. The only person who could make changes in her life was her, so she needed to get to it. This sounded life a good plan.
The hard part would be actually following through with the plan. It's hard to break old habits, buy very worthwhile if you can break out of your comfort zone. All of this thinking was making Linda tired, so tired in fact, that she dozed off for a much needed afternoon nap. As she slept, she dreamt of being at a book signing for her first published book. She was so excited she was beaming. It felt so good to accomplish something this big in her life. She felt as though she had finally arrived. It had been a long journey.
As Linda woke up from her nap, she had a feeling of calm pass over her. She remained lying down and reveled in the feeling, just enjoying the moment. A knock at the door startled Linda out of her peaceful state. She jumped up hastily, not knowing who to expect. As she neared the door she could see the figure through the frosted glass; her heart skipped a beat, and she suddenly had a nervous feeling in her stomach. It was him, Tom, the one she thought that she would never see again, but had always hoped that she would.
As she continued to talk toward the door, her nervousness increased exponentially and her palms became sweaty. As she placed her hand on the door knob, it slipped, and she quickly grasped it again to open it. She opened the door, trying to appear calm, and there he was, her soul mate, the man who completed her in every way, it was Tom. Their eyes locked in a gaze and what seemed like an eternity passed before they each simultaneously said "hi-. She stepped back from the door and nervously said "please come in, it's so good to see you.-
"I hope you don't mind that I just stopped by without calling first,"said Tom, "I've been thinking about you lately, so I decided to look you up.""No, no that's not a problem,"replied Linda, "I'm glad that you did."Linda stepped forward to embrace Tom, and as she placed her arms around his firm body, it felt like the most natural thing in the world. She held him tight, not wanting to let go. It had been such a long time since she had last held him. Feelings that had slipped away long ago suddenly came rushing back.
As she released Tom from their warm embrace, she stepped back, looked him over, smiled and said "you look really good, but of course you always did.""You don't look so bad yourself sweetie,"replied Tom. "So,"he continued, "tell me what's been going on with you?""Wow,"said Linda, "where do I start? I guess it's been four years now hasn't it?""That sounds about right,"replied Tom. "It's really been that long hasn't it,"said Linda. "Before I start though, why don't you tell me what brings you back to town, because I really am curious to know?-
"Well-, said Tom, "as you might guess, the same thing that took me away from town has brought me back. There have been some changes at work, restructuring I guess you might call it, and I had the opportunity to transfer back here. My family is still here, and I've always enjoyed living in this area, so I took the opportunity to come back. Of course, it's just a bonus that you still happen to be here too."Linda blushed a little and said "well thank you, I'm glad to hear that I can be thought of as a bonus.-
"Hey-, not a problem chuckled Tom, "you always were tops in my books!""Oh stop it,"said Linda, "you're making my head expand.""Oh all right then, I guess you can't take a compliment like you used to; just kidding. So, back to you Linda, what's new with you?"Just as Linda was about to answer, the phone rang, and as soon as it did, she had a gut feeling who it was and she immediately had to fabricate a lie for what she was doing, because her boyfriend certainly wouldn't want to hear who she was actually visiting with.
"Excuse me,"said Linda nervously, "I'll be right back."Tom nodded in acknowledgement, and Linda walked quickly to the kitchen. "Hello"she said, as she picked up the phone. "Oh hi,"she replied as she heard the voice on the other end, it was John. "What are you up to this afternoon,"asked John. "Oh, just visiting with Sam, just girl talk.""Oh okay"replied John, "I just wanted to see if you felt up to going out for dinner later on?""Actually,"said Linda, I'm feeling kinda wiped out, so I was just going to stay in this evening.-
"In that case,"replied John, "maybe I'll just bring dinner to you, maybe pizza or Chinese, your pick. If you don't mind that is.""Sure,"said Linda reluctantly, "that sounds okay I suppose. Pizza would be good, around 7?""It's a date then"said John, "okay then, I'll see you later."As Linda hung up the phone, she turned to walk toward the family room, to find Tom gazing intently at her. Their eyes locked for a moment, and as they did, she suddenly wished that she hadn't made other plans for the evening, but she had felt obligated to.
"Where were we?"said Linda. "Oh yes, I was just going to tell you what's been happening with me. Well, as you may have figured out, John is new, well in terms of our conversation anyway. We've been seeing each other for about a year now, it started out good, but it's been up and down a lot for the last little while. I have a new job as well, I'm working part time for a local publisher, just a clerical position. No kids yet, my family is well. That's the condensed version of the past four years I guess.-
"I'm glad to hear that,"said Tom. "That must be exciting for you working for a publishing company, with your desire to become a published writer.""Well,"replied Linda, "it's a foot in the door of the industry and hopefully, if nothing else, I will get some insight into the industry and use that to advance my writing career.""That's great,"replied Tom. "I'm glad to hear that you haven't given up on that dream, I remember how much it meant to you. I think if you put your mind to it you can make some advances with your writing.-
"I've been thinking more and more about the progress of my writing. It's really been bothering me that I haven't done more. I really want to get myself focused; it's becoming more and more important to me. I truly feel that I can do something bigger with it.""I truly believe that you can do something bigger with it as well"said Tom. "I've always felt that you had potential, I've seen your writing and you have a real talent for it. If there is anything that I can do to help, I would be more than happy to help.-
"Thanks for the vote of confidence, I really appreciate it,"replied Linda. "What you can do for me is kick me in the butt once in a while to make sure that I'm following through.""Your wish is my command,"said Tom, chuckling. "Anything you like! When do I start?""Hey, said Linda, "you sound a little too excited about taking on that task! Maybe I should take that request back!""Not a chance,"replied Tom,"no take backs allowed.""No take backs, what are we ten?"said Linda. "That would be fun being a kid again though wouldn't it?-
"It certainly would,"said Tom, "I could go for that, those days were so much simpler.""Anyway,"continued Tom, "I need to get going, I've got an appointment to get to. I've really enjoyed visiting with you; I hope to do it again soon.""Me too,"said Linda, "I'd really like that, give me a call sometime.""Is there a time that's good for you"asked Tom, "I don't want to cause any trouble for you, if you know what I mean.""Anytime is fine,"replied Linda. "I'm not on that tight of a leash, besides I still live alone.-
"Sounds good,"replied Tom. He leaned in and kissed Linda lightly on the cheek and gave her one of the hugs that she used to love so much. Linda hugged him in return and said "it was really good to see you, I've thought about you a lot over the last few years."What happened next is something that Linda had only dreamed of since Tom had slipped out of her life so long ago. They gazed into each others eyes, moved slowly toward each other, and kissed with a passion that neither one had experienced in over four years.
After a moment had passed, Linda pulled back quickly and said "I shouldn't have done that, I'm involved with someone else, and it's not fair to him even though we're having problems.""I'm so sorry Linda, I don't know what came over me, I just got caught up in the moment and the memories. I should go before I cause any more trouble. "No, please don't"said Linda. "Please don't leave like this; I don't want things to end on this awkward note.""I am sorry Linda; I didn't mean to do anything that would cause you to feel uncomfortable.-
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