Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together
– Marilyn Monroe
My Life After Bacon began when my engagement came to an end in 2010. To clarify, YES I still eat bacon. How could I deny myself that salty sweet delicious goodness for the rest of my life? I mean seriously? But please darling, do keep reading. Once upon a time there was a man. He was bold, he was a chef, and he had a big personality. You know those moments in life where there is a before and after? An experience that shifts YOU, or your course, so much that the transformation leaves you almost (if not totally) unrecognizable? This was one of those moments. It was one of the many moments that would catapult my desire for a complete lifestyle makeover. For me, there was my life before…and there was my life after. In my head I had dreamt up this big whole life for us. One filled with family, puppies, trips to Paris, and incredible food. However this would not be anything like my dream, and after sending out 150 beautifully designed “save the date” invitations this relationship came to an end. By choice. My choice.
I was 29 years old when I met him. At the time I was working as a fancy executive recruiter and had just purchased my first house so I was really feelin’ like a big girl now. To celebrate my closing, my squad and I decided on a local hot spot near the new digs to celebrate. Hair flowing, heels clicking, and laughter echoing in the air…we walked into Cafe 640 like an herbal essences commercial and someone in my party spotted a friend. Enter: BACON Sharply dressed, intelligent, with charisma. He wasn’t really my type but there was just something about him. He knew everything about the place, the chef, the food, the drinks, the sauces … and this was sexy to me. Not to mention he picked up the check and invited us back to his beautifully decorated house for a night cap. P.S. does the term “night cap” make me old? Whatever, I’m into it. So my friend played cupid, he got my number, and a few days later we were on our first date. Skipping, as I thought, into my white picket fence foodie future.
With my 30th birthday just around the corner, everything appeared to be falling into place so perfectly. I was falling in love and for the first time and he actually loved me back. Understand that this was a new concept for me. For most of my life I was “the fat girl” with a pretty face. All the boys wanted to be my friend because I was nice and funny and had other, skinny, super fun, prettier friends. It seemed, I was pretty for a fat girl but not pretty enough to date, and it took me a long time to figure out the mind fuck that did on my self-esteem. I spent many wasted years pining over guys who I cared about so much but had myself convinced I wasn’t good enough for them so I never made a move. The dates I did get asked out on I never said no because I was just happy to be asked.
So you can see how life with Bacon felt somewhat revolutionary. I was spoiled with flowers, designer handbags, jewelry from Tiffany’s, dinner out every night at a fabulous Atlanta restaurants. Was this really happening? Moreover I felt a rush of self-esteem…of self-love I had never experienced before. RED FLAG- it was expanding from Bacon, from outside of myself, which I would learn later is not necessarily the best plan.
When things started going bad and the white picket fence didn’t seem so white and pickety anymore I felt I was at a standstill. After moving in together in December 2008, getting a puppy in February 2009, and getting engaged in May 2009, just over one year since that first night cap in his fancy bachelor city apartment and I was stuck between knowing it wasn’t right and being terrified I would never find anyone who would choose me again. I didn’t want to go back to the funny fat girl with the pretty face and prettier friends.
I remember the day I took off my engagement ring and I threw it across the dining room table screaming “I can’t do this anymore!” I don’t think I ever felt so scared, so worthless, so shameful or so embarrassed in my entire life. To me, I was a failure. I had failed at loving, I had failed at this relationship, and I had failed…somehow deep down…my own self. While sobbing hysterically I called my parents and told them that the engagement was off and that the party scheduled for that very next Saturday needed to be canceled.
It was scary, I was not in a position to go back to a 1 income household so quickly. I needed to get a roommate. I needed to move my ex out of my house and figure out what we were going to do with our things and our joint accounts. Jesus what would we do with the puppy. It was hard enough I was ruining my life but now I had dog guilt for ruining his. Even though it wasn’t a divorce and I don’t want to take away from how hard divorce can be, in my eyes, based on my life experienced to date, it felt like a true separation of assets.
Looking back as an older wiser BC…I know now that this was not the end of the world but it was an invitation to a more fulfilled, authentic, and purpose driven life. An invitation I accepted, but at the time just thought my life was crumbling. Turns out accepting an invitation to a new, better life and total fucking chaos kind of look the same. What I understand now is that I chose to end that relationship because it was no longer serving me. Failure has helped me figure out what is really important to me in a relationship and in life. It has also by default made me a much better partner. NOTE TO SELF: I shouldn’t have to chase a man down and try to convince him to love me. If he doesn’t see me and how I light up the world then he’s not the man for me and THAT’S OK!
Breakups are never clean. There is no black and white. Everything is gray. After being on again and off again and trying to make things work for a few years following our break up we finally decided to call it quits for good in April 2012.
Like the true group class obsessed girl that I am I took a break from endless reality TV and couch snacks and signed up for a course at Emory University called How to Get the Life you Love. I figured if I was gonna try to do this I certainly needed some help and some guidance wouldn’t hurt either. I wanted a life I could love, hell I wanted a ME I could love. Through the class I started to write down goals, things I wanted to accomplish that didn’t have anything to do with finding love. Suddenly I started to do things that served me and filled my soul up. I focused on personal dreams and passions. I started putting my love for makeup and beauty products into action creating my own business: Bloom Bar. I connected with friends who I knew were in the creative business and still to this day you can catch me on a photo shoot stylin’ hair and make up to a T. Slowly but surely I started to recover from a broken heart and unravel more authentic parts of ME.
All in all what I thought was going to be the death of me was actually my saving grace. I know now I needed to fail so I could start over and prioritize what was really important to me and find out who I was. I don’t even want to THINK about what would have happened if I hadn’t been brave enough to throw that ring across the table all those years ago and end that chapter when I did.
Love, relationships and happiness are ultimately not about things. They’re not about trips, gifts, flowers, Tiffany’s or fancy dinners. It’s about all the average moments in between. How someone looks at you, how they listen, how they respect you or not…and I needed to learn that. Love, for me, is about the character of man, how hard he is willing hustle for his dreams and how he shows support for my hustle and my dreams.
MY LIFE AFTER BACON, was a world that started after my engagement ended and I am so very glad it did. Just know, wherever you are in your journey, relationship or no relationship…time will heal your pain and new amazing things will find you again. But you have to choose them. You have to let them in. My Life After Bacon is my transformation into my next chapter and my next great love story. Stay tuned for more deets on that coming soon. BC for the win !!
Love, Lashes and Lipstick,