“You don’t have to wait for Christmas to give gifts of love and joy. Give that love to others and yourself. Give it often. Give it freely. Give it all year round” Melody Beattie, Journey to the Heart.
I love that quote, why do we often wait for special occasions to show people how much we love them and how often do you treat yourself with love and respect?
I have spent my first week with my intention of “love” simply focusing on it and noticing it. I’ve paid attention to people acting lovingly towards each other, I’ve watched romantic films, looked for love quotes and thought about the people I love. I even got my oil pastels and did some art again……I am a little ashamed to say with out my “being creative” intention I haven’t done anything since May!!! Just goes to show how powerful intentions are though.
I spent the day yesterday with two great friends helping them find suits for their civil partnership in September. I was with them the night they got together 7 years ago and it’s so lovely to be involved now in their wedding! I am going to be doing a reading at their wedding and it’s been very touching researching great love poems.
I thought this month would be a good chance for me to actually get writing and post some of the love stories I collected back in May, here is one of my favourites:
Fourteen years ago I was working as a holiday rep in Italy, I was 24 and was going the job for a bit of fun. I definitely wasn’t looking for a relationship, especially not with an Italian man as I thought they were all a bit greasy! Half way through my season there I was asked to change my hours which led me to having dinner a different hotel to my usual one. We used to be given free meals at the hotels we looked after and this one was a new property in our group. There was only one waiter in the hotel that spoke English, Roberto, and he ended up serving me my dinner for a couple of months until the season ended.
He caught my eye immediately, he seemed sweet and not like the typical Italian who would flirt with everything in a skirt. I was a bit shy back then and so was he, I just could not read any signals to suggest if he liked me or not. I started to look forward to going for dinner and would make that little bit of extra effort but nothing really happened.
Two weeks before the end of season our tour company put on a huge workers party in a near by club. Workers parties were great, they began at the end of the tourists night out at the time when all the reps and bar staff were more likely to be free. We’d often all be dancing well into the morning and walking home in the midday sun! Roberto and his friends dressed up to celebrate Summer 1997 in skin tight aqua PVC pants, a purple silk shirts with a ruffles down the front and Hawaii flower lays. In the middle of the dance floor he came up to me and gave me his flowers, that was that we spoke all night and I gave him a seatee home on my bike.
A couple of nights later I was sat in the hotel restaurant when Roberto came over, sat down and took his work waistcoat off. Next thing I knew the head waiter came over with two glasses and a bottle of Proscecco. I couldn’t believe it! We spent a lovely evening discovering more about each other, I really did feel like there was quite a strong connection between us. Even though we didn’t really know each other that well, there just seemed like there was electricity. After dinner we said good night and I went to get my bike from outside. I felt excited by the evening’s events but also a little deflated as I knew soon my time in Italy would be coming to an end. To my amazement he’d pinched the flowers from the extravagant hotel reception display and put them on the handlebars!
A few days later I had to leave Italy to go to my next rep placement in Portugal, I was gutted to be leaving Roberto as we had only just got together. I wasn’t sure if it was because I was leaving but we just got on so well, in the short period we knew each other it felt like we got to know each other really quickly and it just felt right. Knowing I was going just seemed to make it all the more intense. I was scared as I knew how hard long distance can be, also with him working in a hotel and being such a sweetie he could easily meet someone else.
Over the following 6 months we built our relationship long distance. We spoke a lot and he came to stay with me for a week in Portugal. We also saw each other in London, he came to see me where I am from in Wrexham and we went skiing for a week together . We would have these really intense weeks and then nothing. It was ok though, we were both really busy and the time went so fast we didn’t think about it too much.
There was a funny story about our meeting in London though. Roberto had let me know he was in London staying with a friend and gave me an address but no phone number. I was in London staying with a friend also and ended up trekking from Baker Street to Elephant & Castle to see him, when I got there he wasn’t in! I was furious!!! I left him an angry note on a page from my filofax , which he still has in his wallet today.
After my second summer in Italy I was leaving to go to India, Roberto gave me a card that said ‘wherever you go I will find you’. My next stop was Goa, where Roberto ended up living with me for the season.
We were apart again after the winter in Goa, I had arranged to go travelling with my brother and Roberto was planned to join us three months later in Australia. That period of long distance was much harder as we’d been together for so much longer by then, it had got more serious. We couldn’t always speak due to time differences and he didn’t have email so I used to fax him letters from phone places in Thailand and then go back the next day to get a reply! The ink in the printers were always low and with Roberto’s hard to read hand writing the messages were something difficult to make out.
After Goa Roberto has since followed me to Australia, London and now Cardiff! 14 years on we are now married with a little boy and another baby on the way!
What Jo learnt from this: always be open to what comes your way, you never know when and where and how you’ll meet somebody; for me it was totally unplanned and unexpected.
Tomorrow I am going to a talk called “The Relationship Equation” with 95 year old Dadi Janki whose wisdom comes from 75 years of meditation practice! The talk will be about how every relationship begins with you, the “Relationship Equation”she will discuss is; Attitude + Emotions + Communication = Relationship. I’ll report anything I learnt from this next week!