Bemus Point is a beautiful village on the shore of Lake Chautauqua. Let’s take a wander, shall we?
Just the Place: Bemus Point & Lake Chautauqua
Bemus Point is a beautiful village on the shore of Lake Chautauqua, across the lake from the world-famous Chautauqua Institution. If you visit, be sure to take a step back in time and tour The Lawson Boating Heritage Center on the lake. Then, grab a bite to eat on a dock and take in the beauty of the lake. Don’t forget a scoop or two of ice cream after taking in the little shops. They even provide a makeshift outdoor sink for messy, melty ice cream eaters like myself. Plus, a trip to Bemus Point pairs well with a day of Lake Erie winery tours.
Note: these photos were from my trip in the summer of 2019, so travels here would likely be affected by COVID restrictions.
The Personal: Navigating a Broken Heart
I’ve hinted. I’ve hedged. I’ve outright said it in the mix of lengthier posts, but maybe you missed it, or maybe you weren’t sure. I went through a breakup. Right before Thanksgiving in 2019, the “Rustbelt Farmer” and I separated. It was one of the toughest decisions of my life, one that caused both of us a great deal of pain, and the mourning process has been anything but neat or linear.
This trip and these photos were from a different time, but I wanted to preserve them, wanted to share them here because just like everything on this blog, they were part of my story. The breakup is part of my story just as our current navigation is.
The choice to separate sent me on a path of rediscovery, of digging deeper into my own wounds and doing the very heavy work of loving myself more. Then COVID hit and stripped away even more distractions. I had nothing but time to sit with difficult feelings, to assess my values, and unearth my sense of self.
“Sitting with feelings” is the new “relationships are hard.” It’s a phrase that sounds simple, maybe even cliche. It’s a complicated, confusing, and often frustrating phrase. My interpretation has meant resting more, crying when I need to cry, and not trying to override feelings of sadness with distractions or forced cheer.
In looking at my end of the relationship, I’ve been taking responsibility, holding myself accountable for the lessons I wish I could have learned sooner, and for the pain I caused. I’m navigating toward the person and partner I want to be in spite of the examples I internalized. I’m also acknowledging the pain I felt. I’m reminding myself to take each day as it comes, to feel what I am feeling, to rest when necessary, and to dissect jealousy and aim for love and release.
Navigating a new openness and aiming for a form of friendship is not without its difficulties, but I am learning, growing, and riding the bumps. We are learning, growing, and riding the bumps. I am opening myself to new possibilities while trying to live in the moment (so hard for my planner brain!!!). I am questioning what love means for me instead of how I can make someone else feel. I am trying to choose curiosity and vulnerability instead of believing and pursuing the myths of control and certainty.
I share this because it may resonate with you, because it has helped me find points of overlap with friends going through hard times, and because it’s what’s on my heart. I leave you with a few quotes that have inspired me and given me great pause as I navigate my head and heart.
All relationships have beginnings, middles, and endings. For some, many, many times over. And as those transitions happen, you must learn a dance that includes bumps, beauty, exhaustion, joy, terror, sadness, grief, awakenings, and more. One key to navigating these transitions is to remember that the two of you will never have the same exact transition as the other. And with that, it is imperative that you bring forward curiosity and compassion instead of judgment and expectations. –Vienna Pharaon
The experience of love is not what the other person is, it’s how you experience yourself in the presence of the other. -Esther Perel
Just because you carry it well doesn’t mean it’s not heavy. –Mark Groves
What is there to fear when we have stayed with ourselves through thick and thin? – Pema Chodrin