The thing I've learned as I've gotten older and become much wiser is that things change. Making allowances for that in my life has made everything so much easier for me.

When I announced my retirement a few months ago it was preceded by an amazing addition to my family. I was consumed by this new relationship in my life. I didn't care how or why or when, but I was going to be closer so I could foster that relationship and make it an important part of both of our lives. 

What I didn't count on was how much I would hate the idea of living in the area that my family and this new relationship was in (a town of 6,000 and miles and hours from any big city). Having visited now seven plus times I am quite sure this will never be a place for me to thrive and expand on my happiness. Not even for this relationship.

My heart is broken. I thought I would do anything for this person, but the truth is that I'd be giving up an immeasurable amount of happiness and contentment to be near them. That wouldn't benefit any of us. I choose to stay in a place that enhances my life and allows me to be the positive influence in this person's life that I just couldn't be if I were depressed and sad about my surroundings. 

Sometimes in life the pieces all fall together and I had dreams of that happening here. I did feel a lot of joy at the idea of being there every moment of their life, but when reality set in the pieces were scattered and didn't fit together like I had hoped. 

So, I say all that to say that I won't retire now. I love this thing I do. I love the people I meet and the incredible experiences that I have had and I want more.  And, at the same time I will be a force in this person's life from afar and hope that it's as deep and meaningful to them as it is to me regardless of the distance between us.

I will be happy to explain what has happened in detail to anyone that asks, but for now I choose to stay and be happy. Happy with you, happy with me, and happy with the choices I've made. I hope you'll support me in that noble and worthwhile goal. 
Nikki Irish