Read the last installment here.
When Blue Eyes and I began dating, I told him that I wasn't looking for anything serious. I had just come out of a long term relationship and needed to be on my own for a while.
We got serious fast.
By the time he left for Hawaii, I was starting to feel that tension in my stomach that told me something was wrong. I wasn't feeling the same confidence in our relationship that I had at first. As I pointed out last week, the honeymoon phase was over. In its place was this anxiety over committing my life to someone who was still working on finding himself. Someone who had some pretty radical beliefs that were way outside my box.
I was a good girl. I did what I was told. I finished my homework on time. I never questioned authority. I never snuck out of my house as a teenager because there was no need. I never did anything that would get me in trouble.
Blue Eyes tells me he was the same as a teenager. But behind his compliance was a simmering discontent that eventually found a home in the Occupy Movement and cynicism towards the government.
I was intrigued by his beliefs when we met, and I appreciated meeting someone who truly challenged me. He forced me to think about things I had always taken for granted. Forced me to reconsider what I had thought of as unalterable truths.
But I was still a good girl.
Windows were beginning to appear in my box, but I wasn't so sure I wanted a whole door. And I certainly wasn't ready to experience life outside the box.
Blue Eyes no longer believed in boxes. Being with him would mean a constant tug and pull between my desire for a white picket fence and his desire for freedom.
Now, if I stop and think back, I have to be honest that we both had the same dream. We wanted a home that was part of a sustainable community, a place where he could garden and I could host my retreats. He wanted a goat and I wanted a horse. We wanted to live off the land, to have intimate knowledge of where our food came from, to raise children who could play outside and learn in an active environment rather than sitting in a chair every day. We wanted to enjoy the work we did and not spend the majority of our lives doing something we hated simply to pay the bills so we could enjoy the few hours we got to spend "living."
We just disagreed on how to get there.
Our problems, as is so often the case, were always about money.
We are both in crazy amounts of educational debt, and neither of us had much belief that that would change any time soon, if ever. So in my mind, I had to work and work hard to make money to pay for this life I wanted to build. I was really good at working hard and I could -and did- often work until I was sick. In his mind, a problem was never solved with the same action that created that problem. Since his ultimate goal was to live a simple life doing what he loved, he decided that the only way to do that was to start living that way. That's why he began volunteering on farms, working for his room and board. That was where he wanted to be, so he just decided to do it in the only way that was available to him at the time.
There's a little problem there though. Or at least it was a problem for me. When you don't make money, you can't pay your loans. Blue Eyes was okay with that. He wasn't going to let debt stop him from living the way he dreamed.
I wasn't so okay with that. I have the same fear I hear from many other people, the fear of not having enough money, of not being able to afford health care, of not being able to pay off my debt. And I've accepted that that is simply the way life is.
Blue Eyes never accepted that.
So here I was, my boyfriend in Hawaii doing what he loved but making no money, his debt going absolutely nowhere. I was wracking up debt faster than I could take classes. And that first blush of passionate love was no longer burning bright enough to obscure my doubts.
Would Blue Eyes ever make a decent living? Would it be up to me to make the money in the family? Would being with him mean constantly wandering and never having a real home? Would I ever be able to afford health care?
Maybe I should just find someone who fit into society better, someone who would work his 9 to 5 and make me feel safe.
I will tell you that there were other factors at play in my decision: 1) My heart was still hurting over my last breakup and I had never fully dealt with the grief, and 2) I had spent months working on a cookbook at a pace that was way too fast and my health problems had reappeared due to the combination of stress and eating one too many cookies.
Ultimately though, here's what I knew:
I had begun experiencing the same feeling of misgiving in my last relationship early on. While the reasons were extremely different, I had felt that sinking in my gut, the slow wave of depression that told me I was not being true to myself. And I ignored it for years. It was during those years of self denial that I began getting sick, that I developed multiple food sensitivities and that I felt so depressed I understood for the first time why someone would choose to their take own life.
Ultimately, I knew that ignoring my gut had metaphorically and literally led me down a rabbit hole of pain.
I had no intention of doing that again.
For better or worse, I had made a commitment when I moved to Seattle never to ignore myself again. And so, when my instincts began whispering, I decided to take action before they began to make themselves heard in shouts of pain.
I broke up with Blue Eyes.
To be continued...