Those following closely will know that I have had a very unusual year. I spent most of it in a foreign country under alternating stresses. There were definitely points when I honestly had no idea where I was heading. That I'm now sitting at the same old desk in the same old chair, comfortably ensconced in my mother's house, is mainly a testament to the gravitational forces that define my life. Maybe that's part of the problem.
2014 came to a stunning finish for me when my girlfriend Tara, with whom I shared the year's adventure, told me that she wanted some time apart. I spent much of the month of December eying the calendar and trying to guess at what was going on in her mind. After a month, I checked in on her. What she told me was not, perhaps, the worst thing I could have expected. But the fact remains, we're on an indefinite break. Wherever I go next in my life, I'm taking the step alone.
What does it mean to be without someone, without having definitely "lost" her? That's what I'm trying so hard to figure out, and writing this all out is part of the process. She didn't tell me to get lost. She said she loves me. But she also said we can't be together while she figures her life out. It's confusing.
The main thing is, I've been put into the position of having to trust her absolutely. If I want her, the only thing I can possibly do is trust her to take care of herself until she decides she's ready for me. That's the kind of trust a person who loves another person should be able to have, ready to pull out the second it's needed. It's precisely what I'm trying to do. But my relationship with her has so far been based on voluntary efforts. By the very nature of the situation, I now have no choice.
She's doing what she has to do, of that I have no doubt. I know her well enough to know that she has thought hard about her decision. But that doesn't make me any less wounded. I have been good to her. I have been loyal to her. I have supported her in everything she's ever tried and done everything she's asked of me. Every last bit of it was voluntary, because her companionship was a source of constant joy. When I look at her, or hear her voice, I think "here is a person who is worth all of this, worth everything I can do for her". How could losing her, even if it is temporary after all, be anything but pain?
Our third anniversary is in nine days, and it will go by unmarked and uncelebrated. There will be no presents, no earnest declarations of love. Only silence and memory. My heart tells me this is outrageous. But there's nothing I can do.
When I remember all those train rides and car trips together, or when we went swimming in the ocean, or the meals we cooked for each other, or the camping in the woods and on the beach with her dog, or the books and shows we shared, or the time we danced and she sang to me spontaneously in her parents' kitchen, or all the countless nights I held her in my arms before we went to sleep... it just seems impossible that we were only meant for so little time. I waited a long time for a love like this to come into my life. I grew by leaps and bounds to become worthy of someone like her. To lose something so precious would be more than cruel.
Which brings me back to trust. All hope is not lost, and I haven't lost her forever. But just as I have to trust her to be true to herself, she is trusting me to use my time wisely. Once again, I'm sitting tonight in my mother's house, a thousand miles away from her to begin with. I'm working for my father, saving a little money as I go, but that can't last forever. I need to get back to my real home, in Oregon. I have to build a real life for myself there. I can't sit still, if I want to show her that she can really trust me to share her life with her.
At least, I think that's what I'm supposed to do? It's the best advice I've gotten. It resonates inside me. But I am so afraid, and the one I'd look to for courage can't help me now. This was never how I wanted things to be, and if there were a god to shake my fists at I'd like to bring the whole heavens down in the act. But I have no choice but to trust and try.
It is well that we are at the beginning of a new year. I'm still a young man, and I still have hope. 2015 is off to a traumatic start, but a dramatic evolution may be in the offing. I'm not ready to give up yet. I want to be the kind of man who can do this for her.
Darling, on the off-chance that you still check my blog, I want to make you a promise. I'll do my best. I love you.