July 31, 2014 § Leave a comment
We’ve made it to a month! We’ve had two fights and one vacation, all of which we got through a-okay. The fights were might fault, of course, and he’s really good at handling it. Basically, he refuses to let me mope around and be pissed off, forcing me to talk about it instead so we can move forward ASAP. Our weekend in Atlanta was a great time. I met some of his family and they seemed to really like me, so that’s a plus. He met my aunt and uncle but I haven’t heard a review from them yet. Tomorrow we’re meeting my grandmother for breakfast and then on Saturday we’ve got dinner plans on the Mountain (nickname for the family compound out in the country). We’ve exchanged keys to our apartments, though it seems kind of unnecessary since we never sleep apart. Things are very solid. I’m happy.
We have had some fairly heated discussions about his hair. Perhaps shockingly, I’ve decided to compromise on it. I told him he may have long hair but he CANNOT have the cave man beard. It’s too bad because he’s so handsome with his short hair, but I want him to be happy, so I guess I’ll just have to adjust to long hair on a man.
But more seriously, we do have some big choices coming up. We’ll hear back soon about whether he was accepted into the Master’s International program. If he’s accepted, that means he’ll be going into the Peace Corps in a year which means I’ll be going into the Peace Corps in a year. This will be complicated to swing because he has to apply through school so we have to apply separately. Peace Corps does consider couples, but only if they apply *together* but we have to apply separately because of school. What makes matters more complicated is that the entire process takes 6 months to a year before you know where you’ve been assigned, so we won’t be able to go over together at the same time since I can’t apply until I know exactly where he’s going. If it ends up that I can’t go, or am placed somewhere else, we’re going to have to break up because I’m not going to do long-distance for 27 months while he’s in a developing country changing and growing on the daily and I’m at home in stasis. He said he would worry too much about me if I were placed in a different country so he would rather I stay home. There may be some other options to join him in the country where he’s placed like long-term Habitat for Humanity volunteering but I haven’t gotten too deep into looking at that.
A lot of these wheels will get set in motion when we know if he got in or not. I absolutely want this for him. 100%. I don’t know what to do if he doesn’t get in. He’ll be devastated… We could do Peace Corps together, though, in that instance, or he could do short-term Doctors Without Borders trips. I won’t be able to go on those trips, but at least I would only be without him for a few months and not a couple of years. We’ll just have to wait and see, and thankfully we don’t have to wait long to hear the verdict about graduate school.
My job search has been fairly dismal. I’ll be bundling up to go to Starbucks this afternoon to write up quite a few job applications, but so far unemployment drags on. Jason keeps asking me “If you could have any job in the world right now, what would it be?” and gets progressively frustrated as my answer is surprisingly consistent: “I don’t know.” How can it be that I don’t have an ideal job in my brain? When I think about it, I only see a big blank space, wide open to all possibilities but empty, too. I guess that’s what happens when you spend ten years of your life devoted to a specific career but get put out with the trash every time you try to actually make it happen. Makes you pretty skittish about wanting anything specific or working towards any one direction. What job would make me happy right now? I have no fucking idea. Something creative and fast-paced, but what? I would just like to get a job and see where it takes me.
Once I get a job that pays me a decent wage, I can pursue a Certificate in Art Business from NYU, and if I get a job at UAB (which I’m trying like hell to do), I can take classes for free in Graphic Design and Marketing. These classes and the NYU certificate will equip me with some very appealing skills for today’s job market and will hopefully open up some more doors. I would really like to have my own art consulting business, something I can do on my own time and at-will, a la my parents’ self-employment. Plus Jason wants a job where he can travel the world to work on tropical diseases (his ideal job is being an epidemiologist) and I’d like to go with him on his trips, so being an art consultant would be a great way to do that if I can find a niche market for tribal and folk wares from abroad. So I guess I have some kind of end goal but it’s all very fuzzy indeed and I’m trying to gather lots of different skills and experience rather than channel everything I do in one direction. Jason’s ideal is for him to work and for me to stay home and make art. Ain’t gonna happen! If he’s going to travel, I want to go with him.
But that’s all in the future and in that unknown fantasy land that exists only in our imagination. For now, we’re both poor and struggling towards some more financially stable future. Good thing we’ve got each other. 🙂
July 21, 2014 § Leave a comment
Jason and I are still going strong, but I’m remembering how awful it can be to be in love. He’s applying to grad school and is, as I’m sure you can imagine, incredibly stressed out. I don’t know what to say because everything everyone said to me when I applied to grad school didn’t make me feel better, it just made me want to scream or pull my hair out or both. One thing I’m very careful about not saying is “Of course you’ll get in!” Because I’ve learned time and time and time again that that’s complete bullshit, just like when people tell me “Of course you’ll get the job!” Why not say something helpful like, “You did your best! Now we wait.”
Part of what I hate about being in love is that aching feeling you have in your heart when you watch the person you love struggle or stress. I want him to get into this grad program soooo badly because I know how important it is to him, but I also know I can’t do a damn thing to help (more than I already have editing his essay, anyway) and if he doesn’t get in, he’s going to be devastated. What can I do to make him feel better? How can I handle watching the man I love suffer like that? What do I say?
I also hate being in love because I worry about him a lot. He bikes to work and refuses to wear a helmet despite my constant, incessant nagging. His pet name for me is “Bwana” because I’m so bossy sometimes. I also fuss at him for not eating as well as he should, but he doesn’t have a lot of options in the hospital cafeteria, so I guess I have to be patient with his eating habits until he gets a different job. We both hate the hospital hours since we almost never know when he’s actually going to get off, and it’s almost worse when he’s on call because we’re constantly on edge (or at least I am) that he’s going to get called in at any time. He got called in at 7:30am on Sunday. Bye bye brunch plans…
Of course, this isn’t to say that being in love isn’t worth the extra stress, anxiety, and potential heartbreak. It is totally fucking worth it. We also really couldn’t be a better match. He’s worked with mentally ill people in the past so he’s incredibly understanding of my condition and I’ve been very good about being open and honest about my status (still super healthy and happy, btw!) and why I react certain ways sometimes. He doesn’t get angry with me when I respond negatively to something, instead he lets me know he’s upset immediately and makes me talk through it with him. That’s just huge to me — he doesn’t let things build up until they explode, he keeps his temper in check, and he actually listens to me when I explain what’s going on in my messed up little brain. It really helps that he knows I’m trying to get better, there’s just more than a decade of damage that has to be overcome.
I could go on and gush about all the ways we’re perfect for each other, but I won’t bore you with that. I’m just incredibly relieved to have found someone who seems like just the man I’ve been looking for all these years. I’m meeting his family this weekend which makes me super nervous, but he said even if they don’t like me, it won’t change how he feels. That’s some reassurance, I suppose.
I’ve had a lot of subconscious anxiety about fucking this up though, mainly in regards to Mark. Obviously Mark and I are never going to get back together and I am 100% in this with Jason, but my subconscious seems overly concerned with an brief, but devastating, explosion of passion with Mark since our chemistry is so goddamn ridiculous. My dreams have been working through this in annoyingly crystal clear vividness and I wake up feeling guilty even though I know 1. that will never ever happen and 2. my dreams aren’t expressing a desire, they’re expressing a concern. I don’t want that with Mark, I just know from our history that sometimes when we’re around each other, the sparks between us are more like lightning bolts. I think that’s the only thing that would ruin things between Jason and I, which is likely why my brain is fixating on it. Depressives hold on to things that cause us pain, and the thing that would break me right now is to lose Jason, especially to lose him that way. God, he’s so damn wonderful, I really don’t want to fuck this thing up.
I really don’t want to fuck this thing up. If there’s a “one” for me, he’s it.
July 9, 2014 § Leave a comment
I consider myself a pretty rational person, despite the mental illness, my short temper, and my hormonal lady swings. So I know, rationally, it’s impossible to fall in love with someone after a mere 3 dates. It’s *impossible.* That’s not what rational people do. It’s just infatuation, right? Or over-excitement? I know it has to be something other than love, but dammit I’ve been in love before and this is exactly what it feels like. He just seems like the perfect match for me. He’s everything I could hope for in a man. It’s unreal, impossible.
My favorite thing about being in love is the feeling that anything is possible because now you can do the impossible with another person. The world isn’t a scary place of danger and failure anymore; it’s a place of possibility, opportunity, excitement. I know this can’t be love, but I’m riding this wave until it crashes.
Impossible, improbable love.