Tuesday, November 4, 2014


This post is one that wanders, according to my custom.

It's a gorgeous night tonight, and somehow walking under the nearly full moon made me start to think about what I want.

And what I want is to do what I want. Just me. No compromising or making nice, which feels as natural as breathing. And so when I daydream, I daydream about being alone.

I want to spend my days writing and walking by the water, rising early and drinking coffee in sunlit rooms (built to bring the outside in), staying up late under the stars, reading poetry, doing yoga. That's my most persistent daydream. The daydream of my stilted, crumbly heart.

Of course, there are others. I want--perhaps on principle--to be a person who welcomes others into her home. The kind of woman my great aunt was, who hosts missionaries and refugees, who invites people to dinner, who opens her home and heart to those in need.

I also want to move in with my friend Kelly. I want to treat my car nicely, as it deserves to be treated: get her all fixed and tuned up, clean her out, paint her pretty colors with rustoleum. I want...hmm. I want to be more of a doer, and less of a killer-of-time. I can kill time like it's an Olympic sport I've been training for all my life, and it's shameful, wasteful, sickening. It is not life-giving. I am learning, slowly, slowly.

And today (or at this point in the evening, yesterday) was my three-year anniversary with Ian. And I want unfair things of him. Or are they unfair? Maybe unfair for me to ask, or expect, or maybe "unfair" is a meaningless term here. But:
Sometimes I want to marry him. Is it, would it be settling? Marriage is not something I desperately want right now. I don't walk around feeling overwhelmed with lovey fuzzies. I'm not consistent in my feelings and I am often uncomfortable with them. But at times I do feel the lovey fuzzies. And in some ways we balance each other quite well. And in some ways we drive each other nuts. Am I supposed to wait for or find someone who makes me feel lovey fuzzies more consistently, more confidently, or what?

Regarding nuts: I am, in many ways, quite independent. I do not always respond well to advice, or to others' expressions of concern for my safety. I also don't like to plan things. Typically I'd rather wing it. Also I am unbelievably forgetful. All that drives Ian nuts, and still he graciously acts as my personal reminder service on a regular basis.

Here's what drives me nuts: Ian is not very independent. I don't mean to imply that he is emotionally dependent, but rather that he likes to do things together, and make decisions together, and sometimes those things are hard for me. He also likes to plan things down to the most minute details, which I find tiresome (but which I admit is a good quality). The downside there is that he is not comfortable with much spontaneity, and that is difficult for me. Lastly, anxiety. He is working with it, and working hard. Still, wrong as I may be, I have been unable to escape the idea that anxiety is the king of Ian's life. Because of that idea or fact or whatever it is I become irritable, angry, condescending, demanding, and sometimes mean, and that needs to stop one way or another.

More importantly than the way we drive each other nuts though is the way we communicate. There is plenty of friction in our relationship--there is a lot we don't have in common--but we go out of our way almost daily to better understand ourselves and one another. I've never had a relationship with communication this good, and I definitely can't take the credit here. Every step of the way, this man has asked questions, communicated his feelings and frustrations, and, when I finally started talking, listened to what I had to say. We often have trouble understanding one another; for example, I strongly suspect that the phrase, "life giving," would have no meaning for Ian. And that upsets me because I want the things that are important to me to be important to everyone I care about. I want Ian to believe in the God I believe in, and to feel the connections and the joys I feel at the same moments I feel them*. But isn't that life? As difficult as it is for me to grasp, life is different for everyone. The best we can do is try our best to bridge the gaps.

*why? Because I'd feel connected? Because I'd believe in his depth of emotion? Because I feel that I'm "right," and I want him to be right too? I don't know. There is a story I've heard about a child with autism who had trouble grasping the idea that everyone had a different point of view, and everyone had a different experience of the world. Sometimes I feel like that child.