While I’m running around wanting to shout from the rooftops that I’m in love, I’ve realized that I have to be very careful, because no one really wants to know.
One of my oldest friends is the most tricky. She’s had a good life, makes a decent living and she likes where she lives. She lost a close friend to cancer a few years back. It was complicated, because everyone was sure she loved him even though she had a sort of nudge for a boyfriend at the time. She was sad and angry and one of the people she took it out on was me.
I’d suggested that maybe every two years we organize to do something fun together, go to a spa or go on a hike or something. She tore me apart, saying she “has responsibilities” and “can’t go gallivanting around like that”. She also said she would never come to visit me again, because she’s “done that”. Her responsibilities are her dad, who lives 3000 miles away from her anyway. She goes maybe four times a year to see him, and calls every day to make sure he’s up and okay. None of this would be incompatible with a weekend away with me.
She never said it, but she thinks I’ve had it too easy. My step-father abused me and my sister physically and psychologically. He sold drugs, ran around with a lot of guns and created chaos. I left to live with my dad about the same time that he went to prison. But I don’t wallow in that or really care anymore. I’m not my childhood. I think too many people use their background as an excuse to make bad choices and be miserable. At some point, I believe we are all responsible for our own happiness.
On her end, there was a complicated divorce but her mom re-married a great guy and they raised my friend with a lot of support and love. They didn’t have a college fund for her, so going to school was more complicated. That’s something my dad has always wanted; for his daughters to go to school. Only I took him up on it, but he made sure to offer my sister as much in kind so that there wouldn’t be any jealousy.
I just didn’t care about doing the normal thing. I left the country when I was turning 30, met a guy and married him, stayed in a nice, beautiful, safe place where no one in my family could come back and abuse me (not that they cared that much, but that was part of the motivation to leave: get as far away as possible).
When I separated from my husband last year, it was sort of a last hurrah to try to find a life where I was appreciated again. My husband was depressed, and I couldn’t take living with someone who needed so much from me, gave so little back, and was unwilling to take any steps to do anything about it.
And now I’m in love like I never was before, and I can’t talk about it with her because she’ll just be mad at me.
So I’m writing about it here because no one in my life wants to hear that I’m happy.
I’m in love! I’m old enough to know that no one is perfect so I don’t ask him to be, which makes it possible to deeply love someone in all their imperfections. I love his tenderness. I love that he lives with his head full of future projects (canoeing! biking! the midnight sun!) I love cooking with him, and waking up in his arms. There’s more but you get the point.
I wish my friend could just be happy for me, but I’m afraid to even talk about it with her. She doesn’t really want to hear.