Shifting With The Tide
I know I’ve been quiet a lot here lately. Most of that is due to being super busy and a lack of reliable internet connections. Far as work life, everything is good. I still love working for Bob, and everything is on the up and up out here on the road.
Home life, on the other hand, has been severely neglected, and Dan and I are doing what we can to work through it, which includes me doing something I’ve never done before; passing up a tour. After Europe, I’ll be home a good 5 months (at least), to focus on building the business and getting reacquainted with the man I married.
This has been one of the best tours I’ve ever been on, and at the same time one of the hardest. There’s a lot going on in my brain. Marriage is the hardest fucking thing I’ve ever done aside from my decision to stop drinking. After almost 7 years, I’m still not sure I’m all that cut out for it.
It sucks to say it and it sucks to feel that way after you’ve shared over 11 years of your life with someone. Then you have to question yourself and ask…well how much of myself have I really shared? It takes 2 to make something work, and adapting and growing with change is a must, no matter what the outcome. The best thing you can hope for is that both of you will come out stronger and wiser, with a better sense of who you are and who they are at the end of it all.
The only thing I really know for sure is that I am an addict. Sober almost 2 years, clean for a little over a year (if you don’t count the weed, even though I quit smoking that last year sometime). I never thought I’d ever feel regret for anything in my life…but their are a few things, and guilt has a way of eating up certain parts of my heart, my stomach, and my brain. To be honest, since just after the first week of tour, there’s been a huge lump in my throat that won’t go away. I don’t know what’s going to make it go away either. All the shit I’m going through would be so much easier if Dan was an asshole. I could tell him to kick rocks and not look back…but it’s not the case this time around. I am the asshole. Who’s more to blame…the one who doesn’t speak their mind, or the one who’s too overbearing to hear it when they do? Then it gets to the point where it’s easier to just not speak on both sides.
For the last 6 years, we’ve been fighting to not grow apart and the distance makes it hard. I won’t deny that I’m a mess. Never have. I’m a stubborn, fickle woman, and my father’s daughter in more ways than I care to admit. There’s damage and baggage that never seems to fully disappear, and the result is some form of woman who’s sitting here in a hotel room, typing out her thoughts at 4:19 in the morning. Family is still difficult to grasp. The ones I’m closest to are the ones I rarely see, but can stand to spend a week or so with at a time. Most of them understand, and the rest just fall away…but when it’s your husband…the man you chose to marry, to build a life with…how much time away is too much time away? How much time home is enough before your brain falls apart and you can’t handle the itchy feet and the call of the gypsy heart?
He’ll never dance with you while kicking at the waves of the ocean, he’ll never enjoy the buoyancy of the Mediterranean Sea, and he’ll never pick-nick with you in the park. He’ll never find a smile in stretching his neck to greet the warmth of the sun…but he’ll smile as he watches you do it, and you love him. She’ll never be able to fully keep track of time, so dinner will always be late even though you’ve been working hard for years of days(if she remembers to cook at all, ya know she forgets to feed herself). She has a hard time sitting still and can rarely stay seated long enough to finish the movie you started together. She lives in a time of her own that’s rarely consistent with anything you do…but she’ll smile when your eyes meet and give in to those brief moments of joy when she forgets herself and accepts the hugs you dish out and you love her.
How many moments of bliss does it take to erase the lonely and empty you’re often left with? How do you balance the joy and the pain of simply being? What is worth fighting for and what’s the cost?
It’s hard to share a life and build a home with someone who’s rarely around.
People are talking, and they will…”it’s unnatural, our relationship is one sided, why is she gone so much?, what’s wrong with her?”…and there were years I begged him to speak his mind…more times then I can count if I asked him is he was truly okay with who I was and am…times when it took hours or days to separate the truth from the okay, and more times than I can count when I told him he couldn’t give me the world until he did enough for himself. It takes two to make it work.
Then you grow, and you do some self-evaluation, and maybe you learn how to stand up for yourself, and maybe you learn how to face your fears…and then a new kind of change takes hold. A more empowering change that forces you to face some hard truths.
How do you grow from being two seriously depressed people with severe drinking problems and severe low self esteem to two people growing into adults trying to become well-rounded individuals. Who are you then? Individually, who are you, and how do you co-exist with the other person…how do you get to know them?
Folks can say whatever they want, but I’ve never met a single couple in my life who was perfectly matched without anything to grow through, who faced no hardship or difficulty. I’ve never met a single couple who truly enjoyed one another’s company all the time without failure and never made any mistakes. I’ve also come to learn that no one gets in a relationship because of how they make the other person feel. A relationship feeds your own selfish desires and needs. Once those needs aren’t being met, it goes away or drifts on in some kind of stale void. I’m not saying it’s a bad kind of selfish…I’m just saying the first thing you think about when the potential for new love walks by is not how many hours you desire to work to make the car payment for their dream car or ensuring their emotional needs will be met. That comes later when you decide you give a fuck.
I’m not blind and I’m not stupid. This year is one of those years filled with trials that will either strengthen our bond or rip us apart completely. We’re both doing our best to handle it rationally, and with enough love and respect for each other to not demand compromise. I don’t want to leave and neither does he…but at the same time, there’s a lot of deep introspection going on to figure out what we really want for ourselves. No matter how much it hurts, we have to make sure our paths are congruent enough to make it work.
It takes more than love to make a relationship work. Love is just a spark and passion comes and goes. Work is the fuel to keep that fire burning. We’re both willing to do the work, but if the end result isn’t the same, then we have to do the right thing for each other, even if it means saying goodbye.
We’ve comes to terms with the fact that we are not the people we were 10, 11 years ago. There’s a lot of similar core characteristics, but we have changed, and I’m not really home enough for us to even begin to work together on adapting to those changes…and being gone all the time seems to be directly related to buckling down, sobering up, and focusing on my career…so what’s more important to me? How much time can I give to each without losing one? Is it possible to keep both? Can I find balance in home life and road life?
While I appreciate the kind words from folks, suggestions, ideas…there’s no real advice that can be given and it’s not what I’m looking for. Dan and I are going to have to figure this out as best as we can for ourselves, and no matter what happens, I hope we will take a lot of strength and growth from this. I hope we will know ourselves better and develop tools to make the correct choices for ourselves that will bring us more joy than grief in the long run.
So until this tour is over and we can talk more face to face, I will continue to enjoy every moment to the fullest, break down on the bad days and hope no one can catch the tears. I’ll do what I do best…push forward and enjoy my life, because for better or worse, my life has been one hell of an amazing ride and when the day I die comes, I don’t want it to be on a day riddled with misery. Embrace the struggle and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy as best as I can. It’s the only thing I do well other than working really hard.