Back where I started

11 Jun

About 4 months ago, Boyfriend and I were entertaining the notion of moving in together. Not necessarily because we were feeling like we were ready to take things to the next level; more like it just seemed like the most logical option. He wanted to move out of his dingy basement sublet to a place with better internet and I needed to move out of my parents’ place. We’d finally be able to see each other more regularly. It all seemed to fit pretty well (and in retrospect I’m sure it usually does for couples who are moving in together for the first time). We decided we’d rent a house, seeing as neither of us is ready for a mortgage. This way we’d have plenty of room for us and my dog and, just maybe, we could start feeling like adults.

We got as far as going to look at places. It didn’t take long for him to get cold feet, which then caused me to get cold feet and soon we were left standing there, shivering, wondering why we had ever though this was a good idea in the first place. He was hung up on money and job security and I didn’t want to move in with someone who was in doubt. We decided to wait.

Not a month later, Boyfriend had found a 2 bedroom apartment in a nice part of town with good internet and was planning on taking it. I was so hurt. I knew that while there was some truth to the money and job security concerns that was never the whole story. I was part of the problem too, although I wasn’t sure what part of “me” or “us” it was. It understandably caused some friction and more than a few angst-filled late-night conversations, but we eventually moved past it.

This is when I really started to crack down on making my own independence happen. I always knew it would eventually, but I was going to let it happen in its own good time. Now I was suddenly reformulating my budget and paying of debts in big chunks so that I could move on as freely as possible. It was the first time in well over a year that I really felt like I had some kind of control over my life. I crunched the numbers and I decided that I would be able to move out in August or September. I was elated.

Then, as my luck would always seem to have it, a new challenge was tossed in my way. I was informed that my trusty old car is on her last legs and might not make it to the end of the summer (and even if it does, I shouldn’t be taking it on any long trips aka most of my big summer plans. This is me finding myself relating to Kit’s epic college road trip in the Shitty Oldsmobile).

I realized that I could do both – replace my car and get a new place, but it would be really, REALLY tight. Like, absolutely NO room for error tight. I talked with Mom about it, I bounced ideas off of Boyfriend and I eventually let myself accept the fact that the apartment would have to wait.

If I can’t get to and from work, then I can’t make money and if I can’t make money then I can’t pay rent.


(This is where I start clicking my glittering heels together, taking deep, controlled breaths and telling myself that everything is going to be ok)

I knew it was the right decision, but I spent all day yesterday (that’s how fast this has all gone down. It was less than a week ago that I was celebrating my revelation of being two months away from freedom after all) agonizing over having to put that idyillic fantasy I had been living in back on the shelf. Me and my dog in a cute little bachelor pad. Workin’, playin’, chillin’. It had been so good while it lasted.

The terrible irony of the timing of all of this is that Boyfriend started moving into his new place yesterday. He’s been respectful of my mourning, not boasting about how wicked his new place is nor asking me to help him move. Still, I didn’t want to be the bitter girlfriend, so when I finally got home last night after such a long and mentally exhausting day, I sent him a text to ask how it was going.

We chatted back and forth and he told me it was going well and that the place is nice.

“I think Dexter is really going to like it.”

Dexter is the bloggers-anonymous name I’ve given my dog (yes, even my dog needs a fake name. People know him. He’s almost famous).

I paused.

“Uhh, he probably isn’t allowed in the building. Also? Why would I bring Dexter over?”

I think this might be a good time to mention that Dexter probably weighs as much as I do.

“I want you to start spending more time here,” he said. “I’m worried about you. I don’t want you going crazy because of what your family is going through. Spend your money on getting a good car. That should be your focus right now.”

I’m so glad that this conversation was happening via text message because this is where I started to cry.

On one hand, I was so relieved. He has always been good about letting me run away to his place when things get stressful but I’ve always felt guilty about having to abandon Dexter. This also might be a good time to mention that my dog is like my kid.

Now I not only have a place to go, but I can bring Dexter with me. And I can stay. I can stay as long as I need. And this might be exactly what Mom needs to help let me go – a slow weaning process instead of her having to lose me all at once.

But on the other hand, it’s almost like the worst thing ever. I was raised to be a strong and independent woman. Even before my dad left us, Mom taught me to never depend on a man. Relationships, and everything that comes with them, should be a partnership.

I don’t want to be taken care of and I’ve spent too long living under the roof of other people. I want a place that I can actually call my own for a change.

But the idea of a place where I can just be, even if just for a little while…

Now I’m tired. I’m tired because I was up half the night with this rolling around in my brain. I’m tired because I’ve been struggling to come to terms between my values and my personal well being.

I’m tired in life.

I’m tired and I have no idea where to go from here.



5 Responses to “Back where I started”

  1. thoughtsappear June 11, 2010 at 3:47 pm #

    My boyfriend got cold feet about moving in together, too, and now I’m really to figure out how to assert my independence as well (and how I feel about his cold feet). Why is money always a problem?

  2. Jo and the Novelist June 12, 2010 at 5:40 pm #

    Wow – this is all eerily familiar – I was in a very similar predicament to you a couple of years ago. The only advice I can give you, which sadly sounds kind of obvious, is try not to over-think it. Sometimes over-thinking leads to not doing, because you can worry too much about what happens if things go a bit wrong in the end. But you can’t predict what’s going to happen, so just remember that if things do go wrong – it’s fixable, even if the worst happens.

    If it feels right, I say go for it. If you want to get out and get some space then you should do while the opportunity is there. Doing so doesn’t mean you’re totally dependent on your man even though it feels like it. He’s offering you some help – that’s one of the things boyfriends are for. And somewhere along the line, he’ll probably call on you for help, and you’ll be there for him just the same.

    Plus, soon enough you’ll have that extra cash you needed to get your own place and it’ll be all the more worth the wait, because you’ll also have a new car.

    Don’t get me wrong, naturally it *is* disappointing when things don’t quite come together in the way you hoped they would, especially when you’ve worked so hard for it. But that doesn’t make the plan null and void – the plan just needs a couple of amendments.

    You’ll be fine – whatever your decision. Just don’t hang out in limbo for too long, because you can go a bit mad. Trust me, I know and I’ll gladly save you the trouble.

    WTF – longest comment ever! Sorry, I hope some of what I said was helpful.. reading over it again it all sounds a bit condescending, but honestly that wasn’t what I was going for!!

    • Jam June 12, 2010 at 9:37 pm #

      Not condescending in the slightest. In fact, this was exactly what I needed to hear. Thank so much ❤

  3. Megan (Best of Fates) June 18, 2010 at 12:01 pm #

    To make this comment all about me (and really, why not?) whenever someone does a deep, personal life decison/angsty needing advice post I always sigh inside.

    For I know, my comment is going to be stupid. Banal.

    Inane, if you will.

    See, I don’t know anything about life.

    I have no good suggestions, or opinions, or any clue of what to say.

    Clearly, it’s time to turn to musical theatre.

    So in the words of Tommy Tune, it’s not where you start, it’s where you finish.

  4. alonewithcats June 18, 2010 at 6:18 pm #

    Well, unlike Megan, I am very wise. So you should totally listen to what I have to say.

    Here’s the thing, kid. Our lives rarely turn out how we expect them to. Our plans fall through. Our hearts get broken. Our dreams change. And sometimes, even when we get exactly what we think we want, it turns out we don’t want it anymore. (That might partially have been lifted from a “Wicked” song.)

    Take your time. Keep working toward what you want. Stay focused, but be flexible. And recognize that when you, say, start a blog about your single life alone with cats and it becomes ever so slightly successful that fate will choose that exact time to bring an awesome new person into your life and hence make you a little less alone with cats, totally ruining the premise of your blog but nonetheless opening your heart. But I don’t know. That just might be me I’m talking about.

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