File this under life lessons.

This really doesn’t have to do with fat, except that I am a fat person, and this is my life, so I am living this experience fatly.

I got divorced in September. It was amicable, and I have a relatively pleasant relationship with my ex husband. I am now in a great, supportive queer relationship with N, who is amazing and nice and probably puts up with far too much.

I am 30.

A year ago, I was in some sort of quasi-emotional hell, trying to figure out  the coming out process and this thing called marriage and what I was really doing. Approaching 30, I had all sorts of things that people who are becoming 30 Should Have: real estate, a career, an education, friends, a good combined income, family relationships, lots of pets, an active social life. You know: The American Dream. I had literally sat on my couch at the age of 28 and thought: How is this possible? How did I get to this point? How can I actually Have It All at 28? I was amazed. A little scared, but amazed.

A year later, I am sitting on N’s bed, in a room that is just slightly bigger than it, no real estate, fewer friends, no family, fewer pets, single income. I have just spoken to my ex-husband about taking in my cats for a month as I sort out my living situation, because I currently nomadically roam from N’s house to where she house sits as I am not welcome in my own apartment, and am a burden everywhere else I stay. Each night is a manic frenzy of thoughts about “How the fuck did I get into this situation?” and “You are such an idiot for letting your life get so out of control that you actually live no where,” and “Just a year ago you actually had your name on a deed to a condominium and if you had been smarter you would have fought harder to maintain that so you would have some fucking peace in your life because roaming the proverbial streets with your shit scattered in different locations is no way for an educated, smart, financially stable woman to live.”

I know I could reframe this. I know that much of the reason I live like this is because truthfully, it is too important for me to rest and wake each night and morning next to N. I know that it is temporary and some day we or I will have a nice, clean, sunny apartment that smells good and has a nice-sized kitchen where I can play my music loud and burn incense and let my cats jump off the walls and talk and laugh as loud as I want. And there will be hair in the drain. It will be OK if sometimes I have to sleep with the TV on because my mind is too racy, and it will also be OK if I eat macaroni and cheese in bed, and if I play the same song on repeat over and over, The End.

There comes a time in life where you learn a lesson over and over and over, and you finally get it. I have lived in so many places where I have been uncomfortable, where I have been unwelcome, where I have not fit in, where there has been no peace. I moved around a lot as a small child. I have moved constantly as an adult. There has been no opportunity for root-making. I now get that it is too vitally important to my well being to actually have a place to live that is free of emotional clutter.

N sometimes teases me because I start off everything I say with “I feel like …” And it’s true … I do feel like … everything for me is a feeling; To feel is my primary understanding of the world. Living with others allows their feelings to get right within my skin, for me to feel what they feel, and carry that with me. It’s not something I ask for, or recognize that I am even doing. It simply is. If others are tense, I absorb it. If others are cheerful, I take that on. Living in places where the dynamics are shifting, or where people are downright hostile toward me is unbearable to a degree I cannot name, because it is unnamable: Most people aren’t outwardly aggressive to the people with whom they live — it is unspoken and subtle, and it is these unspoken nuances I feel deepest.  As someone who is learning not to take on fixing everything for everybody, as someone who is attempting to learn to stand up for herself, trying to navigate living spaces where I feel unspoken truths that state I am unwelcome is nearly unbearable.

Leases are up in the summer, and again, there will be moving. This time, I am making deliberate choices, not choices of convenience because of a divorce or financial reasons, or in the haze of love. I am far too old and a bit too fragile for all of that now.

After all, I am 30. I have shouldn’t have to compromise on how I want to live anymore.

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5 Comments

  1. Harriet said,

    January 30, 2008 at 10:12 pm

    What a very moving post, thoughtracer.

  2. hotsauce said,

    January 31, 2008 at 9:16 am

    you. fucking. rule. excuse the language, but really. this is so open that i think i just felt my sternum split up the middle. i’m so sorry you’re going through this turmoil right now, but you are doing phenomenal things for yourself and others by writing about it.

  3. GoingLoopy said,

    January 31, 2008 at 9:18 am

    I know that it is temporary and some day we or I will have a nice, clean, sunny apartment that smells good and has a nice-sized kitchen where I can play my music loud and burn incense and let my cats jump off the walls and talk and laugh as loud as I want. And there will be hair in the drain. It will be OK if sometimes I have to sleep with the TV on because my mind is too racy, and it will also be OK if I eat macaroni and cheese in bed, and if I play the same song on repeat over and over, The End.

    This is so true and so important, and is such a big part of why I’ve lived alone since I was 19. And thank you for reminding me that some of the things I’ve found elusive – and some of the things that seem so important, if only because other people expect them from you – maybe aren’t so much.

    Wonderful post.

  4. caffeine said,

    January 31, 2008 at 9:43 am

    Wow. Your next-to-last paragraph describes me so well. I absorb emotions from the people around me; I’m very very bad at confrontation because I can’t handle conflict. Thank you for writing this.

  5. thoughtracer said,

    January 31, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    Caffeine: Holy fuck, your jewelry is amazing. And not that expensive.

    I am bad at conflict, too. I just want everybody to Get Along.

    Ooh, wait. I am going to blog about conflict next.


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