"I was, in fact, homesick for wildness, and when I found it I knew how intimately - how resonantly - I belonged there. We are charged with this - all of us. For the human spirit has a primal allegiance to wildness, to really live, to snatch the fruit and suck it, to spill the juice." - Jay Griffiths, Wild: an Elemental Journey

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Independent vs. co-dependent. Um, another option, please?

I haven't really posted in awhile because I've been deep in relationship stuff, and not sure how to write about any of it, and not sure whether I want to write about any of it, and not sure whether I want to write about any of it on my public blog.

The answer is yes.  Yes I do.

WARNING: This is one of those posts where things are still a bit un-tidy and un-figured-out.  Yowza!  If you want to read happy, neatly-packaged, all-figured-out posts that will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy, check this out - one of my favorite blogs.

Or.... if you especially love messy, irreverent, inappropriate, un-figured-out posts, check this out - another one of my favorite blogs.

Ok now that you're done reading other people's blogs, back to ME for chrissake!  Or as my corny uncle always says, "Enough about me.  What do you think of me?"  (Another warning: I'm in a bit of a rambley, unfocused mood.  This should be interesting. . .)

Backpacking in West Virginia this weekend.  I'm alone in the picture, but not alone on the trip. . .

One big question in my life for the past several years has been: how can I be both independent and in a relationship?

I know how to be independent.  I'm good at being single, and I'm especially good at traveling alone.  I meet people easily, enjoy my own company, and have no one to haggle with when making plans.

I also know how to be co-dependent, as in, in an un-healthy relationship where I allow myself to be completely swallowed by the other person to the point where I start to forget who I am.

Independent and alone.  Co-dependent and in a relationship.  They have seemed like my only two options.  Is it possible to take the best parts of both scenarios - the being independent and self-possessed, but also getting all the good stuff from a relationship - at the same time??

This relationship with Oldman has been a veritable testing ground for this question.  As I've mentioned in a previous post back when we met, I am Oldman's first girlfriend.  (Yes, he's legal.  Sheesh. Don't be gross.  He's 31 years old for crissake.  He's just extremely introverted.)  This means that he is also very practiced at being independent (to put it mildly.  If you know him, you probably just laughed out loud at how mildly I put it).

What can be done with two people who are practiced at being independent; well-versed in making plans without consulting anyone else; seasoned in protecting themselves and avoiding vulnerability?  What can be done when those two people try to discuss moving across the country together?  How can they ever make that conversation work?

How does one know when one is compromising for love, and when one is compromising one's identity?  How can one be vulnerable without being weak?  How does one know when a lesson needs to be learned alone, and when one needs to be learned with a partner?


In the improv comedy game show, "Whose Line is it Anyway?" there's a game where you can only speak in questions.  No matter what the other person asks, you can't answer it - you must respond with another question.  This situation feels like that game.  No matter what I ask out into the universe, all I get in return is another question.

I can be ok with the unknowing, but my god - everyone wants to know what I'm DOING!  "What are you doing?"  "Where are you going?"  "What are your plans?"  "Are you going alone?"  I think I might make a t-shirt that says, I DON'T KNOW and wear it every day until I leave.  Ha!

Don't get me wrong - it's hard to read tone through typed words.  I'm not upset or offended by any of these questions.  I ask myself the same ones every day.  I'm just reminded, over and over, how much we as a human species value knowing.

This post started out being about being independent versus being co-depdendent.  And now it's about unknowing.  And about "Whose Line is it Anyway?"  But I guess it fits with my life lately.  Yes, it's all happening at the same time, and it's all related to everything else, and it's a little funny and a little sad and a little exciting and a little confusing.

I don't know how to end this one.  OMG!  See - there it is again - the I DON'T KNOW!  Ok, I'm making a t-shirt.

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  1. hahah this was funny b/c I totally understand. I have struggled with this myself. I seem to be on either extreme in life. But I'd like to find the balance. AND we love that show!

  2. I think all women have struggled with it at some point. It's a question I'd like to explore more. Where would you say you are in that spectrum now? Closer to independent or co-dependent? Or somewhere in between?