It’s almost been an entire month now since I began living in my van. The story is a long one, and one you will have to wait to hear from my lips themselves, although many people have heard it from others. I will save the dirty details for the book I plan on writing as I make my way down the West coast.
Have you ever read a book where the story begins with a break up? Then the main character is empowered and goes on a big journey of self discovery. I’m sure you can think of a few examples. I never wanted to be that person. Every time I read those books I resented them, for having to find their power through leaving.
When I began to have those thoughts of doubt about the relationship I was in, I pushed it to the side, I wasn’t going to give up that easily. I stubbornly held on. I loved him and I still love him now. And than I realized, my greatest challenge, was understanding when the time came to stop trying to make it work. I took it as failure. Failure of perseverance and loyalty. Two virtues I’ve always tried to live by.
As a child, I witnessed two divorces and the second one affected me more. My parents had been together for ten years, but for the last half of them the relationship had died, but they stayed together. When they finally decided to call it quits, we discovered my stepfather had been having an affair for the last four years.
Instead of understanding that his unhappiness had led him astray. I told myself I would always be loyal, I would never give up on making it work. I didn’t realize that meant sacrificing my own happiness.
It wasn’t until a friend came for her once a year visit, that I realized the same things I wasn’t happy with a year ago, were the same things I wasn’t happy about at the present time. Nothing had changed. We had moved and found new jobs and still deep down, we were in the same relationship. That’s when I realized I was stuck in a cycle. For how long out of the five years we had been together did it start, Im not sure, but I couldn’t let another year go by. On my 25th birthday I had come to the point where I was just done. I couldn’t try anymore. When he asked my withdrawn self “do you even want to be with me anymore?!” I could only respond “No.”