I've been thinking about my life lately.

Questioning, more like.

I just finished up the book "The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food, and Love", which was exceptional. I found myself, however, incredibly baffled and bemused as to why the author, someone so like me, would choose to settle down with someone so infuriatingly crazy as this Mark fellow.

To be fair, she does have misgivings--many, many misgivings. But she ultimately decides that the man she loves and the life he offers her is worth the sacrifice of giving up a part of herself and the goals and ideas she once held.

Here's a few interesting excerpts:

"Mark joked that I was going to Hawaii for my solo honeymoon, but it was a hollow joke. I think we both knew there was a real possibility that I wasn't coming back. I imagined my friends would sigh, say it was just like me, that they'd expected it all along; my parents would roll their eyes and forgive me for putting them through all that drama, and debate the proper thing to do with the wedding gifts.

At the center of my attachment to travel had always been the belief that indeed there is such a thing as escape. You can change everything with one slim ticket. The last time I'd been in the Maui airport, I'd been a girl, twenty years old, and as I walked toward my luggage, I wondered if I would find my free, young self waiting for me there among the airport greeters with their leis, or if I'd murdered her by getting married to a farmer and a farm. I supposed I would find out. Travel tends to grant clarity. Remove all that distracting context and you find yourself staring at cold hunks of truth."

"Watching that guy's collard flutter into his basket was the moment I got married, in my heart. There is no such thing as escape after all, only an exchange of one set of difficulties for another. It wasn't Mark or the farm or the marriage that I was trying to shake loose from but my own imperfect self, and even if I kept moving, she would dog me all the way around the world, forever."

As I said, she is so much like me. And this, too, seems to be the conclusion that I am evolving towards.

"It's never the way you think it'll be, Mark used to tell me. Not as perfect as you hope or as scary as you fear."

I've been having those panicky second thoughts lately.

You see, the euphoric feelings have dimmed, and I am left with the mundane, the every day... the more or less steady, predictable rhythm of responsibilities and the flow of those around me.

I have a hard time with mundane.

There's been quite a bit of drama in the HJ lately, a large portion of it traceable to an individual who, apparently, can't quite thrive without drama of some sort... even if she has to create it.

Now, I'm not one to create drama, but it's easy to sniff disdainfully at someone's handicap until you realize it's your own.

I've come to realize that I'm rather at a loss when not desperately pressed in circumstance. Or, at the very least, depressed. The sheer euphoria of positive feelings, of resolution, so close on the heels of misery, pain, and strain is addicting, to say the least. It's like picking a fight just to make up.

At first I thought this was an inherent flaw, but I realize now that it is a logical outflow of my upbringing. The domestic violence cycle, or even just the dysfunction cycle, goes like this:
The abuse is awful, to be sure, but the reconciliation and the honeymoon phase stand in such sharp relief that it's... well, it's like a drug. And it's hope. Hope that things will get better, that the bad won't come again. I go through this same up and down dance with my depression.

The kicker is that, should the hoped for peace come to pass... you've now become so accustomed to the cycle that you don't know how to live with that peace. At least, I don't. I'm always waiting for the axe to fall, craving it, even. (Could possibly be a part of PTSD, as well...)

And C is so steady, so... steady. I don't know how to handle it. The life he offers me... so... steady. It's obsessively, compulsively compelling at times, yet uneasily repellent at other times. I'm the one that goes up and down, back and forth. He hasn't wavered in his intentions at all.

(P.S.- That cycle totally describes the home front, with R and the kids and Mom... sigh. I was party to that just last Christmas.)

But when I'm wavering, I remember that he is good for me and I am good for him. I have a freedom with him that I have not had with any other relationship. He lifts me up, I lift him up. And, importantly for me, he puts up with all my crazy, and holds me through it. I've been revealing more and more facets of who I truly am to him of late, and he's still implacably by my side. Go figure.

Am I really just frightened of having someone who won't walk away, or give in to drama?

You know, I'd really like to learn how to live in the mundane and be at peace with it. I find myself in an arena of choice... is it worth it, this man that I love and the steady, stable life that he's offering me?

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