10 reasons to fall in love
December 18, 2008 § 3 Comments
1. el compa and i have been arguing like crazy the past few months. for a while it felt like when we werent arguing was more like a cease-fire, a temporary lull before it started again. like we were just too exhausted to speak anymore and we might as well retreat in silence, lick our wounds, bury our dead, and prepare for the next battle. i kept trying to figure out what we were arguing about. on the surface it seemed so ridiculous. the smallest things would just escalate into evil words being hurled at one another. this isnt us, i kept thinking. a few times i seriously thought this relationship is over. how could we keep doing this to ourselves?
2. i finally realized that we had reached that age when a bunch of people around us expects us to settle down, get the striving for middle class respectability job, a house mortgage, a 9-5, a 401k, health benefits (and dental!), day care for aza, etc. and instead we foolishly insisted upon living our lives. in some people’s minds it is one thing for us to travel ‘to exotic places’ and have ‘adventures’ and co-create radical communities (uhhh…’whatever that means’) when we were childless and young, but now it was time for us to really give that up and focus on ‘raising a family’. and we would have great stories to our child(ren) about our adventures when we were young…and so the emotional support that we had built around us was eroding because we werent following the plan. and we still insisted on ‘going on vacation’.
(one person as we were planning our trip to chiapas, actually said that she wished she could go and just lay on the beaches in mexico too…, i tried to explain to her that we were actually going to the mountains and the beach was like a few hours away and we would probably be too busy with studying spanish and learning about zapatista autonomous communities to get to ‘lay on the beach’ but i dont think she heard me through her resentment…)
3. we are incredibly privileged to do what we do. sometimes this level of access leaves me speechless. and i wouldnt trade it for a picket fence or a 401k. most people i know that have a picket fence and a 401 k would not trade their lives with ours.
4. but as this emotional support erodes el compa and i have felt more doubtful about our choice. which is exactly what those who have stepped away from us want us to feel: doubtful. to realize we are standing on a precipice, we are dancing on a tightrope with no net. to realize the errors of our way.
5. but the value of the 401 k has eroded in the past few months. and a lot of folks who thought that they had it all figured out and had made a serious of smart choices are feeling betrayed by a system that thinks that their money is expendable. alot of folks are starting to feel doubtful about their choices and realize that they too are standing on a precipice, the safety net is disintegrating and looks more like a moth eaten sweater than a well woven hammock.
6. life is about risk. and i have never been one who liked to gamble. casinos never attracted me. and frankly there are a whole lot of folks who spout the puritan work ethic, earn money through hard work and sacrifice, pull yourself up by your bootstraps, who have decided that investing in the stock market, ie making money off of money with no real work is what responsible hardworking people do. it seems like a contradiction to me. it is not the same thing as saving money. i guess billie holiday is right: them thats got shall get and them thats not shall lose…
7. and so this doubt that el compa and i battle with, bludgeon each other with, is that maybe we are not smart enough, capable enough, strong enough to find another way to live. that maybe this capitalist machine, this alienating civilization has eaten everything beautiful and healthy in this world and turned it into a product to be sold. and we might as well relent. we doubt our vision, doubt our power, doubt ourselves. we just want to side with the winners.
8. but siding with the winners seems so sad when you know the game. we would be lying to ourselves and to aza.
9. we arent really angry with each other, but with the world. and with that emotional support, the people who used to celebrate us stepping back because we arent winners. we are something else. we are becoming more and more ‘other’. something they dont want to understand. and while i respect the choices that people make to survive, they feel that the choices that we make question and challenge theirs.
10. and so they really want us to fail. and by failing i mean succeed in their vision of what we should do. that someday we will realize the fundamental errors of our ways and become more like them. safer. more secure. more responsible. for heaven’s sake could we at least choose a profession that has a name? but everytime we start entertaining that notion, our relationship starts to fall apart. everytime we start preparing ourselves to deal with the inevitable pressure to make our choices explicable to their resentment our words become meaner to each other. because we get so frustrated trying to fit square pegs into round holes. and we start blaming each other trying to shave off our edges. it doesnt work. and we feel like failures.
we are failures. thats okay. cause this is a game that no one can win. so instead we start digging our own holes, we start singing songs to ourselves and dancing on a tight rope, yeah, its scary, its a risk. but life is a risk. at least we are in love. at least we have aza. at least its us.