For most of our relationship, money was tight. We were living paycheck to paycheck with little extra and were up to our eyeballs in debt. We were eventually able to get to a position where we were comfortable although we still had to be careful. I told James the last thing I wanted was to end up back in a position where we were living paycheck to paycheck. He said we would be fine. We were older, wiser, had better paying jobs; that those days were a thing of the past. Not long after that conversation, he died.
I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about a lot of different things all relating to various aspects of life: where it was, where it is and most importantly, where I would like it to go. Earlier today, I was thinking about where my life was 10 years ago.
I was living in a decent sized 1 bedroom apartment in Portland that had a thermostat that read 80 no matter how hot or cold it really was. I was living a couple of miles from work, working from 7:00-4:00. I could leave home at 6:45 and skate in just as the time clock hit 7:00. I was living paycheck to paycheck and the credit card debt was starting to mount as I had pay periods where I couldn't even afford groceries.
I had a couple of great friends I hung out with regularly, but didn't have any single girl friends to pal around with. I was just starting to get into volunteering as a way to get out of the house and meet people. I tried online dating, but was getting nowhere. I was very lonely and miserable and was convinced I would never meet anyone-that I was destined to be alone.
A few months later, I met James and everything changed. I had the good life for just over 8 years. And then, in a split-second, it was ripped away from me. From us both.
And now I sit here almost 19 months after that horrible night and I am living paycheck to paycheck and the credit card debt is starting to mount because I have pay periods where I can't quite make it stretch far enough. I live 4.5 miles from work and work from 7:00-4:00. I leave my house at 6:45 and I skate in right as the time clock hits 7:00. I have a couple of great friends I hang out with when their family lives allow it, but don't have any single girl friends to pal around with. I volunteer regularly as a way to get out of the house and meet people. I have also joined several meetup groups, which wasn't an option the first time around. I have been trying online dating; I am getting nowhere with it. I am lonely and miserable and reliving a life I hated just a decade ago, the only differences being that I have a mortgage instead of rent, two dogs who are the center of my universe and a lot more stuff. And now that I know how good life can be, I hate this one even more. I want the good life back.
I am starting to think that I am not going to get a second chance at happiness-that my life with James was a cosmic "whoops!" and this is the life I was supposed to have all along; that I am destined to be alone, or that this will prove to be a cycle that will continue to repeat itself.
I am not cut out for this life. I want-I need more. But I don't know how to make that happen. I really feel like I am trying. I don't know what else to do. And I sure as hell don't know how to learn to accept and be happy with a life I despise.