amanda palmer wrote a long, but so very worth reading, blog post about her relationship with and wedding to neil gaiman. i, unlike most of my friends, am not really a fan of the works of either half of this couple, but this post resonated with me to the point that i had tears in my eyes while reading it. one of the reasons i've not written much lately is the fact that the most significant part of my life through the past six months has been my relationship, and i don't want to ramble on about love and make everyone nauseous. however, some of amanda's words that most resonated with me:
shortly before meeting neil, i’d gone through a heavy soul-searching period where i came to a place in which i could feel powerfully, certainly, guiltlessly single. i hadn’t been able to get there before, it took a lot of thought, and a lot of work. i examined culture and standards and wondered why it was that everyone was INSISTING on this coupling thing.
what the fuck?
i looked hard at the constant (and often media-driven) prescription that happiness is coupling-dependent, marriage-dependent, and child-bearing-dependent. some of the happiest people i’ve met are old and single. and i know they’re not shitting me.
as in business, so in relationships: i despise being told what to do. i just hate it. i like making things up as i go along, i like kissing who i want to when i want to, and i have no desire to be possessed, owned, kept or put in my place as a girlfriend or a wife.
it was a constant cause of marvel to me that neil looked at these determined and fiercely independent qualities and he not only withstood them, he not only tolerated them, he actually encouraged them. i’d fantasized for years that i’d someday find this person, who would hold me but let me go flying into the void, and simultaneously let me go flying but hold me, keep me tethered to the earth. and when i found him, true to my long-held assumption about what would come to pass should i find a human this miraculous, i actually clung.
but honestly, and i mean honestly: the selling point was that he actually understood me, deeply, and that he loved me as i was and had no desire to harness me. and he wanted to come on the adventure with me, not pin me down to his own plan, and not simply stand by the sidelines and cheer. i’d found an actual partner.
for the first time maybe ever, amanda fucking palmer: i get you!
around this time last year, i wrote a sort of authenticity manifesto that summarized my main intention for 2011: to be as unapologetically, authentically myself as possible. i reflected on this a lot as the year came to a close, and i think i've stayed pretty true to it. i've led from my heart, making decisions that make me happy, because in the end, i can really only control my own happiness. i am done being the people-pleaser who lives up to the perception that others have of me. i feel happier and more free than i ever have, and i am proud of myself.
my life has been very simple lately. i work evenings and weekends, i spend my mondays off having mondates with my boyfriend, i sleep in, i apply for grownup jobs, i drink my coffee slowly and eat a lot of breakfast food, i wait less-than-patiently for new episodes of parks & recreation, i spend more time in my neighborhood than ever because it's really more wonderful than i realized before my two month stint of living in manhattan, i spend a lot of time looking at pictures of cute puppies, i occasionally treat myself to cheap trader joe's wine or beers at a favorite dive bar, and i snuggle a lot. that's pretty much it. i feel like i'm on vacation all the time, and it's fantastic. i haven't really set an intention for 2012, but it may just be to continue living as if i'm on vacation; living in the moment, appreciating my simple life.
cheers to 2012.