Reflect - We all Do it - But do you see it?
I suppose this is where I'm supposed to put a serene picture of a beautiful flower or some other breathtaking moment of nature to allow for some sort of peace... tranquility... "reflection" - but really all that does is really mislead you into thinking you're going to read some great philosophical review and gain enlightenment. It's an unspoken promise and I just really don't think I'm up to fulfilling such a lofty expectation.
Really - all I'm here to do is to reach out and maybe talk to some people who don't know me... or maybe even bring some reading and thought to those who may not think they have anything to think about. I've been faced today with a serious bout of reflection.
I've been looking at myself recently and wondering what am I reflecting to the world. I ask this because no matter what happens I seem to be getting a whole load of short straws. I can only factor myself as the one common denominator and wonder what am I doing to bring this upon myself?
I'm supposed to be moving soon. I've told anyone who has bothered to listen how much this stresses me out. As much as I like to go out (at times) and see a change of scenery (at times) one of the most stressful unnerving things in the world for me is moving. You know what moving means to me? It means sacrifice. More. And more... and MORE sacrifice.
"Huh? what do you mean by Sacrifice?"
I mean that moving means a delay in anything and everything I want to do or have been planning on doing. Like my professional demo, full with sound effects, for animation and commercial. I need a nice, stable place to get it done... somewhere I know I'm not going to be moving so that I can get familiar with my space, my "studio" or at least "my recording space" - I'll get to understand my limits and work *with* them. Now that I know I'm moving, I'm in a state of limbo - I can't do *anything* until I'm settled. What if I actually am hired for something? What if they want a consistent quality? What if I have to commit to something I seriously can't commit to because I'm suddenly moving?
Again - sacrifice. I don't drive. I've never needed to, I have always lived reasonably close to transit and as much as everyone around complains, our bus/transit system is pretty comprehensive and goes most places... now I'm moving somewhere where the closest bus stop is a good 20=25 minute walk away and that's if I'm speed walking. So I'm going to have to learn to drive. I now have to put in the time, and the money to learn to drive so that should I actually get hired or if I want to audition at a studio - I can *get* there. It used to be (in my current place and previous places) that I could simply time it around the bus schedule: "Oh, I need to get downtown by 1pm - if I leave by noon, I should be in plenty of time, the rapid transit comes every 10 minutes" - now it's more like "I need to get there by 1pm... if I walk for 25 minutes... and what if the ONE bus that goes by doesn't show up... and ... the next one doesn't come for another 20 minutes..." So yes... more sacrifice. Again, my career is put on hold.
Sacrifice is something I've come to be familiar with. In every relationship - it's always me who has to give up the "important stuff" - of course to my partners it's always been "Well, I have to PAY for something. I have to withdraw this money I was investing so now I don't get as much interest". Wherein my sacrifice is more "Oh. I might have to give up my career, my schooling, my music, my time to be able to hang out with friends" - but of course, what I have to give up is pretty much never taken into consideration.
"Well, what kind of difficulties are you going through now?"
Ha, thank you blog, thank you for asking.
Well, let's start with the fact that every decision I make so far has been trying to make the one most important person in my life happy. I tell this person everything. I try to share everything with this person. The reactions vary from "oh, that's nice" to full blown "How dare you insult me, and why aren't you ever happy with anything? Sounds like you're unhappy and you want to leave".
I know. You're saying "why don't you just leave?" - see, that's the problem when you love someone. Even when they want to wriggle out of doing something hard so they blame it on you (aka: instead of them trying to figure out how their behaviour is affecting you, they just jump straight to "Hey, you look unhappy with this. I think you want to leave. Now since I told you that, it's YOUR fault for wanting to leave and I don't have to change a thing!") - you still stick around because for whatever reason you still see goodness in them and you still see the person you fell in love with.
"I don't get it. How are they not being considerate?"
Well, that's a good question too. It takes a bit of explaining.
This person hasn't really had to deal with real "tough stuff" in their life. I mean... I think one of the hardest decisions they've ever made was that they had to leave a job that they were comfortable with... for a job/surroundings they didn't know (but that paid better and was still the same line of work they specialized in). They've never had to really think about what they say and do affects another person - the long term effects, the impact it makes.
So this person will be on an emotional high - a real stumper... is feeling something strongly... so they'll tromp into the room and say something like "This situation sucks. We're going to move and we have to do it NOW" - so their partner panics a little. This sounds serious. The partner wasn't expecting to have to move. In fact, the partner was adjusting to life permanently where they were... but this person decided that some heavy stuff was coming down the tube... so they had to move NOW. When someone says "NOW" - it's usually a sign to immediately get off your duff and DO something... like packing, getting financing... looking at new places, get a realtor... you've now freaked out your partner. If you're saying NOW - and your partner takes you seriously (as they should) yes, there's stress now... and tension.
Now imagine the frustration and fear that happens when over the course of the next SIX MONTHS - the person who demanded that they have to move "NOW" doesn't do any packing... doesn't look at any new places... doesn't suggest any new places... doesn't really look for a realtor... like I'm confused. What is going on? Then you find out that certain important papers were delayed so... the whole thing was delayed... so now I'm super confused and still scared... because to me... "now" means "HURRY" - not "oh this person was just saying 'now' but they didn't really mean it... they were just on an emotional high at the time".
"Uhh okay... but we all get like that right?"
Sure you can say we all get like that... but it's not a consistent thing where you say something that you don't mean - but say it seriously... then make your partner panic then get mad when your partner is upset because you weren't actually serious.
Especially not when you know it's got to do with something major... like moving - and the finances and logistics of needing to move.
I told my partner that flat out I knew nothing about how it all works. I don't know anything about loans (I've been very fortunate and never had to take one out), I don't know anything about mortgages (again, I'm lucky I've never had to try to qualify for one - which is near impossible, by the way) - so I'm depending on my partner to give me all the information I need.
I expect to get this information before my partner asks me about certain decisions.
Ends up many things were said that are apparently now not true and have fallen through
- "What we can do is we can possible own two places overlapping at the same time for a short period and gradually move our stuff over to the new place and then sell our old place once all the stuff is moved to the new place"
- "If we spend less on the new place we'll have more money to do renovations and make it 'our place'
- "Once we get a bigger place, we can arrange our stuff better! We can have more room to really live properly"
These were statements I could work with. These are statements I took seriously. These are statements where I was thinking "Good. One move. I hate moving... but if I only have to move ONCE - I can do it.
I didn't know that once the purchase was actually MADE - the story now is:
- "Yeah, I really kinda want to get the money from selling our place FIRST before we move..."
- "So what if the new place costs less? Don't you KNOW that interest on a LOAN is more than a mortgage?"
- "Well, looking at this place, *I* just don't think it's going to fit. I don't want to put stuff here or here or here. Yeah, I don't think it's going to fit."
So now I'm in a state of depression and panic. Again.
Apparently my partner neglected to tell me about the change of mind to essentially leave us HOMELESS for a period of time between selling our place and moving into the new place. Why? Because the new place "needs" a kitchen renovation.
Is the kitchen grungy? Sure. Could it really use a renovation? Yup. Is it still functional??? Yes... yes it is. Partner says kitchen needs a reno.
Partner is also now pissed about the cost.
Partner doesn't want to forgo the reno.
Let's summarize again:
The original statement was that if we get a place for cheap enough renos can be done to make the place "our own" and we could possible float owning two places for a short period of time so we didn't have to panic and rush moving in.
Suddenly - without warning the new situation is that our old place HAS to sell BEFORE we move and the renos are a pain and we can't move in until the renos are done to the partner's satisfaction and yes - we'll be panicking to move in because we'll be living essentially homeless while waiting for the renos to be done.
What changed? I don't know. Partner hasn't told me. All I know is that the situation has now changed to be the most stressful situation possible. Of course - how difficult is it for my partner? Not so much.
Me? I work from home. I need a BASE with which to work out of. We have a dog... I need a place to keep the dog while we wait for these renos to be done - because I take care of the dog 90% of the time. Having to be homeless and essentially move TWICE is so incredibly disruptive I want to cry right now just thinking about it.
"Well, DUH... then why'd you say okay to the new place?"
I said "okay" to the offer on the new place because I believed the things that my partner said BEFORE. You know... those things that you take seriously... like we'll be able to make this work because there'll be overlap... because this place is a good deal cheaper than other places we looked at. I made a decision based on things *my partner assured me of* and has now turned around and stated "Yeah, no, I'm not going to keep to any of that".
I'm desperate enough to ask about dipping into the investments, the savings funds... because seriously - isn't that part of what investments are for? To fix the roof over your head (sometimes literally) and to take care of your health? But now I'm scared that I'm going to get an earful about how 'keeping the investments in the funds are going to make more money than taking them out'.
Again - a demonstration of a person who just doesn't want to make hard choices (let's call this person Ace).
Here's it broken down:
- Ace is *absolutely convinced* that the new place is UNlivable and UNmove in-able until the Kitchen is ENTIRELY renovated.
- Ace is now terse and worried because of the money situation (why? Don't know - it wasn't an issue before, especially since the price of the house is quite a bit less than what the anticipated cost originally was).
- Ace is not going to withdraw from their investments/savings/whatever funds because the interest will make them "more money if it stays"
In summary - Ace wants it all but doesn't want to give up anything. "give up the reno, then you get to keep your funds where they are" - NO. "withdraw the funds so you can get the reno done here and now, but lose out a little on interest this year" - NO.
So now that Ace doesn't want to give one way OR the other - what does Ace do? Ace sh*ts all over their partner and stresses said partner out.
Ace also seems very intent on now selling the place and essentially making us couch surf - which I don't even know if I can do since I have to have a work-from-home station AND we have a dog.
Even better... so what do I suggest "Well, why don't we advertise early and put the date of possession REALLY CLOSE to our move-out date?" - nope... then Ace risks losing out on someone who will pay the listing price because they don't want to wait that long for possession.
I'm going to try suggesting that the Completion and Possession dates have a bigger gap to allow for those renos to occur - you know, the renos that Ace is INSISTING MUST OCCUR PRIOR TO MOVING IN.
I'm HOPING the response is "Hey, okay, we can work with that" and not "No. I don't want to have that as a factor that lessens MY chances of getting the BEST PRICE for my place!"
Again a summary:
Ace would rather make his work-from-home partner with their dog live in terror and homelessness for an undetermined amount of time rather than *risk* not getting full price for selling the condo.
"Oh c'mon... you really that impatient? - won't it only be like... a week or something?"
A week? Did you read the beginning of this reflection article? Liiiike... how.... Ace said "NOW" and then didn't even take an interest at looking at new places or talking to the realtor for nearly 6 months?
I can guarantee that if we have to do a stint without a home - Ace will be minimally inconvenienced. Ace goes to work, comes back, takes a shower, plays around on the laptop and their phone for a bit... then goes to bed. On Ace's days off Ace goes to see family, hangs out with them most of the day, then runs around doing "errands" (ie: hops in the car, does a little grocery shopping... wandering around, whatever) then comes back home, naps, eats food, plays on phone and laptop, goes to bed.
Notice how NONE of Ace's activities requires a real "base of operations".
Me? I have to get up and make sure my work-from-home-remote work station is set up - get settled for a full day of work *at this workstation* and in between breaks take care of the dog who is home with me all day - I am constantly in this domicile, I live completely within this base, and again - I have no license, I can't just hop in a car and quickly drive somewhere - because not only do I not have a license, I have a dog to take care of.
Then after the "day job" which helps pay the bills - I am still within the same domicile, I still have a dog to take care of - and now I also try to do auditions for Voice-Over. All correspondence, sound editing, emails everything is done on my DESKTOP COMPUTER. All my files all my scripts notes, recordings are ON THIS DESKTOP COMPUTER - notice how a stable base of operations is essential to pretty much *every aspect of my life*
If we're living transiently (ie: a long term hotel that allows dogs... or god forbid a family member we have to impose upon - who probably WON'T want the dog there) - my entire LIFE is going to be pretty much a chaotic disaster. And during that time I wont' be able to do any auditions nor guarantee anyone that I'll be available to do recordings.
As these factors do not affect Ace; however, Ace will likely not see any problem with "taking as much time as is needed" to get the renos done - maybe a month... maybe two... maybe six! Oh, let's do some painting too - why not? All the while completely ignoring the fact that I'm being destroyed more and more every single day. If I ever bring it up - then Ace will get mightily angry and say something along the lines of: "Well if YOU want to live in a sh*thole" or... "Then I don't want to hear YOU complaining if anything goes wrong then". Of course - Ace is not as inconvenienced - so to Ace, taking all this time just doesn't matter nearly as much.
Reflection is that I've been too accommodating. I've just swallowed it and sacrificed. I've delayed this and that, I've forgone going out, I've forgone getting things done that I really wanted to get done to make Ace happy. Ace has had absolutely no challenges - the only challenges presented have been when I've asked "Can you think about how your actions are affecting me?"
If you're wondering the response is always: "Oh yeah? Well what about the time you said THIS... and you said THAT? HUH? What about THEN? What about how you make ME feel?"
If you're wondering what those things were... they were jokes that he did not take well as jokes - and they had nothing to do with making big decisions nor did they impact how integral factors of life are handled. They were really just jokes that Ace decided were not funny and decided were offensive (ie: "Ha ha... looks like you have had better luck with investments and money than me, I guess you can handle the bills - that you already handle" - right no, not a joke to "hey you can pay my bills too" it was... I guess you can handle what is already being handled by yourself").
I have tried to reflect. What have I done? I've essentially done the most horrible thing... in putting myself second... in never standing up and saying "NO. This is miserable and it affects me TERRIBLY and I am going to have to SUFFER. I do not LIKE this and with a little bending on YOUR part NEITHER of us has to suffer!" - I've just shut up and smiled and said "okay... I guess we can do it your way"... all to keep him happy.
He thinks he's being considerate by asking me to make decisions... like he asked me if we really wanted to "go for the home" - now he asks me this when I'm still under the impression that HE likes the home (as he commented frequently... I'm finding it hard to find a reason to not like this place... I really like it), and from what HE said - moving in isn't going to be a problem because we could possibly have home overlap.
So he asks me to make this decision based on me TRUSTING that what he said was true.
And now that the decision has been made - he went back on *Every. Single. Thing.* he said. Everything.
Here's my dilemma: I confront him, what's going to happen?
- Will he say "Ok, so I made those promises... but I screwed up... let's work on what we can do now with what we have"
- Or will he say: "WELL... looks like you're unhappy. Do you want to leave this relationship???"
What would *you* say?