Sunday, February 20, 2011

How Did I Get Here?

Sometimes we don’t end up where we were going. We didn’t get lost-- just side-tracked to a better destination.

It all started when I lost my job. It was upsetting, but didn’t worry me much. I had always been able to find work within a month or so, and I needed a break. I needed to read and swim and do all the things I never had time to do during those working years. I moved from Denver to Colorado Springs to be closer to family, and waited a few months before starting my job search.

Big mistakes. Sometimes families are best appreciated from a distance, like across an ocean or the Continental Divide, and who knew the economy would take such a dive? I searched for work, took temporary jobs, worked as a greeter at Sam’s Club, went back to school for computer training, and I volunteered.

At a law librarians’ conference I had eight interviews in 36 hours. Two law schools called for second interviews and while sitting on my hands waiting for their calls, I was offered a position as a librarian in Ignacio, a small town in southwest Colorado. I couldn’t wait for a possible job. I moved to Ignacio. It didn’t work out.

So then I was alone and out of work, more than 300 miles away from friends and family. My mother demanded I go back home, but if I moved back I would have no money left to rent an apartment. If I stayed I could pay my rent for three months. I decided to stay and look for work.

I didn’t find work, but something unexpected happened.

I fell in love. And the man proposed marriage. As an engagement gift, he gave me a mobile home, half a block away from his.

At first I was hurt. He didn’t want to live with me. Then the logical girl inside took control-- the man is offering property; take it! We sat and talked about our two-trailer-marriage. Some of our friends thought we were nuts. Some were envious. I didn’t even try to explain it to my family. We didn’t know any other couples who were living this way, but it made sense to us.

We’re older. He’s a morning person and I’m dancing at midnight. He does not watch TV and I am the original video baby. He has three knickknacks; I can’t live without my Santos and Kachinas. He is obsessively neat and I am not. His cats go out; mine stay in. We both crave our solitude. We are so different, yet want so much to be together that separate housing makes sense. We have dinner together almost every night and I spend most nights at his house. It works for us. There is another benefit-- my heart still skips a beat when I hear him walking up my driveway.

After a bad marriage years ago I told friends and family that if I ever married again, I would have to be so crazy, stupid in love that I would wear a red and purple wedding dress, which I did when I married Mark last summer.

I never imagined that I would make my home in the mountains outside of Durango. That I have no job is painful; I am smart and talented, and I do not understand why I have not been hired. I always took care of myself and others; having someone take care of me is a new and sometimes frightening experience-- it’s a loss of control.

There have been so many losses, making room for so many gains. I have learned so much about myself by changing my entire life. I am happier, healthier and so appreciative of all that life has to offer. My detour put me exactly where I am supposed to be.

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