Last night, my best friend called me crying because for the past month, her boyfriend has been abusing her. Not physically or verbally, and possibly not even on purpose, but it has been clear to everyone around her that the breakup is looooong overdue.
As she sat on my couch and said over and over again that she didn’t want to break up with him; she wanted everything to go back to how it used to be, I nodded and patted her shoulder and didn’t tell her that going back was never going to happen. I didn’t tell her that she needed to let him go, and I didn’t tell her to move on. I didn’t tell her the truth- that he didn’t care about her anymore, or at least he didn’t love her like he used to.
As I lied to her and told her it would get better, I realized something.
How many people should I accuse of the same thing?
How many times have I wanted to go back six months, to when everything was perfect?
How many times have I cried about losing my dream job through circumstances that I couldn’t quite understand?
Like Amanda, I had never done anything wrong that I knew of. I had never done anything different. One day, my boss just decided to let me go. Since I lived on her farm, in a matter of days, I went from happily living my dream life, on my dream farm, in my dream apartment, my four horses living in the pasture right outside my living room window… to losing my job, my home, and almost my babies.
Thankfully, throughout it all, I somehow managed to keep The Boyfriend, and we ended up moving into his old apartment. And all four of my horses remain in their pasture at my once dream farm, and I drive an hour four times a day to feed them and hug them and tell myself that everything will get better when we find a minifarm and they’re living right outside my bedroom window once more.
Except I can’t find anything I like. I am not satisfied by anything we go see, constantly saying it’s not big enough, or it’s not good enough, or most recently, there are holes in the middle of the pasture. What I never seem to say is, I can work with this, or this is a fantastic starter home, or for fuck’s sake, we can fix this.
I am permanently not happy with anything, and like the proverbial lightbulb suddenly lighting up, my dim, depressed lightbulb flickered on when I realized that it’s because I haven’t let go of the old farm yet.
I’ve blown all my interviews, and some I haven’t even gone to, and it’s because I don’t want to work anywhere else.
I didn’t show up for my interview at a farm that was even better than my last because, even though the barn owner personally tracked me down and asked me to come in with my résumé, I figured what’s the point- I did my best at the last horse farm, and that obviously wasn’t enough.
I’ve turned down every single one of the twenty nine properties I’ve gone to see because they’ve all fallen short of the magical perfect farm I see in my mind.
I am holding out for a boss who will never love me again. I have been broken up with, but refuse to let go or move on. And everyone in my life is patting my shoulder and holding my hand and telling me it’ll get better when all they really want to tell me is to fucking woman up and figure out that nothing is going to change. Life is not going to go back to how it used to be.
Last night, Amanda listed all of the things she does that should make her boyfriend continue to love her- she tries so hard and she’s the only one in the relationship who’s working at it. She constantly makes excuses for him and let’s him walk all over her. She jumps to attention when he tells her to do something, and she turns a blind eye when he cheats on her.
Many times, I’ve listed all the things I did that should have made my ex-boss love me- I worked twelve hour days six days a week, even when it was negative five degrees outside. I let her skimp on my already tiny paycheck, and I turned a blind eye when it was one, two, three months late. I happily did the worst jobs, didn’t complain when she added twelve more stalls to my agreed upon routine, usually worked seven days a week rather than six, helped the vet and spent nights up with sick horses long after she went to bed. I single handedly ran an eighty horse breeding operation, and I did it without a single flaw. The customers all loved me, and told her as much. I worked through every holiday, constantly made excuses for her, and even after she let me go, I continued to make excuses for her to my family and friends. I always used to say that she was the one person who could tell me to jump and I’d ask how high. She was the most important person in my life.
And I can’t let her go, even now that I hate her for what she’s done to me. I can’t let that farm go. I can’t move on with my life because I have already lived my dream and there is nowhere left for me to go but down.
I am a hypocrite, telling Amanda to break up with her boyfriend and move on to bigger and better things, as I am incapable of following my own damn advice.