Why Albuquerque?

I said in my last post that I’d write about my reasons for being back in “el Southwest” in another post. What can I say? When I came back to the states, I knew I had to go somewhere.

While I was still in Virginia, I went to bed one night asking for very clear Divine guidance about where I was supposed to be irrespective of egoic wants and desires. (Look what happened with France! I didn’t want to go from frying pan to fire.) I asked that it come in such a way that the answer would be completely obvious to me and remembered upon waking. The next morning, I awoke with a memory of being with my sister in New Mexico.

I wasn’t that thrilled because going west seemed to be going further from Stuart. But I couldn’t ask for and then just ignore my dream when it was so bloody obvious. Since I grew up in ABQ and my sister and her family were there (albeit them Fox news and conservative talk radio enthusiasts), I thought, “Why not? Go for a visit and see what you think.”

My sister gave me a very warm welcome with flowers waiting for me in her old office/now exercise room set up with all the comforts of home. After bouncing back and forth like a yo-yo from one place to another, this provided a welcome sense of place and privacy surrounded by cedars and junipers and pinons as far as the eye could see.

But I’m finding Albuquerque to be a mixed bag. When I drive around town looking at neighborhoods, I enter these pockets and just start feeling really poor and depressed. These states can at times feel overwhelming blending and mixing with my own challenged internal states. Then I’ll hit another pocket and instantly light up, feeling potential and opportunity.

After having a house, the thought of apartment living curdles my stomach, must needs must. The first few places I looked at had me quite worried. I had hit one of those pockets and was in the wrong neighborhood…a nice neighborhood, but not the right neighborhood. So, I drove to my old stomping grounds southeast of the University. Wow! Places sure can change. Everything was quite run down including my old apartment building. Feeling even more discouraged, I had to talk myself into heading downtown. Once I drove under the freeway, I felt better. Downtown felt good to me. The closer I got to Old Town, the better I started to feel. I ended up looking at a complex that was new to me right across from Old Town built during my time in Asheville. It was very nice, but they didn’t have any one bedrooms coming available. My conversation with the manager somehow cheered me up despite that. She wanted to know my story, so I told her. She was very empathetic, and I left feeling like I could make this place my home after all.

When I got back to my sister’s and told her about it, she said something I didn’t expect. My mother and father had lived in that very complex! My dad passed away about 7 years ago, but now I realized his presence was still here. Going there and speaking to the manager felt like some kind of gift…a validation. Maybe I wouldn’t live there, per se, but I would find something somewhere.

What was I looking for? A duplex or casita for privacy and quiet that fit my budget. Good feng shui. A washer and dryer or at least an easily accessible and clean laundromat on the complex. Good light. Something pretty to look at out the windows. And most importantly, the feeling of safety. I seemed to be finding things that almost fit the bill but never quite entirely fit the bill. It is a delicate balance between not giving in too soon to something that “almost fits the bill” and not waiting so long that I have to take whatever I can get.

This past week, I thought I had finally found the ideal place that I could move into next week. I could afford it because it was income restricted, it was brand spanking new and clean, had a view, and with the exception of being an apartment, had everything I wanted. The woman said she would hold the studio for me over the weekend. I went back Monday to turn in my application, but that’s when I learned that while I met the income restrictions as an individual, because I was married, they would have to include Stuart’s income too thus pushing me over. Forget the fact we live in two different countries and don’t even file together. (Ironically when I tried to get a car loan at the bank, they couldn’t have cared less about Stuart’s income when it would have actually helped! No, I didn’t get the loan.)

Quite recently, I would have thrown myself into “why me?” mode and cried over the injustice of it all. But a year-long string of this kind of absurdity is seasoning me; I actually felt unphased when the leasing agent told me. I felt nothing. I said, “I understand. Thank you,” and then headed to the car and thought, “Now what?” That was it. I just went on to the next thing…

…Ha! which was a test-drive of an inexpensive car that I was pretty much all set to buy from an individual until he backed out on our agreed-upon price! This too rolled off my back. “Whatever.”

As nice as it has been to stay at my sisters, after five or so weeks, I’m starting to feel like an intrusion (not to mention alien from a liberal planet). I have yet to get a car so I’ve been relying on her graciousness and schedule to house-hunt. It doesn’t always work out. I had hoped to see a place today, but she had things to do. I’ll have to wait until next week and the apartment may be gone. But then again, maybe it wouldn’t have been right anyway. Who knows? Maybe I’m not even supposed to be here.

As the days pass and I have yet to find a place to live and a car, I am doing my best to deal with the feelings of being unsettled, discouraged, dependent upon others, a pain in someone else’s arse, etc. I just have to allow myself to feel whatever comes up but not indulge in it. It’s quite a balancing act. I must remind myself to focus on what I want, not what I don’t even if that’s what keeps manifesting (which has been the challenge all year-long). And most importantly, I have to trust that whatever the hell is going on with me, it’s all working itself out in God’s timing (crazy ‘ol bastard!).


Together Apart

Yes, I realize I’ve been quiet. Things have been sort of…unpredictable, uncertain, and intense. This has been a time of letting go. That seems to me to be the lesson again and again. Let go of every concept of how I think things should be. Let go of any and all expectations. Learn to live by a sense of what feeeeels right in the moment even if it seems to be going in the opposite direction of where I thought I wanted to go. The Universe seems to be providing me with immeasurable gifts to hone my intuition, to improve my ability to communicate, to see and release negative habits and thought patterns, to open up to synchronicity and learn to trust it, to learn better and better self-care, and to constantly refocus myself from a place of fear, lack of trust and self-doubt to one of love, faith, and confidence. They are proving to be the hardest lessons of my life. Some days, I just want to leave the planet. Others, I feel more hopeful.

Since arriving back in the states, I’ve spent a good portion of my time in Asheville, the city I lived in before I went to France for three months. I also spent time in Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and presently, New Mexico, where I grew up. All this moving around has been rather disorienting and wearing on my nerves. Being back in the Sandia mountains is helping to alleviate my sense of groundlessness.

Stuart and I have both learned a lot during this intense time of separation. Mostly, we’ve learned that we don’t have control over everything (and probably anything) that happens to us. The only place we have control is over our attitudes and interpretations about it all…and that can be the bigger challenge. One thing is certain; we both have to do what we can to keep ourselves sane and happy right where we are…even if it feels like our lives are growing apart.

Who knows why things have gone crazy apeshit? Who knows why we’re even further apart now than we were before we even got married? Seriously, who knows? I know I don’t. Life is a constantly swirling mystery. I can’t explain it.

Partly for the grounding I mentioned earlier and for other reasons I’ll save for another post, I started an apartment search here in Albuquerque. Talk about swirling mystery! WTF am I doing here? It’s a lot of stress, this current situation. For one thing, I’m up against the crazy catch-22 of “can’t open a bank account without an address; can’t get a car without a loan; can’t get a loan without a job; can’t get a job without a car, etc.” The more difficult part is knowing if I commit to a lease, that’s pretty much the death of some dreams I had when I met and married Stuart. It’s going to cement a lot of moving pieces into place…including me. I’ll be buying a car, furniture, finding some work, setting up my business again. Stuart’s and my relationship will change. Everything will change…again.

“What about Stuart?’, you may ask. “What about France?”

Life seems to have other plans. And that’s okay. That’s just the point. Something really weird is happening, and I just have to trust it.

Will we even stay married? Honestly, we don’t know. We just don’t know. We’re both trying to find our way to the light right now after a year of unbelievable stress loads. It sucks. It hurts. It’s scary. Where are we both supposed to be? What is the nature of our relationship? Nothing has been clear. Then again, I could write a blog in two weeks saying I’m going to France after all. That’s how WEIRD life has been, so I’ve finally cried, “Uncle!” and stopped trying to figure things out. The only thing we know is how important we are to one another…that we love and serve each other in completely mysterious ways…that we can’t imagine our lives without our connection. How it ends up looking though, that’s all in the mystery.

As Stuart said earlier today, tongue in cheek, signing off of Skype, “Go do what you do there, and I’ll continue to do what I do here. And someday, we’ll be where we’ve gotten, and it’ll all makes sense.” It doesn’t get much clearer than that.

Perhaps the deepest lesson I’m coming to appreciate is that all I really have is me, here, now. My relationship with myself is ultimately the one that matters most. So, I have to allow myself to live where I am. I can’t keep trying to live where I am not nor wait for the day when I am. And I have to constantly de-emphasize all the unwanted things that keep happening instead of thinking about them constantly, trying to solve unsolvable problems. I must focus on how I want to feel. Stuart has to do the same. To do anything else would just be insane and create more resistance and more of what we don’t want!!! On the outside, it looks like we’re falling apart. So what? I already know appearances can be very deceiving. Maybe we will fall apart. But for now, we’re just riding the waves…the crazy, ludicrous waves…together apart, as gracefully as we can.

There is an anonymous quote that says, “Your soulmate is not someone who comes into your life peacefully. It is someone who comes to make you question things, who changes your reality, somebody that marks a before and after in your life. It is not the human being everyone has idealized, but an ordinary person, who manages to revolutionize your world in a second.” I would add, “It is a person who unknowingly pulls you inside-out, forcing you to confront every last remaining shadow aspect that keeps you from loving what is.” Thank you, Beloved. I am doing my best to embrace your lessons.