Sunday, September 13, 2015

Finding peace

Eric and I have been best friends for nearly a decade, and over the course of those ten years I've learned a lot about him. He's learned a lot about me as well. We've discovered  many things we have in common and several items that we just agree to disagree on. For instance, we can both listen to Willie Nelson all day, spend a day fishing, and eat chili every other day of the week. But he'll never convince me to drink coffee & beer and I'll never be able to get him to fully commit his heart to Garth Brooks.

I've discovered over the past year that Eric is a lot more laid back than I am. He's organized and diligent, but during crisis he remains mostly calm. I'm a bit more severe in my reactions to things (thanks mom and dad), but I'm also more process-oriented and efficient. Different things drive us crazy. I can't stand being late or understand how people can be so snide or disrespectful to each other in the work place. Eric isn't upset like I am if there is a change-of-plans or bump in the road, but he's easily frazzled by messes and broken things he can't fix immediately. He doesn't want to write all day and I don't want to spend time fixing the lawn mower, but we respect each other's talents and value our differences.

We love a lot of the same things and we love each other. We find peace in the same things, like a good book, good music, wine on the patio, a day at the lake, a hike in the woods, or a perfectly grilled steak after the longest day of work. We love our families, the peace of the outdoors, and time away from work and technology. We both have a desire to constantly learn new things and grow individually and as a couple. We both know the value of not trying to serve as our own Gods.

Last year, Eric and I started talking about what we wanted our lives to look like five or ten years from that day, and I wasn't surprised that our hopes for the future were eerily similar. It has always been a dream of mine to live away from the city with some land and space to create or learn new things. I've always felt a bit displaced in suburbia and at the end of hard days, I find no peace in busy roads, crowded bars, or long (very long in some cases) Netflix binges. Same goes for Eric.

However, I'm the first to admit that I've always readily taken advantage of every convenience offered to me. And I'm not upset about that. Eric has lived in downtown Kansas City for five years. Being his girlfriend, I spent a lot of time there and have no shame in the fact that I took advantage of every single thing that city life had to offer. I could walk to the grocery store, movie theatre, bar, the gym. I could order carry-out from pretty much any restaurant I wanted. I could either walk to get it or have them deliver it. Eric had google fiber which I imagine is how people felt when the microwave was invented. I had Netflix, Hulu, AND Amazon Prime. It.was.awesome. But there is no peace in it for me.

Unfortunately, instant gratification  can be pretty debilitating - at least for me. I would consider my self a very self-sufficient human being. I've been taking care of myself for a long time, but I feel like there are life skills I lack that my grandpa would be ashamed of. People used to have to grow food to survive. This year I killed four of five potted plants that Eric bought for his back patio (the tomatoes survived) No one and nothing has ever depended on me for survival, unless you count Garth - but let's be honest, he pretty much takes care of me. I just learned what the "broil" button controls in the oven, this year. For the first time in over 28 years, I have fully grasped North, South, East and West without looking at MapQuest, Google Maps, or asking my dad. This past year I had to start calling many people every day for work. I was ill-prepared to speak as a grown human being (business woman), because I've spent the past ten years firing off instant messages, texts, and quick, incoherent e-mails. I don't know what I was more mortified by, my ineptitude or the fact that everyone I encountered was just as bad off as I was. I'm considering having Garth take over my business dealings.

About three months ago, Eric found a beautiful house out in the country with 40 acres- some cropland, some pasture, a large barn, and a beautiful stable. We fell in love. I love nothing more than the idea of being connected to all the luxuries of modern living, but also having space to explore and tranquility to enjoy without the constant hustle of every day life. I watched Eric fight for the property on different levels. Last week, after a lot of waiting, turmoil, and moving woes, we got everything moved to the new place. I am a firm believer that you can make any house a home, but it feels like such a blessing to find the exact type of place we pictured our futures.

Lots of people asked Eric, "What are you going to do with that land?" or "Why would you want to live all the way out there?" There are plans for the future (nothing immediate), for a lot of things on this land, but for now I think Eric is just enjoying the serenity of "country living". I know I am. Not everyone can find their dream home before 30 and make it a reality. Eric was able to do that and I am so excited to continue our journey together. I'm excited for all the learning that will have to happen to maintain this beautiful property and all the ways we can utilize it in coming years. I believe that you can make any house a home, but I'm excited that Eric found a place to call home that can bring so much peace for both of us and hopefully any family, friends, critters, or future kids (goats and humans) that want to spend time out here.

Garth was really enthused about going to a new house. Eric said he could come, but Garth has the same feelings on moving as I do.

"I'll go, but I'm not packing anything."

Saying goodbye to Eric's house in the city was more difficult than I thought. It was there that Eric and I watched our dream of making a documentary come to fruition. We had fun painting the whole house and installing hardwood floors in the basement. 
It was at his house that he and Garth became best friends.
It was there that Eric and I decided we wanted to commit to each other. It's where we started our next documentary, started our new jobs together, and shared our first kiss. I don't want to say I cried when I said goodbye to it, but I did. It's just a house, just like the new one is. But those memories are important to me and I'll always remember them there - the way it looked, the way it smelled. But there is a new place to make new memories, and it was one of the happiest days of my life when I went with Eric to the house for the first time after he got the keys.
You can dream about something your whole life, knowing that it may very well never happen. That's how I felt about falling in love with Eric and that's how I feel about his new house. I dreamed of ending up with someone like Eric, but didn't know it would ever happen and that it could be everything and more than I ever wanted and needed. I hoped that one day we would find this house, but I didn't know it could actually be a reality.

Cheers to life's next adventure!

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