Ah, my eternal stress with not being committed to blogging. Plainly I have not let this concern me overmuch, as I’m finding my attention span is such that all I have are scraps of ideas anyway so I can’t get too worked up because I’m not this century’s Pepys. This blog has been silent for over a year… just over. Not on purpose, but just when I finally got going there, I derailed myself.
Something about me to be stated with complete clarity is that I’m a perpetual self sabotager. I can say this without any hesitation but writing it… well it makes you confront the words and then it’s like “oh. shit. I totally do that” and it’s a problem for a number of reasons. Last I posted I was super pumped about “being defensible” and yes it ended up going quite well. So the Master’s happened. Yay! But right around the time that I was wrapping everything up and making really good progress on having some actual time to sit with myself and do some good work on being a better person, I got nervous and actively created a barrier to my success: I decided to move in with my friends.
Yes, the mind with the benefit of hindsight (or just more consistent rationality) has a hard time understand why I, a full on adult with a job and money and no actual reason to have roommates, would decide that just when her life calmed down long enough to breathe, she would move in with people. After living alone for YEARS. And not just move in with friends, oh no. Move in with a married couple. Oh Christ on a cracker…
I probably realized the enormity of the mistake that I’d made about the exact same day as I defended my thesis. And it was solidified on the day that I moved in and was presented with a “congrats” gift by the female friend of the couple. It was a beautiful gift, a really simple Pandora bracelet. This friend works at a jewellery store and has excellent taste and knows just what to pick for someone who doesn’t even know herself. I was really touched and felt really cared for – and then her husband chose this time to gripe about their money situation.
This is significant because when we moved in together, actually from the very start, the deal was that we would find a 2 bedroom place and split it. Me paying 1/2 and them paying 1/2 the rent. That is still a decision that I stand behind. The decision that makes no sense to me is the one where I said that they should have the bigger room with the en suite bathroom. They totally used my “people pleasing” against me and I agreed that “well they’re married, they should get the better space”. Getting the bigger room has NOTHING to do with being married or single. It SHOULD have to do with how much rent you pay. I pay way more than my share (essentially totally paying for the third person to live there) so I should get the bigger room.
But I didn’t stand up for myself. And I continued to not stand up for myself. Even when the three of us would have direct conversations about being honest, I held things back. I ate shit every day but the two of them never initiated a conversation with me about how I really felt. Despite that it is not their job they HAD to know I was really unhappy, but I refused to bring it up because I had “made a deal”. I feel less friends with both of these people because I feel I was treated poorly. We never had a real “fight” but I seethed in my small room a lot. And for a really big rent bill, that isn’t a good way to live.
Of course, I’ve never said any of these things out loud, but I wonder what would happen if I did. Or if I told them about this blog. I wonder what they would say if they were to read my honest words. Words that I sheltered them from for almost an entire year. They’ll never see it… and we won’t hang out anymore. They moved to Toronto and they’ll chalk this year up to a life experience. I’m staying here in Ottawa, and I’ll chalk it up too but I’ve learned a takeaway lesson.
You teach people how to treat you; if you start off as a doormat, you’ll never be anything else. Doormats have their purpose but I really don’t need people wiping their dirt all over me and then walking away. I’m sure someone else said that, but I think it’s appropriate.