The Professor

Professor is gone.  Like, gone for good this time.  Because this time I was final about it.  This time I was clear about it.  And this time I knew what needed to be done.

We’d gotten to know each other again.  And at times, that getting to know you routine had been fun.  It made me feel very young again, I was intrigued.  But in the middle of all that conversation, dealbreakers started surfacing.  Now… everyone has dealbreakers.  Rules.  We already know about that from an earlier blog.  And I’ve broken several of those rules over the last month.  But there are others that I can’t break, no matter how hard I try.

Complaints, negativity, an inability to live up to the promises to stop the sex talk, the gambling, the presumptuousness of thinking that I was going to give up everything the second he flew down here and spent some money on Disney tickets.  And then there was the realization that if I were to do this, if I were to be with him, I would have to move.  I would have to leave Florida entirely.  Because he would not move here – if he moved at all, he’d move further north.  He made that abundantly clear.  And I don’t want to move.  For all that sometimes I find myself very isolated, the eternal summer makes all of that very bearable at times.  It’s a fair trade-off.

And in Florida, I can be who I really am.  I can study what I want to study.  I can believe what I want to believe without being harassed too much about it.  And he doesn’t believe in any of it.  If he doesn’t quite think I’m crazy, he doesn’t seem to think I’m entirely sane either.  Being with him, a lawyer, in Kansas would not only mean that I would have to move, I would have to hide it again.  And, worse, probably, eventually, stop it all together.  Make the voices go silent again.  Deny what I really am.  And I can’t do that.  Not now.  Not anymore.  I’ve never felt so complete in my life.

And yet, if I said no, if I cut ties with this altogether, what would happen?  It’s been a decade since he’s not been in my life.  Of course there were times when we weren’t speaking… more of those times, really, than times when we were.  But I am also thirty.  I’ve argued both sides of the coin – I can afford to be picky, and yet I can’t afford to be picky.  And since he’s filled the void so well over the last few weeks – a void left completely empty by Botboy – if I got rid of him, what would I do next?  What would I do without him?  I could ignore all of this… I could ignore my inclinations to stay here and I could move there, and I could let him have me, and I’d have my relationship.  I wouldn’t be alone anymore.  But at what cost?

When I thought about the reality of leaving myself behind, when I thought about the ramifications of what a move to Kansas would mean for me, I wasn’t sure it was the smart thing to do.  I’d not only be leaving myself behind, but I’d be trapped, essentially, in an area where I knew no one.  Where literally my only friend would be the Professor.  And where I couldn’t go out to make friends of my own – at least not like the ones here – without having to worry about what that would do to his job and his reputation.  I could see what would happen very clearly if I stayed with him.  We’d marry.  We’d argue a lot – not necessarily because there were so many things to disagree about, but because I wouldn’t be happy and I could not force myself to be happy.  If we had children (and I wasn’t even sure he WANTED children – other than sex he never spoke of anything else), they’d suffer too.  I could see myself in it, of course.  But I could not see myself being happy in it.  And happiness… happiness… that is so important.  After the nightmares that were my marriage and that relationship with Gatsby/3.0, I have realized that and believe it more firmly than I ever have.

And yet I was still on the fence.  I didn’t want to hurt him.  I’m not very good at breakups.  They are painful.  They are awkward.  And they are so final sometimes.  And I wasn’t even sure that that’s really what I wanted.  I still couldn’t fathom a life without him in it, in one facet or another, though now I understood that that was more out of habit than out of any real feelings for him.  That Friday, though, when I didn’t hear from him, it was peaceful.  I didn’t know why he hadn’t talked to me.  But it was peaceful.  When I found out that it was because his phone had screwed up the night before and had deleted my number, I took it as a sign.  Because when I can’t do something myself, the universe has a way of making sure it happens anyway.

I chose myself.  For the first time in a very, very long time, I chose myself.  My happiness.  My beliefs.  I chose all of those things over someone else.  I chose all of those things over a relationship.  I put myself first.  I’m a generous girl.  A giver.  And while outwardly I may come across as being very selfish, I’m truly not.  But maybe a little bit of selfishness isn’t such a bad thing.  Maybe a little bit of selfishness is necessary… because you can’t always put someone else first.  You can’t always put someone else in front of you… or else you never get anywhere.  And you give too much of yourself, you compromise too much of yourself.

And so, four drafts later, when I was sure I wasn’t bitter, and when I was sure it wasn’t an attack, I sent an email:

“I have been thinking a lot, to make sure I do not make a mistake. But then I realized that if I have to think about something like this so early on, I already have my answer.

Thank you for the offer to take me to Disney.  It was very generous of you.  But I fear that you have ulterior motives behind this offer, whether you can admit to them now or not. Regardless, I don’t want to feel obligated to you, and if we went, I know I would. And so, I cannot accept it.

Further, I cannot do this.  Not just because of those motives, but because I don’t think that what you want from me is aligned with what I am looking for.  And even if it were, there are simply too many deal breakers in this situation in order for me to be able to look at it with any sort of seriousness toward long term potential (no, it is not just the gambling).  I fear it would be a waste of time for both of us.  I do want you to be happy.  But I do not think that your happiness is with me – not in the long term.  And the short term is not possible either.  I cannot compromise either my principles in the short term, nor my self, happiness, and satisfaction in the long term.  To ask me to do either would be unfair.

With all of that said, please know that I don’t say any of this out of anger.  You’ve done nothing except to be yourself; that’s all anyone could ask of you. And ultimately, I wish you the best as you start down a new path.”

He said nothing afterward.  And it’s been a full week.  There has been no reply, no communication, nothing.  And I’m okay with it.  Because that’s what I wanted.  Finality.  No arguments, no tears, no communication – nothing that would tempt me to change my mind, nothing that would tempt me to go into something I know I would not be satisfied with.

They say that the universe replaces the things we get rid of.  It has up until now, though sometimes those replacements are made with the same people coming back again and again because I don’t exorcise them fully from my life.  This one has been.  I know that now.  This time it feels differently.  Not a temporary cooling off period… this time it’s done.  Something else will enter my life… when it’s the right thing and when it’s ready.  Until then I wait, and I read my books, and I play with my cards, and my herbs, and my crystals, and my pendulum.  And I try to find patience.

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