CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): "The harder we love, the deeper we're gonna feel," sings Keith Greeninger in a rootsy tune from his "Glorious Peasant" CD. That's good advice for you right now, Capricorn, since what you especially need to guide you during this phase of wandering and exploration is ever-deeper and ever-more-nuanced-feeling. I'll add a corollary that might help as well: The softer you love, the smarter your emotions will be. You can love harder and softer at the same time, right?

you know what's really hilarious about this, right?

i've been wrestling with this oxymoron since at least june. i've definitely been wrestling with it since mid-july, when i got that text from *m* asking me to move away from my family and friends and live with him. i actually have that message saved in my phone, along with the one that says, "as long as you're there, it will be home."

he might have no trouble expressing that, but i do. for me, portland is home. but it's funny, because sometimes i'll still say "back home" and be talking about so.cal. i'm from southern california, but i'm also from portland. i can't see myself being from idaho, though... then again, it just might take seven years, and then i'll be saying things like how i could never see me moving away, and how great it is to feel all the way to the horizon, that there's something about a land still so untouched by humankind and, with the nearest semblance of a city two hours away, how wonderful it is to be in a town that forces you to slow down and just breathe.

right now, though, i think my love for portland is hard and deep. honestly, my love for *m* is hard and deep, too, but i've forced myself to love him softly, with smart emotions. it gets easier every day, too. i think the secret is to always give him the benefit of the doubt, to ask myself if he really, truly meant to hurt me or was just being a guy. so far, he was just being a guy. in teaching myself how to talk to the male of the species, i've been able to begin to teach him how to listen. i could never have done that if i were loving him with stupid, off-the-handle emotions.

at least i've achieved my goal of not being a stupid female...

the other night, i decided to be completely honest about my hard, deep love for my home. again, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. the more i was trying to deny how much it hurt to be moving at all, the more that pain was struggling to be acknowledged. so i pushed it down harder, and it pushed right back. it was making me pretty crazy. all it wanted was to be acknowledged. so i did.

but then, being that *m* and i have a surprisingly honest relationship (we've never so much as told a white lie to each other), i had to come out and tell him my feelings. i don't want to leave portland, period. and i hate idaho. i might've said negative things about it in my really bad mood, but if i'm honest with myself, it's all true. i still feel that way, even in a not-so-bad mood. my desire to move has more to do with pragmatic things --money, affordability, i'm more portable of us two, better career opportunities for me, stability-- than actually, like, wanting to exist in such a place. it's not even a nice place to visit. but the people there make it worth the trouble.

and it's like i told *m*: there's no limit to what i'll endure if it's for the right reasons. here's yet another example of that very thing.

but ever since i was able to be honest about it, instead of trying to suppress it, i've been able to ease up on that hard, deep love and love portland a little bit softer, smarter.

i can already feel it beginning inside me, the letting go. in my mind, i'm already looking south and east, towards my future. i have almost everything on my good-bye list crossed out. yesterday i got some work done on the funkmobile, in preparation for the trip. i'm starting to save boxes for packing. i passed the halfway mark in Field at work, which means i'm halfway to making commission already. halfway to my goal, and august isn't even over. looking at my beautiful surroundings, at everything i love here, it no longer hurts in my soul. it's with a pang of longing, but in my heart is already a "good-bye." and there's not an ounce of resentment in my heart anymore, either.

so, no, i can't love harder and softer at the same time yet, but i'm learning more every day.


Anonymous said...

I'm glad things are beginning to sort themselves out and I'm glad to hear that he's really paying attention.

Keep your hopes up and your heart and mind open and everything will be alright.

Anonymous said...

I'm extremely impressed with your ability to "keep it real".
My first thought was, if you hate Idaho...don't go.
But you've processed those feelings and have articulated them in such a way, that this move now makes more sense!
Keep honouring your feelings. Don't stifle them or push them away.
Have a great day!