You all know how challenging it's been for me living where I do.
Scratch that. Except that it's 20 minutes from work the "where" is pretty nice. Lets get to the heart of the problem. It's the WHO and always has been.
You may or may not know, but for the past month or so I have been looking for a new place to live. Somewhere closer to work, with a different kind of person, similar rent. A couple weeks ago, a place like that was offered to me.
My first reaction: YES! YES! I WILL MOVE IN TOMORROW! I WILL MOVE IN YESTERDAY! GET ME AWAY FROM THIS PLACE!
Luckily, I am a fairly level headed person and did not express my first reaction verbally.
My second reaction: Yes, I want to move out but there are a lot of things to consider first.
So I considered. And here are the facts.
Her name is Kathy and she is a member of my Branch. She lives in this good sized house alone and is packing up her things in an attempt to sell her house by the end of the year. She is looking for someone to live there at LEAST through the summer and perhaps longer if no one is buying by then. Rent is $100 more than my current rent. I would have a large room to myself and my own bathroom. I would be able to use the kitchen whenever. She has a microwave. She has wireless internet. The house is located down the road from the middle school in Camden. It's a 20 minute walk to work, a 10 minute walk to the nearest local market, a 10 minute walk to the laundromat, and a 10 minute walk to downtown Camden and the ocean. You can see Mt. Battie from the window of the room I would eventually be in. It's a lovely house located in an ideal location.
Here are the reasons I would NOT take this opportunity: The increased rent. I'm poor enough as it is. Leaving behind a house where the ocean is so close I could sprint and be there in about 30 seconds...maybe more...but still. Having to pack up all my stuff and move it again keeping in mind that I might have to do it AGAIN if I had to leave after the summer. And the number one reason I would strongly consider staying is if it was an inconvenience for R/L lightsleeper or if, when I talked to her, she felt that having me there was important for her financially and socially.
Let me preface last nights conversation with miss lightsleeper with a little bit of information on the conversation I had with her just after I wrote THIS blog entry. Lightsleeper had just checked out some new movies from the library. This is her primary form of movie rental because she no longer has a Netflix account and there are no movie rental stores to be found ever since Movie Gallery went under. As she usually does, she presented me with all the titles telling me what interested her about them. Several of the were films that were rated R. Previous to my conviction to not watch R films anymore I had watched 1 or 2 R titles with R/L. So she assumed that I would be fine watching some of these other films. I decided that now was a good time to let her know that I would no longer be watching rated R movies.
Her reaction was less than ideal. She first asked why. And so I told her about not wanting to clutter my mind with language, violence, and sex when I didn't need to. I also mentioned that once you see, read, or hear something it remains in your mind in one way or another. She seemed unhappy with this decision I was making. She told me that I shouldn't let my church limit my experiential growth through movie watching. "You're church will survive if you watch a Rated R movie." Her words.
Keep this conversation in mind. For it is now time to delve into the realm of the conversation I had with R/L lightsleeper last night. Bear with me.
It started off with me sitting on the couch and her standing in the entryway to the kitchen. And so I asked, "what would be your reaction if I told you that a member of my church has offered me a place to live in Camden?"
I had thought a lot about how to word this beginning statement. I am now glad that I used the words that I did. Had I not, I would not have gotten the same reaction out of R/L and things might have gone differently.
She thought for a minute and then said that she had two initial reactions. I asked her to share. She said that she had to think of how to best word them. This caused my stomach to drop. She was going to say something about leaving her high and dry and giving up on an improving situation or something like that. She was going to turn this conversation into one about her (as she often does I have found). But no! This is NOT what happened. Here were her two reactions.
1. She thinks that I might be happier with that living situation rather than staying here. (Phew! Okay, so far so good. At least we agree on that.)
2. (before giving this one she fidgeted and thought for a while. Doing her compulsive swallowing thing. She said things like "ooooh, this is a tough one." and "I'm just going to be honest because I am an honest person." And then continued.) She said that she sees me as a wonderful and delightful person with a strong mind and a healthy curiosity. She can see that I am growing and exploring as a person and that moving in with a member of my church in Camden would limit me and cut off my personal growth.
Oh, okay that's a...wait, what?
I kept eye contact as I quickly jotted down some of her choice words into the notebook I had for keeping notes on the meeting. She said she "doesn't want me to become religiously narrow minded." Her words.
I asked for an example of where she thinks this might be a problem. I told her to continue to be honest. She wont offend me. I am not easily offended when it comes to religious discussions.
Now remember that conversation I mentioned earlier on R movies. This is the example she brought up. She said that it "worried" her that when I first arrived I was willing to watch R movies. And then a couple weeks ago I told her that I wasn't going to watch them anymore. I also jotted down some of the more opinionated words she used in describing her reaction to this new conviction. And they are "eew" and "yuck". Her words. I am not making this up. These are the same words she used last week to describe her opinion of uneducated people who live in rural settings aka "hicks". She continued to tell me that she feels that I am very intelligent and shouldn't limit myself in the things I could learn and experience by watching R movies. I shouldn't "censor myself". And if I want to do something that I should just "do it" regardless of religion.
I accepted all this silently, occasionally nodding my head in understanding. I could have been offended. I could have been angered by her words. Well, HONESTLY, I was a little distressed that she saw me as the kind of person who would make an uneducated decision. Every decision I have made concerning the standards of the church has been made after a lot of self reflection and consideration. I never make a decision blindly. I DECIDE FOR MYSELF. R/L just doesn't know that about me. Or understand my religion. The feelings I felt most strongly were relief. And a little bit of sadness for her.
I told her that I really appreciated her honesty and her willingness to communicate. I told her that some of the most stressful relationships I have had with people were when we didn't communicate and weren't honest with each other. And this was all honest. I was truly grateful. Had she not been honest and told me that her opinion of my decision to not watch R movies was "yuck" it might have made my decision to take this opportunity and move out a little harder. She has, in fact, made it easier. I didn't say this out loud, of course. I'm honest, but there's no reason to create unnecessary animosity.
I did ask if the reason she had a tenant was to help supplement her income. She said yes but that if I did decide to move out she would need 30 days. Also if I moved out she would not think less of me or resent me.
Boy! She was making this a lot easier than I expected.
So, in conclusion-I may have to pay $100 more and I might have to find yet another place to live in at the end of the summer (though I might not), and I wont be able to see the ocean outside my bathroom window. BUT I will be able to put less stress on my car. I can walk to work. I can walk to the laundromat. I can walk to the library and to town. I can live with a member of the church and not worry about cigarette smoke and excessive drinking. I can live with someone who just might be a true kindred spirit.
Kathy is so humble and generous. Kind and understanding. And patient. The complete opposite of R/L.
(I discovered one reason I have a problem conversing for a long time with R/L. Her conversation and manner of speaking always seems so aloof. "Better than you". That's probably just me interpreting wrong, but when it comes to food, I know it's not. She goes beyond foodie and kind of into the food "snob" category.)
I'm not foolish. I know that if I move now it might not be in a perfect situation. I thought living with R/L would be perfect. Look what happened? Still I can't help but think that this can only be an improvement.
So, next steps? Wait until Kathy gets back from D.C. and tell her I want to movie in. Wait until the end of March to tell R/L lightsleeper. Then pay for all of April and give my 30 days notice. Live with R/L for another month and all during that month work on moving my stuff to Camden in stages. Not all at once. So it's not daunting. At the end of April, move in with Kathy. Live there for April, May, June, July, August. Maybe September, October and November. Hopefully find more peace and happiness with the situation.
There you have it. The situation an how R/L made the decision to move to Camden easier and not harder.
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