It comes to me like a thief in the night, robbing me of my last hour of sleep; quickens my pulse and clenches it’s hands around my throat.
I sink deeper into pigeon pose noticing the shallowness of my breath. I breathe deep into my lungs, down, pressing air into my belly; feeling what is there. I am taken back 18 years. It’s a warm sunny day in Colorado, I’m 26 and talking with my dad. My fiance and I have just split up. Dad suggests we take the money saved for the wedding and buy myself a home. It ends up being a fantastic little retreat type of home in Lakewood. The condo has 2 bedrooms - with a deck off each one, 2 full bathrooms, a vaulted ceiling, and backs to a park with huge trees and a nearby lake. It’s peaceful and it’s mine; I long to share it with my husband.
Five years later I meet Dan. We get married and sell the condo in the same month. We buy a sweet house in the foothills of Golden with 3 acres. We have a view of the valley and the big blue Colorado sky. We see horses eating the tender summer grass, huge herds of elk graze in the fall, the fields covered in pure white snow, sparkling as the sun comes up and, mountain lion footprints in the frost of early spring. We love each other, we fight each other, we learn how to live in rhythm with each other. We get pregnant. We decide to build a home with my folks closer to work. They can watch the baby while we work; we can watch them as they age. We lose the baby. We move to Parker anyway. We spend 8 years in a house that backs to open space. A bike path right out the back gate Dan made for me erases my worries as the dogs and I tread thousands of steps. We invest in vacations and home improvements. Years of Easter, Fourth of July, Mother's day, Father's Day, birthdays, Thanksgiving and Christmas fly past as we spend cherished moments with family and friends. My brother and his wife have 5 kids.
Tears run down my face as the rain starts to come down. I bring Baxter inside the yoga tent and we snuggle. As he comforts me; the tears come faster. I morn everything I gave up. My career of 25 years, our beautiful home, family, friends, security. I tell myself everyone is afraid of survival; everyone struggles with this. Friends in Colorado, California, Tennessee, Spain, here in Kauai; people all over the world. We all worry about our health, our happiness, our income, our families. It’s ok, Dan and I are doing it in paradise, that makes it better. I wasn’t prepared for the loss in income. So close to poverty level, except for our savings.
I hear Dan upstairs stirring around in the kitchen. No dishwasher now, everything is hand washed; dishes pile up at every meal. As I walk in the door he greets me with a smile and says “that was short.” I say “yea.” He wants to know what’s wrong. After 14 years he can read me like his favorite book. He is not afraid to be present for my waves of overwhelming emotion. This strengthens me and I think about Marisol’s post on Facebook. About how life is less scary when you have someone to share it with. I can’t hide from him; he wants to know. My throat closes as I choke back the tears. My words are blocked by the sadness as I tell him “we aren’t stupid people, but we gave up so much.” I told him about the condo, the progression, all we used to have. Now, we have what is in our savings and enough to pay our living expenses. No extra money to pay for Lucy’s bad teeth, to have a nice dinner with friends, to get a bigger place.
He asks me if I want to move back to the mainland. I say no, we’d be experiencing the same thing there. May as well feel it with stunning beauty surrounding us everyday. Trouble is, we’re working so hard we don’t get to enjoy it. We talk about our options. The easy way to make more money seems to do video, it’s what we know; what we’re good at. It feels flat. We talk about more options and redirect our focus. The fear has escaped me; set free from Dan’s support and love. Bolstered, I’m ready to start my day.