Maybe she is. Let’s see…
Something in the mechanism of writing this blog prompted me to be honest with myself about my depression, and prompted me to be honest about needing to seek help, which I did. The counsellor at university, whom I’ve now seen twice, was very good, and his acknowledgement of how I’m feeling about life has prompted me to think a little harder about things.
When I applied to university to study physiotherapy, life was very bleak. I had a dead-end office job that I largely hated, lived in a shabby house in a busy corner of London, and despite my best efforts, I couldn’t find a decent man anywhere and was beginning to feel that I was destined for tragic spinsterhood.
When the offer from the university came through, and it was unconditional, it felt like the start of a new life ahead. I’d get a decent qualification in something that would be a good, solid career, and still live in London so that I might yet bump into that nice, wealthy banker who would eventually marry me and install me in a house in suburbia where I could raise organic children and go to yoga.
Then I discovered Cowboy. I had been determined not to discover anybody, but they say it happens when you stop looking, and after a whirlwind summer with him, suddenly I was in love with a man who was neither wealthy nor a banker, and his ambitions couldn’t be further from a house in suburbia, organic children and yoga.
It was early days in our relationship, so I threw myself into my new degree with enthusiasm and enjoyed my first term immensely. I lived in a lovely little house in Tooting (they do exist), and I waited out the long months until Cowboy would visit for Christmas with a rosy optimism. It wasn’t clear where this relationship was going, or if it would last that long, so I kept my sights on finishing my degree.
After he left from his long visit over the Christmas holidays, depression hit me hard, and I told myself it was just because I missed him. Looking back, it was the first sign that my goalposts were moving. After my trip over there in the springtime, I felt less and less interested in my degree, and more and more interested in how I was going to end up where I wanted to be: with him, raising partially organic, free-range children and probably working so hard I’d never have time for yoga.
And now? I spent long, glorious weeks with him this summer, and it was obvious where this relationship is going: marriage. Let’s gloss over the part where I don’t have a ring on my finger and he hasn’t learnt that he can’t propose with a bottle cap that says “Marry Me?” on the inside. His intentions are noble.
Now I sit in my lovely little house in Tooting wondering how best to forge our life together. Now I sit in lectures and tutorials imagining how long it will take for me to finish this degree here in London, move to America and get established before we’re in any position to start a family. Then I think about how I could make that time shorter.
I could stop studying physiotherapy. I could enrol at a manual therapy school in Seattle and study there for 11 months, and come out with a diploma that enables me to be licensed to practise in America without any further hassle (glossing over the whole Green Card thing). I’d be educated in the requirements for running my own practice, I’d be informed about how to be accepted by insurance companies. I’d be two hours away from Cowboy instead of 24 hours.
This is of course dependent on being accepted to the school, on being granted a student visa, on finding somewhere acceptable and affordable to live. It’s a little terrifying to imagine just flying over there and landing myself in a whole new city, a whole new country, but I have friends over there already, and the prospect excites me.
It’s all theoretical just now. Cowboy is doing his best to be supportive and understanding, although I can tell he is freaking out. He confided in a friend of his that I was thinking of leaving my course.
“Is she stupid?!” was the response. Time will tell…