Thursday, February 19, 2009

Another Old Tale

As promised last fall, I said I was going to write about a 2nd "weird" event that happened in Arizona that caused a life direction change. This time, the change related to a relationship.

W was 1 1/2 times my age. We got together quick and everything evolved very quickly. I was 26 yrs old and thought I knew "everything" about myself so I felt I was making the right decision getting involved with someone older.

W was charismatic, smart, people loved him and he would give you the shirt off his back. The problems began after he bought us a house and declared that we ought to have children 5 yrs sooner than we had discussed. That meant within 6 months of us knowing each other.

I said no, that was not part of the plan. I didn't go to school for so many years not to start building my practice. Subject was dropped and another one popped up. Travelling.

W had done quite a bit of travelling in his life and claimed to still be an avid traveller. But, he started refusing to go anywhere except Arizona. Why? I don't know. That didn't matter as much as his declaration that now we were engaged, I wasn't "allowed" to continuing travelling on my own. It didn't sit well then nor would now.

It wasn't until later that I learned about his need to "re-do" his life the way he felt it ought to have gone. He felt a lot of guilt over being an workaholic when his children were young and now wanted a chance to do it over properly. He wanted a stay at home wife. He wanted a quiet life at home with new children. He felt that if he was a good provider, he would be able to attract someone who would be happy fulfilling his needs.

His Needs? What about mine? It didn't matter. He eventually listened to me and backed off the kid thing and the travel thing but I was already feeling unsettled and uneasy inside. I need more than a nice house and someone to provide to feel fulfilled in a relationship.

Fast forward to the pivotal trip to Arizona.

We were signed up to do a half day white water kayaking excursion. Unbeknownst to the guide, a tree had fallen overnight blocking 3/4 of the river and creating a pretty dangerous current area as it was a blind and downhill turn leading up to it.

The team ahead of us hit the tree but managed to squeeze out of it as they took a broad turn into it. We took a close sharp turn and hit the tree right near the middle. The front part of the boat went under the trunk and W capsized and disappeared underwater despite having a life preserve on.

The current pulling down was very strong. I capsized and was hanging onto the tree trunk. When I saw him go under, I moved along the tree trunk towards him and my legs were forced forward by the current. I was pulled underwater.

Ironically, as I went under, W's foot managed to find a branch to push off of and he surfaced and saw me go under.

What happened was very strange but wonderful in a way. I was floating suspended underwater. I was able to look around me. It was so peaceful. The water was pale green but very clear and I felt like I was breathing normal!

When we talked about my being underwater, he said that he saw me just looking around, not panicking. I still don't know why I didn't choke from having water up my nose or why I felt like I was breathing. It's neat to think I may have had a little taste of what it's like to be a fish!

W pulled me out and as soon as I looked at him, I knew that I had already left my relationship with him. I "saw" him clearly for the first time.

I got out of the engagement and made plans to buy my own home shortly after we returned from the trip.

Needless to say, when D and I went to Arizona the first time, having heard of my 2 weird experiences, he was somewhat expecting that we'd hit something weird and we would be breaking up with him shortly after.

So when we landed in Phoenix, he told me that it was great knowing me!


  1. Hey Middle Way,

    Thanks for sharing this story! Come to think of it - I've dated guys about 1.5 times older than me twice. The first one I was also engaged to but we broke it off, and my current BF is the other!

    It's always interesting to hear another person's real story because it gives a down-to-earth yardstick of how life can be. Thanks so much for sharing so openly. And the ending was funny too!

  2. Wow! It's amazing what life throws at us to make sure we get the point.

    I like D's sense of humour :-)

  3. Thought you might like this link tied into my post. It's an interview obtained from Mommy Millionaire Next Door. Enjoy the read!

  4. Thanks for sharing a very personal story.

    In college I had a life changing event as well. I developed an inflammation in my lungs that for a short time we thought would kill me right away. After they got it under control I was told the odds were it would reoccur and become fatal.

    It's been almost 20 years and specialists now tell me I have nothing to worry about. They aren't sure what happened to me but I'm a very lucky man.

    At that point I decided I needed to experience life so I applied for a study abroad and went to Europe for my senior year.

  5. What an interesting story, it sounds like the two of you had very different ideas on what you wanted out of life. Too bad it took a near drowning to end the relationship. I certainly would have panicked, I can't believe you stayed calm. I've been kayaking, it's both thrilling and terrifying.

  6. Thanks Daphne!

    Hey, what a coincidence! That goes to show, as much as it may feel at times that we are alone, we really aren't!

    Hi Money Minder!

    I am a big believer of that and I like to think I send it "out there" that I want to be the best person I can.

    So if I am not on a great path to that, let me my experience, the message has been clear!

    Yes, I appreciate D's humour very much. That is one aspect that didn't exist with W.

    Great minds think alike Money Funk!

    I had just read the post when I got your link. Wasn't it inspiring? I wanted to liquidate and buy an around the world ticket pronto!

    Hi Carlos!

    Thank you for sharing your experience. I cannot imagine how scary it must have been to be face to face with people telling you that.

    Congrats for beating it! No kidding about being lucky!

    Where did you go in Europe? Were you studying something different then?

    Hi Miss M!

    I don't know why I was calm! When I think about it, it still makes no sense. I guess I wasn't meant to be harmed or stressed.

    I haven't done any whitewater kayaking since. Our area is more conducive to sea kayaking. It is very different being in large open water. The frequency of the current wig me out still!