‘My music career has been spent trying to encounter people on the Internet the way I could on the box, so blogging and tweeting not just about my tour dates and my new video but about our work and our art and our fears and our hangovers, our mistakes, and we see each other. And I think when we really see each other, we want to help each other.’ – Amanda Palmer
I used to be a very open person. I had reservations about even starting a blog because I’d previously got in trouble for being too open and vulnerable in person and in the blogosphere. I opened this blog with informative intentions: to write about how I have bettered myself physically through different forms of therapy. I was – and still am – very cautious about what I share and why.
I wanted to break away from that – and the disability-related focus of my blog – to write about relationships. I have learned some very important life lessons in the last year and it has really changed how I consider myself, my disability, and my relationships.
Two summers ago, I was briefly in a relationship with a man who wanted to be with me more than I wanted to be with him. I was recently in a situation where I wanted to be with someone more than he wanted to be with me. The truth is that I have never had an equal relationship; either I want it more than he does or he is more invested than me. When I was younger, I tried to make things different if they weren’t the way I wanted. I’ve learned that relationships don’t – and will never – work that way.
The happiest couples I know don’t change themselves for their partners and never have. The healthiest relationships are between people who want to be together equally. My parents have been happily married for more than thirty years, and my mother has told me more than once that they don’t ’make it work’ and they don’t try too hard. She said that the right relationship doesn’t require that much effort, and that it’s not worth it unless it’s easy.
I think the same is true of friendships: it’s not worth it if you have to constantly try or you feel that it’s hard work. My best friend and I have an effortless relationship. We’ve been a natural comfortable fit from day one, and I have never felt the need to change myself in order for us to be friends. We work through our problems and challenges with respect; we don’t blame each other and we support each other unconditionally. I have never questioned or doubted her love for me, and we both want and invest in the friendship equally.
I left London and the boy I wanted to be with knowing that it wouldn’t work. If I had met him a couple of years ago, I probably would have either tried to make the situation different or waited for him to come around. As much as it hurts, I feel as though I have turned a corner because I’ve accepted two things: that relationship will never be equal and that I am worthy of an equal relationship. It’s the only way forward – literally and metaphorically – and I’ve finally freed myself to take that step. It’s the healthiest and best way to be.