2002-05-28 - 6:13 p.m.

A few years ago my ex-boyfriend and I were going to build a house. His parents had given us a beautiful piece of property, all we had to do was pick out some plans, get a builder and some permits and that was that. For weeks we leafed through magazines of home plans, we drove around and looked at houses, we met with a few builders and finally one Sunday night we found the perfect house plan and we ordered it. Once we got the plans I called a builder who had been recommended to us and he met with J. at the property to give us some estimates. What he told us was, “Sure, I can build this house for X-amount, BUT, you have a water table problem here. You’re going to have to do this and this and blah, blah, blah before we can build here or you’re going to have a flood problem every time the water table rises. To remedy this problem it will cost you another ten grand.”

It wasn’t the cost of fixing the problem that worried us, the property had been given to us and that in itself had saved us a ton of money. We were worried about the future of the house. I called my Dad, who is a builder, and asked him about it. When he started talking I knew I should be listening, not because of the house, but because of my life. His first sentence was, “You can build your dream house anywhere, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to last.”

He went on to tell me that sure, it’s okay to fix the problem NOW, the house will be fine for a while. And then he gave me a for instance. If you build your house with cheap wood, cheap material, things that aren’t everlasting and solid, your house will be fine, beautiful in fact. It will look great. But then you’re going to start getting creaks, things are going to start sagging before their time. Your house will still look great, but it won’t be great structure wise. It won’t last. Same thing with the water. For a few years things will appear fine, and then you’ll start getting a few wet spots in the basement, you’ll have to fix things, then suddenly one day you’ll wake up and you’ll have a basement full of water. He told me that we should find different property. Property that is good from the start, something to build a solid foundation on. In my head something clicked. Way back then, something clicked.

My ex and I didn’t end up building on that property and for the next three years we made half assed attempts to find a house or find property to build our house on. We went through so many different options. I think both of us were subconsciously sabotaging the whole thing. He still doesn’t believe that he did that, he doesn’t believe that he subconsciously sabotaged things so that we wouldn’t move forth in our relationship. But I know that I did. I know that I did a lot.

Lately I have been finding myself in the throes of panic when I think about the prospect of having a new relationship with someone else. My year of solitude is drawing to an end. Soon I will be back in the field. And this scares me. It scares me because my ex was my dream house, he fit every ideal I ever had, but the solid foundation wasn’t there, the everlasting wasn’t there. There were things missing in our relationship that made it falter.

So I wonder, can someone actually find their dream house and build it on a solid and everlasting foundation? Will any relationship I have in the future appear to be beautiful and perfect but really be faltering? I can’t handle that prospect. I can’t handle another heart break in this life. So would I rather just live alone for the rest of my life? I wouldn’t mind it, I am perfectly happy right, happier than I have ever been, more sane than I have ever been and I am content even though I miss kissing someone until my lips get swollen and bruised. But I also know that if I found that right man out there I could be even happier than this. Am I willing to risk ultimate happiness for just happiness? I haven’t decided that yet. But I am thinking about it. I am seriously thinking about it.


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