Amanda Palmer's TED talk moved me recently. Kind of an "Aha!" moment for my heart. (the YouTube link is here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=
). More to the point, it moved me to action.
After watching it, I practiced Asking. I asked my roommates to help me clean my house. I asked a friend if, while ferretsitting for him, I could use his epic house to lay out some projects that I haven't found the space to complete, in my own home. I asked my exboyfriend to trust me through some pretty high-faith endeavors I really felt would effect near-miraculous changes in his life.
And, Lo, my Asking was answered. So, for these past three weeks of ferret-sitting, my two roommates and I have gotten to live in a house twice the size of our own. My projects have gotten spread out and persistently whittled down, much to my delight and relief. And my ex trusted me and came and visited, and found himself airlifted out of his comparative isolation, and accepted and included in the chosen family that has become tightly formed between my two good friends and I, in these short weeks we've all been living together --
-- in the house my ex-boyfriend bought, at my request.
Then fate did a weird thing. It tested the safety net we've all woven out of our connections to each other. Six days ago, Chance gave my ex a sudden fever -- nearly 104, and outta nowhere.
Coincidentally, this was during his visit here. And, you should have seen my household mobilize. My Cowboy friend got up at 0630 to make a run for chicken soup and orange juice and meds. I knew of a local military hospital that was likely to take his active-duty insurance, AND have a nearly-empty ER. My Smokejumper-in-training roommate gave me the keys to the car she uses -- which is actually her mother's -- so that I could bundle my sopping, shivering ex-boyfriend into a blanket and into the passenger seat and get him to the hospital. She accepted a replacement ride into work from the Cowboy.
Enabling me to spend an 8-hour overnight with my ex, and use my old EMT training to read over the Doctor's posted orders and agitate when I didn't think the Nurses were following them correctly. Which turned out to be a great thing: to quit my bitchin', the nurses brought in a 2nd doctor, who heard my concerns that the instant fever-drop after 20 mins of IV antibiotics wasn't my experience with "viral fever" -- which had been the rapid, and ultimately wrong, diagnosis from the first doc. The 2nd doc looked more closely...and found the strep throat. And changed the standing take-home Rx from the wrong, "viral" med, to the proper one for Strep.
In exchange for all this, my ex-boyfriend bought Thai food for my household, took the Cowboy to separate dinner, filled up both roommates' car tanks with gas, paid to sign me up for Tough Mudder, and I've just received in the mail not only a landmark classic book in the field of travel writing (a career I dream of entering), but the complete DVD boxset for Ultimate Yogi -- a badass fitness program to keep my flexibility and health where they need to be!
Now my ex is back home and back at work. Which, for him, means: in a tent, in the middle of a muddy field, surrounded by members of his unit, all racing to complete the runup for a ten-day wargame field exercise, which is his to strategize and execute.
After leaving here, what he does NOT have, to complete this highly-scrutinized exercise: the wrong medication. The runs (which is THE trademark side-effect of that particular wrong-for-this Rx). A brain-cooking fever. Chills. The flop sweats. The inability to swallow even water, anymore. The ability to uncritically swallow his doctor-dad's advice, which in this case was "just wait it out for three days."
What he DOES have: his voice back, to command soldiers around. A renewed appreciation of how wonderful I am. And a very immediate and hard-hitting example of the utility of community. Which is synonymous with an understanding of the value -- counterintuitive to a soldier -- of being vulnerable enough to share your needs, and let others connect with you by helping.
He's gotten an epic lesson in the miracle of Asking. As have I.
As a result, he's asked me back into his life. As, perhaps, more than an ex.
And, while I consider the shape that would take, I've anted up and asked my bookkeeping sister to step into my private financial world, and help me get these octopus-like tentacles of debt lopped the hell out of my life.
And she introduced me to ING/CapOne's 360 online savings program. Where you can have up to 25 separately-named savings accounts all drawing from checking accounts you already have (up to 3). So, I can have, say, a savings account named "credit cards," and another named "student loans," and each of these can autodebit from my income as often or infrequently as I want, for as much as I want....
So, with two days left to go in this huge house, I've got all my debt paperwork with me, and I've got my sister on chat in another window, and we are nailing my octopus into the ground. I finally feel hope, that I'm getting my life under MY control.
And it all is only possible because I took a deep breath, and put my faith in the Art of Asking.
Thank you, Ms. Palmer. ;)