The Artist and I have frequent hear to heart talks, discussing life. These talks are really heart felt and intense, but in a good way. During one of our more recent talks, he told me about how he saw me as such a free spirit when we first met. He said that I was very “real”. That I was unafraid to be myself 100%. And that he admired this, and my free spirited-ness inspired him to be more relaxed and stress free.
I was a little surprised by this, I had never really thought of myself as a free spirit, so I asked him why he thought this. (Note: The Artist and I were roommates, with another roommate and two people living in the basement of the house during college, read more here: https://emilyandherartist.wordpress.com/2013/08/28/3-years-of-the-best-marriage-ever/ ) He said that he was very uptight and felt stressed all the time with regards to things like doing paperwork, house chores, etc. He admired how I left my dishes in the sink for a few days before washing them, and how it didn’t bother me. How I slept in on weekends and walked around the house in my pyjamas in the middle of the afternoon. How I stayed up late watching a movie I had been craving to see while eating a big bag of chips, even though I knew I had to get up early. How I threw my dirty laundry on the floor of my bedroom. How I wanted to carve pumpkins at Halloween and put up a tree and a million knick-knacks during Christmas. He said that I would get ready to go out with friends in just a few minutes, and look amazing. How I gave honest opinions, and was direct with people on what I wanted. How I would wear flip flops in the middle of winter to take the garbage to the curb……among so many other things. Initially, I was thinking that this just proved that I was a slob, and kind of lazy. But as we talked, he explained how it inspired him to live life in a more mellow, relaxing way. To go with the flow, and stop to smell the roses along the way. And that the way I seemed unafraid to be myself, even in front of a stranger, he said I was very “real” and wasn’t acting in a way that was unnatural to me or that I was trying to impress someone. He said that I have changed his life, for the better. That he is now more mellow, and doesn’t let things bother him. And that this has carried over into his art practice, he stays up until the wee hours of the morning if he is on a roll with a good idea- instead of doing the so-called “sensible” thing and going to bed at a reasonable hour. He doesn’t feel as much pressure to produce paintings quickly, but rather, lets the creative process take him over. And that the result is works that are launching his career.
This really touched me. I really never thought of myself as a free spirit type of person, and I still don’t know if I am. But the way he expressed these feelings to me was very moving, and my heart almost exploded <3 I had no idea I had touched his life on such a deep level. Of course we love each other and have an amazing, fulfilling life together, but this story touched my soul in a way that I simply cannot describe. I don’t think I have ever heard someone articulate how they saw their loved one, and how they fell in love.
Then I thought, am I still the free spirit he fell in love with? And I sort of panicked, as I wasn’t sure if I was a free spirit then, let alone now. As I was saying this, we were getting ready to go shopping before the store closed, which was soon. I was starving so I microwaved some left overs on a plate, grabbed my purse and got into the passenger seat of the car- like it was no big deal. He looked at me, smiled, pointed at the plate of leftovers and said, “free spirit”. And he continues to do this now, as I was having a hard time seeing in myself what he saw. One time, I didn’t want to wait in line in the fitting room at a store, so I tried the shirt on over top of the shirt I was wearing. One time I couldn’t find the lid for my Magic Bullet smoothie cup, so I screwed the blade back on, put it in my purse, and headed to my office. Another time, I spilled a giant gob of salsa on my shirt, and proceeded to lick it off and continue eating. On a rainy Saturday, I sat on the couch for several (and I mean several!) consecutive hours watching TV in a nest of blankets. I am convinced it is more laziness, but my Artist continues to tell me how I inspire him, as I do what I want and indulge in a lot fun things. And when we indulge in watching TV until our eyes burn, cuddled together, late at night, and having these heart to heart talks, the Artist points out what a fun night it was spending this time together giggling and being silly. That it isn’t laziness per se, that yes- we could have cleaned the apartment or done something more “productive”, but instead had a wonderful night together. And in my books, taking the time to live and love is way more productive in the grand scheme of life <3