Beautiful Caged Birds

October 13th, 2016

“When you love to fly, do not subject yourself to a cage.” -Anonymous

If you saw my first post celebrating the joy of becoming debt-free and feeling content with my marriage, know that some pretty life-altering thing have happened in the last 14 days.

When I think about my life with B, sometimes I feel like the bird from “The Bird and the Cage” by Paulo Coelho. In this poem, a woman falls in love with a beautiful bird, becomes afraid of the bird leaving her, and resolves to cages the bird so it never leaves her. The bird grows ill, she looses her fascination, and once the bird dies, she realizes her affection for him was not due to his beauty-but to his freedom. When death comes upon her, she is greeted with the reminder that because she did not value the true beauty of freedom in love, she would only experience this again in death.

While this is a fairly dramatic version of what I sometimes feel in my marriage, it strikes the heart of what I feel is missing.

Something I became acutely aware of when I recently felt passion for someone else.

To take you back almost 2 years ago to when my husband and I first began dating, I was getting ready to go on a trip to Bali, come back to Hawaii, and pack my bags for Paris to attend a three month program for creative writing. I’ve been traveling my entire life and I had every intention to keep going; discovering new places within myself and the world.

The “thirst for adventure” was at the top of the list of things I needed in a husband, and a thirst is what I found in B. And once we got married, we decided to quench our thirst by launching a business together. Almost 2 years later, we realized the thrill was momentary. Our business grew to be steady and prosperous- but we were left dehydrated from monotony.

Aside from adventure, passion -or spark- seemed to be missing on my behalf. Just like the fact that love sometimes isn’t enough, sometimes compatibility isn’t enough. I discovered this to be true after saying “I do.” We want the same things in life-but only one of us has passion for the other. Big problem- but not an impossible one. We’ve decided to pursue counseling to see what we can uncover. I’m both optimistic and cynical toward the outcome, but inspired to at least give it a go.

Unlike the bird in Paublo’s poem, no matter what I feel toward my husband, I realized the importance of not building an additional cage for myself while I already feel trapped.

While I could dwell on what should have been, I’m deciding to be free in the ways I can be, without compromising my marriage. I’m enjoying the many other loves of life through dance, yoga, and writing- and deciding to hold the outcome of my marriage loosely- letting go of the need to control what will happen and simply taking steps toward my desired outcome.

Loosing the need to control feels sublime. I’m ok being a little “off” and not having my shit together. I’m embracing the dissonance and letting the paradox exist as it may. That is all this little finch can do for now, and it’s perfectly enough.

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