So now you know all there is to know, so it's back to business as usual and hopefully my private life can once again become private.
Following on from yesterday's blog...
It's too bad that I didn't feel the same way about Steve as he felt about me. We got on so well on every other level that if we'd formed a full-on partnership it would have been a match made in heaven. But for me the spark just wasn't there.
The situation was brought to a head last week when we arrived in the Columbia Gorge. We were due to meet a potential sponsor, Eric Sanford, who had written to me via my website after a good friend of his had told him about me.
The last time I was in the Gorge I had started making some enquiries about buying some land (bear with me, this IS relevant) - I recently received a small windfall that I want to put out of temptation's way so that I don't fritter it away on frivolous things like rowing across oceans.
So I was sitting in a cafe in Multnomah Falls, idly flicking through a property magazine, when the waiter came over and asked me if I was thinking of buying. 'If you are, I must put you in touch with Trish, my real estate agent. She's great. If you promise to phone her, breakfast is on the house.'
Anything for a free meal...
So I rang Trish and met her to look over one or two plots of land. We got talking about her sports and my sports, we discovered we had a mutual friend, I got to meet Trish's husband, and I soon felt right at home with them. Trish and Moe later told Eric about me - among other things Eric has a business producing innovative outdoor and marine products and he decided I would be a perfect fit with their marketing strategy.
And so one thing led to another and Eric wrote to me. I wrote back suggesting we meet the next time I was in the Gorge. By pure coincidence, I was put in touch via an entirely different chain of acquaintances with a PR professional who I met up with in San Francisco about 10 days ago - and she turned out to be a former long-time girlfriend of Eric's. She gave me a bit more background on him, but nothing that prepared me for what was to come.
Our meeting took place last week at his house near Hood River. Steve and I drove to the house and knocked on the door. It was opened by a fit-looking man with a big grin and lively-bright eyes, exuding energy and charisma. The connection was immediate. It was a feeling of 'Hello there again' - as if we'd always known each other. Nothing quite like this had ever happened to me before and I was bowled over. I felt I'd found a true soulmate.
Now, this is far from ideal when you're about to spend 2 months driving 7000 miles with another man, who also has hopes of a deep and meaningful relationship.
It has made for a difficult week, while Steve and I decided what was best to do in the changed circumstances. After much discussion we arrived at a mutual decision to abandon the road trip, but we are still very much in touch and planning to collaborate in exciting technological projects on the Pacific. I am in awe of Steve's powers of forgiveness, and very grateful that he is still looking forward to working with me.
My mother commented somewhat wryly, 'Rosalind, you never cease to astonish me.' But she has also said that if I am happy, then she is happy for me. I hope that others will follow her example.
John Lennon said, 'Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans.' But rest assured, this does not impact my other plans - to row the Pacific. That is still scheduled to start from San Francisco in July 2007.
If anyone would understand my urge to go row an ocean, it would be Eric - he is no stranger to adventure himself, as a climber, windsurfer, wakeboarder, kiteboarder, sailor, skier, snowboarder, motorcyclist, writer and photographer - and his Rule Number One is to 'make your dreams come true.'
[Photo: self-portrait of Eric and me on a hike in the pouring rain, Cannon Beach, Oregon]
Whooo, this is not an easy blog to write. The problem with blogging and putting my life up for public scrutiny is that when my life took an unexpected turn last week there was inevitably going to be a lot of curiosity about what was really going on. I, meanwhile, was trying to soothe wounded feelings and going public did not seem the right thing to do while the wounds were so fresh.
I am still struggling to find the best way to give just the right amount of information to satisfy curiosity, while not saying so much that I rub salt into possibly still-smarting wounds.
One of my faults (and I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in this) is that I see what I want to see and believe what I want to believe. I tend to screen out what does not fit conveniently with my world view. I am working on becoming more objective, but I still make mistakes - especially when it comes to men.
So while my correspondence with Steve appeared to ME to be an exciting and fun correspondence with a future friend and collaborator, I can see in retrospect how my friendliness could have been misconstrued as a possible invitation to a deeper relationship. This is certainly how Steve saw it.
So we came into the relationship with two rather different sets of expectations. We both expected to be close friends and collaborators on adventure technology, but Steve thought we would make great partners on every level, while I was not looking for a boyfriend/girlfriend kind of relationship at all. I was perfectly happy with my single status. It kept life nice and simple, leaving me free to focus on my next ocean row.
Life has got a great sense of humour. Just when you think you've got it all figured out...
I will give you the next episode in the story tomorrow.
[Photo: me in the Columbia Gorge last week, when life seemed less complicated]
Thanks for the messages of concern, interest, commiseration etc in response to the news that the trans-America road trip is off.
No need for commiserations or concern - all is well. As one of the women I met on last week's Tall Ships Sailing Challenge wrote to me, the Columbia Gorge is a good place to get stranded. Here's a pic of me soaking up some rays in the chilly autumn sunshine two days ago.
It's beautiful here. Life could definitely be worse.