Spring

I love him. I do.

I want to shout it from those beautiful mountains I look at everyday.

I am here, with my best friend, exploring how we can build a life together. Planning a future.

He is not without flaws, but he is without judgment. He accepts me for me, and loves me the way I am, all my flaws just being a part of who I am.

He wants to help and take care of me. Yet he knows that he can and should only do so much. We want to take care of each other, without being a caretaker to each other. Because we’ve been there with spouses who let us, and then took advantage of that fact. We know that while we can care for the other, we don’t have to sacrifice ourselves in the process.

We’ve known each other a short time and yet, we have supported each other through some of the toughest times.

I was there when he thought he should end it all, suicidal. When he thought about just giving up and staying in his marriage. I tried to support him, to make him know he was worth more.

When I couldn’t decide how to end my marriage, he listened. When I debated staying in a bad situation, he was there for me.

I’ve known for so long that he’s loved me. It frightened me at first. The intensity of his feelings. Reluctantly, for a short while, I ran from him. Ducking his calls. Ignoring his emails. I was afraid.

Because I liked him; because he got to me.

He’s persistent.

I couldn’t and didn’t want to keep him away.

I liked hearing from him. I loved our playful flirtation. I adored the sound of his voice.

We started asking the questions no one would dare to ask. Going to the places most friendships can’t survive.

We desperately anticipated each chance to spend time talking, sharing, commiserating and actively listening.

As things got more intense for each of us, him filing for divorce and me leaving, we bonded more. We have cemented our friendship on support and trust.

Hundreds of miles, fifteen years and a million life experiences between us. We are in many ways so very different and yet in a multitude of ways we mirror one another.

There is hurt behind his eyes. Hurt and pain I wish I could take away. He has the ability to hurt me, simply because I feel so strongly about him. Funny though, I know it would kill him to do anything that would cause me pain.

He pushes me, and I often need to be pushed. I need to be persuaded to talk at times, and other times I need to be coaxed to tell the whole tale. The reflexive answers of “I’m fine” and “everything is OK” aren’t acceptable when he feels there is something more underneath.

He feels things. I feel him. We are connected far beyond what two people normally are. We feel what the other one feels, almost to the point of experiencing the other ones thoughts and feelings. We reach for the phone just as the other is calling or texting. We think about the other one constantly but are able to do so without letting it be completely distracting.

He understands me in a way no one has before. Few have even tried enough to come close. Because I am difficult, I keep the border wall up at all times. Someone has to fight and really want in for me to relent. It has always been a problem for me, opening up, letting someone in. Not just telling them what they want to hear but telling them everything. Allowing them see the parts of me that are dirty, messy, acrid and unsavory.

He doesn’t care. Its part of who I am, that mess. The quirks, the bits of insanity that constitute me – he loves them. He knows I’m not perfect and unlike so many in my life, doesn’t ask or expect me to be.

I cannot explain most of the feelings I have for him. Past relationships – both friendships and otherwise – pale in comparison. I see the bond we have and I regret not acknowledging it sooner. Sometimes I think we each had to experience the things we have in order to have wound up where we are now. Still, however we wound up together, I believe this is someone I am supposed to have in my life.

I’d love to jump ahead and tell you that this is the man I’m going to spend the rest of my life with. I don’t know for sure. I hope so. I think we could be fantastic for one another, and see that already in the brief time we’ve been together.

I can’t predict the future, or even know whether or not there’s a tomorrow, but I can tell you I want him to be there. I cannot ask for anything better and I wouldn’t begin to know how that was even possible, really. I have someone in my life, in my heart, who wants to be there. Someone who desires me, accepts me, loves me.

I want to plan a life with him. I want to have a future. I want to enjoy each day as it gets here and still think about what we might have ahead of us. Living in the present, with just a quick shine to planning ahead.

Cards on the table

He and I have always been open with one another, sharing our fears, worries, frustrations and delights. So many phone calls were one of us venting and the other offering perspective. The shoulder to cry on, the ear to bend, we’ve been there for each other.

I know I’m playing close to the vest here. I think, to some degree,  in some weird way, I’m trying to protect him. Because I don’t want to bother or burden him. (Isn’t this a familiar refrain?)

I know it’s my fatal flaw. The tendency to pull into my shell when I get too overwhelmed. When I worry that I’m over emotional or overbearing. When I think that I might make his life difficult, or complicated. When I retreat into my corner instead of asking him to just hold me while I cry.

I know it should be full disclosure. I know I should tell him all about everything I’m feeling. I try, it’s just hard to break old habits.

Go home

When the move to Tennessee was impending, I bought myself a navigation device. Because a new city was not something I wanted to be learning without one. At the time it was a rare “splurge” on something I didn’t absolutely need. In the favorites section is a “go home” button that quickly maps the route back to your house.

Before I left NY, all the time I lived in Nashville, and the months spent in Nebraska, I never used it. It was an indication that I felt without a home. Even though the settings are easily modified, I didn’t want the permanence of setting that button.

While fiddling with the unit last night, I set home, then I drove there.

Weird interview

I’m fine with weirdness.

Really. I am very weird myself.

Had a very weird interview tonight. Ended up seeing someone naked by accident. So awkward.

Could I please just have a nice interview followed by a decent offer? Is that too much to ask?

Buildup

I feel here as if I’m operating on a different level. I know that I’m more peaceful and happy. With the exception of the temporary job hunt, I can’t complain about much.

Love isn’t a cure all. However, having someone I can talk to, about anything, is so much better than I could have imagined. We are sharing our concerns, our fears, our frustrations with one another. When something happens, good or bad, the other has been the first to hear about it; As we step further and further into this relationship, we talk. We talk about what scares us, what worries us, how we feel, what we’re doing. It feels very “right”, it is adult and responsible, and at the same time, it’s the most fun I’ve ever had in a relationship.

I’ve always kept a part of me hidden away. Family and friends get certain parts of me, lover another, strangers yet another segment. Never revealing everything to anyone. Slowly though, I let him behind the walls.  We had reasons to keep things quiet, to keep those parts concealed, but our connection prompted us both to trust. We’ve divulged things we’ve never told another soul. We’re aware of the other’s demons, flaws, passions, hopes, anxieties. There is still a need to push at times. I have a tendency to withdraw, to once again not be a bother or a burden. Only, he’s not deterred. He is at times relentless, and will give me just enough room to breathe, while urging me to tell.

Sometimes, there isn’t much to tell, and sometimes there’s a buildup of emotions. I worry about finding work, I miss those who live so far away, I wonder when I’ll make a few more connections here.

I am wondering about so many things, but I am firm in the belief that I should be here. I feel home. I’m getting familiar with this area, I’m learning my way around and finding things to enjoy. I feel welcome, and happy, and loved.

There are some pieces in place, others in the works.  A few are still up in the air, but I can accept that.

puppy time

There’s a puppy here – Doodles – belonging to a friend of a friend. He is too cute! Ah, this makes me miss Theo (and hell, Roscoe before him) but it’s still so nice to have a furry friend at my feet.

First

On the way home the other night, he pointed out we’ve done things out of order.

We got to know each other, then we met. We started a relationship, then we went on a real date.

I couldn’t have asked for a nicer day. Up early for a job interview and a dentist appointment respectively, we took the afternoon for ourselves. Wanting to take advantage of such a gorgeous day, we rode over to the park. Walking near the river, we watched the ducks, the joggers, the kids on the playground. We sat there, just out of the sun, writing, taking pictures. When my skin blushed not from his playful teasing, but from an impending sunburn, we went a few blocks down to the mall. Both people watchers, we enjoyed browsing around, traipsing in and out of stores.

Next was a lovely dinner out. The restaurant was practically deserted, giving us a chance to relax and talk, with staff attending to us. The food was great, the company spectacular. While we’ve now shared many a meal, being out somewhere dim and quiet was wonderful. We decided to cap off the evening with a movie, but killed time at the bookstore first, waiting for the showtime. We laughed at books highlighting sex tips and smiled at a book of puppy photos. Walking arm in arm to the theater, we snuggled in to enjoy the next part of our night. We both enjoyed the movie and he once again opened the car door for me as we headed home. He wasn’t done yet. The night was cool, but not frigid, and he tossed out the idea of sitting outside by the fire. We sat there, enjoying one another and talking.

It was a great evening with laughter and teasing, romance and whispers. I’d never been on a “real” date like that before, and it was almost perfect. But I wouldn’t have wanted perfect, it wouldn’t have suited us.