Friday, January 30, 2015

A year ago and a year from now.

I miss writing regularly.  I have become far too inconsistent on this critical activity. This would seem to be a reoccurring complaint of mine.  Shockingly, the act of living takes up much of my time.  I admit for the last couple of weeks a certain level of melancholy has seized my head.  I can't seem to shake it from the deeper folds of my gray matter.  So many issues all seemingly bound together that brings my thoughts to this self critical space that historically I have a hard time pushing away.  Thoughts on my age,work/career, unfulfilled goals and those tenuous ties to one's self worth....  Even in this mental space, I recognize and acknowledge I am incredibly lucky to have Chris and Thurston.  They keep me from isolating myself.  It is ruminating on my relationship with Chris that calms me and helps me try to push through the gray clouds hovering in front of my eyes.

A year ago (Jan. 25th) Chris and I moved in together.  I suppose we decided that we wanted more.
Every day I wake up in a near state of disbelief, awe and gratitude about our relationship and the path it has taken.  I hope I never stop feeling this way.

Chris and I met in 2007.  He had just moved back to San Diego and started working at Adams Ave. Bicycles.  I had a  4 month old baby and had just started working again, which included in my roster of work,  Adams Ave. Bicycles.  I just knew him as this pretty quiet guy initially.  Then, over time, he took on more responsibility in the shop and we worked in the tiny office together a couple of times a week.  We listened to The Damned Pandora radio station while we worked.  We talked about music we both loved.  I told him of my guilty pleasures and he told me of his crazy adventures and worries about pieces of his life. I only think of him when I hear The Clash and Stiff Little Fingers going back to this moment in time.

We both had some serious troubles and terribly sad events that changed our lives profoundly over the next couple of years.  I was some what open about what I was going through and he kept his close to him. We kept talking, laughing and listening to music.

One night during that tumultuous time we were hanging out and drinking more than we should; I realized  how completely attracted to this man I was.  That was 5 years ago today.  It terrified me then.  I was in the process of ending a 16 year relationship.  I desperately wanted to be desired, loved, and even more..connected with another person.  We laughed much that night.  I think it was over for me when he started reciting Robert Frost poetry.  It was that night when I realized time could stand still when I look into Chris' eyes. I fell in love, even though I had no idea what to do with it, much less be able to recognize or to deal with my intense emotions and the reactions they created.  I didn't realize it in that moment, but I had a great deal of work to do on myself that I needed to do alone.

Subsequently there were so many experiences together.   Many good, some terrible, all of them intense (and confusing for me) and culminating in about a year or so where we didn't really talk, although we would see each other socially and be cordial.  At this point I went into intensive therapy.  I needed to work through many issues, including but not limited to my divorce and how my feelings about Chris had made me feel like I was going nuts. He had told me that I was too intense and that he did not have feelings for me, yet I kept seeing subtle behavior that told me otherwise, creating deep conflict and self doubt within myself. My therapy helped me work through many of my emotions, reactions and needs.  Helped me to find healthy ways to process through them.  Even to let go of certain scenarios and scripts that I believed in....for example...believing I was more to Chris than what he was telling me I had been.

So I did the hard work and let go.  I even dated other people.  Then slowly Chris and I reentered each others lives.  We were both tentative at first, in my opinion.  We were JUST friends, helping each other.  Being there when stuff didn't go great with our other relationships.  Our renewed friendship kept growing deeper and deeper.  I still could not believe that we were back into each others lives. Simultaneously I was incredibly grateful to have my friend back whom I had felt such a deep connection with.  I was also kept a tight grip on any expansion of my feelings.  I did not want to find myself back in a situation where I had to deal with a deep sense of rejection and self distrust.

Slowly our friendship evolved.  We talked or saw each other daily.  Romance made another appearance in our relationship.  We both fought in our own self defeating ways against this oncoming tide.  Then after a particularly hard emotional night...Chris decided that I was where he wanted to be.  I fought a battle against myself to believe that he could feel this way about me.  Trust has not been my strong point.  I was terrified that I would hear all the "criticisms" that I had once heard from him....  Yet I did not hear those from him.  I heard 'I love you like crazy." I heard "I miss you when I am away from you."  I heard "You love Thurston, so I do as well."  I did not hear his trademark "HOWEVER."

Then it became clear that we really disliked being away from each other (on nights he would go to his home).  Then an unspoken plan came into play.  We were going to live together.  That was the first time I heard the reassurance from the one I love so much that I am no longer alone.  The power of hearing that.  The fear.  The elation.  The joy.  The love.

It has taken time for me to really process and trust this situation.  It has become so clear to me in the last year.  The work we have done, together and individually.  The day to day experiences we live through together.  Do not mistake me...there have been challenging moments and difficult words spoken.  Learning how to express seemingly negative emotions in an honest and constructive manner and likewise,  learning how to hear that communication and figuring out how to honor the needs of my partner.  The last year with Chris has made me a better person.

I am in awe of the love he shows me.  It has taken me time to learn how to trust it.  Now that I do, I can't believe that I had questioned it. I hope that I give and show him the same amount of love he gives to me so completely.  I can look in his eyes and time still stands still for me. That connection we have spoken and unspoken has been one of the most important and precious quests I have had in my life. May I never take Chris for granted.