Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Moving in together lists

Things I look forward to:
1. Having him around
2. Coming home to him in the evening
3. Sharing a bed (cuddles)
4. Possibly getting a new, nicer bed
5. Getting to know each other in a new way
6. Less expensive living
7. Someone to cook for/share food
8. Someone to cook for me and help me with chores when I'm busy/stressed out
9. Not having to say goodbye so much
10. Not having to drive to see each other
11. Someone to notice if I don't come home (like if something bad happens)

Things I am scared of:

1. Changing the dynamic of our relationship: finding time to be away from each other instead of time to be together
2. Fighting over chores
3. Seeing the not-sexy stuff on a daily basis
4. Taking each other for granted
5. Sorting out money issues
6. Less freedom
7. Less alone time
8. Getting bored of each other
9. Adapting my schedule to fit his
10. Negotiating small life details

Monday, December 27, 2010

As things progress

Things have been getting more serious lately with F.  I thought I would be more freaked out, but actually I'm ok. 

As I've mentioned, we took our first trip together earlier this month.  It was six days of almost nonstop togetherness, and it wasn't nearly as bad as I'd feared.  We hardly fought at all, even when stressful things happened like not sleeping on the train and getting lost trying to visit my friend in the suburbs.  About halfway through the trip I had a cranky episode from all the activity, but I got over it.  I know I could have had some alone time if I'd requested it, but we had packed our schedule with things to do together so it didn't really make sense.  The thing the surprised me the most was that despite our awesomely fun days, I'd find myself looking forward to the hour or two of quiet time we'd have together in the hotel room before bed.  It was nice having him around but doing separate things.  Usually one of us would be on the computer and the other would be watching tv, or in my case, knitting.  Then we'd go to bed at the same time and I got kind of used to having him there at night to cuddle with.  It was weird sleeping alone after we got back.

The other big thing that I've mentioned was that I bought my first car.  (I should have known I was doomed dating a car guy...it was just a matter of time.)  However, it's not quite that simple.  I can't afford a car + extras by myself, so F added me to his insurance and is paying it.  That way I only have the loan and gas, which is doable.  It only costs him $50/month to add me, while getting my own policy (not ever having been insured before) would be way more.  He has to be on the title for the insurance, so technically it is both our car, even though in the event of a breakup it will be mine (we wrote it out in a contract).  Also he is planning on storing it at his house when I don't need it so I'm not tempted to get lazy and use it all the time for every little trip.  I still want to be a walk/bus person most of the time because it's good exercise and better for the environment.  The car is mainly for things I can't do by bus very well, such as going snowboarding or visiting my parents in the suburbs.

It seems inevitable that we will move in together at some point, it's just a matter of when.  Our leases are up in the spring.  Originally I wanted to wait until my longer school break in September, but after recent events it seems that I might be okay doing it sooner.  I still have my same old fears, though.

Friday, December 24, 2010

What are you doing for Christmas?

F is joining me tonight at my mom's cousin's for Christmas Eve.  My mom's side has always done their big gathering the day before Christmas so that everyone can do what they want on Christmas. 

On Christmas morning I will go over to my mom's for breakfast and presents with my 4 parents and two brothers.  It always  makes me happy that even though my parents have been divorced for over 15 years, they still care about each other and about us and are happy to spend holidays together.  I am also thankful that my stepdads are open minded enough to be okay hanging out with their spouses' exes.

This will be the second time ever that I have not slept at my mom's on Christmas Eve.  The first time was two years ago when we had a huge snowstorm that prevented anyone from driving.  Christmas Eve and breakfast were consolidated into Christmas dinner instead that year.  I am a little sad about not staying at my mom's, but I feel that I'm getting a little bit old to sleep in my childhood bed.  It is pretty uncomfortable.  My brother is home from Boston so he gets the nice guest bed.  And now that I have a car, I have my own transportation in the morning.  I think I will spend the night with F instead because I don't want to wake up alone.

In the evening I will join F at his parents' house for Christmas dinner.

It means a lot to me to be spending the holiday with my loved ones, including my boyfriend.  For the past 3 years I tried to get my ex to come to my family gatherings since his family was in Utah, but he was never brave enough.  I'm glad that F is, and that he loves me and wants to be a part of all aspects of my life. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A December to remember

December has been so eventful!  I finished my first quarter of grad school with a 3.6 (a huge relief), went to San Francisco for my first real vacation with a boyfriend, and bought my first car the day after we got back! 

Here are some pictures from our trip:

We rode the train there and flew back.  It took 23 hours and it was fun up until bedtime.  It was pretty impossible to sleep because it was extremely turbulent and noisy.  There were lots of pretty views though, and we had fun playing games and having a meaningful conversation about moving in together.


An adorable kitty snoozing at Fisherman's Wharf!

Most of our trip was foggy like this, but it made for some pretty pictures.  It also was a bit warmer than Seattle, which I appreciated.  I was able to downgrade from my snow jacket to my spring/fall windbreaker during the days.

This was taken at the Exploratorium.


The cable car Christmas light tour.


Gingerbread house at the Fairmont Hotel...


...which apparently tastes very good!


Nothing says Christmas in California like lights on palm trees!


Postcard perfect picture coming back from Sausalito on the ferry.


One of my favorite things about San Francisco is the cable cars.



And of course we couldn't forget the Golden Gate Bridge!  The sun finally came out on our last day.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

It gets better

I've been quiet lately because the universe has been testing me.  It's finals at school, work is crazy, my friends were having crises, it snowed (yeah, yeah, Seattleites are wimps, but seriously the city shuts down) and there was a family holiday in there too. 

I have to say, I'm not very religious (having a gay father makes one a little anti-church), but sometimes I feel like something is watching out for me.  It's almost like it's saying, "I'm going to test the shit out of you, but you'll be ok.  There will never be more than you can handle."  Just when it feels like I'm 2 seconds from hiding in the bathroom huddled in a ball crying for the rest of the day, things start looking up. 

So instead of reliving all the crap, I'm going to write about the good things.

Yesterday was a nightmare, but then I went to class and it got so much better.  I really love school.  I got a paper back, and my grade was 14.5 out of 15.  The instructor had given me nice, thoughtful comments.  I appreciate how he really reads our work and provides good feedback instead of slapping a grade on it and calling it done.

The second awesome thing was that I had a huge guidance unit project (like a lesson plan for counselors) due last night.  Before turning it in, we got to take 10 minutes to share what we did with a small group.  When we rejoined the class, the teacher asked if anyone had seen anything noteworthy in their group.  Well, one woman in my group raised her hand and shared about my project!  She praised some of my ideas in front of the whole class!  That gave me super warm fuzzies and made my day!

I just have 2 more days of class, and then I'm on winter break.  I am so excited for my trip to San Francisco and going snowboarding! 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Trying to keep the crazy in check

I am kind of freaking out.  I haven't heard from F since Thursday night.  He was planning on leaving Las Vegas this morning, and he told me he'd let me know when he left.  Hotel checkout was 11am, and it is now mid-afternoon and no word. 

These past 9 days without him have been interesting.  The first 5 were kinda great.  I got friendly with my Tivo, did a lot of knitting, and had a couple of days where getting dressed meant putting on clean pajamas. (I love pajamas, and if I'm not leaving the apartment, I don't put on real clothes.  Don't worry, I'm not depressed.)  Anyway, then the week started and it was harder than average.  Extreme embarrassment Tuesday, a presentation Wednesday, extra long day Thursday, and helping out at the Science Center on Friday (fun hanging with kids, not fun giving the same spiel 100x).  Add some PMS to the mix, and we have a recipe for a few tears. 

Anyway, I have enjoyed the independence, but at the same time I've felt kind of alone.  Not only has F been physically absent, but we haven't gotten to talk much either.  He called Thursday night, but he woke me up so I was a little grouchy with him.  Wednesday we talked briefly online during the day, but that night he was partying so I didn't hear from him again.  I don't want to be the clingy girlfriend bothering him 24/7 needing reassurance, and I know he's been super busy, but I feel a little neglected.  Also, he knew I was nervous about him going to Las Vegas of all places, and it would have been nice if he'd been a little more attentive.  I don't need any grand gestures, but a random "I love you" text would have done wonders. 

I'm not really sure what to do when I do hear from him.  Part of me wants to push him away and ignore him because I feel a little bit of rejection.  I am tempted to tell him not to come over tomorrow when he gets back.  But that would be punishing him, which I'm not sure is the most mature move.  And then there's the part of me that wants to give him a hug so big that he falls over.  And he's not a small guy, so that's saying a lot!

Friday, November 5, 2010

How to make a baby monster

A knitting project for a friend's baby, photos courtesy of F:

I can see the head!





Push!!


It's a GIRL!!


Proud Mama.


Papa's cutting the cord!


Mama and baby! Awww!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Tuesday was craptastic!

Oh, my goodness, Tuesday morning was beyond terrible.  The worst was in the morning, but really, it cast a dark cloud over the whole day. 

Normally I have Tuesdays off, but my coworker, M, wanted to take a class for enrichment.  I'm a fan of learning, so I agreed.  No big deal, right?  WRONG!

I showed up to the building with a few minutes to spare.  Or what I thought was the right building, but turns out it was the other medical center, a block away.  Still, I had time so I hurried over there.  Then I got to the room that they sent me in an email, sat down, and was informed that I was in the wrong class.  I had only written down the room number and not the title of the course, so I had to wander around the building and finally ask someone.  Turns out the class was in 110, not 120.  K, minor setback, but totally fine because I was only 2 minutes late and class hadn't started yet.

Then the real fun began.  The instructor wanted us to do these long introductions, answering about 5 questions.  I could easily see that this class was definitely for enrichment and didn't apply so much to our jobs, so I let my coworker introduce herself first (Side note: I hate introductions because I hate speaking in front of groups, but I especially hate them when they're long and we aren't going to see anyone again after so who the fuck cares where everyone works?).  I thought that I would piggyback on M's explanation, since we do the same thing and I didn't want to repeat her.  Despite my hatred for intro exercises, I actually wasn't trying to get out of talking.  I just wasn't sure exactly how to answer all the questions and also didn't want to say exactly what my M said.

So when the instructor called on me, I started with, "I work with M and so I'm not going to repeat what she said," and then the instructor interrupted me, called out that I was "cheating" and then said some other stuff that I didn't hear because the whole class was laughing.  LAUGHING.  AT ME.  An introvert's nightmare!  Of course I turned fire-engine red.  It was so bad that I had to bury my face in my hands.  I was sweating like crazy.  I couldn't believe how she had picked on me, first thing in the morning, on my day off, after I had gotten lost, and made me almost want to cry.  If my coworker hadn't been there I would have left and not come back. 

I'm sure she doesn't think it was that bad.  She seems like one of those extroverts who can't possibly imagine what it feels like to be an introvert, and can't fathom anyone not liking to introduce themselves in front of a bunch of strangers.  But I couldn't concentrate for the first hour of class, and I don't want to go back for the second part.  It stuck with me through the rest of the day, and I got upset every time I thought about it.  I'm not sure what to do, though.  I want to tell her, or her supervisor, but at the same time I'm worried that she'll think I'm overreacting.  What would you do?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What happens in Las Vegas...

F made it safely to Las Vegas.  He called me on Friday morning to tell me.  And then he did something really sweet that gave me faith that everything would be okay while he was there for 10 days.

He told me that he was staying in a house (on a couch) where this woman lived.  She was separated from her husband, and one of his friends was trying to hook up with her.  Another guy friend, who was married, was also going to stay there.  HOWEVER, his wife didn't want him to be near all the almost-cheating-hooking up stuff in this woman's house, so she told him not to.  So he LIED to his wife so he wouldn't get the verbal lashing crap that would go along with him staying there.  I really really hope I don't ever get to that point in my relationship, but I'm not there yet because F told me what was going on.  When he asked if I was ok hearing that stuff, I said "Yeah, I want you to be able to tell me things."  And he said, "That's what I thought."

He's been gone now 7 days, and should be back on Sunday.  So far it's been nice because I've been able to get everything done for school and around my apartment, but yesterday was rough and by bedtime I really wanted him there.  I'll be glad when he gets home.

Friday, October 29, 2010

I heart Ingrid Michaelson

F left today for Las Vegas.  He will be gone for 10 days.  I'm really looking forward to my weekend-long date with my Tivo, but I know by the time he gets back I'll be missing him a lot. 

I don't have any Halloween plans, mostly by choice.  I'm in the minority here, but Halloween is just not my favorite holiday.  You'd think since I'm kind of crafty with the knitting that I could put something together, but unfortunately that doesn't translate to sewing/costuming.  On top of that I'm usually pretty broke (or cheap) so am reluctant to buy something I'm only going to wear once or twice.  Maybe I would like Halloween more if someone would just hand me an already made awesome costume for free, but that's not gonna happen.  Passing on the parties means that I'm going to spend the weekend alone, but I'm ok with that.  I need to do homework and hang out with my lovely self for a while, because my normal study days (Mon & Tues) next week are being taken up with appointments and a class for work.

Yesterday I had my midterm evaluation for my counseling class.  I was so nervous that I wasn't going to pass because you have to retake it if you get a B-, but I'm doing okay.  It was such a relief!  I have a B+ right now.  My TA said that my responses can be hit or miss, but when I hit them I am brilliant!  I think I just need to work on getting comfortable with the counseling responses and that will free up my brain to process what my client is saying better.

After school F and I went to the Ingrid Michaelson concert.  She is amazing!  I love her music, but I especially love her shows.  She is really personable onstage and tells these funny stories between songs.  She did a couple covers as well, including Toxic by Britney Spears (complete with a dance) which was kind of painful and hilarious at the same time.  She closed with a rocking version of her most famous song, The Way I Am and that was a great way to end.

After work today I am going to stop by the train station to book tickets for San Francisco!  I tried to do it over the phone, but apparently you have to redeem gift certificates in person.  Amtrak, you do know this is 2010, right?  Oh well, at least it's sunny out so the walk will be nice.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

What is normal?

I just want life to feel normal again.

I'm going through this huge period of change, and while nothing is actually wrong, I fluctuate back and forth between being irritable and upset to feeling like I'm out of breath from running to catch up.

The relationship is taking way more time than I planned.  I haven't had any non-bf time with my friends all month, with the exception of an hour two weeks ago.  I love school, but it is a really, really big adjustment.  I throw myself into it on Wednesday and Thursday nights and come out on Friday utterly exhausted, only to have to jump immediately into a slew of social engagements.

I am also still getting used to "our" time and not just "my" time.  I'm realizing that when I get in the car with him on Saturday at noon thinking we'll be back around 6, maybe we won't actually be back until 10 or 11.  We end up running errands, going to dinner, or whatever and the day just gets away from us.

My life isn't entirely my own anymore, and I'm not sure how I feel about that.  On Tuesday that sent me into a panic, but maybe I just need time.  I certainly don't want to give up the awesome parts about having a relationship: the cuddling, having someone to listen to the events of my day, having someone to text when I'm out and need a phone number (I don't have a fancy phone), knowing that someone is going to be there for me even when I'm being a butthead.  Not only is F great at supporting me, but his family and friends had showed me nothing but kindness and love.  I have never had this many wonderful, caring people in my life at one time, and while it is amazing in a lot of ways, it can also be overwhelming.

Breathe.  Just breathe.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The best is yet to be

Oh goodness, I feel like I've been picked up and swept away by some crazy force.  With the exception of a few hours on Monday and Tuesday, I feel like I've pretty much been moving along at the whims of other people for the past two weeks.  Most of it was good/fun stuff, but I am anxious for my life to feel like my own again.

I am still adjusting to school, but enjoying my classes immensely.  I got my first paper back last night and I got an "A," which was a relief since I'm a bit rusty on the paper writing. 

It's been birthday-palooza around these parts lately.  Oct. 2, F and I had a joint birthday party.  It turned out to be a bit more wild than I'd anticipated, but I had a great time.  I had never thrown a house party like that and it turned out well.

Tuesday was my actual birthday and I hit the big 2-9.  I am trying to embrace this last year of my 20's and not worry about things like getting old and all that.  Despite some bumps and bruises, life seems to keep getting better each year, and I plan on continuing that trend.

F was very sweet on Tuesday.  He took me to dinner at my favorite vegetarian restaurant, and then we had pumpkin pie blizzards for dessert.  His present to me was a suitcase, which he filled with sheets (I had almost bought myself some over the weekend), pens for school, and a gift certificate for Amtrak.  We are going to take the train to San Francisco after I get done with this quarter, hang around for a few days and maybe visit my high school best friend, and then fly back.  I am so excited because it's been about 3.5 years since I took a real trip vacation, on a plane and everything! 

The weekend was super busy because F was dog-sitting and we went to a wedding.  We were together from noon until around 10-11pm running around doing things on both Saturday and Sunday, but F had to be with the dogs overnight.  Even though we had spent gobs of time together, I found myself really missing being close to him.  Luckily I got to sleep over on my birthday and it felt extra nice because I had missed it so much.  I normally don't like to cuddle while sleeping, but I did that night.  It is kind of amazing how in the beginning I was so resistant to the sleepovers, and now if he doesn't stay at least once a week I definitely notice his absence.

F's birthday is today and I'm looking forward to dinner with his family and surprising him with his presents!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Laser tag + Rocky Votolato = weekend of awesome

F and I had an amazing weekend.  There were a couple of blips, but I think we handled them well.

F picked me up on Friday evening to go over to Fort Flagler to play laser tag.  As soon as I got into the car, his brother called and they spent a good 15-20 minutes on the phone.  This kind of ticked me off because it had been a few days since we'd seen each other and we were on our way to pick up another friend, so this was the only chance we'd have to catch up for a few hours.  However, I didn't want to be the bitchy girlfriend, so I was trying to cover up my annoyance.  I am piss-poor at covering up feelings, so of course F knew. 

In a typical relationship, I wouldn't want to tell him that I was upset because I didn't think it was reasonable of me, but I would still be upset, so the guy would just end up having to guess and try to work it out of me.  This would go on for a while and possibly start a fight.  The antidote to my annoyance is usually just to be heard, and then it dissipates.  I just want to get it out, and then I'm fine.  It's getting to where I feel ok letting it out that's the problem. 

This is why F is so amazing.  After asking me if I was mad a couple of times, and having me refuse, he said, "You're upset that I was on the phone with my brother right after I picked you up, but you don't think you're justified in being upset, so you're trying to hide it and not be upset."  He just summed up everything that I was feeling so perfectly that it made me laugh and it was all better.  I also loved that he picked up on the fact that it was the timing, not that he was talking to his brother.  It's so great that F knows me that well.  All I needed were my feelings to be acknowledged (justified or not) and then I was fine.  It's when I try to hold things in that hell breaks loose.

The rest of the weekend was great.  We stayed in a hotel overnight, and then played laser tag all Saturday afternoon.  There was a potential meltdown at the end when I was tired and hungry and wanted to leave, but I held it together.  Saturday evening we came back to town just in time for a Rocky Votolato show.  F stayed over that night, and then on Sunday we went over to his place.  I studied while he cleaned the garage.  Sunday evening we had Japanese food for dinner and saw The Town.  He didn't leave until 2am on Sunday night (early Monday).  We had spent 56 hours straight together and I didn't want him to leave!  I can't get over how much I enjoy having him around all the time.  Things just keep getting better and better.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Look at how far I've come and how far I'm about to go

Last night was my first class, comprehensive school counseling.  It was great!  Better than I'd hoped.  It's been almost six years since I finished my undergrad, so I was terrified I'd be too rusty.  But then I started talking to people, and a 25-year-old who had only been out for a couple of years was worried about the same thing.  She made me feel old.
Class just flew by.  We started out with a group exercise, and I learned that people think I'm quiet (no surprise there).  However, I did become more vocal towards the end of the activity, after I had gotten a chance to observe and get a sense of who everyone was.  But apparently it's only the first impressions that count.  I guess being more talkative from the beginning is something I will have to work on. 
This class seems like it won't be insanely hard.  We have some reading due every week, and then a few papers and group presentations.  The teacher said that in grad school they want papers to be shorter...no more rambling on trying to fill 15 pages.  Yay!  I'm looking forward to that because I think I'm better at shorter pieces.  For example, at my job I'm working on an abstract for a conference and a longer paper to submit to a journal.  I'm having so much fun with the abstract, tweaking everything to make sure the point comes across clearly in under 2250 characters.  The paper, on the other hand, is excruciating.  I hate working on it because it just feels so long and overwhelming.
Tonight I have my other class, counseling skills.  I think that one is going to be harder because they will be recording us to watch and analyze, and that kind of thing always makes me nervous.  But I am looking forward to learning and challenging myself and continuing to grow from this experience.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

SKOOOOL!!!!

I start school tonight.  I'm trying to keep calm and not be too terrified so I don't get a migraine.  Class doesn't start until 6pm, so I have an entire workday to get through. 

Last night F came over.  We didn't do much, but it was nice having him there.  He messed around on the computer while I sewed up my Daphne and Delilah monsters, a gift for a baby due next month.  I finished everything but the face, so he had this idea to take a picture that obscured the unfinished part as a teaser for my friends.  I think it turned out rather well:



Before he left I had a little freak out about school, but luckily F is amazing at calming me down.  Unluckily, he can't be here at work with me.  Well, technically he could but it might be a little odd.  :)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Today is a two teacup kind of day

Rawr.  This week has been gross.  The weather is yucky, work is yucky, and I just kinda want to tell most people to stop overstepping boundaries.

I am really looking forward to this weekend.  F and his friend canceled their big Canadian road trip and instead are just going to drive around the state for a couple of days.  They are leaving today and will be back late Saturday night.  That means I have Friday evening and all day Saturday to recharge and I'm so excited.  I'm going to watch Tivo and Netflix and finish the sleeves on my Central Park Hoodie.  I'm also going to do a thorough cleaning of my apartment (hopefully without any asthma attacks) so it's all clean before I start school.  It's gonna be fantastic (in a very lame sort of way)!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Adjustments

I had a bit of a meltdown last night.  Although there were real reasons, I admit it might have been my emo-PMS day.  I usually have one day a month where I am especially teary and then the rest of the month I'm totally fine.

Friday I spent the night at F's for the first time.  It was a little difficult since I'm a light sleeper and don't sleep well in strange places, but it wasn't too terrible.  Then we spent the entire Saturday together going to a car show, eating Thai for dinner, grocery shopping, and hanging out at my apartment.  He left around 1am. 

Sunday I made pear cider all day with friends, then F came over around 7 to help me make lasagna to freeze for work lunches.  Lasagna making lasted until around midnight, so I had almost no time to myself from Friday-Sunday.  I felt out of balance.  Before F, my life was busy on the weeknights, but calmer on the weekends so I had a chance for my introverted side to recharge.  My ex-non-boyfriend was a bartender, so we rarely hung out on weekends.  But F's schedule is very flexible, and so he's beginning to take over my weekends as well as some of my weeknights.

On top of everything, yesterday I talked to my therapist about my ex-non-bf, which stirred up some sadness.  It's hard to describe how I feel about him.  I am over him in my head, and logically I know that he's not the person I should be with.  He did not treat me well, and he frequently made me cry.  But I still can't help being sad over the way everything ended.  I'm heartbroken that I put so much effort into that relationship for so many years only to be rejected.  My hard work didn't pay off in this situation.  And of course I miss the fun times we had together.  Even though I don't want to be with him, I ache when I think about him.  And I want to call him sometimes, but I know it's a bad idea.  Maybe someday we can be friends, but not yet.

During my meltdown I was talking to F online.  I told him I was upset.  And he said ok and then 5 minutes later he called me!  We rarely talk on the phone, but he thought it would be better to talk instead of type (plus he was driving).  Just him knowing what would make me feel better and doing it was so amazing.  Ex-non-bf would never have done that.  He would not have stayed with me until he knew I was ok.  And that's why I'm with F now.  He doesn't make me cry.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The story of us

F and I met in the fall of 1999. It was our senior year of high school, and we sat next to each other in English. I don’t remember much about our early interactions (I had a boyfriend), but I think we gradually became acquaintances, especially after one of my friends started dating one of his friends. In the spring we were all in the same Hamlet video group, which involved filming at F’s house on the weekend. We all got to know each other better during that project, and around that time F and I started chatting online.

Fall of 2000 I went away (1.5 hours) to college, and right before my birthday he visited and brought me really thoughtful presents. It’s hard to pinpoint when exactly it was because it was so gradual, but eventually it became clear that I had feelings for F and needed to dump my high school boyfriend.

F and I became official at the end of October and had five tumultuous months together. We were crazy about each other and things were quite passionate, yet stormy. I had a lot of things I still needed to work through. That accompanied by the fact that I had virtually no healing time between relationships doomed us. We argued frequently, and mostly it was my doing. He was great to me, but I was so insecure that I was constantly picking fights to test him, which of course backfired on me in the end. When I came home for spring break in March 2001 he told me we were finished, at least until I sorted out all my issues.

I was devastated. Spring quarter was extremely difficult.  Eventually I picked myself back up enough to be interested in other guys, but F was always in the back of my mind.

I started dating J in Sept. 2001. At some point F and I started talking again, and we were friends while I was with J. J and I broke up for a few months in 2004, and during that time F and I rekindled things. Again it just wasn’t good timing because I was so fresh out of a relationship. Things fizzled and I went back to J for two and a half more years. F and I were friends during most of that time.

J and I broke up for the final time in May 2007. F and I dated for a few months, but as with all the other times, it was more of a rebound thing. Neither of us were looking for anything serious, so it ended and I moved on.  Until the ER incident, that is.  On July 11, 2010, I decided to give my bathroom a good scrubbing.  I attacked my dirty tub with Tilex and Soft Scrub, and the chemicals plus poor ventilation were a recipe for an asthma attack.  Unfortunately, my breathing episodes are pretty rare, so I haven't been officially diagnosed and I didn't have an inhaler.  I kept hoping it would resolve itself, which is usually the case, but by bedtime I was still wheezing.  I knew there was no way I could sleep, so I decided to take myself to the ER about 2 miles away.

F came online minutes before I left.  I told him I couldn't talk because I was leaving, and of course he wanted to know where I was going at 11pm on a Sunday night (I'm not that much of a partier haha).  I let him know the situation, and he offered to come drive me.  I declined, since I figured I could get there faster on the bus.  He then offered to meet me and take me home, so I said he could if he wanted. 

He beat me to the ER (I got a little lost), stayed with me the entire time, and took me to get my prescriptions at the 24-hour pharmacy.  When we got back to my apartment sometime around 1 or 2am, he came in and hung out with me for a while, even though he had just gotten back from a trip and was exhausted.  Nothing happened though, unless you count me using him as a foot warmer.

The next day, I was like, "Holy f-ing crap!  What was that?"  I realized that my feelings for him weren't dead after all.  The way he was there for me was amazing.  I had just spent the past few years with a guy who was great as long as I wasn't asking for something, but any time I needed support he wasn't available.  This was a wonderful change.

We talked a couple of days after the ER night, and we realized that we were both open to a real relationship.  I had to do some thinking & tying up loose ends with a couple of guys I was dating casually, so it took me a few weeks to get to a place where we could make it official.  I also was a bit resistant to the idea of a relationship, since I had been single for a while and liked my freedom and independence.  I came around though, like I knew I would, and we've been a couple since August 1.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Absence makes the heart grow fonder....?

Last night F and I went and saw the Kurt Cobain exhibit at a local museum with another couple.  F and the male half of the couple are planning a road trip later this month, for a week, all the way up through the northern parts of BC and possibly southern Alaska. 

Previously, I was pretty okay with F being gone for a week.  However, hearing the guys discuss their travel plans, and talking about being prepared for blizzards, bears, and breakdowns got me a little freaked out.  And then the internal struggle started.  Of course, F and I are both independent people.  We can do what we want (besides cheating, obviously).  I absolutely would not stop him from going on a trip with his friends.  I actually probably would enjoy some me time and some extra friends time while he was away.  I believe that it's good to miss your partner once in a while.  Absence makes the heart grow fonder.  It makes the reunions that much sweeter, and helps prevent taking each other for granted.

However, this weird--dare I say--worried, feeling reared its ugly head, especially when I realized that they would have limited cell service.  They were literally going into the middle of nowhere.  What if something happened?  What if they didn't come back safe and sound?  And then I realized that I might miss him more than I thought.  I actually like having him around.  We didn't see each other this week for 3 days in a row, and I definitely felt his absence.  It is such a strange sensation for me...usually there comes a point where I want the guy to leave so I can be by myself.  I usually get exhausted from long periods of being social, but not with F.  It's easy being around him.  I don't feel as drained, like I need to recharge.

The great thing about all this is that after I reluctantly opened up to him, he was kind and reassured me.  And he told me he notices when I'm not around (guyspeak for he misses me).  That made me feel better, just to talk about it.  I love how it's starting to feel like a real partnership.  With my non-committing ex, I was super into him, but also constantly filled with anxiety.  I was always trying to "read" him to see if he was going to let me in a little bit more.  With F, there's none of that garbage.  I feel I have someone who cares about me as much as I care about him, wants to be with me, and is going to be there, for both the good times and bad.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Happy monthversary to us!

Yesterday was our "monthversary."  When we were first together 10 years ago, I was all over that shit.  Now, not so much.  Actually, I forgot.  Whoops!  I'm a jerk.  Ok, not really, because it's kind of a jokey thing now, but it's funny that he had to remind me.  We didn't even spend it together since I had knitting last night.  I also find it humorous that I deliberately decided to make things official on August 1 so it would be easy to remember, and I've already forgotten.  I guess those little things aren't as important anymore, maybe because I'm not so desperate for validation of the relationship like I used to be.

For some reason, even though it's only been a month, I seem to keep bringing up the topic of marriage.  I can't stop talking about it, but definitely not in a My Fair Brady sort of way.  I'm not really a person who is anxious to get married.  It's just not one of my goals, especially since I'm pretty sure I don't want to have children.  So why do I keep bringing it up?  The last guy I was with wouldn't even call me his girlfriend after over 2 years together, so maybe I'm just reveling in how weird it is to hear someone say he'd be willing to marry me.  I just can't believe that someone would want to be with me forever.  Every time I bring it up it's like I'm trying on a new outfit, seeing how it looks in the mirror.  Does it look good on me?  Am I suited for marriage?  I'm like a junior high girl dressing in punk clothes, hoping that if I wear them long enough, eventually people won't accuse me of being a "poser."

Usually our conversations go something like this: "When I get married, I want it to be like blah blah blah," and F replies, "Okay."  And then sometimes I'll test him, asking him if I wanted to run to Vegas this weekend if he would.  Or we pick a date (has to be May, because that's halfway to our birthdays in October).  And then I backtrack and say, "But I'm never getting married!"  And he just laughs at me, because he knows I'll change my mind eventually (which I probably will). 

I know that I love him.  I have loved him either consciously or subconsciously for a decade.  But whether or not I'd be happy being married is debatable.  I've never even lived with a guy because I love living alone so much.  I'm not sure I'd be a good roomie, because sometimes I just need to get away from everyone.  And would we get tired of each other, or take each other for granted?  Would things get boring?  Sometimes it's hard to be attracted to someone if you smell their morning breath every day.  Would I get annoyed about stupid things like whose turn it is to take out the trash and forget why I'm so crazy about him?  Forever is a freaking long time when we're not even 30.  I was such a different person at 25 than I am now, so how can I be sure we'll be compatible when we're both graying and buying sports cars?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Knit 2 together

Tonight I am looking forward to meeting up with my knitting group. I started the group in September 2007, so we are almost at our 3-year anniversary. The group has been steadily growing since I first organized it via Craigslist. Some of the early knit nights only had 3-4 show up, now we regularly get at least 8-10.

This group changed my life. I was pretty lonely after the end of a five and a half year relationship in May 2007. I was mostly just doing some dating and trying to hang onto what little friendships remained with some school people after we had gone different ways. Then, over the course of the next year or so, I met the five women who I now consider my closest friends.

I am thankful that I have such strong social support, so even when I go through the hard shit, I know I can get through it. For example, I got a lot of grief when they found out I took the bus to the ER for my asthma attack, because I should have called one of them for a ride. (Turns out F met me there so it all worked out, but it's still good to know they were around.) We are there for each other, helping with knitting and non-knitting problems. We even hang out outside the official knitting group.  And the great thing is that even though my boyfriend is always welcome, it is mostly something I do without him. It is my own thing, and I'm definitely not going to let my attendance slide just because I have a guy. It keeps me interesting, and I know that should anything happen to the relationship, I can handle it because I have my (knitting) friends.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Welcome to my blog

I am in the middle of two big life changes, and I thought it might be beneficial to record the journey in something slightly more public than my journals.  The first big thing is that I recently entered into a relationship with my best friend (and former boyfriend) of 10+ years.  This is a crazy big change because since my last breakup (with someone who didn't even want to call me his girlfriend), I had been loving my independent single life.  I finally had a better grasp on who I was, and swore that I'd never get married, have kids, or even live with someone.  I value my solitude too much. 

However, everything changed when my now-boyfriend, whom I will refer to as F, was there for me at the ER when I was having an asthma attack.  We had dated off and on through college, and had always cared about each other, but the timing had never been right.  Until now.

Although I am insanely happy, I still have my reservations.  What happens when things get tough?  What about when we fight?  Or if we don't fight, is that bad?  Will things ever get boring, and if so, will I want to break up with him for something more exciting?  Will he convince me to move to the suburbs?  And most importantly, how do I retain the sense of self I've worked so hard to find, while being part of a couple?

The second big change hasn't happened yet.  In less than a month I will be starting grad school for a counseling program.  I will go from working full-time to part time, and it's going to be a challenge for me to make sure I schedule regular hours for studying so it doesn't take over all my free time.  And no, 2am cramming doesn't count! Also, the program has promised to "change my life" so we'll see how that goes.  I'm expecting a lot of growth and some tearful nights.