Sunday, 17 September 2017

Cohabitation

Total number of times I have written and opening line, and then erased it: 479*

*As I have no hard data regarding my writing habits and can only go on retrospective analysis, I assume/it feels like it’s been at least that many times. I hope I’m not underestimating, because that would mean (having been in Calgary for six months, roughly 180 days) I would have sat down to write at least 2.66 times a day…with nothing to show for it.

Here we are six months after the big move, finally starting to settle into YYC life, and having recently embarked on cohabitation with my boyfriend (the first few weeks are up and while I suspect we’ll be fine, there are certainly adjustments to be made). Yes, this is a big step. Of course I have been passive aggressively pestering my boyfriend about this for six months since I moved to Calgary. I am a spectacularly impatient person - while I am aware that our conscious decision to (initially) live apart was the right way to go, I also grew increasingly tired of packing up two days’ worth of work clothes, lunches, and gym clothes just to spend a night or two together. Petty, I know. But I digress.

The pros and cons of cohabitation.
When we last spoke (and let’s not dwell on the fact that it’s been over six months), I hinted I may not be the most stellar at navigating life changes. I can say with 200% certainty that I entirely underestimated my inability to navigate a huge life event without having some sort of tear-filled, spectacular meltdown. Looking back, I realize it’s my M.O.. I remember times growing up when my mom would leave me in the front porch when I was spinning out over an insignificant issue, and would only let me back into the house when I was calm and could handle a level-headed conversation. This little tidbit is something I likely should have passed on to my boyfriend before trucking my shit 600 km into Alberta and arriving at his proverbial doorstep (insert emoji of an awkward/hopeful smile here).

There have been many, many tears. The evening before my first day of work, after my parents drove off in their newly-spacious half-ton, I slunk downstairs into my chaotic new bedroom and had myself a good, solid, ugly cry. There have been moments where I have simply sent my boyfriend a message saying no more than “I need you to come over” - only to find April curled up in bed uncontrollably sobbing after yoga because she’s infertile (of all the shit to get caught up in, you’d think I could leave well enough alone when dealing with one life-altering situation, but nooooo, I unearth another life-altering shit storm and dump it at my boyfriend’s feet). One time, after failing the second time to insert an IV in a patient, I cried in the parking lot at work because everything still feels so different - and still not like home.

Just as I have started to feel ever so slightly more settled; despite being the most hectic, ridiculous, busy six months of my life (as a new auntie it is obviously imperative that I frequently travel home to make sure my niece has plenty of auntie snuggles), I’ve tossed a little more stress on the pile and moved in with my man friend. Why not?

If it wasn’t meant to be rhetorical, I could answer that question from both sides and likely provide convincing arguments either way. Despite impatiently waiting for this moment to come for what feels like years, I have flashes of doubt and fear. I can say that out loud because my boyfriend knows, and I’m sure has his own moments of paralyzing nervousness - like when I messaged him a countdown of “Ten more days until we move in together!!!” and never received a message back. He later admitted he was freaking the fuck out. Which, being a seasoned veteran of love, I can understand and accept (since I occasionally find myself sitting on the couch and saying “holy shit, we’re really doing this”). It no longer makes me instantly lose my mind with anxiety. We’re both human, and as I’ve just learned from listening to Oprah’s SuperSoul Sunday conversations, we tend to shy away from vulnerability in favour of self-protection (whatever misguided form that may take).

Each time I re-read that last paragraph I wonder if I have been trying to convince myself not to go ahead with the move. It wasn’t a rash decision, we waited a decent period of time since my move to Calgary, and in terms of furthering our relationship this is exactly what needed to happen. We’re also both nervous - this is a massive adjustment in our lives, and we each have our own reasons to freak out when it comes to the concept of meshing our respective bodies and things into one home. He’s never been down this road before, and I have…but I hit a spectacular dead end. We’ve got reason to be a little weary.

As I sit on my couch in our new living room, I’m realizing this is life. This is opening up, allowing another person into your bubble, and embracing your fear - this is what I’ve spent the larger part of nine single years avoiding, and yet it is one of the most exciting adventures I’ve ever embarked on. I may not love navigating the jungle of man hairs that litter my bathroom floor every day; it may drive me nearly insane that there is a physical trail of my boyfriend through the house whenever he is working on something (for fuck sakes, put shit back in the fridge after you take it out); and I may occasionally cringe as he navigates a recipe (which, to his credit, turns out delicious even though he fried the chicken before the garlic). But it is amazing to be vulnerable and love someone, and have them love you back, despite whatever ugliness may spew out of you in the form of tantrums rooted in impatience and type-A bullshit.

Let the adventure begin!

A

1 comment:

  1. Bah ha ha! You two were made for each other!! I can't help but wish you were closer, but, I know you are going to be successful in this new adventure! You are so much stronger than you give yourself credit for, so, sally forth and LIVE AND LOVE

    ReplyDelete