We went East for Thanksgiving. This trip was different than our last though we traveled to and from the same places. It seems unfair to compare the two because were different people in July. We were shining and new and gleaming for everyone to admire. We were full of possibility and dreams. We talked of forever and marriage. Our excitement was palpable.
Then we moved in together.
It seems cohabitation has worn us down. We’re disconnected more than connected. We struggle to communicate despite many long and painfully honest talks. We hear from friends that the first year is hard yet no one really warned us before we made this leap. I suppose we would not have listened as we were full of love song- “la la la loooooove is all you need.” Do I regret the decision to join my life with Mr. Darcy? No. Do I feel at a loss as to how to make us better? Yes.
This is a difficult ordinariness.
Who I am and who Mr. Darcy is for the most part is a good balance. The things each of us are not we can find in the other. But for me, sometimes those very things frustrate me. I realize that I am not easy to live with. I own that and apologize for that and then at a certain point I have to stop apologizing because all feel about myself is that I am wrong and worthless. And I am not worthless or wrong. I’m just really hard on myself and that spills over into my close relationships. Living alone allowed me to not have to test out the changes I’ve been making and yet still claim I’d made them. Uh, yeah, it doesn’t actually count unless you are DOING IT.
That means I’m practicing all over Mr. Darcy.
I try every day to ease up. To soften. To let go a little bit more. I’ve told you it’s scary for me because my coping mechanisms have kept me safe and all of this requires me to essentially trust fall into the arms of Mr. Darcy. Being in a relationship is kind of like learning to do a handstand and I’m still at the point where all I can do is kick up half-way. I cannot yet get to a full unassisted handstand – in metaphor or in reality.
The bottom line for me is that I want to be in a relationship where both people feel like their best selves. Where we feel supported and thriving and inspired. Where the other person is their pillar, their safe harbor, their cheerleader, their mirror, their human hammock, their happy. As much as fighting, disagreeing, miscommunicating is trying and taxing and frustrating, I want those moments to help us build a stronger foundation. I want it to be productive and impact the overall good of us. I don’t want to lose sight of why I made the leap – because he is a good man who is smart, honest, kind, generous, loving, funny, silly, affectionate, supportive, full of integrity and a strong character with a dimpled smile that lights my heart. Because he is my person.
“Young lovers seek perfection. Old lovers learn the art of sewing shreds together and of seeing beauty in a multiplicity of patches.” – from the movie, How to Make an American Quilt