all the change

We officially have keys.  Well, my roommate does. He’ll be moving into our new apartment tonight–a welcome change from months of living in AirBnb apartments and extended stay hotels.  It feels like this has been the longest apartment hunt ever, though it’s only actually been just under six months.  Packing up is the real challenge and paying for the movers is fun too.

Part of my bedroom.

Part of my new bedroom.

Our apartment covers two floors with neighbors underneath us.  It’s a corner unit overlooking a big fountain with two entrances (one from the courtyard and one from the parking garage that’s attached).  I’m taking the main floor, and he’s taking the top floor.  There’s a neat loft space that basically is a third bedroom–but he’ll be using it as his own private living area while I’ll be taking the actual living room and using it as an office/meditation space since it has ridiculously beautiful windows and tall ceilings.  We have two balconies–one of which will be used for yoga practice and sometimes work.  There’s a great “clubhouse” area and dog park along with a huge lap pool and picnic area–so I’ll be able to work from other parts of the property sometimes, if I’m super bored.  We’ll also be 1 block from a great indy coffee shop, across the street from a brewery, and 2 blocks from about 15 Japanese restaurants and an Asian supermarket.  We’re also fairly close to the train, so I can go into the city whenever too.

I was looking up stuff–you know, things to do in San Jose as well as the general Bay Area.  Our neighborhood itself seems like such a fun time.  Lots of fun festivals year-round.  Lots of community events.  All walkable, too.  Downtown San Jose also looks pretty decent in terms of shopping and nightlife.  There seems to be tons of open space nearby and Santa Cruz is just 45 minutes away.  Big Sur is only 2 hours away by car.  Half Moon Bay–about an hour.  Redwoods–about an hour.  Wine country–close too.  The city–about an hour.  Honestly, just doing day trips to beautiful places will probably occupy every weekend for the next five years.  Nevermind all the museums, concerts, classes, and ridiculously fun foodie adventures.  And we’ll be so close to the Pacific Northwest.  Our apartment is 10 minutes from the San Jose airport too, so flights anywhere will be convenient.

I’m just flat out excited, if you haven’t noticed.  While I’m definitely an introvert, I’m a lifelong learner.  Culture is a big deal to me.  Being around diverse populations and having tons of things to do makes me so happy.  Denver is home.  I loved it here for a long time, but it’s always been less than ideal culturally.  We had a small arts scene once upon a time that’s being pushed out now.  The music scene here is fantastic–but again–it’s dwindling because of rising rents.  The only thing that kept me here, really, was memories and the natural beauty of this place.  I will miss a lot of places.  But there are whole new landscapes to explore now.  New opportunities to learn–formally and informally; new places to photograph; experiences to stretch me.  I haven’t even left, and I’m already feeling myself kind of blossoming.  I feel inspired to be more myself.  Because here–I was prone to holing up and ranting about idiots.  Ha.

I’m just looking forward to it.  All of it.  It’s scary, but I know the risks are worth it.

###

I got a few emails related to my post yesterday.  People were worried about me because I guess it seemed like I’d separated from my latest romantic interest.

Technically, when I wrote that, I had suggested something like that to him.  I was kind of upset, honestly, and hadn’t had a chance to flesh it out with him.  And to be clear–we’re not in a relationship yet–though we probably should be and probably might as well be.  But things are complicated for us right now.  For a lot of reasons.  In any case, I was frustrated with some of the things that were happening–and not happening.

In recent years, I’ve tended to be more private about my love life.  I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not.  I’ve talked about my love stuff more infrequently than ever–though this weekend did give me a chance to catch-up with the roomie (who is now in  relationship with a girl he describes as basically me…which is a bit strange considering we used to date and also fight like cats and dogs often.  His involvement with her seems to have improved our friendship, oddly, and his friendship with me helps him deal with her challenging aspects).  It’s all kind of new because, as he pointed out, it’s pretty much the first time since our break-up that we’ve both been in things with people at the same time.  We first connected over our crazy love lives way back when I was with my ex and he was with his ex.  It took us months of friendship and being heartbroken to get on with it.  So, it was kind of nostalgic to talk about things.  He knows firsthand what happened with my current love interest when we were together before because I would wring my hands about what to do almost every day.

I’ve been dealing with a lot of issues with my ex since his trip to Macedonia.  I was hoping it was just the time difference, but he’s been back in Canada for several days now and it’s continued.  Part of it has been a trust thing–which is odd to me because I always trusted him before–without question–and he’s given me no reason to trust him.  I have trust issues–flat out–and it rears its ugly head every so often.  I am more comfortable with strangers and trust them more than people I’ve known forever.  Lately, it feels like the trust problems that were exacerbated by my ex before this one keep coming up now.  I’m not sure why it’s just now happening because I’ve been over that guy for quite a while, and this guy is nothing like the other guy.  My only explanation is that, perhaps, I feel guilt over what happened before and am still punishing myself by allowing myself to believe it won’t work out because of that.  He’s also a lot less self-aware than other guys I’ve been involved with, so sometimes, it makes me think–if they did those shitty things–maybe he will too–maybe he’s more prone to falling down some rabbit hole.  I also think long-distance relationships make me crazy.  I thought I was done with them.  But I’m realizing more and more how much they bother me now–mostly because of my past exes.  It’s hard to navigate.  We live pretty different lives.  We are very different people.  We both have obligations in our respective places.  So making it work is a big challenge.  We’re both patient people who are willing to do whatever if something works–but it’s not easy.

We also have very different needs and abilities to meet each other’s needs.  As I’ve mentioned before, we’re extremely different in most ways.  I’m a very emotional person.  I’m moody.  I am prone to pouting.  I share too much.  I get easily hurt.  For me, my key need is communication.  I need to be told things.  I need to know things.  I get upset when people don’t share their feelings, if I’m not given warnings about changes that affect me…things like that.  I can be extremely understanding, but the issue has to be known.  I have particular pissy feelings about feeling ignored.

He’s just not a communicative guy.  Not because he doesn’t want to.  He just doesn’t know how.  I have to–often–pry things out of him.  He’s very low key.  He’s calm and steady, most days.  He doesn’t react to things I think he should react to.  To me–that comes across as his not caring.  Part of it is that I’m used to guys who were over the top communicators.  I’m used to them kind of knowing what I needed.  I’m not good at communicating my needs.  I’m too other focused.  But I’m also not good at communicating appreciation–which sometimes bit me in the ass before.  So I’m a bit intense for some, I think, because I try so hard to be loving and am so careful about trying to remember these things.  I work really hard at my relationships and expressing how I really feel.  He doesn’t need that as much, I don’t think, and seems to know things without me telling him.  At other times, he’s completely clueless and says asinine things.  Which I usually take really wrong.  It’s just really frustrating.  He’s not a gifted communicator.  He’s not a feelings guy.  He’s logic and action.  Things I love about him, actually, but man–I’m finding I really need those words.

The big thing fueling yesterday was the way we communicate and why.  We had such a good time before he went off to Europe, but after that, it’s like our old difficulties surfaced again.  We got a chance to talk–meaningfully–yesterday and we realized that the problem is that we talk all the time…but we don’t feel connected.  Or at least I don’t.  He’s happy.  I’m unhappy because I don’t seem to ever have his full attention.  And as a Leo–damnit–I need full attention.  At least sometimes!  I tend to mirror what people give to me, so if someone is really effusive with me–I’m effusive.  If you’re standoffish, I button up.  I’m a chameleon that way.  And I take all of it personally.

I’ve really had to stop myself from doing that, but I realized that these things were triggering a lot of childhood issues.  Like whoa.  Stuff I’m still–and probably always will be–working through.  I need certain things to feel important or else I feel neglected/abandoned.  And if I feel like that, I tend to say passive aggressive crap–without knowing why or even that I’m doing it.  And I tend to get irrationally angry.

I had told him on Saturday that I thought we should just be friends until we could make this work.  He didn’t agree and wanted to talk about it more yesterday.  In the past, this kind of convo was frequent for us–as I tried to get out of the relationship for months and months–pushing him away more and more to force it.  It was confusing before because we have such a great connection usually, but it was like it was dimmed–so it was comfortable but painful all at once.  He used to get so upset with me.  With good reason.  I was a shit.  This time, he’s kind of learned that these things I say are more like thoughts to flesh out rather than written in stone.  He knew he could talk to me and get to whatever it was and it would be okay.

Oddly, what I thought was going to be this awkward convo was very easy and normal.  We didn’t even talk about the friends stuff until 1/2 hour in.  And then he was the one that mentioned it.  I was careful to make sure he knew that I wasn’t giving up on us, but that I just felt like our needs were out of sync.  I believe I said, “Well, you know you’re never getting rid of me.  I’ve tried so many times, and you’re just stuck.”  I meant that.  For whatever reason, he belongs in my life.  I just don’t know exactly how yet.  We got to the bottom of what was wrong–and we came up with a solution.  He listened.  He does that.  And it was nice to not be dealing with anger or defensiveness–just an earnest desire to understand and try to fix it.

I was a little surprised when he told me I was his treasure, and that I wasn’t get rid of him either.  It was a rare vulnerable moment and exactly what I wanted to hear.  We’ve said it a million times, but man, I loved him so much in that moment–just knowing how hard it is for him to open up.  Knowing he did it because he knew it meant something to me.

He’s different.  And I guess part of me is scared by that.  I’m used to being a certain person.  I’m used to certain issues and conversations.  And none of that applies here.  Part of the time, it causes me to question my feelings.  But yesterday, and even today, it was so clear–yup…totally love him.  And I actually want this to work.  But I’m not afraid of it falling apart.  Mostly because I know it won’t be a forever goodbye like the guys of my past.  He’s not some guy who uses that word lightly.  He’ll always be someone to me.  And that’s really kind of awesome and makes it so much easier to love him more.

 

 

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