I woke up this morning feeling incredibly lucky and incredibly in love. A little tired from a late-night at the WISE mind you, I’m trying to get this post out before the patina wears thin and the real exhaustion sets in later today. You know, the not-quite hangover that creeps up around noon? Fortunately I don’t think it’s going to be all that bad.
Which is only one of the reasons I’m grateful at the moment. But really the overwhelming positivity today has much more to do with the relationship Brian and I are creating than whether or not I’m bound to develop a headache after lunch. It’s just been so damn good lately, all of it, and the fact that we’re 23 days away from moving into our new home just makes it all more exciting. Finally, a home together! After a year and half of being together, almost a year of that spent shuttling between homes every other week… we’re so way beyond ready to merge our two households, even three weeks seems interminable. Brian has pretty much packed half of his house already in anticipation.
But it’s not just the house, the house has actually been less on my mind than the way we have been working together lately on putting this life of ours together, the way the relationship has grown little by little, and how every time I think I can’t be more in love or it can’t get better I am proven wrong. Because it just keeps expanding – these feelings of belonging, compassion, gratitude, desire, and hope, continue to envelop me on a regular basis. Rushing over me when I wake up in the mornings beside my lover, when I look at him across the room at a party or in the bar. I am so glad he is the one who belongs with me, so gratified that we crossed paths at the time we did. Which seemed like bad timing in the moment, but turned out better than either of us could have imagined.
The fact that neither of us felt entirely “ready” to enter a new relationship when we arranged to have drinks at Wazubees in September ’07, meant we didn’t rush recklessly into things without getting to know each other. The fact we were delayed by circumstances from living together sooner means that we’ve had lots of discussions about values and goals in the meantime, and are going into a fairly large purchase together without flinching. And the fact that we met when we did – in our mid-thirties – means that we’ve both got some baggage, but that we come with a lot of relationship experience. Enough to know what we don’t want, with a mature sense of how to get what we do want.
In essence, each potential flaw has turned out to be an asset – this mainly I think because we are two people extremely suited to each other in temperment, values and interests – otherwise we would have gone our separate ways pretty early on I’m sure. Brian wouldn’t have rocked the boat with his ex for someone he wasn’t serious about, I wouldn’t have stuck around to see whether he would extricate himself from her if I hadn’t realized he was the right one. And on it goes. Two people meet, and if they are bound to click, then any circumstances can be worked through – the relationship stronger for it.
A couple of weeks ago I read Jose Saramago’s All the Names which I wish I had in front of me because it had a great passage in it about the nature of relationships. In the course of the story, an old woman discusses an affair she had as a younger woman. Her husband had discovered it, and though he stayed on in their marriage it was never the same again. She says, that the person truly harmed wasn’t either of them, but when two people come together they create a third person who is a combination of the two. Angry words, violence, affairs, they may hurt the two original relationship parties – but the third party is the most wounded of all, and it is that “person” who never recovers.
That conception makes sense to me, that idea that love is a co-mingled third personality that has it’s own life in between the originating couple, and that third personality is strengthened or weakened by their actions. Because it has occurred to me on more than one occasion that my relationship with Brian both feels that it flows directly from us, and is also somehow a discreet entity from either of us as individuals. It both supports and directs, even when our individual impulses may be somewhat different or counter to what is the greater good of the relationship – helps us achieve compromise and resolution in order to stay intact.
Whatever it is a couple holds between them – a shining precious orb, or a whole third person huddled there during good and bad times – I am so incredibly grateful to have found someone to create and share that with. And so confident of its potential for longevity, for a lifetime commitment, even though it seems naive to say such things after only eighteen months. But I figure I’ve got the best shot of that with Brian. That we make the best combination I can imagine. That we each have the experience and patience to navigate the difficult bits that are sure to come. That our love for each other is mutual and matched, is healthy and not grasping in the slightest.
Which I suppose is why I feel so damned lucky today and why my blog post turned into an open love letter to Brian, and to the “third” who resides between us. For one who thought she would always be solo, this has been a year and a half of relearning myself and relaxing somewhat into the trust and love which he has offered. The next phase, from that perspective, only seems to promise more of it all, and that makes me count the days. 23 minus one, two, three……