While packing up Joel and I’s apartment to move into the house that we just bought in preparation for our soon-to-be-here son, I found a paper diary of mine that I started in February 2012. It was all about a flakey drama-filled soap opera of a relationship I had been in. I started re-reading it out of entertainment of how silly it was going to read, but I noticed that as time passed, it didn’t really read that dumb at all. It read like a young adult figuring out who they were, what mattered to them most, and where they wanted to be. The very last entry was conveniently exactly 3 years ago on September 6, 2013, written from my apartment in Austin.
I continued to journal after this, but I guess for some reason, it just felt back then like this was the appropriate place to end the chapter on this part of my life so I could run gleefully headfirst into the next part. And while I’m sure that wasn’t really deliberate of me, I’m really happy that it turned out the way it did:
September 6, 2013
Heading to visit family today. I promised my mom that I’d visit and told my cousin that I would stop by and visit her newborn son, Blaine, but my true motivation here, aside from my feet once again shuffling relentlessly with wanderlust, is to go see Joel.
I’m not sure how I feel because after he left Austin this spring–after I left for Croatia, I was left with a sense that he wanted more than I did. And I like him a lot but I don’t know if I’m ready to be liked at a time in my life where all I’ve been doing is letting myself disappear over and over again. I don’t know why I am doing anything that I am—all I know is that life is good and for once, ever, good is the one thing keeping me on course.
Chris invited me to visit Colombia but I said no, which is strange of me because I used to love him and I think in some other time and place, I would have said yes, but those circumstances are neither here nor there—I’ve changed. Now he is going to Singapore and I don’t know if I will ever see him again. I like to think that the situation is more in line with other fragments of my past and that my whole relationship with him isn’t just recycled bits of Bob Dylan’s “Tangled Up in Blue,” because I just don’t have the patience for that sort of drama.
Maybe it’s just age. Maybe it’s just my asceticism reflecting on me. Because I can’t even help but feel that any more time I give it, the more I’m wasting the only life I have.
I wrote this just a few hours before Joel and I had dinner together, before having a great evening, and before even having even the slightest inkling that the person I was going to see was someone I’d completely fall in love with. It’s been 3 years since this day and some moments in those 3 years were spent at interminable crossroads where I felt conflicted urges to both book 1-way plane tickets to remote locations but also contrarily take the greatest journey I could think of, going literally nowhere and being forced to face my life’s own greatest challenge: myself in the context of stability.
And although I stubbornly booked those journeys to Mexico City, South Africa, Iceland, Argentina, Denmark, and so on… Joel managed to play to my whimsy and either follow along, or let me do my thing and just go my own way. And in those times he wasn’t there, I felt tethered enough to his good that, as I sat on airline websites seconds short of clicking “make reservation,” those 1-way tickets turned into round trips that safely brought me back. It’s hard to stay away too long from the things you love the most. Although technically we’ve known each other longer than 3 years (little known fact: We probably would not be together if not for GitHub and SimCity for Super Nintendo) and had a bunch of wacky adventures as friends sky-diving and wandering aimlessly through honky tonk dive bars together beforehand, today is 3 years since we’ve been together.
And with a Tiny Human kicking me relentlessly in the gut as I type this, a new house that is actually our own, and recently getting engaged in the backyard of said house, it felt just as good a time as last time to dog-ear the page and say, “Hello!” to the future, and also fondly remark that although it hasn’t always been pretty, it’s always been pretty good: como siempre.
It certainly doesn’t feel like 3 years when it’s spent with someone I really love who’s been there with me through everything good and bad, but lately mostly just good.