It’s a celebration.

On the messy parts of rearranging my life.

The question most people have asked after revealing I would be getting my own place has been who will get our dog. I wonder if I am grateful for this easy question, or confused. It’s an easier thing to ask than, “what happened?”

My partner will absolutely take our dog with him. When we got her, only one person was able to sign her papers. “Who’s going to get her if you break up?” My partner’s parents have a giant home, a dog, and a yard. If we broke up, I’m sure he would go there and that would be what’s best for her. He signed the papers and our dog came home.

She quickly showed us that she was a little shit. The first time I wanted to move out, some of it had to do with her. She bit me constantly and refused to walk. I carried her home more often than not. Eventually, like most dogs, she grew out of this. With some training, she got better. My partner is soft-hearted and doesn’t like the no-nonsense approach to her training. So, she’s back to her old ways. That and my own laziness in keeping her training going.

All of this made me realize that I am not a dog person. I think I am if I have enough money for daily daycare, a trainer, and enough money for a sitter when I don’t want to come directly home after work. I think a dog deserves more than someone like me. And I’m ok with admitting that I don’t have what it takes.

My friends have all heard that story, and the one about wanting my own place.

“I need my space. I need to come home in a bad mood and be allowed to be in that bad mood. I don’t want to have someone else’s feelings to constantly manage. I don’t want tv time to be the bull of a relationship ever again.”

They nod and smile empathetically. Two are engaged to their partners and one is married. Sometimes, I feel so distant in that aspect. My life is changing and I want it to be a celebration. A celebration of hard things, of change, but maybe that’s not the norm. I know living separately after 3 years isn’t normal, but I wish adjusting relationships to however they best work was.

“I don’t mean to pry, but are you guys good?”

I tell her the same story. About the opposite schedules. About not putting the “special” in our relationship in any way we can. We love each other yes, but living together doesn’t add anything to us. At least that’s how I feel.

I am going to ask her and her boyfriend to be my emergency contacts in February. I realized this morning that I won’t have someone able to drop everything and get to me. My family is in another state and usually doesn’t have ready access to a car. It’s a scary thought to be alone in this way, but even that is a celebration. Even now, I think about “not being a bother” with asking them this, but if I’m injured or need help, why would that matter?

Yesterday, we planned on seeing a late movie. We were going to relax at home beforehand. I had just opened the Sims, with the idea of mocking up a studio apartment.

“Can we actually go out to dinner?”

I said no at first. I don’t always like sudden changes in plans, and I was comfy. But he reminded me that I often complained about not being out in the world together. I dressed and prepared for carrying the conversation.

The thing is, I’ve given up in some ways. I got tired of constantly prompting him in conversation, only to never be asked anything in return. Sometimes I let the silence drag on, wondering if he noticed. I would look at my phone, but that’s not kind. Eventually, after bringing this up enough times, he got it. But by then, I was tired of asking. I try to meet him halfway. Simply talking about myself about what pops into my head is hard, but I try.

“When we were kids, we took off our shoes and pretended to ice skate.”

The Winter Olympics were on in the restaurant. I had always wanted to learn figure skating, but having several children and no money meant no lessons.

“I’ve never heard this about you before. Why are you telling me this now?”

I tell him I want to meet him halfway. That if we have such wildly different communication styles, that we have to figure something out. He asks me more questions and I easily ask him more. It feels like we’re doing a dance to make up for lost time, but my heart isn’t always in it. I wonder if this is what all relationships are like: the familiarity so strong you lose your curiosity about the other person.

Sometimes, I felt very alone in our relationship. So much so that I have realized I’d rather be actually alone. At least physically. And there is so much to look forward to.

I already did all the decorating here, but I’m excited to make it even more feminine and gay in my studio. I’m excited for having friends over midweek to watch a movie or eat a meal on my floor without worrying about being too loud. I’m excited to actually curl up and read and not have to communicate that I need to do that for an hour or so. I’m excited about the downtime after work. To clean only my messes.

I, of course, picture her there too. The big things seem to demand she be there too: to see the changes and wait for her reaction. My mind simply drifts this way and I let it. Last night I listened to an old voicemail and let myself remember. I let myself feel because I don’t want to ignore the good that has happened. I don’t want to do a disservice to myself or those memories. In that way, it’s also a celebration. Of what was for such a short amount of time, and being open to the future in whatever form it takes.

My friend I dated (if we can even call it that) asks me about the afterlife. Sends me photos of his office, and tells me things his parents have said about me. I think it took us so long to get to this point because we only ever talked about what happened when one of us was drunk. Usually me. I’m glad for his friendship now and wish we could have figured that part out sooner.

I want the same for her and I, but I realize not everything can end up the same just because I want it to. Lately, I’ve imagined myself as being ok. What does she look like? What does she look forward to? I want to meet her.

That will be a celebration too.

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Queer and writing.

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Rainn

Queer and writing.