Tuesday, April 15, 2014

On Making Room

At Lake Bryan Together

This weekend, Paul and I were supposed to go camping with friends.  Instead, we skipped the two-hour drive to Bastrop State Park and ended up at Lake Bryan.  Spring wildflowers have bloomed all around us, including the hillsides at the lake.  I asked a friend to take a few pictures of us—I have surprisingly few, considering how long we’ve been together now—and this photo was my favorite.

In between work and the everyday tasks of life, I’ve been trying to get my apartment ready for Paul to move in with me.  Once I started brainstorming ways to clear out the second bedroom, I felt a burst of energy to get it done, now.  Which was not really possible, but I did move my desk into the living room, and that’s where I’m sitting now, typing this post.

Desk in Living Room

I’ll tell you a secret: before Paul, I would have guessed that giving up my personal space for a partner would be really, really hard.  I have lived alone for a long time, and I like my space and private time.  Even with Paul, I find that I am better able to appreciate our relationship if I have time alone.  Since Paul isn’t a runner (he has one running speed: a full sprint), running is an easy excuse for alone time.  But for the most part, I love being with him.  I enjoy it when he stops by unannounced—that always feels like a special treat.  It feels good having him around.

I sometimes wonder, even worry, about the longevity of this relationship.  It’s natural to worry, I think, and I question everything, including my own doubts.  I am a doubtful person; it’s why I became a scientist.  But making room for Paul in my heart and my home feels like the most natural thing in the world.  I welcome the changes that are happening; I wish I had more time now to make them happen faster.  It’s not an exaggeration to say that Paul and I have been waiting our whole lives to find each other.  After many years alone and wondering, “Is there someone for me?” it feels like nothing short of a gift to share my life and, very soon, my home with him.

(But we are still keeping separate bedrooms!  Best decision ever?  We’ll see.  That was a fun post to share.  I loved hearing different stories and perspectives on that question, so thank you for sharing them with me.)

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