Thursday, May 17, 2012

some truth.

he'd just eaten seven hotdogs on dollar dog night. i, however, have no excuse. we are the most photogenic couple to grace the earth, obviously.

There are things I take for granted now that in less than three months may cause tantrums and tears in their absence. This is more than just having an Apple store within a 25 mile radius of my person for inevitable technology-related meltdowns, although I've already gritted my teeth in anticipation of such events.
This is something more along the lines of struggling to feed myself, lacking back-rubs and soothing words, and the absence of a warm body I've grown so accustomed to waking up next to.
What I'm trying to say is that Matt isn't coming to Montana with me.
At least not at first.
Let me say up front that I am the reason for this. I have asked him to hang back. I've insisted in my own stubborn way that this is a path I need to forge on my own. Because honestly, I feel it like electricity moving through my veins, my need to set off on my own. To me, it's a fact as solid as my eyes being green and my perpetual appetite for bacon. It defies any logical explanation for me, it just is. I need to go alone, to start this pursuit on my own, to go forth without company.
In true Matt form he's taken this request as he always does with my self-over analyzed bombs of news that aren't what he wanted to hear. First he was silent, then he fought me, and then he accepted it, because he loves me and knows that my way is just as ingrained in me as all the other qualities he loves. The good with the bad. The easy with the difficult.
To say he understands my need to leave alone probably misses the mark. In truth, I can't even fully wrap my mind around this compulsion, let alone give a cohesive and coherent argument to present my case. But he accepts this as my choice and my decision, and for that I am flooded with gratitude and overtaken by affection for him.
It took me a long time to reason with myself about this decision, and a lot of grappling with feelings of guilt and selfishness at pushing a distance nearly a country-width between us, especially when Matt is vehemently against us being apart. He planned to move with me wherever I went to grad school from the start, no matter how far or at what cost. He's supportive and amazing and I don't deserve it.
But he's not coming now, and it's my doing.
I know the day I leave is one we're both dreading in our own way. But I'm heading toward something I am drawn to with wonder and he's being left behind, so what follows the moment we part will be an utterly different experience for us both. Now that the room has stopped spinning a bit at the reality of the events unfolding and I've had time to calm down and consider things, clarity is coming a bit more easily. But only a bit.
As I've pondered and poked at the reasons for my decision, I realized a few things about the nature of my choice.
1. I genuinely don't want to be with anyone else in this world. Just Matt. In my heart, I don't look at my leaving as me leaving him, just a necessary step in the process until we're reunited.
2. I have total faith in the strength of our relationship. Total faith. Which is kind of eerie, to be honest. I know it will be hard at times, as I've done a long distance relationship before, but I'm going into it with total confidence this time. We will be fine. We will learn a lot. We will emerge stronger and intact.
3. Going back to school is fucking hard and grad school is very time consuming. I've been out of school for four years. I'm nervous about this. Actually, I'm scared shitless. It's enough of an adjustment and commitment without dragging a stubborn and antisocial man who doesn't want to move to Montana and 160 pound beast-dog across the country with me. I need focus and peace and alone time to process. I fear with Matt there I would not be able to find a good balance for my time. I will have no time to speak of anyway. I cannot afford distraction and resentment because of hard adjustments. I adjust to change almost instantly, Matt is a little slower to come around. It's just a fact, not a fault. Still, it is something I've had to consider.
4. Matt does not want to move to Montana. It's one of my biggest dreams. I will not have my dream hampered from the start by someone who doesn't want to be there, however unintentional, however much I love that person with all of my heart. However much he may have tried to hide it. I would have known. Things would have gotten weird. Bad weird.
5. This may be my last chance to live alone. Ever. I can't for the life of me let that go easily. I want one last cozy nook of the world that is mine and mine alone.  
6. Matt and I have very different ideas about what makes a fulfilling leisure time activity. I want to be outside playing and or reading and or at the bar with my friends and he wants to be at home on the couch watching sports and playing xbox. It's leisure time and there's no wrong way to do it, but in any precious time I have to spend in leisure while I have such an impressive display of the great outdoors at my disposal, I'm not interested in holing up inside. At all. I brought no television to this relationship and I don't intend to carry one with me out west. That's not be being a pretentious hipster, that is me voicing my needs honestly, part of the reason I'm moving out west is the breathtaking landscape. I need to be out in it.
7. I am infuriatingly selfish.
8. My guts. My head. My heart. My soul. They're all working together on this one and the message is clear. Do this thing for yourself. This is you, pursuing your dreams. It gets harder to chase them every single day that you wait. Run. Hunt them. Catch them. This is something you have to do to feel purpose and contentment with life, no matter how great your partner. You have to be okay with yourself, love yourself first. This is a journey you must take alone. You can do it. Trust yourself.
And so I am. I'm doing it by myself.
The plan is for Matt and I to start talking about him moving west after Christmas when he's had time to save some money, look for a job, and buy a car- Another good reason for him to wait.
 We've talked and fought and hugged and sat in silence over this. And now it's done and we move forward with the plan in place. Not all of our arguments and misunderstandings have such amicable and positive endings, but I'm comforted to see that the big ones do. The ones that truly matter in the grand scheme, those we can work through and tease out and iron of wrinkles.
I'm not really afraid of spiders, so I can't say I'll be missing my protector from icky things, but there are millions of other ways Matt saves me every single day, and I can't wait to fully appreciate every single one of them in his absence, and then thank him repeatedly when we are reunited. But for now:
I love you, Matt. Thank you for saving me hundreds of times every single day in every way I need it.  

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