My first week at the new place was exhausting. Between just simply finding a place for my stuff, finding my way home after work, cleaning, trying not to step on toes, more cleaning, and taking as many walks as I can simply to help swallow my anxiety, I was done. Toast. Frayed. From Ray’s side, he had a hell of a stint at work – the 4th of July was awful at his restaurant – and he also found himself trying to be gracious, trying to adjust to having me there…
It was a pressure cooker that couldn’t hold it all in, and on the 4th, we had a little couple’s meltdown. Nothing awful, but we both reached the end of our ropes. Sunday came and went, both of us exhausted from hashing things out the night before, but come Monday morning, Ray got up early, and shortly after having some coffee, became insistent about our departure from town. “GTFO” was all he could say. We threw our camping stuff into the car and sped off to the west, to the coast.
As we crossed over the Coastal Range, temperatures dropped by thirty degrees. Falling from 95°F to 65°F, and a beautiful blanket of clouds overhead, the coolness wrapped around us. As it did, I couldn’t help but notice the smile forming on his face. We found a new campground that was nearly vacant for the night. We waded in the little river nearby. We lit a fire. We heard birdsong as night fell over the foothills, and as we sipped wine and gazed into the orange flames of the fire pit, a wave of relief washed over us both. Apologies were extended about the awfulness that was our first week of cohabitating. Kisses, hugs, hand squeezes, and deep breathing brought us back to where we needed to be – right where we started from.
Finding a way to let go of the frustration, to find a solid piece of ground under our feet, and realizing just how strong of a couple we are did us both a lot of good. I can’t wait to live with him, on our own, and under our own roof. I can’t wait to see where we go next.