It’s been two days since I left Portland, and a lovely weekend with Caleb.  The trip marked the end to the longest stretch he and I are going to be apart, hopefully, in the rest of our time together.  It had been since the day before my 35th birthday, September 30, in Seattle.  We definitely needed the reconnect.

I have finally step foot in the house that is to become my home in a few short months – just over 60 days, actually.  It’s a vast space that has a ton of potential and quirkiness about it.  What Caleb has done with it is brilliant.  He’s got a lovely sense of style and taste, and an interesting collection of things that are both sentimental and different.  Stepping into that space, I got a better sense of what he sees as both necessary and worth of a place in our home.  It was a side of him I’d been looking forward to experiencing for quite some time.

The entire weekend was a bit muffled by my lingering cold, but I powered through with the help of DayQuil and NyQuil, and managed to impress him with my get-up-and-go even while sick.  We hiked across town, and ended up atop Mt. Tabor Park in the east of the city.  We visited Forest Park, which I intend on making one of my go-to destinations as often as possible.

I’m amazed by the lushness of it all.

We meandered through a variety of neighborhoods, some of which I remember the name of, and what struck me the most was that each area had it’s own core of things to do and see and be part of.  Each neighborhood has a corner or a block of places I’m curious to see more of.  There were endless coffee shops and stores to visit.  I’m curious about the community centers and places of creativity that are scattered across the town.

My biggest take-away from the trip, though, was far more personal.  From a good conversation that Caleb and I had a few hours before my departure, it became clear to me that I was very anxious about this move.  I’m nervous about upsetting his life too much.  I’m worried about fitting into the fabric of his life in a way that is healthy and supportive, and not becoming a burden or weight upon him.  He’s also worried about my adjustment to a quieter life with him.  In the end, we agreed that it’s both healthy and normal to be nervous, but so long as we keep open and honest conversation a bedrock-must-have-no-questions-asked part of our relationship, we will navigate all of this transition in a healthy way, and arrive at a place where we are both happy.

Portland is going to be a good place for me.  I felt it sink in while Caleb napped on the sofa and I sat rocking quietly in the chair he got me as a holiday gift, wrapped up in a wool blanket and sipping orange spice tea.  I can’t wait to get there.  I can’t wait to work on the house alongside him.  I can’t wait to settle in.

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