We are slowly – *very slowly* – turning our little apartment into a home. The initial rush of getting all of the things from the old place to here has happened, and along the way, we’ve also been dealing with getting our cat, Bailey, up to snuff with her medical needs. Cats aren’t cheap – no pets are – but because of that, most of the setup has had to slow to a crawl. We are still on the hunt for a decent bookshelf system, and Ray’s not totally sold on the living room the way it is now, but it’s coming. Slowly. Settling into a new pattern takes time, right?
Ray’s also started making the transition he’s been dreaming of. He’s taken a post over at a winery not too far from Portland, working a couple of days in their tasting room. He’s also brought with him a lot of marketing and design experience (which you can check out here) which the owners of the winery have already taken notice of and want to put to use. It’s a blending of his love for wine and design that’s coming to fruition, and I am so damn proud of him.
What this has all meant, though, is that we are now devoting far more energy to our future, rather than remaining focused on the present. We began this journey together staying very-much-present in our interactions with each other. It was tough, for me, especially since I’m really quick to want to settle into a long-term arrangement, being the nester that I am, so for years, Ray was always gently pushing back whenever I’d make noises about what our future together might look like. Nowadays, though, we’re having lots of talks about what the next six months, the next few years, might look like.
For his part, Ray is happy with us. I check in with him now and again, making sure that our ship is still on a course that suits him. He reassures me that things are fine, even though I know he’s also missing our more care-free times, when we could just chuck our stuff into the car and take off on a whim. While it’s not worrisome that those moments are really few and far between, all of this is a total flashback to my previous relationships, especially my marriage – the one that failed – and I’m having to check and double-check that I’m not retreading on ground I already know. I also, and this is key, need to remember that Ray is not my ex-husband, and to be judged or critiqued based on my own prior experiences in a relationship. You’d think after three and a half years, I’d finally stop making comparisons between what has happened in my past and what is happening now, but for some damn reason, I cannot. I always catch myself doing this, knowing full-well that it’s unfair to both Ray and myself. I need to do better.
I don’t know what the future holds for him and I. I don’t know where we’ll be in a year, five years, a decade. I guess this doesn’t frighten me too much, because for now, I’m still holding his hand. While we might not be making any majestic waves or taking off on any stellar adventures these days, we are still making our home, still building our family, still settling into a life of our own. For this, I am thankful. These small moments will keep me present and accounted for in the here and now, while everything else seems to be pointed at the future.