When you become part of a couple after haaving single-centric thoughts for a long time, you feel very conflicted about yourself. Keep in mind that I've been with Nicholas for almost two years, and until the past few months (and a few months in 2010), I've thought of us as a unit. We will be together and will face things together.
However, lately I've been focused on thinking about my dreams, my goals, and my life, which is half of ours--not one quarter, not three quarters. Half. It entitles me to no more nor less than him.
When I found out about the DC job, and the fact that it was pretty much mine, I told him I was going with or without him. And so he came. I always felt like I owed him for doing me this favor, but seeing now what has become of him--promotions, a mature attitude--I realize that he was doing it for himself, though he didn't know it yet. Had he stayed in Jacksonville, he would have kept his job at the pharmacy, his open-ended college enrollment (technically a student, though hadn't taken classes in years) and he probably would have found someone else. I would have moved on, either liked my job or hated it, and done my thing as well. We make these choices and then live with the consequences. Thankfully, he came with me, and we were just saying over the weekend how glad we were to have moved in together, because it has made us a stronger couple. We wouldn't have known that living at our parents' houses in Florida.
Because I don't love DC--sadly, what happens to dreams when they fail?--and because I'm completely, utterly unfulfilled at work and because I don't have a social life unless you count playing with my cat or going to Chick-Fil-A with Nicholas, my sights have been set elsewhere for months. Over a year, maybe. I am not one to stick it out and plod through. I am one to run away to the next thing. However, this coupleness means I can't do that. I must stay at work so we can pay our rent. I must think of him when I think, "I could leave and be back in the South by daylight." Because it really has nothing to do with Nicholas. It's everything I've brought on to myself.
It's setting in that I'm 24. Twenty-four is not 34. I don't need to get married, have babies, buy a house just yet. As nice as those lives sound, it's also wonderful to think that the next five years could be spent in five different places and I would still turn out 29 at the end, no matter which path I took. I love change. I live for it. While my day is structured, thoughts of leaving, of new places, of open windows and sunny spaces and weeping willows--that newness fills my dreams. Should I feel bad for this? I'm in love with a very stable person who spent the first 24 years of his life in the same house, eating the same food and talking to the same people. I am not that woman. I am not a root-planter. I went to three middle schools, two high schools and two colleges. I go and then I'm gone. It's only been since living here that I've become meek and afraid.
How do I approach these ideas? How do I say, "let's do it"? I've only had to think of myself and my plans until this point, and now, thinking of someone else's makes me realize I have no idea how to do this. I'm afraid he'll go along easily and will resent me if he doesn't love the tourist life. I'm also afraid I will wake up at 50 with grown children and a beautiful house, unable to say I lived in Charleston or I returned to Savannah. How do I reconcile this?