Some of the last bit of time at the house in New Paltz I was snowed in, not an unpleasant experience in such a lovely place. In addition I lost cable which meant no television and no internet, plus my cell stopped working. Thank goodness they had a landline. Four days of complete silence from outside sources that usually inundated with via cell, television, the web was a nice reprieve. It seemed timely and fine the way things started to go a bit wrong, or rather not blissfully perfect as they had my last few days, the universe way of saying it was time to move onward.I found myself wanting to arrive in Cleveland with little to no laundry, I wanted to end with as many things tidy as possible, and clean, a fresh slate to start my next phase. Not something I have done before but I liked doing that, as well as making the house especially tidy for my departure and the homeowners arrival.
I appreciate my time there so much. It was much like something I have thought about doing for years, eons really. At various points in time I had the vague urge to go to someplace like the to do a session of silence and reflection, or wondered what it would be like to become a Buddhist monk. When on the cusp of leaving C. and deciding to see where things lead with Her Geekyness, I had a strong urge to leave them both behind, to rent a tiny cottage in the mountains or by the beach somewhere in Northern California, to gain some piece for myself. Fear of so many things kept me from doing this. It took five years but I finally got my personal retreat. The place was beautiful, somewhere I love physically, a place with reasonable creature comforts where I could discover and impose my rhythms. There were things I did not expect to discover while I was there.
Years ago I had read about the notion of the daily pages for The Artist’s Way, but there was no way to know how much I would learn about myself while doing them, how much I love writing them, that I missed real journaling. I like, and crave being neat more than I knew. I have had partners who teased me about my piles, who nagged about how the house looked (like it was all on me!), who knew I could be different than I had been. I had forgotten how tidy I tend to be when on my own, when I like where I am. I can feed myself just fine and even be healthy and not gorge, even though there is no one whose disapproval I perceive lurking around the corner.
Something I had not expected to discover about myself was I am a bit more old fashioned than I thought. In my conversations with BC when she visited I realized that I did not want her to ask me to move in unless she was willing to marry me. By “marry” I don’t mean a wedding per se, or getting a ring as much as I mean that I need to know she is asking me because she is committed to the idea of us, to working on our relationship for the long haul. Perhaps it’s a matter of no longer being in my 20’s or even 30’s, maybe it’s having done this too many times before without enough conversation about what we want, how our relationship will look in other's lives, but I need to know that it’s the whole deal. I don’t want to be asked because it’s convenient, because she is lonely, because she thinks maybe she’d like to build a future. I don’t want to say yes for those reasons. I want us to buy the cow, the barn, the house, and go to town meetings. I want a plan, I want things spelled out, I want to know that will we will review things regularly to tweak them, to improve, to repair something that isn’t working.
Would I turn down a ring or a wedding party? Hell no. But it is more about what follows that I want. I want to have a room of my own where we live, even if it isn’t a full room, but I need a space that is mine to retreat to, that I do not share with anyone, where the desk can grow messy without complaint except my own at which point I will clean it. I want to remember my rhythm in the midst of couplehood, I want it to inform that dyad and I want to know when to back down and listen to their rhythm. I want a healthy pairing. I want it to be the soft spot where I land when I return from being in my space, from my travels, my retreats, from work. I want to be held as I grow. I want to hold as they grow. For us to entwined in some places and reach for our own sunlight in others.