The Shanty

The Shanty
where I grew up

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Feeling of Need

I just realized that I sort of left my last story hanging…

Since I last posted I have seen John two times. Once when he came out to Tucson and then again when I went back East for Thanksgiving to be with him. So it’s apparent, after saying that, that things went well right? RIGHT. Things went so extremely well that I had my flight booked for Thanksgiving before he was even on the plane back home to Mass!

It’s hard to describe what it was like when John showed up at my house for the first time. I had been up for several hours in anticipation and excitement and as the time got closer to him showing up the more I felt like I was going to puke. I must have peed 10 times in that last hour and my heart was racing. Of course we were used to looking at each other over Skype but it was much different in real life. I guess there is nervousness for any new couple but since that moment had been built up for a month it was extra intense. But just as we thought, things went really well. We were comfortable and familiar enough with one another that things just clicked and we got along better than I even expected. There were no awkward moments and you could feel our excitement bouncing around the room. It was apparent we were equally pleased with how this monumental event was going.

Meeting his family for the first time for Thanksgiving couldn’t have gone better either! Everyone was so kind and welcoming that it would have been impossible for me to not feel comfortable and accepted. John had some concerns of his family’s behavior but I absolutely loved them. They were all very down to earth, fun, real people that I could relate to well. These were no bullshit types of people who constantly threw around jokes and humor which is exactly what I love.

I could go on and on about how his trip out here went or how my trip there went but there is something more important that I want to turn the focus toward—the moment I felt something different than I’ve ever felt before. The moment I felt so overwhelmed with admiration and emotion I basically freaked the fuck out. It was the moment I felt like I needed John. Not just that I wanted him in my life, not just that I really like him, and not just that I felt I should say I need him because guys like that stuff, but the actual feeling of need. (This hit me inbetween trips).

Those of you who know me well know this is not something I typically feel. In fact I’ve been known to boast about not needing anyone for anything because let’s face it, love is not a necessity of life. And even as much as I love my friends I know that without them I wouldn’t die. And I guess that’s always the “hard core” way I’ve looked at things. To me “need” is something that without it you’ll die. Silly me! Why I’m so rigid with my words I’m not sure but I am. If I take the rigidity out of it however, I do in fact need my friends in order to feel a level of happiness I otherwise couldn’t achieve on my own. And that’s just it…there are many levels of happiness in life. The following is a series of diagrams of my moods and how they’ve fluctuated. Upon realizing these differences it has made me realize that I do in fact need John to reach a level of happiness I’ve never known before. This was by no means an easy realization for me. I completely freaked out! You see, feeling THAT happy is completely foreign to me…I was pretty sure it was unattainable. There are many reasons John is able to see me at this level. Many reasons that no one has offered to me before. The biggest is his ability to “get” me and to be there for me emotionally. I have been forever told that I’m hard to understand and that you have to be careful with how you are toward me. I’ve never quite understood this but accepted it to be true since so many people have expressed this to me. To know that there is someone that understands me and knows just what to say and how to behave toward me is amazing. Of course that’s not all there is but that plays a huge part into me accepting that I need someone…I need John.

To reach the age of 32 (damn near anyway) and never having known what extreme happiness is makes it that much sweeter now that I do. I have claimed to be happy before, and I often am. However, this kind of happiness is completely different. And I know that I say “this time is different” a lot too but this time is not only different but a whole new experience for me. My world would be turned upside down without John in it. That is hard for me to admit. I like that he gets to see the vulnerable side of me though and that I’m not afraid to show it to him (well sometimes it takes a while for me to get there but I eventually do). I feel safe with him.

If you’ve never experienced a (healthy) feeling of need for someone then I say keep looking. Don’t settle for good when amazing can be achieved. Don’t stay close to extreme happiness when you can go above that line. I can try to explain it but honestly it’s a feeling that can only be felt and when it hits you, you’ll wonder how you ever got through life without it. Or maybe you’ve always been a happy person and this type of thing happens all the time for you. But for ME, happiness is not easy and extreme happiness is down right foreign…until now. This should explain a little better the excitement and enthusiasm I have for my future. This is the real deal and my smile couldn’t be bigger.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Love At First Skype

"Distance means so little when someone means so much."

There is no way I would ever consider being in a long distance relationship! How many times have you caught yourself denying a person based on one or two specifications? I hear it all the time... “I would NEVER date a smoker!” “I would never date someone with kids!” “I would never…blah, blah, blah”. I’ve tried to explain to people that if you met the right person, those things wouldn’t matter anymore. However I realized I was still doing the same thing I just thought mine made more sense. Why would anyone want to date someone who didn’t live in the same state or even same town as you?!

Now don’t get me wrong. There are definitely deal breakers that people have that hold more value than just what they do in their spare time or what their past entailed. Some people are adamant on mutual religion, others on race. And still others on criminal background, political affiliation, etc… These are still things that don’t seem like they should be a deal breaker to me but everyone has at least one and I try not to judge what yours might be. My deal breaker is that the person can not be an alcoholic. I’ve dealt with enough of that in one life time that I’m not willing to bend on it in my future. The rest of the things people proclaim they will not put up with really are petty and not true. You may try to argue with me on this but I know that certain things, if revealed appropriately, will not be as big of a deal as you think they are if you find true love. The key is to not be so close minded that you let someone really great pass you by because you’re caught up on something so insignificant. The key is to open your mind and turn those deal breakers into things you’d prefer weren’t so but not something that makes you completely look away.

I was recently faced with this and that’s how I’m quite certain deal breakers you train yourself to believe don’t really exist. While I was in Boston visiting my very good friend Kim I met someone. I met this random guy one drunken night at the bar while out for Kim’s birthday. He and I shared a couple drinks, danced a bit, and exchanged phone numbers all in the span of around 30 minutes and that was that. Or so I thought…

We spent the next couple days, weeks, texting, talking, and Skyping. Living out some long distance fantasy that would never be anything more than that. Perhaps we would meet somewhere, somewhere like the City of Sin, and have some whirlwind rendezvous! I mean, why not?! We were both single and the excitement of doing something so outside of my comfort zone sounded like just what I needed! And that’s just it…I was outside of my comfort zone. What about this guy was making me feel comfortable to behave and think in ways I never have before? Was it the safety of distance? The safety knowing that nothing would ever actually come of this? Perhaps. But either way I liked it. I became someone I always knew I could be but never could draw out of myself. And now this guy who was nearly 3,000 miles away was encouraging this side of me that I was really starting to like and feel comfortable with.

Well, some more time went by and this fantasy was quickly shaping into more than just some lustful dream. I was actually beginning to like this guy. I won’t go into too much detail here but he and I have a lot in common. I joke and say that I think we share part of the same brain. How could I be falling for someone over text and Skype though? No. I would just suppress my feelings and go back to thinking in hot, steamy fantasy land. So much for that effort. It was useless, I couldn’t help it…I was actually falling for him. Fortunately for me, he was feeling the same way. We knew it didn’t make logical sense but we couldn’t deny our hearts just the same. And being the logical people that we both are made this admittance difficult. So he made plans to come to Tucson. He knows one other person here, who he’s staying with so that made the planning and arrangements that much "safer" and secure for us and our loved ones.

Once the ticket had been purchased we decided to do a “dry run” if you will, on being exclusive. We still knew that it wasn’t very realistic or plausible but we both cared and trusted the other enough to give it a shot to see how it’d go. Then after his visit we would re-evaluate and figure out what our next move would be, if any at all. This past month has actually been very easy for me as far as being committed to a man so far away. No one here even comes close to catching or keeping my attention the way he does. I know I don’t want this to end but come on! A long distance relationship? Really?? Yes, really. There is a good chance it won’t be long distance for too long but even if it were I know he is worth it. No one has ever been so thoughtful and attentive to me. No one has ever quite gotten how my mind works before until now. No one has ever not wanted kids in the same capacity as me! Ha! Yes, that’s right…such a hard thing to find and yet I did. And for once in my life I found someone willing to put in as much effort as I am and to be available as much as I am.

His trip out to Tucson is kind of the last “test” to be sure we are as compatible as we feel we are. So far we have been missing touch, smell, and just actual presence of one another. I don’t see how it could possibly go wrong but we are both aware that there is a chance it could. Neither of us wants that to happen even though if things didn’t work out it would be a lot easier on us both. I don’t want easy though. I want the relationship I’ve held out for that I always knew existed. Have I said this before and been wrong? Of course. But with each failed relationship I learn more about myself and what I need out of a relationship. So for those of you who are holding back excitement for me because you feel “here she goes again” can seriously go fuck yourselves. And those of you who feel “how could she fall for someone so fast and over text and Skype no less?!” can hopefully learn something from this post. I was one of those doubters. I was someone who felt it took much, much longer to know if you were in love. Well, sometimes logic is wrong. I know this now. And I’m not going to fight it. I will do whatever I need to do to make this work out. I haven’t felt this way in a very long time (no offense to anyone else) and I’m cherishing every moment of it.

Tomorrow morning I will get to see John for basically the first time. We’ll get to share our first kiss and our first live moments together as a couple. From everything I’ve learned so far, between the 8,000 plus texts and hours upon hours of Skype and phone time, I have fallen in love with this man and I’m not ashamed to admit it or to go for it all the way. And if for some reason things don’t work out…this journey has been worth it a million times over. I’m so excited for tomorrow and for every day that follows. What started as just a fantasy has turned into something much more meaningful. How can I not be excited for that?! How can I not appreciate the way things have gone thus far? The irony of having two logical minds come together at the heart is enough to make me want more.