although the thought of commitment sends me into anxiety spasms, i’ve never been actually afraid of it. on the contrary, i’ve dived head-first into many pools of commitment, time after time. the trouble has not been that i’ve had a hard time committing, but that i’ve committed whole-heartedly, body and soul, to the wrong things and people.
i should back that up…not always the wrong people or things, as in there wasn’t anything inherently wrong with them as people or projects, but moreso wrong that i gave so fully of who i was to them. wrong that i found my identity, my life’s purpose in them.
afterall, our lives are shifting sands. no one person, place or thing can be fully what we are about.
B. and I are moving steadily forward as I prepare to move in with him in January. our conversations have begun to center around household finances and buying furniture and other futurey-type subject matter, i’ve begun to realize that “things are getting real,” as B. likes to say.
not that things weren’t real before. they’ve been real for me since day 1 (of dating anyway; i think they’ve been “real” for B. for much longer). i’ve known this is the man for me since we made it official. he fits me well and is everything i’ve tried to force every previous situation to be.
but still, shopping for a dresser together can get really real. all of a sudden.
as i shared some of my anxieties with a friend last night, she had a curious perspective. like me, she grew up in a very conservative environment, youth group and the like, with fairly narrow views on how a relationship should look. we both struggle with reconciling our present selves with those old harsh voices.
“these relationships are a tangible reminder of just how different we are from how we were then,” she observed. that struck me and i quickly realized how true it is. i have changed so much in the last 10 plus years since, grown in many areas. for the most part, i feel very comfortable with those choices. except in the area of relationships, where i battle time and time again with what the old me would think and do, often finding that i don’t know what’s absolutely “right” anymore; i can only know what’s right for.
so it seems that some of my anxiety is not only because of how i’ve been hurt and/or disappointed in the past. but also because choosing this relationship, and all that it entails, is a confirmation that my life is not at all what i thought it would be.
and yet, overwhelmingly, so much more. perhaps, one day, the joy of it all will not threaten to suffocate me under its weight.