When do you stop making decisions based solely on yourself? At what age do you say I want to stay in your world – even if it means moving from mine? Or does it have nothing to do with age and everything to do with a person?
Does it always have to be flower petals and cake, photographers and attendants? Can’t it just be installing a bike rack on the back of the car, departing with a handful of boxes, and deciding to leave the window half cracked? Or simply, I pick the way you smile in profile in the dark? I choose your knee. And the way that it feels next to mine.
Why does it have to be your future, my career? Why can’t they exist in the same place? Could it be three years and snow, mountain passes and shared closet space?
I hope so. Because in January I am moving. Out of the state and for a boy. And for me.
I will be living 900 miles from a coastline, and 526 miles from the nearest Major League ballpark. I will be living in what is considered a red state. And I am not sure what will require the most to adjust to. The last big move I made was from Massachusetts to California six years ago.
I moved because I needed to experience something new, I needed to experience a new me. So I found a job. I paid my bills. I met nice people. I broke my heart. Then I moved again. Met more nice people. And one in particular. Now soon I will embark on a new adventure. To a new state, to a new life. One that I will share with someone else.
To be honest, I have lived with someone else before. Briefly. And it didn’t work out. But I didn’t move for him.
I used to tell D that he had “the unfortunate experience of being next,” after my last break up. Now, I’m not so sure.
Because we had time to date and break up and stay friends. Date other people and do the things that friends do. Like confide in each other. Eat cheeseburgers. Drink beer. And go home separately. Then one day we decided that maybe, just maybe, I would like to kiss you again.
Five months ago I watched a terrible thing happen. He packed up his room, kissed me on the lips, and moved away. To be fair, he wasn’t leaving me; he was going back to school to learn and grow and be better. I knew it was coming. Still, it hurt.
After he moved we had to learn to become better communicators, our nightly chats reduced to talking on the phone and appearances over Skype. The experience forced us to just talk to each other. About things. Like feelings. The distance required us to make an extra effort. I wrote letters and postcards that I sent because I liked the ritual of saying, I love you enough to wait in lines for stamps at the post office.
The distance also kind of upped the ante on our relationship. Making us project manage our lives, asking ourselves – what do we really see developing here? Three months into our 900 mile long distance experiment we decided to continue seeing more of each other. But in person. And in the same apartment – parking both our bikes and our lives at the same address.
We thought it would take a while for me to secure a job in Utah. Perhaps a year. Or longer. I searched job listings, sent in a resume, and got a phone call and job offer two months later. And not just a job, a good job. And one that I really wanted to accept.
My friend Allison has a theory that things that are meant to be should be easy. Kind of like water flowing downhill. You shouldn’t have to push against the tides, divert energy, resources, and everything you have, in order for something to work out. Especially, when it comes to love.
So soon I will be departing the city I have called home for the last three years. There are things I will miss. Like my friends. The food. Baseball. And the ocean. But I am answering this call for adventure. I am going to a state that is bluer and greener, drier and colder than you might imagine. I am going because the way to happy just might be through a little Mormon town in northern Utah. Where the mountains are high, the temperatures are low, and there is much for me to learn.
I know how my life is now. And it is good. But I am comfortable. And I don’t believe you get better by staying the same. Changing everything is terrifying. It’s risky. And that is exactly why I am doing it.