After a sucky, emotional week, this weekend was like a breath of fresh air. After work on Friday, I went out with my friends (Laura, Ryan, Madrid, Chris and Carolina) at Valhalla. We talked about the various forms of turmoil we're going through. Carolina seems relatively content. Chris is trying to schedule all his grad school work. Madrid hates our school and she has a job interview, but she's afraid she'll hate that job, too, because it's at a middle school. Laura hates her school, but loves teaching kindergarten (and those jobs are impossible to find). Ryan loves his job, but the hours they make him work mean he'll never have time for his band (the new one, because Who By Fire just broke up) or for Laura. And then there's me. I'm in love for the first time, and now I may have to leave him if I want to fulfill my career dreams.
After hours of talking and laughing with my friends at the bar, I hopped on a train to Brooklyn. When I got to his apartment, I found he had bought me a present: a tiny, perfect raspberry cheesecake. We had a nice night, which included a candlelit bath. Saturday, we woke up at 7:30 a.m. and couldn't get back to sleep. We got up, had breakfast and eventually went out for lunch. It was Italian, and it was scrumptious. Then we wandered around a cute neighborhood of Brooklyn shopping for fresh food and such. We soaked up some sunlight before heading back to the car. When we returned to the apartment, we took a long nap. We made yummy turkey sandwiches and fresh oranges and cheesecake for supper. Deborah called to invite us to "two parties...they'll probably be bad."
Tom wanted to go. I was tired and did not. I told him, "I don't really want to go, but I do want to make you happy. So it's up to you." "Thanks for being honest." But then, later, he said, "As the weather gets warmer, I'm going to want to go out more. You're going to have to fake some enthusiasm." We noticed a few things. 1- Tom likes to go out more than I do...a lot more. He likes to go out five days a week. I'm more comfortable with three...if that. 2- I drag my feet when he wants to go out, but once I actually get out I have a great time. 3- Hopefully, as the year progresses and I'm under less stress, I'll be in more of a going-out-mood, but if not we'll have to strike some kind of balance.
And today, after breakfast but before lunch, we discussed the distinct possibility that I may be moving to Virginia this summer. I told him, "I hope you take what I'm about to say as a compliment: If it weren't for you, I'd be bouncing off the walls and jumping for joy about grad school. I finally fall in love, and now I may have to leave. I know we're not in a place where I can plan my future around us, and it sucks that I have to decide now whether I will leave you then."
"Yeah," he said with a laugh, "No pressure. If it weren't for me, you'd be all, 'See ya', suckers, I'm goin' to Virginia!'" But then he got serious: "Look, I'm only going to say this once. Don't make any decisions you'll regret for me."
"I won't," I replied, "That wouldn't be fair to either of us."
Then he admitted that he'd resigned himself to this when I told him I was looking into it, months and months ago (October or November) when we wandered through the Columbia University campus. He resigned himself to it, but suggested I apply to some schools in the city. Tom let himself fall for me, knowing that I might be leaving. I am so upset right now that none of the NY schools seem to be working out (there's still a little hope for Brooklyn College, but it's a longshot due to some paperwork they lost. Do I want to attend a school that looses such important paperwork?)
At this moment, it looks like I'm going to accept the TA position at Old Dominion. I'll keep looking into Brooklyn College and I'll also do some job hunting. Maybe there's some career I could love, but just never considered. And in the mean time, Tom and I are just enjoying what we have together for as long as we have it.
It's like what I learned from Noah, my nephew, who was born two months early and lived only a month. A part of me kept sending out this warning: "You may loose him. Don't get too attached." But it was impossible. You couldn't see and touch and talk to that baby, beautiful and as small as my hand, without falling in love with him.
You can't withhold love just because things might not work out. If everyone did that, we'd have a cold world full of people hiding behind armor. You have to love as much as you can while you can. You have to risk breaking your heart. Even knowing that I may be breaking my own heart slowly, being with him makes me feel more peaceful and happy than I've felt for so long. Tonight, as he drove me home, I held his hand for miles. My only thought was how nice it felt, the sun on my face and his hand in mine.