4 months plus a lifetime

Four months ago today, I went on a date that would change my life.

It was so unexpected, when my guy asked me out to have coffee I was confused because I thought he was going to talk to me about a fraud or work-related issue....and my response was pretty much clear that I had NO idea this guy was like, interested in me. I remember even asking my two carpoolers if they thought that my guy just wanted to make friends and talk about our dogs (which we had done many times before).

I remember not being able to sleep that night...totally confused and not sure what to do. I had just formally ended a...well, relationship that was effectively already over...and I thought I needed to have a longer waiting period before agreeing to go on a date, but then I thought, what the hell? What do I have to lose?

Coffee somehow turned into brunch and I was really, really, really nervous. The deal was that he was going to line up for the restaurant (there is always a ridiculously long line up) and I was going to pick us up a coffee, since it was still pretty chilly outside. We were sat fairly quickly and then we stayed there for nearly THREE HOURS.

We each ordered another coffee, another hot chocolate...just trying to draw out the date for as long as possible. I was COMPLETELY blown away as I had this impression of who he was and I was EXTREMELY mistaken. He was way funnier, and kind, and...our conversation just kept going on and on and on...as I learned more about him and vise versa. It was like we had known each other for decades but hadn't seen each other in a few years and needed to catch up.

Eventually....there were no more hot chocolates or coffees that either of us could fit in our stomach, so we left. He walked me to my car...and I awkwardly double-cheek-kissed him (which I did when I saw him as well - it's a Quebec thing but something that I just can't get used to).

If I remember correctly....I said that we should do this again... and the rest was history. I remember being on this confused cloud 9. Unsure how I could have possibly met someone so amazing and unsure if I was ready to date him. I just had it in my head that I needed to be single for like six months before dating again. But there he was.

The next week passed by so quickly. I remember trying to keep things calm and secret but wanting to see him so badly before our next Saturday date. We had Facetime calls every single night...and decided that we would have a quick supper on Thursday night. I was so nervous that I couldn't eat (I ordered soup.... I was that nervous that I didn't know how I could possibly fit anything in my stomach!!!), but I was determined to kiss him that night. I couldn't like him so much if the spark wasn't there.

As he walked me to my car, I stood on my tiptoes and kissed him. And yes, sparks flew. And yes, I may have squealed in delight once I was in my car and safely out of hearing distance because I couldn't recall kissing a man taller than me.

And then we were pretty much inseparable. I had to let down a lot of walls that I had no desire to get rid of. I couldn't believe I had met someone so incredible....but also SO LIKE ME! Ok, so he keeps his car clean and doesn't understand how I forget to close the fridge door.... and I don't understand how he WANTS to get up at 5am...but deep down, where it counts, I have met my match. 

And my roommate officially as of August 1, as I have rented out my apartment and am giving up the city life for the lake life. Maggie has adjusted soooooooo well to her new brother and sister (ok.. still warming up to her sister....but they can peacefully co-exist).

The other day a friend asked me if I was happy. I replied, "Well, yah.". She expected a more enthusiastic answer....but it's not like that. It's not like some giddy, new relationship excitement. Its...like it's just always been there since he's been in my life. We might not know how to navigate every situation...but together...we can figure it out...in the most kind and caring way...

4 months doesn't seem like a very long relationship...but when you know that you've met "the one"...when you didn't believe in something like "the one"...well, spending 4 months with that person is pretty freaking wonderful.

And I look forward to each and every day that we wake up together (ok...we don't actually wake up together since he wakes up at 5am....but you get what I mean ;))

June 2018

Somehow nearly another month has passed by...the later half involved the mountains

 This guy
 Us together a lot

And me bringing my main squeeze back to Alberta to meet my family.

I was a little stressed....I don't have the best luck travelling with a boyfriend/significant other, so I was worried there would be a lot of tense moments and arguments spattered throughout... but it was perfect.

He just rolls with whatever is happening...was so happy to meet my family, and they were elated to meet him. It's clear that this guy - is different. We compliment each other so well....we have such a nice time together...even in the stressful times...and all I can say is that I hope it continues to be more like this.

It's also official - I have found a renter for my apartment here in Montreal as of August 1st, so I am now a resident of Notre-Dame-De-L'Ile-Perrot, a much, much smaller island. Studying has continued, I'll be ready by the end of the month to write exam #1 out of 3, and I have a job interview on Thursday (which I do not think that I will like....but it's good practice).

Life is good. Now to just let that soak in.

Getting my groove back

Despite any inner...turmoil (aka overthinking) in my last post, I have to say that almost every morning I wake up with a very full heart.

I haven't officially moved (but will be shortly), but basically, I'm living the lake life. It's in a house, filled with noise (the dogs), love (A and me and the dogs), and just....a kind of peace that I hadn't yet found.

I've never been a city girl, yet somehow I made Montreal my home and it ended up feeling quite small...but I love walking up to the birds chirping, the dogs singing their good morning love song (aka either crying or howling for some love/attention/food), eating breakfast either looking out at the backyard, or as of this weekend, sitting in an outdoor recliner watching the dogs chase squirrels, bark, or chase each other.

And once they run around in the morning, it's nap time until the afternoon.

Then as the day progresses, my head starts to fill itself of everything that I'm not getting done, how I'm not being productive enough, and that I need to start doing more... and that's when the bad day sets in.

So, here I am, not even 9h00 yet, on my computer, ready to study (I'm studying for a set of three professional exams....the first exam fail rate is 60%...so it's tough). I don't want to create a strict routine, but I need a little bit of one to get me motivated in the morning so that my extra breaks and time to myself don't take up the entire day.

While I'm not working, I want to stay fit, continue my progress in learning to love the person I am (it sounds funny, but it's not always easy), and to study. Oh, and move in my girl stuff into a house full of boy stuff, and let myself have some fun time too.

The gift of being with the one

“Giving is virtuous, but so is accepting gifts gratefully.” ~Doe Zantamata
I found that quote from this article and I felt like it could have easily be written by me. It's not to say that I don't find myself around giving and generous people, but...in most cases, I would rather give than receive in my areas and aspects of my life. What isn't so easy, is to accept the kindness of others.

Since I have been with A, he has been incredibly generous. I don't just mean with material things, but with his time, patience, and constant love. CONSTANT love. No matter what. His family has been the same. Just one quick example: Last week I had a dentist appointment (and they give me drugs because nothing scares me more than dentists) and I needed a ride. A is nearing the end of a huge project, and taking a few hours off in the middle of a weekday was super tough. So, his dad offered to take me. He drove 1.5 hrs to pick me up, dropped me off at the dentist, waited for me in the dentist's office, and then drove about an hour to drive me home. He spoke the entire time about his life, his family, and his experiences. When I told A that, he was shocked. A couldn't believe that he had opened up so much and thought it was a great sign. His dad loved me. I can tell you that it was an overwhelming to receive his gift...of time and love. 

Now I'm living with A, and the constant amount of giving is never ending. I don't think twice about mowing the lawn when I know he's crazy busy and I don't think twice about spending my time or energy... to contribute to the well being of our house/couple/life...in fact, I get off on it.

But when it comes to accepting his giving nature. I fight it. I protest it. I'm not used to receiving all this...help. And it's not even presented as help, it's presented as being the other half a couple. There are areas in which he has more to give. Right now, I'm not working, so my budget is pretty tight. He - makes a decent salary - which disposable income, so he wants to make sure that I'm taken care of and don't in-debt myself while I'm job hunting and finishing my exams. 

It all sounds reasonable right? We are a partnership? But, it left me in tears, feeling overwhelmed, feeling like I'm taking advantage of his generosity. Most definitely, if the situations were reversed, I would insist for the same arrangement, but I'm still having a hard time accepting his kindness. In this area and in others. I'm touched when he makes me a hot chocolate and brings it upstairs for no reason. I'm flattered when he buys me this particular drink I like and brings it home...he remembers what I like and wants to make me happy.

I do the same for him...so why is it so hard...to accept it back, without feeling like I'm being a burden? The article describes it perfectly...

Later that night, my friend said her mom thought it was strange of me to keep turning her down. I was shocked and hurt. I didn’t accept the invitation because I didn’t want to hassle her in having to prepare for an additional dinner plate. I had no intention of offending her.
The hassle... I don't want to put him through the hassle...when...it's the joys of being in a healthy relationship...for better or worse.

The difficulty of trying to relax.

This morning I decided I was going to have a "sick day". I've kind of been running around in circles since last Friday, doing my best to relax, but then doing laundry, vacuuming, organizing, running random errands, etc...

Today, after running a couple of errands, I'm calling in sick. I'm laying in bed, watching a movie, possibly eating some chocolate, and giving up on adulting.

The boyfriend has been trying to convince me to do this since last Friday...but it just felt...off. Like I should be pounding the pavement, calling all contacts, making a list of everything that needs done and get it all finished ASAP.

So today, after stopping at the grocery store, and chatting with a ninety-five (and a half!) year old, who walks every day with her morning mall-walk group and still drives herself, I decided that yep, I'm going to have a day where I just relax. And go for a walk later on.

But first, we needed a coffee, and Mags needs a little break from the other two, so we went and had an iced coffee on the patio.

Maggie doesn't need an excuse to chill, so I'll try to copy her and relax in the sun, or in the bed, or on the couch for the rest of the day.

The odd celebrations of our life

Some celebrating happened on Friday and Saturday night (both nights with steak...guess I needed me some red meat!).

(Also, side note, the meal below is from Good Foods. Click on this link to find out more about it. It's amazing, affordable, and makes you look all fancy).

The first huge celebration, is that little Maggie, is doing just fine. I didn't write about it, but two weeks ago, she was hit by a car.

I know. It was terrifying. I'm not all together sure how it happened (other than a car hit her), but I found her on the road, eyes closed, bleeding from the mouth. I gently picked her up, started talking calmly to her, and then the lady that hit her drove me to the vet hospital. She was able to understand her words (like treat, walk, squirrel, etc), but she couldn't open her eyes and she was still bleeding a bit. I was grateful that I would have these last few moments with Maggie, since she was alert, and then I gave her to the vet, and she brought me Maggie thirty minutes later and Maggie was licking my face (since I was sobbing), and the vet told me she had an eye injury and had bit her tongue.

This tiny little creature somehow got hit by a car, and she walks away with an eye and tongue injury. Miracles happen every day. She had to stay for observation and more tests, but she left with a clean bill of health. She's not 100% herself yet, but she is well enough to stand her own ground with Ashby's dogs.
The fact that these dogs are in such close range to each other is another miracle....They can now be left on the same floor of the house (as long as we are home) and seem to interact together in a safe and healthy way - although at one time or another one of them gets jealous and kind of becomes an asshole. :)

And lastly, we are celebrating....my dismissal at work. For a year or so, I have been trying to weave my way through a chaotic and sometimes toxic work environment. I wanted to find a new job before leaving, but the choice was made for me, and although I can't say it's a super comforting feeling at the moment, it was truly affecting my mental and physical health....and now I have time to look for the right job - not just the right job for right now.

Ashby has been there for me...in so many ways, and I'm happy he's here to support me. I've had a lot of ups and downs since Friday morning....but I can't believe I've met someone so caring, strong, kind, generous and just all around wonderful. Our love, our laughter, and how we have incorporated our lives together in such a short time...is a very wonderful thing worth celebrating.

I might not have a job.  I might not know what will happen tomorrow. However, I know I am loved, I know I am safe, and I know that better things are around the corner. I panic every here and there...not knowing the future...but as long as I have this guy by my side, life is still pretty wonderful.

Ride with me

Lately...I’ve had a few…well, ok, more than a few moments. Many moments. Where I ask myself, Is this really my life? Is this…what real happiness feels like? 

With all the changes in my life the last few years (plus struggling with my depression), I have had happy moments, happy days, happy weeks. I think that I laugh regularly.

And maybe looking back something felt missing…but I didn’t truly realize it. I felt alone….a lot. But…I was also..kind of used to it.

Now…I feel like I’m on the fourth day of a really great vacation that just blows your mind and you think to yourself…Wow, how did I get here?

My life is far from perfect. I have family, finance, work, and other life concerns/worries… and I’m scared to say it out loud. But I am. So. Happy.

I met this man…who is so wonderful….in so many ways… and I think…was all this hard work leading up to this? If so…it was worth it. 
Yep, we’ve only been together for two months. Two short months. But two months where everything just…feels different.

I have gone and seen my shrink twice to…discuss if I’m having some kind of mental illness symptom or something…because I was in disbelief that…I could really be this happy….and it could be this easy…and that I could experience true happiness.

I still cry. I still have bad days. I am not in some euphoric state. 

But I sleep well (finally. I think I’ve been having trouble sleeping for two or more years).
I feel well in my skin (or as well as I can right now).
I wake up most mornings and go downstairs to a wonderful man, with the best smile that I’ve ever seen… (we are not living together….but Maggie and I spend a lot of time there). 

I have so many moments…where I look over at him, or I’m sitting in a quiet area, or when I’m driving in my car…and I think…whatever did I do to deserve this happiness? 

I did a lot.
I fought when I was too tired to fight.
I kept going when I was at my weakest.
I walked in faith when I had none. 

And just when I want to overthink things, or doubt the reality of the situation….he plays this song for me. 

Stay tuned.