I am terrified of getting lost.
Not lost in a physical sense, because I've spent a great deal of my life getting very specific directions, and still turning down the wrong street, hopping on the wrong bus, and relying on strangers, turning the map in the direction that I'm facing, and still choosing the wrong way when I get to the landmark that's supposed to definitively tell me where I'm going.
In other words, I've spent a lot of time not quite knowing where I am but confident I'll end up where I'm supposed to be.
In terms of travel, I've always wound up where I set out to.
But right now, I'm firmly embedded in one of those life milestones. And I'm so scared of losing me.
And I'm having a great time - I'm with this person who keeps me endlessly entertained, who I can spend ridiculous amounts of time with and still feel like we don't have enough time. But still.
I've worked hard to craft this life for myself, and it's a life I like. I can take care of myself; I can pay for all my own stuff. I am fine alone. I'm just happier not alone. Or, more specifically, I'm happier with Nick. But it's really, really important to me to be my own, whole, entire person.
What if I lose that?
I own a tiny little place in DC - tiny but in a fantastic location. Exactly where I wanted to be. I can walk to work; I can walk to everything. Most of my friends live blocks away. Parking in my neighborhood sucks - in part because a lot of people drive to go out there. It's a fun area to be.
But the minute nature of the place means that it's only big enough for me. Or maybe me and a petite little man. With only three outfits and one pair of shoes. And no stuff.
In other words, really, just me.
So we spent all our time at Nick's, out in Virginia. Because we determined early that there's simply not enough room for us to actually sleep at my place. And the not sleeping? Doesn't work for either of us.
His place is lovely, really and truly. It's beautifully done and very comfortable. It's big enough for both of us. And man, is it tidy.
And I? Am not. So I spend a lot of time trying not to leave things strewn about, as is my wont. This is a good thing; I would like to be less of a strewer-abouter. But I put a lot of effort into not bringing much over, because there isn't space for it. And I worry I'll end up strewing or piling, for lack of anywhere to stick stuff. And he will get annoyed.
He hasn't actually gotten annoyed. But I don't want to put a bunch of reasons not to like me out there.
What we are talking about is me moving in there once we get married. We'll save money, and then buy a new place in DC. Part of this is location - I want to be in DC; I want to be able to walk to things, and he likes the idea of a city life - he just hasn't sought it out before.
When we leave the city after work, we go home, and that is that. No last minute running down the block to meet up with friends, no strolling down to Whole Foods for groceries. There are a couple places to walk to, and we do, but none of my friends are nearby.
It's not just about being in the city or not. It's also that, while his place is big enough for both of us, it's only big enough as long as I put all my stuff in storage. Or he puts some and I put some. And still, a lot will go in storage.
But space is not all of it.
His place is his. It's very him. Because, like me, he's crafted a whole life for himself. And his place is great, but it's not me. And we do things his way, not because he pushes - not at all, but because it's his place, and this is how he does things. It would be the same at my place - you know your space, you have your routine, and the way you do things is the way you do things.
And so I currently feel like I've walked into someone else's life. And it's not that it's not where I want to be. He is exactly where I want to be. It's just that I haven't figured out how to also retain all the me of me.