Essays

Coming Home

Karen’s away right now, on business. She left yesterday, and life just isn’t the same without her.

I’m always sad when she goes. I know, this time anyway, it’s only for a couple of nights, but that doesn’t seem to matter much. The missing her is the same…. strong. Intense. Things just aren’t quite right when we’re away from each other.

I never thought I’d be a person who counted on someone so much, or felt so connected to someone, as I do with her. It’s strange and incredible. I quite like it actually. And for a person who’s been pretty independent, depending on someone, well that’s an unusual thing.

Thinking about her, about us, makes me consider the nature of relationships, or at least of my view of them. What does it mean… to be in a relationship, to be a couple… connected.

I guess, for me, it means thinking of that other person before yourself, wanting to make sure they are OK, or happy, or taken care of. It means compromising what I want sometimes because something that might not be important to me is very important to her. It means not being stubborn and trying to get my way, or do things my way every time. It’s about acceptance of faults, and even a sort of celebration of them and the differences in us. Being in a relationship, to me, means I can relax knowing my trust is not misplaced. Which is huge for me. I trust, and she knows she can too. And trust, well… that’s the cornerstone, the place where feeling safe with someone comes from. Without it, there is no safety, no ability to truly relax into the relationship. And again I’ll say… I’m lucky, and I know it.

Being in a relationship means knowing that she’s there for me, just as I am for her. It involves putting her first, before anyone else. Thinking of her, before anyone else… including myself. It’s about having a playmate, a confidante, a friend, and a champion. It’s her knowing that if she falls, or has a bad day, or is upset, I’ll drop everything else and be there to hold onto. It’s big big love, swelling up inside and pouring out so much I can’t stop myself from saying “I love you” all the time. It’s about not just talking, but listening. Being in a relationship is being content, satisfied, and found. It’s understanding each other sometimes more than we understand ourselves. It’s being truthful and honest with each other even if it’s hard, or uncomfortable. And it’s about sharing our true selves with no apologies, while at the same time having an openness and a willingness to change. It’s a celebration of life and what it means to live.

Yes, I’m lucky, and I know it. I have found what people write about in books, sing about, and crave. I have a true partner in life, in every sense. We are, as we think of ourselves, two halves of a whole. When each found the other, we finally found our true and complete selves. I know it sounds corny, but that’s been the feeling…. like the world snapped in place, instantly and audibly, when our hearts met for the first time. I swear, it’s like all the cells in my body took a deep breath and then sighed collectively. And what’s amazing is that the feeling still exists… that instant relaxation, as if I’ve come home, is there every time I’ve been away from her and then am with her again. Every time.

I miss her, and I can’t wait until she comes home, because I know when she does I will, once again, feel like I’m home too. Even though I’ve been here all along, she hasn’t, and without her the house is just a place I live. The us that we are… that’s home. That’s why when she returns tomorrow, well, I’ll feel like I’m coming home too.

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