We moved the last car load of my stuff from the apartment to her place last night. Today was our first full day officially living together (although we’ve been together every night since Christmas, most of those spent at the house). It seems fitting that on the 1 year anniversary of my first day in Detroit, I turn the page and get another new beginning. Now, though, we’re faced with the reality of merging two lives and all that it entails.
It means the garage is so full of duplicate furniture and sentimental items we can’t walk into it. Not because it’s full to the brim (which it is) but because it’s thrown haphazardly together. It means the hallway is home to the little one’s bed, disassembled and waiting for the space holder that he’s been using to be removed. It means the half-unpacked boxes in the living room cover the floor because they were brought over and partially unpacked before another load was brought over and I started on that instead. It means we each have things we just can’t let go of, and things that we simply had until we could find something better. It’s the evidence of two separate and fulfilling lives that have converged not in orderly fashion, but in glorious wrenching nowness.
Because merging two lives is more than just falling in love and deciding to build a life together. It becomes more than just making time. It means making space for one another. It means deciding which traditions we perpetuate. It means opening a goddamn joint bank account. It means a lease and a child and an immediacy that obscures what got us here and what will see us through.
So, breathe. Again. Let it out.
It means we chart the way forward together from here. Two lives, 3 really, that are set on the same path. I suppose we’re more like caravans at a juncture than boxes cluttering each other’s space. Our lives, trailing reminders of our mutual pasts, are at the moment tangled up and disjointed. It’s difficult to see a discernible way to organize this thing, to blend it into a working organism. But as we move forward on this path together, they will sort themselves out. I’m sure there will be stalls as we go along, with past issues backing up upon us like so many travelers on a road. There will be times when our separate caravans will appear to be irreconcilable. And even times when it seems redundant.
But in the end, we’ve decided we’re going in the same direction for a while. Maybe forever. And this path is better traveled together than alone.