Improved But Not New

Ever wake up one morning and realize nothing has changed magically over night? That you are the same person in the morning as you were when you went to sleep?

Yeah, I bet anyone can because that’s pretty much what happens every time you lay your head against the cool side of the pillow and drift off. You wake up the same as you were the night before and the night before that.

I had this feeling a lot lately. I’d been waking up with the same issues and worries each morning that I fall asleep thinking about just the night before. My dreams were plagued with nightmares and scenarios played out as my subconscious works through what ever was bothering me.

And somewhere inside my heart, somewhere the little girl in me imagined that if I could just squeeze my eyes shut as tight as I could, I would magically wake up the next morning to find I’m a completely different person. That all my worries and troubles would be gone and I’d be a whole new woman with nothing to fret over.

But it didn’t happen. And no amount of eye -squenching as I drifted off to sleep fixed this problem. I would go to bed with worries circling my mind and wake up dragging, tired, and fighting to stay awake as the same issues bombarded me throughout the day.

Until recently.

Recently I’ve been spending more time with The Guy. Staying at his place whether he’s home or in class and doing some rather domestic things like organizing the bills and picking up around the place, cooking dinner and folding the clothes. Our laundry has effortlessly combined into one communal pile of dirty socks and underwear. My son’s books now rest in a wicker basket along side a handful of game system remotes. Our shoes line up together in a solid row of blacks and whites and blues.

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Somehow, over time, we’ve melded into a family unit without much thought or conscious planning. It just kinda…happened. And in doing so and staying there regularly, I find myself falling asleep peacefully on what’s now my side of the bed while he builds his pillow fortress around him on his side of the bed. Upon sleeping, I rarely dream and I wake up without a worry in the morning.

It doesn’t last long as the day kicks into full gear with lunch making and bartering with my son about getting dressed and what he’ll eat for breakfast. But still, I’m waking up feeling a general improvement over my thoughts and my heart each morning.

That’s when I realize what I’ve done. I’m metamorphosized.

The anguish and frustration, the clawing and the caterwauling as I painfully made my way from the young lady to a full fledged woman has paid off. I’ve survived, I’ve made it through some of the toughest moments I’ve ever faced and found myself able to stand through it all.

Not just standing. I’m up and stronger than I ever imagined I could be. I’m proud of who I’ve become.

And, in all that turmoil, I’ve found someone who loves me just as I am. He loves me when I’m on my feet, strong and certain. He even loves me when I’m huddled against the driving rain and winds, when times get tough.

To have found such an honest connection, a true bond of faith, trust and common hopes is something I never understood or considered having. Maybe something I never thought I deserved or even wanted. Instead something I feared because I didn’t think I was capable of blending with someone else without losing a large part of myself.

Whatever I thought an adult partnership to be or whatever I had before this with another person, it was never as big or as wonderful as what I have now. It wasn’t as demanding or yet so satisfying. It never had these depths of compassion or understanding and never the heights of laughter and devotion. It was never roomy enough for growth and the inevitable change that comes over time.

I was so afraid before this, thinking I could never be strong enough, I could never amount to much more than I was before. Little did I know all that growing and all those painful learning experiences would lead to this: a love full of passion, understanding, and acceptance.

I’m not done growing yet. I still have much to learn and experience. But I’m not alone, and that’s ok with me.

For the first time in my life, I willingly give up my lonely and independent lifestyle for something a little more accommodating. Something a little more interdependent.

A loving us and an improved me.

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