Technically, I came back on Tuesday, but we'll just ignore that little fact because I've been busy unpacking, repacking souvenirs and gifts for people, cleaning, getting my car ready to sell, blahblahblah.
Chicago was, as expected, awesome. I went to Chicago for New Year's, but was only there for a couple of days, so it was nice to see all of the places that I hadn't gotten a chance to see before.
The boyfriend's dad lives/works in a suburb near Chicago and has, for most of the time, an unoccupied condo in the heart of Chicago that he stays in when he has the chance.
Thus, the boyfriend and I had three glorious days alone in a super posh condo. And then three days with his dad staying there. Luckily, his dad is hilarious and fun to hang out with and, being Russian, like the boyfriend - haha - he likes to get everyone around him drunk.
Good for fun times. Bad for dieting.
We ended up drinking. Going to a Greek restaurant and drinking some more - the boyfriend's dad buying me wine and telling the waiter that he simply wanted to "mix the different wines to try something new" wink. I guess when you're a fairly boisterous Russian man with a $120 bill and generous tip, the waiters don't care much if you're obviously buying alcohol for underage girls.
Then came the downpour of questions.
Am I going to do med school like the boyfriend?
Am I going to get a Master's in Psychology?
Am I going to be a psychologist or a psychiatrist?
Am I going to continue with my Marketing degree?
Do I want to get a job and make lots of money?
What will my contribution be to the family?
Why are me and the boyfriend together? What keeps us from leaving each other?
Where do I see our relationship going?
I appreciate his interest. But these are the questions I get asked every single time I see him. I tried answering them as best as I could and as honestly as I could.
That I'm interested in pursuing more in psychology beyond my psychology minor. That I'm not sure yet if that means I want to get a Master's in Psychology or go to medical school to be a psychiatrist. That I would like to make money, but at the same time working a job that pays a lot is not the only deciding factor for me and that there are other things I'm interested in - like culinary school and continuing with Marketing.
Honestly, though, I have no idea what I want to do. I have no idea what kind of job I'm going to get or if I'm even going to pursue a Master's degree or go to med school. I'm so burnt out as it is with my bachelor's.
That I think that the boyfriend and I are good for each other because, despite our differences, we mesh well together and our differences compliment each other and make us better when we're together.
When he asked where I saw our relationship going, I quickly took a bite of food and looked at the boyfriend with desperation.
I know where I see our relationship going. We've talked about it many times.
I'm moving half-way across the country to be with him while he's in med school. There's really only one place I want that kind of commitment to go. But I wasn't sure what was appropriate to tell his dad.
Eventually the conversation moved on. And apparently I did the right thing by not saying anything. But I think the boyfriend is afraid of what his parents will think, and I think his parents already know what we have in mind.
It feels good, though, to have this kind of commitment from the boyfriend. That, despite all of our problems and petty fights we have and differences, we still love each other and want to be there for each other.
Last night we went to my gramma's house so that I could pass out presents for the family and pack up some of my stuff that remains in my old bedroom. While we were going through my old things and sorting things to be sold, thrown away, and kept, we came across my old notebooks.
The boyfriend loves reading my old notebooks. He loves looking through that window and seeing how I was in the past.
While I was cleaning and trying to entertain my brother long enough that he would go into the other room and let us have time by ourselves, the boyfriend was reading my old school notebooks and deciphering my old doodles and scribbles that had been crossed out as they were written - I was constantly paranoid of people reading over my shoulder.
Then we found my old journals. I felt bad because I knew what he would be reading. The same things that I tell him that he would quickly find out are the same things I've told my past boyfriends.
That things are different. That I'm comfortable with him. That I want to spend my life with him.
I didn't know what to say.
That I actually mean it when I say it to him? Because that implies that I didn't mean it when I said it to them, and I certainly felt like I meant it then.
Perhaps I've just matured. And perhaps the things I say now have more meaning because I understand them better.
But that's not necessarily true either.
Perhaps I get attached too quickly. Say things because I'm caught up in a whirlwind of emotions and good feelings.
That's probably the most accurate assessment, as depressing as it might be.
I don't want to cheapen our relationship. I don't want him to have to analyze everything I say and wonder if I've said the exact same things to other people. I don't want to him to question whether or not I mean it when I tell him that I love him, and that I want to be with him, and that I'm ready to move with him and make this commitment and eventually marry him.
But I know that now he will. At least a bit.
And that's okay. It's pragmatic. It's reasonable. It's appropriate considering how I've behaved in past relationships.
And it keeps me in check. And it makes me question the same things. Which are probably appropriate things for me to question.
I shouldn't make this move unless I'm absolutely sure that I'm ready to make this commitment.
And right now, I am. Even with questioning it and analyzing my intentions, I am positive - and have been - that this is what I want. That he is what I want.
We had a lot of problems in the beginning. We started dating shortly after my ex-boyfriend of two years... became my ex-boyfriend.
It was hard. Losing most of my friends because they were the ex-boyfriend's friends. Feeling alone. I still talked to him. I still wanted to be friends with him so that I didn't feel like I was losing everyone.
I have a notoriously hard time letting go.
Understandably, the whole situation tore the boyfriend apart. The ex-boyfriend began writing love songs about me - less creepy because he's a songwriter, but still terribly inappropriate considering the situation.
I eventually just had to stop talking to him. At first, I felt like it was my right to be able to talk to him. That it was controlling and terrible for the boyfriend to ask me to not talk to him. But then I realized that it was also part of my duty as a girlfriend to not be a completely selfish ass and to think about other people's feelings and how I'm affecting them. That my current boyfriend should be more important to me, and his feelings should be cared about more, than the ex-boyfriend. That letting go of what I had with the ex-boyfriend was not just something I should do for the sake of my current relationship, but also something I should do for the sake of my own sanity. So that I'm no longer obsessing over him and thinking about what could have been and sabotaging my chances for new happiness.
It's been a few months since I last talked with the ex-boyfriend. To be honest, I probably wouldn't still be with the boyfriend if I hadn't stopped. And, to be honest, I probably would still be hoping for us to get back together, despite how shitty and shallow our relationship was. And, to be honest, I wouldn't be happy.
I am truly happy.
I hope that this is different. I hope that I can see past the blinders that I inevitably have on and see the truth about our relationship. I hope that I won't get hurt.
But there are never any guarantees. And for now, I'm okay with that.
A bientôt, lovelies.