Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Iris Anniversary

Six months ago, on November 30, 2005, after a difficult year apart but not apart, Raj and I got back together again. He met me at my apartment and brought me irises, then we walked to a small Thai restaurant near my old apartment, Lemongrass Grill, and had dinner. I didn't know that night that we would get back together. I didn't know what was going to happen. I just knew that I was looking forward to seeing him again.

Looking across the table at each other, we spoke like we were just meeting for the first time. Pretending and serious at the same time, we asked each other questions that we knew the answers to, and danced around the issue of our relationship and how the first time around it had not worked out. He looked handsome and his smile was the same. I was nervous and on my guard, afraid that I might be hurt, but knowing that things between us were not resolved. At dinner, I felt the same sparks that I have always felt with him. I wanted to be close to him. He said that he had been in a relationship where he took his girlfriend for granted. I said that I had sometimes overreacted in my last relationship. It seemed to me that we had both been doing some serious thinking, and I remember thinking that maybe there was a chance this time that things would work. I was hopeful and vulnerable, but excited.

After dinner, we walked to the movies. I forget what we saw, but I remember walking with him down the street, my arm in his, looking up at him and the two of us smiling, feeling like I was in love with him. Still.

Since that night, we have been together. Both of us have been working hard on our issues. Our personal ones that affect the relationship, and our relationship ones that crop up because of the combination of our two personalities. After three months, we decided to move in together. At the time, the decision seemed a practical one, and I downplayed to myself the significance of the two of us actually moving in together. Immediately after we moved in together, however, I knew that things had changed between us. The ante had been upped a notch, and it was a little scary. The first month was challenging, the second month was wonderful.

Now, on our six-month anniversary, I find that I'm happy. I'm happy about where we are in our relationship, and I'm happy about where I'm at as well. These six months feel so different than the first six months that we were together back in 2003. The first time around, six months marked the mid-point of what would be our 1 year period together. By six months the first time, we had started to see problematic patterns arising between us. We couldn't resolve them, and so after a year, when I moved to New York, and Raj stayed in Detroit, we decided to break up. I was sad that our relationship had not become what I had hoped it would be. I was sad that I did not feel cared for the way I cared about him.

For the next year - our year apart - we spoke almost every other week. Raj was never far from my thoughts, and he was often at the forefront, particularly during the fall of 2005, when I spent months analyzing our relationship and realizing that my feelings for him had not changed. I still thought about him all the time. I missed him.

This time the six-month point, instead of marking a pinnacle, feels like it marks the very beginning of something much larger that the two of us are creating together. Whereas six months the first time seemed significant because it marked what seemed a significant length of time together, this time, six months seems like hardly any time at all, and there is no pinnacle with a downward slope on the other side in sight.

I love him, and despite, or because of, the challenges we have faced this time around, these last six months have been wonderful.

Happy Anniversary Raj.


Wood said...

sniff, sniff. I'm so happy for you. this was a beautiful post.

Prue said...

Happy Anniversary!! I am so happy for you both.

Gypsy said...

Congratulations and happy anniversary! It's a wonderful thing when two people can come back together after hardships and make it work. It's a testament to your love and commitment, and I hope you two will have many more happy anniversaries to come.

Gravelly said...

I am so happy for you Buttercup!! You deserve all of the happiness in the world!

Heather said...

I love reading stories like this. Happy anniversary.

Bean said...

Happy Aniversary Buttercup! (belated but better late than never! Tex and I had our 2yr anniversary this past weekend and we'll have our 6yr in july! wierd...huh?