Buena Vis(t)a

"Open it, open it!" Carolina Man said as he drove us to the gym, a healthy habit we were already cultivating on our second day of living together.

The single piece of mail we'd gotten that day had been an envelope from Capitol One. I'd raved to CM about my rewards AmEx and how I'd already spent enough to earn serious bucks off a trip--a honeymoon, maybe? Since he was just using his debit card, he figured he'd join the credit card rewards fun and earn some buck-age along the way.

We'd been in lots of conversations about our finances--how much we each had in savings, how much we wanted to spend together, and...how much we could set aside each month for a wedding. Thankfully we're not starting from scratch, but we aren't into A) doing it on the cheap B) counting on our families to help (though they might) or C) doing it in the far, far distant future. That means the more we can save, the better.

I thought it was kind of weird that he wanted me to open up his credit card envelope, but I figured he was just excited about having a new card and his hands were occupied with the driving.

But then, when I opened up the letter inside, I saw the card. It had a picture on it. A picture of us from our mini-vacation to the beach. We were in our bathing suits, lips locked, with a gorgeous blue sky and ocean behind us. A buena vista Visa.

It was the sweetest, most unexpected gesture. To me, it said, "I love this woman and I want everyone to know. I want everyone to see."

This guy's for real. I mean, my picture is on his credit card.

DC to NC

I spent my last night in DC trudging through a torrential downpour to my going away party, which was awesome, only to return to two inches of water on the floor of my bedroom closet. Thank God Carolina Man and I had already packed all my stuff up into the cars--just a few hours before the rain fell I'd had all my linens, clothes, and books packed on the floor of the closet. I took it as a final "F*** you" from DC.

But no, the water on the floor was in fact the penultimate DC middle finger. The last would be the extra hour and a half it took for us to get from DC to Richmond. There's nothing worse than desperately wanting to get somewhere and have all the traffic gods crap on you. But eventually, we got here, unpacked the cars, and passed out from exhaustion.

The last few days have been awesome and exhilarating, weird and strange, relaxed and comfortable, stressful and tense. It's been the roller-coaster of feelings and emotions that we anticipated it would be, and we've just done our best to talk through it all. As we were falling asleep last night, I asked CM, "Do you think we have more issues than most couples do?" He said, "I think we have as many issues as any other couples. The difference is that we aren't afraid to name them when they come up."

In so many ways, CM and I are still getting to know each other. We have similar issues and insecurities, but the situations that trigger them are so unique to each of us. In time, we'll learn more about those and will have a better understanding of why the other reacts a certain way. I love that we can talk openly about our hurts and pain from the past.

It's easy for me in some ways to feel like CM has always been in my life. I have nearly forgotten what it was like to spend every night alone and to have no one to snuggle up next to in the morning. I have to remind myself of how much has changed in such a short period of time. More time than I could have anticipated, it just feels normal. Being with CM feels like home.

The Lasts

Yesterday was my last therapy session with C. After a journey of nearly a year and a half, it was bittersweet to say good-bye and thank her for facilitating a lot of hard work and growth. She, like my blog readers, has been along for the bumpy ride of heartache, depression, confusion, new hope, growth, and now, love. Carolina Man came with me to the session, which was a lovely way of tying it all together.

My room is mostly packed, to the point that I can't find anything I need and I've only got those random tidbits like a soap dish and a pile of magazines to deal with. It's crazy to think that in just a few days I'll be starting a new life, not leaving behind my current one entirely but starting a new chapter.

I'm leaving without the slightest tinge of doubt about my decision. I can't imagine a better feeling.

I'm Going Home!

Home to Georgia. As Carolina Man pointed out, when I say "home" there are several different places I could mean:

  1. Georgia
  2. North Carolina
  3. DC
This time it's 1. I haven't been home to visit my mom, brother, and nephew since Christmas (!). Granted, they could come visit me if they wanted to (my mom has only been up here once since I moved to DC over two years ago), but I recognize I'm more accustomed to flying and don't have the space to accommodate guests right now (although that will change once I'm at home #2). 

I spent the weekend getting as much packing and work done as I could, so I could enjoy the week away. I ended up only getting about five hours of not very restful sleep (dreams of getting shot in the head--lovely!) but I woke up feeling excited about having a week to relax and soak up the sun on Amelia Island, FL.

Then, when I get back, Carolina Man comes to DC, we pack up the car, and head to NC! I can't believe all of this is happening. And I can't wait.

Dancing to...NC!

This probably won't come as much of a shock to you who have been reading along the last few months, but Carolina Man and I have decided it's time to end this long-distance nonsense and live in the same place. So, I'm packing up my things and moving to Cary in... 16 DAYS!

I've wanted to move to NC for over a year now, and since I can keep my current job and I don't even have to break a lease, there's never been a better time to try it out. I'm excited and stressed and nervous and happy and sad about it all at once.

So, I'll be busy the next few weeks trying to get my life in order. I couldn't be happier about the decision. As much as I'll miss my friends in DC, I know I'm ready to start my new life with Carolina Man.