dreaming of me

My whole life just fell into place, and I’m not quite sure how to deal with it.

Especially since this is a future that makes me insanely happy, a future that I look forward to, where I know that every day, week, year will be as happy as the one before it. It’s a future that holds so much, and so many wonderful things, and so much happiness, that I’m kind of in shock. I’ve spent most of my adult life resigning myself to not really having any specific future – and even when I thought I had one, it would be one that, if stable, wasn’t joyful.

Suddenly, the rest of my life looks totally different than it did eight months ago, and I’m taking a while to catch up. That’s all.

The vague assumptions, the implied future, has been brought out of the background for the time being. Paul and I have spent more and more time talking about the next few years lately, since the prospect of moving in together is getting closer and closer. “I think it’s pretty well understood,” he says, “that we’re moving in together as a pre-cursor to marriage.”

“I wouldn’t do it otherwise,” I say. After all, I have lived with boyfriends before, and no good has come of it. Mostly because those were living arrangements made more for convenience than for love. This is for love – the convenience of NOT HAVING TO DRIVE ACROSS LOS ANGELES is just a nice fringe benefit. This is so that we can wake up together, and come home to each other, and be together all the time.

And because I do want to be with him, for as long as I can be, and it seems to be pretty reciprocal, I want the ceremonial joining. I’m finally looking at marriage as something other than just what happens at the end of the dating road. I thought marriage was more about that final step to security, that the other person would always be with you, that you would have someone there for you, and that together you could accomplish more financially than you could alone.

And now, that’s again, all that seems to just be fringe benefits. The real reason I want to marry Paul is because of what it represents – that we will have the deepest bond possible between us. All the sentiment I always dismissed about marriage and weddings is coming back, about blessed unions and two people being joined and all those phrases I never really got. I want this because it means that we will have the ceremony that brings us together for the rest of our lives.

I never expected this to come so soon in my lifetime, not before my thirtieth birthday. I don’t think anyone else did either. And I know, I’m still a couple steps away from actually being able to make an announcement – but I think this really is it. I think it’s going to be moving in together in 2007 – and getting married in 2008. And by 2011, five years from now, I may well be dressing a future evil super genius in a cuddly baby devil costume (No, really, they make those. Seriously.)

It’s life, and it’s grownup life, and millions of people grow into it and adapt. And I will too. It’s just the idea of the rest of my life, this happy, this content. It’s the idea of marrying someone I love this much. It’s the future I never thought I’d really get – I thought I’d be a nomad forever, changing cities, chasing experience. Now, instead of a series of years that contains moves to new places, and the periods of loneliness that accompany such things, I’m looking at spending the rest of my life settled down, probably in Seattle, close to home, close to my friends and family in BC, a short plane ride from my friends in L.A. I’m not going to be alone, I’m going to have a husband I love very much, and children with green eyes, dark hair, and pale freckled skin. There will be enough money between both of our careers, there will be enough of everything, and I am so lucky.

So for now, the future can go back to the backdrop. We took it out this weekend and looked at it. We talk often about moving in together – but this weekend, more dates came out of the woodwork. I’ll get some sort of creative marriage proposal between March and July. There will be a wedding in the late summer of 2008, right around when I turn thirty. There will be a move back to Seattle in 2009, once both of our careers are stable enough to be transported up the coast to another city. And then, in 2010, once we’re settled down in the Northwest, we’ll buy a house and start a family, and all the other things that go with being grownups.

But that’s all awfully far away. For now, all I can do is work hard, get a raise (or a new higher paying job) and save up for the move next spring. Paul says it’s phase one – work hard, develop careers, accumulate wealth (and for some of us, clean up our credit ratings). I’ll probably keep my head down and focus on that, instead of thinking too much about things taking place in the future (no more surfing Seattle real estate with zillow.com!) But knowing that the years to come will be so happy, actually motivates me to work towards them.

The rest of my life is very different from what I thought it would be a year ago. I’ll adjust to that. I’m still adjusting to happiness.

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