I'm nervous about our trip. About the packing and the sleeping arrangements and the activities he has planned...I'm nervous about the diving and the walking and the complete antithesis of anything I've ever done. But I want to try it. I want to keep an open mind. In fact, I can't wait. I want to do it.
What I'm nervous about, I think, is the week after my vacation. Where I'll come back on a flight all alone, with my boyfriend still running around Belize, and I'm back in Milford. Where I'll pack up all of my belongings in the house that I barely got to know and start the slow and sure process of weeding out the things I don't need, the things that go into storage at Mom & Dad's, and the things I'll be moving into Billy's. And, before I know it, I won't have a place to call my own anymore. Billy's home will be mine. I'll no longer have that little reassurance in the back of my mind: If things don't work out, at least I have my house to go back to. All of my clothes will be there. My lotions and perfumes. My makeup. My jewelry. Everything. That makes simultaneously thrilled and anxious.
Because, what do I do with all of my history? What do I do with all of the pictures that have accumulated over the years, that have all made their way into that one big bag of photos that has taken up residence in the top shelf of every closet I've ever had the pleasure of filling? Do I bring it with me? Do I leave it with my parents?
What do I do with my journals? What do I do with the mementos? The love letters and the little gifts and the notes and the thank you cards and the birthday cards that were given to me by one person or another throughout my life? I can't throw them out. I just can't. They've traveled with me through each move, and I can't bring myself to let them go. But is there room for them in Billy's house?
I think maybe what I'm wrestling with is the permanence of what we're doing. Should I look at it as a temporary pit stop on my way to another place of my own? Or does his home really become MY home, too? Because, if it were my house too, I could bring all of my memories with me and not feel guilty. I live there, right? So my memories come along. Or, do I box them up and write "The Past" in thick black sharpie on the outside and put them in my parents' attic, where they'll stay until my parents decide to clean out the house? Because, it's really not MY house, and perhaps I owe him a fresh start. Just me. Not my memories. Not my old photographs. Me, now, starting something with him.
Because he can shift and shake and make room for my shoes and my accessories and my millions of CDs. He can sort out and set aside space for my shirts and skirts and underthings. But, if I were him, I wouldn't be so quick to give someone a space for their past. "Here you go, Laurie. You can hang your shirts here, there's a place for your skirts, and your baggage? It goes right here."
I just don't know. I've never done this before. I never even thought about it. I thought that the day I moved in with a boy would be the result of a joint purchase of real estate. A deed with our names on it, the ability to decorate it...Not moving what's mine into a place that's already his.
I know I think too much. I know I overanalyze. I know he wants me there. I know this is a big step in just the right direction. But, still, I wonder.
Much like the vacation I'll be taking in a few short days, this is all new to me. And I'm trying to keep an open mind and just go with the flow. I wanted it, and I want to do it. I can't wait. But, still, I'm nervous.