I have one predominant thought in my head right now. It beats a lovely rhythm as I walk down the street from the pharmacie (where I am proud to say I discussed my medical business 100% en français and managed fine). As I do the laundry, clean the apartment, check my email, take some Advil for the remnants of an annoying migraine, and prepare to spend the day writing for some clients, this thought is always there, in the back of my mind, ever since yesterday morning when we decided the time is now.
Living with Georges. Living with Georges. Living with Georges.
And I can't stop smiling.
In the next few weeks I will be packing up my few boxes of books, suitcases of clothing, and assorted and sundry STUFF. We will rent a small van, load it up, drive it all across town, and unload it. I will unpack and set up my work space. We will rearrange closets to make room for my things. I will change the address on my French bank account (the only regular French mail I get here). And that will be that. Georges and I will be officially living together.
Phase I of our relationship is moving forward into Phase II. Other important Phases are yet to come, of course, but hey, one thing at a time.
To put this in perspective, it is important to remember that I have been SINGLE for all of my 46 years. And I was good at being single; I must have been good at it because it seemed I was out of relationships much more than I was in them, despite my occasional insistence that I really wanted to be "in a real relationship". Only once in all that time did I sort of semi-live with someone, and that was more about him hanging around my place 4 nights out of 7 without the benefit of kicking in for the rent or groceries. (I'm smarter now.) I have been alone and fending for myself for my entire adult life.
Is it hard to give up that independence for a completely different life with a man AND his children? Surprisingly, no. I mean, I am sure there will be days, at least initially, where I am inwardly craving some alone time or some quiet in the house, and in terms of working there (since I work at home), THAT will take some adjustments. But Georges and I want to be with each other all the time now, and I want that far more than I want to hang onto some outdated need for my so-called Freedom.
Wow, will you look at me? I'm suddenly a grown-up, ready to put down roots and be part of a family, after all this time. It's as much a surprise to me as it probably is to those who know me well. But instead of feeling anxious or worrying about the transition (which I know will have some bumpy spots in the road, as all transitions do), I am just plain HAPPY right now. We have been talking about doing this since the very early days of our relationship, and now it is finally the right time for all concerned. (And for those who are going to comment with your worries about the kids... their readiness and comfort has always been our primary concern, and they are fine with it and with me. Had there not been kids involved, we'd have moved in together two months ago probably.)
I can't think of anything better than to spend my life with this amazing and loving man who -- as I discovered last night while we were watching Roman Holiday -- bears a striking resemblance to Gregory Peck in this movie, especially around the eyes. Of course I loved Georges long before realizing he and Greg have the same eyes, so this is just a bonus for me.
So a new chapter of my life, of OUR life, is about to begin. The story continues to unfold. And I can't wait to turn the page.