This weekend has been filled with awesome news. First of all, my immediate family has increased by one furry member. Yesterday we welcomed a big, bouncing baby boy...our new 103 pound Bernese Mountain Dog rescue named Yukon. If you want an immediate image ...think Marley and Me. To give you an idea, he ate and digested his entire leash last night. I'll be writing more about him soon, but we couldn't be happier. There has been a Bernese-shaped hole in my heart since Riley passed away last year.
Secondly, John and I were just approved for a new apartment in White Plains, NY....together! We are both extremely excited, especially since our time together now is far too limited. Next year will be John's final year of medical school, so he needs to live near the hospital. It was also be my last year at Columbia University School of Social Work, so I'll be at my second internship 3 days a week (plus classes). John and I are both very passionate about our education and, while that's a positive thing overall, it hasn't left us with much free time together. Among other things, this move will allow us at least a few minutes together each day and a sense of normalcy.
Since I ultimately want to work chronically ill children, I applied to several children's hospitals in Westchester and the Bronx. I found out a month ago that Columbia inexplicably placed me at a counseling center for male batterers. I was very upset (to say the least), mainly because it had nothing to do with my career goal. After lots of perseverance, I've finally secured an internship at Montefiore Children's Hospital in the East Bronx. Without traffic, this is only a 25 minute drive from our new home - what a relief! I'm so excited and it looks like I've finally started my career.
In terms of moving in with a significant other, the prospect always terrified me. It felt like a huge leap of faith; a situation that could turn sour quickly. I've heard people say "you'll just know when it's right" and, after three years with John, I now understand what they meant. At this point, we just want to share our days together. We want to return from a long day, eat dinner together, and fall asleep beside each other. Really, it's the simplest stuff that means the most.
We also agree that this is an important step before making the decision to get married. We are bound to learn a great deal about each other and, while I know in my heart that nothing will change, my fears relate mainly to my health. As it stands now, I have at least a few minutes before John arrives at my apartment to make my bed. I can wash the dishes that have accumulated and hang up the clothing that I didn't have the energy to pick up. I can scramble to put on a cute outfit or throw on some makeup, and then suddenly I don't feel sick. Chronic pain isn't glamorous and it's not a third roommate that I want. I want to hold onto the magic in my relationship, so I can't help but worry that my disease - when seen up close - might make me all too "real."
And then I remember who my boyfriend is... and all of those worries fade away. For three years, John has been there through the ups and the downs. He has proven to be my best friend, a constant, calming presence, and a shoulder to cry on. He says I'm prettiest without a stitch of makeup on. He has helped me when I've been in too much pain to dress myself and wiped away tears from my swollen face. With unwavering certainty, he believes I'm the beautiful girl in the world (even after months on prednisone). More than anything, I'm so excited for this chapter that we're beginning together. I couldn't ask for more.
In one weekend, I've gotten a new home, a new job, and a new pup. Life is good.