As promised, the next installment: my current living situation.
About 11 months ago, I made a rather impulsive decision: I wanted to move. I was driving home from work — a 65 mile trek — and decided that I had enough. That I spent too much of my life simply sitting in my car covering 600 miles a week.
A little back story… I made a move out to the far-off burbs about 6 years ago. This was entirely motivated by the fact that all of my friends lived there; in fact, I bought a house in the same subdivision, living literally down the block from them. And in the beginning? It was awesome. Lots of spur-of-the-moment sushi dinners and glasses of wine and hanging out on the porch watching the sun go down. The commute to work was awful, but everything else made up for it.
And I had a great house. Big and rambling, large yard for the dog … everything that I had wanted. In the back of head I have to admit that I was thinking that I wouldn’t necessarily be living there all by myself. I mean, I was in my 30’s — I had to meet someone to spend the rest of my life with soon, right?
Of course, that didn’t happen. And, bit by bit, things changed. My friend’s kids started demanding more attention and their lives simply didn’t leave a lot of room for non-family-related activities. Soon, there were very few impromptu meetings — if I wanted to see them (other than seeing them drive by my house and waving), I had to make plans weeks in advance.
And that wasn’t enough anymore. And so, I was driving home and listening to NPR (yes, at some point I turned into my parents…), mind drifting to all the things I could be doing if I weren’t in the car and then BAM, it hit me: I’m moving. The next day I called my friend the real estate agent. By the end of the week I was looking at new places. And within two weeks had put in an offer and had it accepted for a new place. Just like that.
So, flash forward: I’m the owner of two lovely mortgages (luckily for me, I found renters for my house) and now call a nice little two-bedroom townhouse home. And I love it. While it had surprised me how much I enjoyed yardwork, I’d be lying if I said that I actually missed it. And when I moved, I threw out almost half of my belongings, knowing they wouldn’t fit in the new space and it was an amazingly freeing experience. All in all, I gained a boatload of time between the commute cut in half, no yardwork and just less “stuff” to take care of and clean.
But even with all the good the move brought, I was worried about moving away from my friends. I knew I would see them even less — and that wasn’t even much anymore. But – as it so often happens – when I moved outside my comfort zone and took a risk, fate/karma/whatever stepped in and provided me with exactly what I needed.
See, for the past 2 years I had been working out with a personal trainer at my gym. And over the course of time, we became friends, chatting throughout my sessions. She was also gay and loads of fun with an infectious personality and somewhere along the line, my trainer sessions became what I most looked forward to during the week. When I told her I was moving, she almost immediately told me: “I’m moving in with you and we’ll be roommates.” Now, understand that I had never once seen her socially outside the gym at the point — I was completely floored. I thought she was kidding, actually (though a part of me desperately wished she were serious). And, as it turned out? She actually WAS serious.
So, another leap of faith — really, for both of us. She needed a place to live; she was recently out of a long-term relationship and living with a good friend, but the house was packed full of people and she didn’t even have her own bedroom. And for my part, I had wanted to be friends with her for as long as I had known her (and plus, a roommate paying rent seemed like a good thing), so this seemed like a perfect opportunity.
It’s been over 8 months now. And while there have definitely been some rocky times, I wouldn’t trade her for the world. It was like I had to kind of let go of my old life just a little to make room for her and a new direction to my life. She’s my first real best friend that’s also a lesbian … she’s been out since she was a teenager and even though she’s 10 years younger than me, she’s starting to become my gay mentor, if that makes any sense. She’s showing me the life, the culture, the social stuff. She’s now – again – out of a relationship and that’s made it even better in some respects (for me, at least… does that make me an awful friend? I like that she’s single again…) since she has more time.
So, she’s helping me explore what it’s like to be gay, getting me out into the big, bad world. She’s the epitome of a social creature (in fact, she can’t understand why I don’t mind staying home so much!) and is going to push me out of my comfort zone again. Which is just what I need right now.
Next installment: my second new best friend.