Having a person who is your person to count on makes all of life better.
I had forgotten. I had gotten used to being the one who did everything, worried about everything, washed all the dishes. A significant part of my identity was tied to being the one in charge here, of going it alone.
Everything is easier with a partner.
Having a partner makes the little things easier like cleaning the house and making time for exercise. It also makes the big things easier like confronting this fear of abandonment that has dominated my life.
The only way to conquer a fear is to face, to live through it. To take a deep breath and step into the arena. In this case, my arena is intimacy. To be honest and vulnerable is to seek connection. it is also opening myself up to disappointment and pain. It's fucking terrifying. I'm much rather face a charging bull.
I can thank Brene Brown's Daring Greatly for giving me this image. In that brilliant book she relies on the inspiration of Teddy Roosevelt (my favorite President):
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” -- Theodore Roosevelt
I never ever want to be a "cold and timid soul". Never. So I keep brushing myself off and stepping back in the arena. Because I'm worth it. Because love and connection are worth it.
And he's worth it.