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No, really, STUFF! We have SO MUCH STUFF! And this whole wedding thing, with it’s showers, and registries etc, means MORE STUFF! If I seem a little “ack!” about all of this, consider that our apartment is currently full. I’ve posted pictures of how full our pantry is, how full our bookshelves are, and the general level of clutter. We have roughly 900 sq feet in our apartment. We have roughly 2000 sq feet of stuff.

Jarak and I have been pretty good about trying to simplify, getting rid of duplicate kitchen implements was one of the things that we did when we first moved in and unpacked. I suppose this is what happens when there are two grownups who have lived in their own apartments combining households. But then there are the books, and the art supplies and the beer making materials and all the things that you can just get rid of, what if you need to use it someday?

Added to the challenge, is that both of my parents have moved out of the big house that we all grew up in, and into houses where they have much less room. So they keep offering me things. And I keep having to turn them down. As much as I’d love the dining room table, or a big overstuffed chair, we have no room for it in the apartment, or in storage. I’m also the keeper of some of my brothers’ bigger things that haven’t been shipped out to them on the west coast, like the djembe and the heavy bag.  We still have books that haven’t been unpacked and are sitting waiting for space.

Yet I keep adding books… I brought home a tomato box full of books from my mother’s house last weekend. There are a bunch of puzzle and game books for Jarak, herbal medicine, organic gardening and knitting/knot-work books that I cherry-picked from about 7 boxes that my mother is getting rid of. I decided I didn’t really need any art history or art theory books at this stage in my life.

Jarak and I spent part of today before he went to work rearranging the kitchen so that we could put away all of the wonderful things that we have received as wedding gifts so far.  We found a home for the new Kitchenaid Mixer (seriously huge thank you to Biscuit and Rick for that!) which involved moving a shelf on our wire rack to make it fit. One of our challenges was figuring out what to do with all of the new containers we now have, and whether to keep or get rid of the ones we had. We decided that 20 year old Tupperware can be recycled, and that the newer stuff we use all the time stays.

That’s when it hit me: a wedding is really a huge marker of adulthood. You get “nice” things because you’re somehow more of an adult when you get married than you were just out of college, or puttering along through your twenties with the mismatched set of dishes that you inherited from an aunt. Wedding gifts mean upgrading from the hand-me-d0wns and having new/better/ your own things for the first time. We have a relatively small registry because we have a lot of the basics, and we really don’t see a need for a matched set of towels, or more teaspoons or spatulas.

One of the things that we’ve struggled a bit with is how to ask for what we really want: help buying a house. Etiquette around that is a pain.  How do you phrase it so that it doesn’t come across as “gimme money!” We settled on “One of our biggest goals in the next few years is to buy a house” and then having a section in the registry where people can contribute to a down payment. That way, it’s directed towards something, not just nebulous money being thrown at us.

There are probably more thoughts out there about this whole process, but that’s all that I’ve got right now. My brain is seriously all-wedding-all-the-time now. We’re 3 weeks out. I suppose it’s not surprising.

There’s another post about being the center of attention, asking people to do things, and accepting that people really do want to help us make this thing happen, but it hasn’t come together yet.

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My old roommate had this on his FB wall. It about sums up my thoughts on the matter.

My old roommate had this on his FB wall. It about sums up my thoughts on the matter.

I started this blog as I was preparing to move from Boston to the Albany area of NY. I’d moved to Boston for graduate school, and had started my career there. 6 years living within biking distance of the T, and right on multiple MBTA buslines. I lived in Somerville and Arlington, went to school in Cambridge, worked in Brighton, and Charlestown and Dorchester. I also grew up less than 2 hours northwest of Boston. I refuse to call myself a Bostonian, because I’m from NH dammit and I won’t be labeled a Masshole. But Boston was my home for a long time. I did a lot of growing up there.

One of my roommates right after grad school had an amazing girlfriend who ran marathons for the Liver Foundation. They are now married, and she ran again this year. Through them I met another fantastic friend who was also running for the liver foundation. My cousin qualified to run the Boston Marathon in 2011, and I biked out to see him. I met the woman that he married last month that Monday.

So even though I did not have the day off, I did not watch the marathon, and I was not in Boston, yesterday is hitting pretty close to home. Because I would have been there. I am often in the scrum near the finish trying to find my friends. That could have been me. I’m so very, very glad it wasn’t, and I’m so very, very glad that all of my friends are ok, but still. These sorts of things are supposed to happen somewhere else, to someone else, not to “my” city, not to “my” people.

To add insult to injury, one of the fatalities in Boston is an 8 year old boy. My client that died in February was 8. Too close to home.

We had a regularly scheduled trauma-informed training today. That is, we are learning how work with kids who have long histories of trauma and how to effectively treat them. And our instructor Would. Not. Shut. UP. about how it’s making everyone feel on edge, and that it’s making people fear that there are bombs in buildings. He named the school I work at specifically as a school that people might be afraid had bombs in it.  He clearly didn’t even think that anyone had personal ties to Boston, or to people who might be running. He didn’t even check to see if we were ok emotionally about it. I was really pissed. I had to spend most of the morning trying not to cry. I had a really hard time with it. I posted something bitchy on FB around 11am.

My father called my cell shortly after that, and left a voicemail letting me know that while he was now ok, someone in my family had recently taken ill, and was being cared for. That was it. I lost it. I had to leave the room, and couldn’t stop crying.

I cancelled my appointments for the day, and came home. I’m still not ok, but at least I’m not crying. Jarak was here, and he gave me hugs and let me just decompress. I’m knitting a hat for my niece who’s due this week. I’m mailing a check to our wedding photographer. I will go to the gym tonight and do deadlifts with my friend. I’m doing really basic, self-care things, and not being at work. Work is really hard right now. I need some scheduled time off I think. This is just too much.

I totally missed my 1 year blogging mark. I haven’t blogged since before Thanksgiving. December was a whirlwind of 80 client caseloads, 3 day a week workouts, cooking, baking, travel to York, PA for Christmas, creating our wedding website and making our registry list and finally mailing out our save-the-dates. It was all very boring, and also very tiring. I have tended to want to plop on the couch, watch Netflix and knit after work instead of blogging. So here we are on February 10th, the last day of my 20s and I have 2.5 months of blogging to catch up on. Except I won’t.

Today I want to talk about milestones, specifically birthdays. I turn 30 tomorrow. Whoa… 30. Except that I’m not freaked out about it at all. It helps that almost all of my friends are 1-10 years older than me. 30 doesn’t feel old compared to my friends who are in their early 40s. In fact I’m happy and excited and feeling very proud of myself for all that I have accomplished in the past 30 years. I’m approaching it in a “Woo! I rock!” kind of way. I went to a Goth Night on February 1st and if it was your birthday month you got a tiara. So I now own a plastic silver tiara with pink stones. I normally hate pink, but it’s a tiara and it’s awesome. I wore it at my birthday potluck this past Friday. It was fun.

In terms of accomplishments, there are some things that I wish I’d been able to get around to already, but life conspired against me, and I just have to make them happen when I can. Namely, studying abroad never happened, and when I was 18 I was convinced that I would be married and finished having kids by the time I was 30. Instead I’m engaged and will not end up starting a family until I’m 31 at least. (Although things may change.)

What have I accomplished in the past 30 years?

-I completed both my BA and MA by the time I was 24

– I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, and am working towards my Registered Art Therapist and Licensed Creative Arts Therapist certifications.

– I have dated enough people to know what I needed and what was toxic for me so that when I found Jarak I knew that he was perfect for me.

– I have made many good friends who will still be my friends in 10 years (I hope)

– I made two major moves, one from college to grad school in Boston, living on my own for the first time, and then the second one from Boston to Schenectady to live with Jarak.

– I financed a good (used) car that will last me for at least 10 years.

– I learned how to bake bread, from my parents’ recipe.

– I weathered a horrible relationship, graduate school, being perpetually broke/underemployed, dealing with demons of my past and my parents’ divorce, with the help of my absolutely fantastic therapist in Jamaica Plain. 6 years of work means that I now know how to ask for help when I need it.

–  I Grew The Fuck UP. (seriously, I want to smack my 15, 18, 22 and 25 year old selves…)

I think that’s a pretty good list. The last one really kind of sums everything up. I’m much more calm, settled and patient than I was even 5 years ago.

So what does this year bring?

-Jarak and I are getting married!

-My cousin and our good friends are also getting married.

– I get to welcome my niece into the world in April.

-I get to meet my cousin’s awesome baby.

– Travel to Baltimore, Philadelphia, Boston, Portland, ME and Halifax Nova Scotia (our honeymoon!)

Maybe I will start a garden, start a compost pile/bin at our friend’s newly purchased house. We will also begin saving for a house and hopefully will have a house before we start our family. In addition, I hope to move into private practice for more flexibility and more money with less pressure to work 45 hour weeks with no breaks.

Wedding planning is kicking into high gear. We’re starting to design our invitations, and have brewed our first batch of Wedding Beer, a Robust Porter. We went suit shopping for Jarak yesterday, and I’m trying to find some sort of bodice/bustier thing to wear under my dress to smooth out any (perceived) lumps under the satin. We’re doing cake-tasting with my college roommate in Philadelphia at the beginning of March. We’re starting to shop for things like dessert plates, cocktail glasses and napkins. I joked to Jarak that now I’m actually allowed to bug him about wedding plans every weekend, now that we’re less than 5 months away from the wedding date. He agreed. The crazy thing is that I’m not super-stressed about anything right now. A little worried about how we’re going to pay for it all, but other than that? Meh… All that really matters is that the people who we love show up, we declare that we are madly in love with each other and want to stay that way, and then we eat and drink. I refuse to worry about tiny details like whether all the shades of purple and blue match, or that we “should” do thing x, y, or z.

And now I’m off to continue reading Game of Thrones, which I started last week and am thoroughly engrossed in. Tomorrow after work I will go have a beer or 3 at Bier Abbey to celebrate actually being 30, and hopefully will remember to blog more.

Sometimes that just hits me. Part of me is surprised when I’m not mistaken for a teenager in the school, and then I realize that some of the teachers are younger than me,  like I graduated college when they were 10th graders, younger than me. Yeep? I get called “Miss” by my kids occasionally, which is generic “respectful term for female older than you.”  So strange.

Nevermind the fact that I’m looking at 30, have been living on my own for almost 8 years, have a master’s degree, a cat and a really good (financed and used) car. I still forget that I’m a grownup. Maybe it’s the fact that many of my friends are married and/or having kids and I’m not there yet, although we talk about it all the time. Maybe it’s the fact that in our culture there is an extended adolescence that seems to stall everyone at 18 in some ways.

And then there are the times when I am reminded resoundingly that I am a grownup. Like when I went to Boston last weekend to hang out with my Best Friend Ever who came up from Nashville. A mutual friend of ours was going with some other friends of hers to see an Irish punk band at a bar near North Station. Red Flag! For those of you who don’t know Boston,  North Station is where the TD Garden is. Bruins and Celtics play there. Also, within easy walking distance of the strip of stupid that is the bars in Fanieul Hall. In short, a whole lot of young, drunk and stupid. And this was St. Patrick’s day. We got there 40 min before the mutual friend, and stood across the street watching the epic levels of stupid. Yelling, screaming, chanting “we’re going to part-ay” etc. Stuff that I didn’t like in college, and have less tolerance for now. We finally got inside, and it was insanely crowded. People were slamming into me left and right, I had to literally shove people to get to the bar. I was greatly displeased. Lesson learned: avoid bars in Boston on St. Patrick’s Day, and especially avoid college bars.  I’ve had quite enough of that thank you.

Boston was fantastic otherwise. Best Friend Ever and I laid on the beach in Revere in 80* weather. We each got sunburns, in March, on the beach. It was amazing. Exactly what I needed. And so much shopping! Scored a corset and a pair of super-cute heels at Buffalo Exchange, which, other than Mr. Crepe is our must-stop whenever we’re in the area.

___________

Adventures in unpacking continue. Things keep getting consolidated and moved around. I brought back most of my art stuff from my dad’s house on the way back from Boston. So now all of my paints and papers and beading supplies are here instead of in NH, so I can actually use them. However, it’s been fun trying to shoehorn them in. We took a box of books to Goodwill, all the duplicates, old, uninteresting comic books and things that we’ll never read again. We still have 3 boxes of books waiting for good homes.

In trying to shoehorn 3 space-hogging hobbies into a 2 bedroom flat, I find myself wishing for a house. A real house, with a yard, and space for a garden, and a basement and attic that I could put stuff in. My last apartment was the top half of a 2 family house, and I got the attic and basement storage. It was awesome. I don’t have that here, and I miss it. I’m also wishing I could do some landscaping. I see the forsythia and the magnolias blooming and go “I want that.”  So it’s probably time to go talk to a financial advisor and figure out how we’re going to pay for all the things we want to pay for in the next few years. When I first moved here I was balking at the idea of buying a house, but now that I’m a little more settled, I’m much more open to the idea.

We’re both artists, you’d think that we would have no issues finding artwork to put on our walls. We have tons of old art from high school, college, and for me, grad school.   The problem is, we don’t really like most of it. We’ve either seen it too much, or outgrown it.  Our walls are generally bare. I went through a bunch of stuff  this afternoon trying to find things to hang on our very bare, very white walls. I managed to find some nature photos that Jarak had mounted to foam board for a show, and an ink and conte drawing of a lamp that I did for a drawing class in college. Most of my work is very emotional, and from a different emotional space than I’m in now. It’s memories from my past that I really don’t want on my walls in my new life. I need to do an art swap with friends so that I get more artwork that doesn’t have huge emotional stories attached to them.

I have posters that need frames before they can be put up. I’ll get on that next weekend.

 

Before I launch into my thoughts on traditions new and old, I’ve finally figured out a replacement nickname for “The Boy” (rejected because it made me sound kind of creepy apparently) He is henceforth “Jarak” after a character from the Malazan Book of the Fallen by Stephen Erikson. If he’s any character ever, he’s Jarak. In the same vein, I’ve found a suitable pseudonym: “Seren“, another character in the series.

One of the things that I’ve noticed a lot while reading A Practical Wedding is the importance of creating new traditions while holding on to the ones that are important to you.

In my family I’m kind of the tradition-keeper, the one who gets grumpy if we don’t do certain things for special occasions. The biggest traditions are around Christmas: the angel in the tree, the silver and gold wire garlands, marking off the days on the felt advent calendar that my aunt made for us, etc.  Between the ages of 3 and 25, we did Christmas at home, just the 5 of us. There are traditions and orders of events around stockings, and food and all sorts of things, that even after my parents split up, I tried to keep going. I hosted Christmas two years running at my apartment in Boston. It was central to everyone, with my middle brother in NYC and my youngest brother home for break at my dad’s house in NH, and my mom in a constant state of flux and moving every 6 months.

The first year was the hardest. I was trying to make everyone happy and trying to accommodate everyone that I ended up snapping at my brothers and being awful. I also had a major breakdown and spent the next 2 weeks recovering emotionally from it.  The second year was slightly less hard, but I vowed never to do it again. My mom said at one point during dinner “maybe this is the last time we do this” and she was right. Too much emotional baggage. I had to accept that my Christmases and by extension my family were never going to be the same and move on. It was after that second Christmas at my apartment that Jarak invited me to come to his family’s Christmas the next year. We had been together for all of 6 months at that point, but I said yes.

So last year I had Christmas without any of my immediate family, only my “adopted” family. (I think I’ve said that I’ve been part of this family for 10 years, because anyone who spends enough time around Collegiate Best Friend or any of the other siblings in this family, and you get adopted by Mom. So she’s been my second mom for 10 years, I’m practically family anyway.) They do family Christmas the day before driving down to York,PA to spend time with her family of origin. It was interesting to watch what another family has in terms of traditions. Theirs are calendars and ornaments for everyone, at least one toy, and at least one gag gift. I got a matchbox car Crown Vic taxi that said “Jarak’s Taxi Service” on it, because I didn’t have my car at that point.  I felt so welcomed and so loved it was amazing. And then we piled into the cars the next morning and drove 6 hours down to York to do Pennsylvania Dutch Christmas there with their big family. It was lovely. Overwhelming, but lovely. I discovered the joy of Red Beet Eggs.  We went to midnight service at the Lutheran Church that much of the family attends for Christmas Eve service with candles and carols. I was not prepared for Big Lutheran Service, coming from a combination New England Congregational and godless heathen background. Much more pomp and glitter than I’m used to in a Christmas eve service, but I got to hear Jarak sing for the first time and couldn’t stop giggling because his voice is so low it vibrates the church pews. The next morning,  I called my brothers and my parents and talked to them, which was a bit surreal, to not see them on Christmas. There was only one thing missing from my Christmas last year: Stockings.

Stockings are a big deal in my family. I don’t know if it’s the New England in us, or the British heritage, or what, but they’re a Big Deal. There are things that are always in stockings in my family: an orange or clementine, a chocolate orange (Whack and unwrap!) pens/pencils/art supplies, smoked fish or oysters in a can, some sort of toy and fantastically useful socks. A mix of useful and goofy usually. I realized last year that I really missed having a stocking. So I decided that this year I would make sure I got my stocking. I procured chocolate oranges before I moved because I didn’t know if I could get them out here. Three days before Christmas I spent far too much money on stocking stuffers for myself and Jarak, but I had so much fun getting them. The notable, very “us” addition to this year’s stockings? Punching pens. The pens with the little character that has two levers on the back to make the arms work. He got Santa, I got a Snowman. (Me bopping Jarak in the nose with a Gorilla punching pen after getting it with Skee-Ball tickets was the first big flirty thing I did that let him know I liked him.) I even bought him a stocking. It’s black. 😀 My hope is that we can continue this and have our own little Christmas tradition before going and re-joining the craziness that is his grandmother’s house on Christmas.

The other family tradition that I’ve pulled him into is going to Sheepdog Hill for Easter and then jumping in the ocean. When you can convince someone to jump into the North Atlantic in April, you know it’s love.

I got to be part of his family’s New Year’s day dinner of pork roast and sauerkraut. His dad does Big Meals and is an excellent cook. I certainly can’t complain.

We’ve also created our own traditions around gifts and birthdays. For Christmas we seem to have gotten into a pattern of giving each other something that the other really wants, but won’t spend the money on themselves. He got me a car adapter for my iPod, and I gave  him a book on Sacred and Healing Beers, which he has been tearing through since he got it.  We’d rather go somewhere together and eat a fantastic meal or have delicious beer or have an adventure for our birthdays and anniversary than give a gift that we then have to store. Two years ago we went to Burlington VT for a brewery tour for my birthday/valentine’s day. We’re talking Lake Placid this year.

What new traditions have you adopted/created?

So in reading all of your awesome comments on my last post, I realized that there are some things that are unclear. The following that may help shed some light as to why I’m such a spaz about this whole moving thing.

It takes me a very long time to make strong connections. I’ve finally made strong connections in Boston, and the idea of leaving them is really hard, and makes me sad.

I’m really bad at uncertainty. I’m moving into uncertainty. I’m living with The Boy’s parents for 2-3 weeks until we can get our own apartment. Where that apartment will be or how much it will cost is not at all certain right now. I also don’t know exactly what my paychecks will look like, so my financial situation is precarious at best.

I need to have my own space. I hate feeling like I’m intruding. These are linked. Yes, I have been invited into this house, and I’m there fairly often, but it’s not “mine.” I do poorly when I don’t have a place that is my own. This will be akin to living out of a suitcase for 3 weeks. (Yes, I know I was a camp counselor for 9 weeks one summer and had a bed and 2 sets of shelves, but that was different, and I was 21. And my parents’ house was still “home” then. )

The house I grew up in no longer feels like home. I moved out officially when I came down here to grad school. Having my own bed and my own dresser in an apartment is a far cry from dorm living. I’ve lived in the same apartment for 4 years. This is my home. Moving out of this into The Boy’s family’s house renders me homeless for a time. When we have our own apartment it will be our home, and it will be awesome.

I have a hard time with change. I cried at my high school boyfriend’s graduation, I cried at my graduation, I was a sobby mess the evening of my college graduation because everyone was gone from campus and I was all alone. (I had to stay for an extra 2 weeks for track.) It took me forever to come to terms with my parents’ divorce. And while all of those things were natural endings, or endings that I had no control over, this is an ending that is my own doing. I made the decision to leave Boston for a new life. To me this is like having to bite down on the tool that forced the bands over my back teeth when I got braces. I know the outcome will eventually be good, but the process hurts like crazy.  I know that I can always come back to visit, but I’ll be here as a visitor, not as a resident. I’ll be coming in in the middle of my friends’ lives, instead of being a part of them on a daily or weekly basis. I can best sum it up as the little kid whining that something just is ” not the saaaaaame!”  This whole adventure gets to my small-child, change-hating inner self.

On the other hand, this feels a lot like a breakup. Not the kind of breakup where you hate the other person and know that your life is better off without them, or where you get dumped, but the “we’re moving in different directions and this isn’t working anymore” kind of breakup. The kind where you still love each other, and have fond memories of each other and you cry for weeks because the relationship was really good and you’re sad it’s over.  Where it’s really kind of awkward when you see them in 6 months and everything is the same, but it’s different at the same time.

I always knew I wanted to spend my 20s in Boston. I also knew there was no way I was going to be able to raise a family here, and that I really want to live in the woods.  It was always kind of time-limited. I did a lot of growing up here. I really became my own person here, on my own terms (mostly). I know the city, I know how it works and all the idiosyncrasies. Hell I can drive in Boston and get myself un-lost fairly quickly, if I manage to get myself lost. I  will never be “from” here, and I never wanted to be, but Boston is a huge part of my life, and I’m mourning the loss of the city, and more importantly my grown-up friends I’ve made while I’ve been here.  Thinking about this as ending a relationship actually helps me give myself permission to cry about it. I’m not only changing my relationships with my friends here, but my relationship to the area itself, and my relationship to myself as a resident of Greater Boston.

And oh goodness have there been tears. I finally let myself cry last night, I mean really cry. I felt a little better when  woke up this morning, but then I had to go to therapy and have my last session with my awesome therapist that I’ve been working with for 6 years. Other than my family, I haven’t been that close to someone for that long ever. It’s kind of a Big Deal. I cried so much today that I managed to coat my contact lenses with salt and they were foggy all day.

This process is like sslloooooooooowwwwlly pulling off a bandaid, where the scab has become part of the bandage. If there were a way to just rip the bandaid off , to cut and run without saying any solid goodbyes, I would, but I’m afraid that that would hurt me more in the long run.

Some of you who read this have taken off to other countries for extended periods of time, not once but multiple times. Some of you make cross-country moves and think it’s awesome. Some of you are perfectly happy living out of a suitcase for weeks at a time. I can’t do that. For all that I’m calling this a Blog of Adventure, I’m feeling very unadventurous right now. I know it will get better when I get there and settle in, but  right now this is the long goodbye and it hurts.

I break the first rule of Fight Club. I talk about it a lot.

I’ve been doing martial arts for about 12 years. I started when I was 16 by joining a very informal daito ryru class that my friends went to. Over the next 2 years, and then through college I became very close with the class and with my instructors, who also happened to be parents of friends of mine. They’re family. Many of the blackbelts have a tattoo of a tiger somewhere on their left arm/shoulder. When I finally get my blackbelt, I will also get that tattoo.

I didn’t get to do much martial arts in college, and none in graduate school. After grad school I joined Meetup.com and found the a martial arts meetup group, which happened to meet near my house. That was in June of 2007. This is a very loose class, and we train in whatever we feel like, jujitsu, boxing, krav maga, grappling, this insane Vietnamese style that’s all elbows and knees, whatever.  I became friends with B and E, two of the founders. Both were late 30s and married. E runs a nonprofit self-defense program which is amazing, and that I’ll talk about more at a later date. At first I was more E’s friend and he wanted my feedback and help on the self defense stuff, but as time went on B and I became close. I had just gotten out of an awful relationship, and he got me, like really understood where I was coming from. I told him some of my history, why I wanted to be part of the self-defense stuff, everything. Emailing with him got me through a really, really tough time in my life. I didn’t spend as much time with him outside class as I would have liked, because I was afraid of stepping on his wife’s toes (I had had a huge crush on him before I found out he was married. He knows this. And his wife is made of awesome. ) I basically became like the class’ little sister. I was the youngest and the only girl. I made a couple of other friends in the group, and then we sort of lost momentum, people stopped showing up and we disbanded for a while.

Fast forward 2.5 years, and we decide to get the band back together. We started a weekly meetup instead of monthly, and got a bunch of people to join up. New transplants to Boston, and people who hadn’t been on meetup before. Sometimes we work on actual learning to fight, sometimes we stand around and talk about everything from politics to families, to book and movie recommendations. There quickly became a core group of about 6 of us, B, E, J (a return from the old group and a very good friend of mine) X and Bsquared. Two of the new guys routinely take pleasure in busting on me. A memorable moment was when I was trying to explain that I know far too many people named John/Jon and I blurted out that “I have too many John’s in my life.” Which promptly resulted in X mocking the ever loving hell out of me. He met The Boy two weeks ago and asked him how someone so great as him (The Boy) would date someone like me. I almost hit him, which is par for the course with us.

I have discovered with this amazing group of men, friendships that will last for years. And they really do not want me to leave.  Every time I mentioned that I had a job interview they all threatened to sabotage it, or sabotage my relationship with The Boy, because it would mean that I was leaving them.  They told me I would have to find another girl to replace me before I left. And then J said that they “broke the mold with” me. I have never had people want me around that badly. I have never felt more loved and supported by a group of people outside my family than my boys at fight club. Every time I think about leaving them I start to cry. I talk more in therapy about saying goodbye to them than about terminating with my therapist.  I worry that I will never find a comparable group of people to spend time with in New York.

B surprised me with a cake and a card signed by the guys tonight at class and I promptly burst into tears. X took a picture of me teary, holding my card and flipping him off. Going to class next week, and then going home is going to be one of the hardest things I have to do about this whole process, and I really, really don’t want to do it.

So if you guys are reading this, I hope you know how important you are to me. You have taught me so much.  I will definitely come back, and if I can’t make class, at least for drinks. I love you guys.