Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.’ – Lao Tzu.
On Wednesday my fiancé came to Geneva. Not for a visit but to live. This isn’t a post about how my life is all sunshine and roses now that he’s here. Neither is it a post about mourning for the end of my Swiss bachelerotte days. If anything this post is a bit of a shoulder shrug to whatever it is I’m supposed to feel about all this.
I’m afraid I am not of the ‘You’re Nobody til Somebody Loves You’ philosophy (sorry Dean Martin). Nor do I believe that my fiancé completes me or that my life was somehow lacking until I met him. Don’t get me wrong having him to share my life with is great and he complements me in a way that has enriched my life, it just hasn’t made it ‘whole’.
What I love most about him (see I’m not so unsentimental I can’t use that word) is that he endorses the idea that it’s alright being me, because I’m alright as I am actually. I’m not a puzzle missing half the pieces that he gets to transform into the full picture.
And with the fiancé and the cats and the unpacked belongings in the new flat Geneva is starting to feel a bit more normal. But that feeling of normality is strange in itself. I’ve been here for over four months now but up until now it hasn’t really felt like I’ve lived here. I’ve worked, I’ve explored, I’ve tried new things and met new people but it has all felt a bit transitory. Now that he’s arrived the Geneva adventure has taken on more of a realistic tinge and has become that bit more ordinary.
People keep telling me it must be wonderful and so much better now he’s here. And it is but, if I’m honest, it is also going to take a bit of getting used to. I’ve had a fair few visitors since I’ve been here so I’m used to giving people my undivided attention and a glimpse of Geneva living. I’m also used to them going home after a few days. What I’m not used to is the constant presence of someone else sharing my life with me. Or more precisely this is what I’m no longer used to.
Me and the fella have been together for quite some time (seven years and counting). We’ve worked together, got cats together, lived together, been on holidays together, grown together and even managed to get engaged. It’s not like I’m not used to him its just that for the last four months we’ve been living completely separate existences that we’ve talked to each other about but haven’t shared in the same way.
He’s had to deal with all the realities of our upping sticks and moving to Geneva as I left in a bit of a flash and wasn’t able to help much in the wrapping up of our UK life. He had to move back in his with parents, sort the flat out for renters, notify relevant people/companies/etc. about leaving the country and finish up at work. I’ve had to carve out a new life for myself here, find a flat, find my way around, work out how the public transport works!
This rather special human being has enough faith in me to uproot his life entirely to take a chance on Geneva living with me. That’s a truly wonderful thing, it’s also pretty terrifying. It’s one thing taking chances and trying new challenges that just affect me, it’s quite another taking chances and trying new challenges with the responsibility that if it all goes pear-shaped it wont just be me that suffers the consequences.
Over the course of the seven plus years we’ve been together. We haven’t completed one another but have come to know each other well enough that we can both derive strength from the relationship and have courage to face challenges knowing that we’ve got a bit of reliable back-up in our corner.
He’s pretty good at encouraging me and giving me strength at those times when I’ve wanted to give up and go home. Also he has a marvelous ability to helpfully point out that we can’t go home as someone else lives there now.
Ultimately if Geneva turns out to be a massive disaster that will be on my head, although I can trust that he wont rub it in too much, but without him I don’t know if I’d have had the courage to try.