Have you ever had one of those time periods where everything goes wrong? Sure you have. Everyone has.
But have you ever had one of those periods where everything goes right?
I sure have. And it's been a long time in coming.
A week ago Friday, I finally got a check for my share of the house that alynna, toy_dragon, krasnayath and I used to live in. Yesterday, I finally moved out the last of the items in that house that I had any claim to. I no longer have any ties to a place I don't inhabit. It's a liberating feeling -- for about a year now, I've had a significant financial stake in the house, and it was a financial and time drain to try to guide that through to a successful conclusion. Both of those drains have vanished, replaced by a wad of money that isn't a profit but isn't really a loss either. The way I see it, getting that weight off my shoulders makes nearly breaking even a win.
On top of that, today kadyg and I had our rings delivered. "Rings?" I hear you ask. It's a fair question with a happy answer: We're officially engaged!
My parents' first question when I told them the news was "How did you propose to her?" -- which is probably a more common question than I'm giving it credit for, so I should give more detail here.1 It's sort of a boring story, though. The bottom line is that we've been living together for about a year and a half now, taking things as they've come and gradually giving more thought to our future. We've gotten gradually more comfortable over that time with the idea of spending the rest of our lives together and with the idea of a mutual commitment. (She was shy of the idea at first due to a previous marriage and divorce; I was shy of it for reasons I'll detail in a later post.) So, um, we pretty much just talked about it and decided that the idea was right. No big, life-changing romantic gestures yet, although I'm sure we can come up with one.
Today's other big landmark was that -- mostly thanks to the house sale clearing -- I mailed off my final check, and I am finally debt-free2.
If you think that my and Kady's engagement was a long time in coming, take a moment and realize that the momentous little sentence just above is something that I have been trying to accomplish since the beginning of 2002. I've weathered unemployment, breaking an arm while uninsured, and a few years of ascetic living along the way, and it's been a hell of a roller-coaster ride.
I've been chasing that dream for three and a half years. I've finally caught it. I plan to revel in this brief, shining moment, and keep that shine going for as un-briefly as I possibly can.
All things considered, I feel better right now than I have in a long, long time. I've closed two chapters in my life that I'm glad to have behind me, and I've opened up a third that I'm excited to get started with. I love you, Kady. ]B=8)
Perseverance, patience, tenderness, and compassion have paid off in a big way, and there's more than enough of them to go around as I continue to chase my other long-term plans and help my fiancée with hers.
1. To answer other engagement questions, let me borrow from Kady's post:
"No, we haven't set a date yet.
No, there will not be a big wedding. So far the plan is small wedding/elopement and splashy reception later - so our mothers have something to work on.
No, we haven't registered anywhere yet, but Amazon is looking pretty tempting.
Yes, we're very happy. The word "glowing" has been used to describe me once already today."
Also, by prior request, ring pictures will be posted to our Livejournals shortly.
2. I'm still floating a fairly large loan for a friend; that's sitting on a credit card in my name and will be paid back at his pace. However, the main idea still stands: I personally have not made any expenditures still awaiting payback.