The last time I said that to a significant other, it was because I felt it.

Now when I say it to Jonathan, it's because I feel it.
And I choose to love him.
And I choose to make my words and actions and facial expressions and judgements reflect that I love him. (I mess up a lot with this)
I forgive him because I love him. (I'm forgiven because he loves me)
And for once in a relationship (even though this is only my second one),
I am not scared that he will leave.
Because he loves me.
And he is committed to loving me.

We both agree that it is easier to leave, and harder to stay.
And we both want to stay, and face the hardship and sometimes the yelling, and the hang-ups, and the "I'm sorry"s and the stupid things the other says and does.
And a lot of time it's really difficult.
And a lot of the time it's really easy.
Because I love him.
let's you know you're alive and human. 

Something that has been prevalent recently has been joy and heartache walking hand in hand down the road of my life. When my heart hurts, I comfort myself, with things like "he's in a better place with people who can love him and give him awesome food" (pertaining to a baby chick I was taking care of), but that doesn't stop me missing having him in my lap and feeling his heartbeat in my hand.
So sometimes I cry.
And today I made an early trip home so I could squeeze and love on my cats and hear them purr.

And at the end of the day, which is right now, with the almost spring air coming through my open window and my heart squeezing and aching with the missing of my chick, I know that I am human. As a human, I hurt. As a human, I feel joy. These two things are always intertwined, because if you didn't have love for the chick, it wouldn't hurt to see him go.
Dancing brings me joy and makes me feel freshly alive, as if in the turns and sways to the beat, my skin turns over a new leaf and my lungs breathe in for the first time. And although I would much rather dance, in my heartache I feel alive, yes, and connected by love to not just animals, but the earth and to God/the universe/to my Maker, who has cared about the baby chicks since the very first egg.

And that brings me comfort.
The truth is, that I'm not willing to settle for an adventure-less life. I want my marriage to not be settling, and because of this I believe in being truly and absolutely who I am in my relationship. I'm open about my passion for going to Africa and just finding some people to love and then loving on them.
And yes I know, that doesn't sound like a plan, but really it's a great amazing plan that we should all have. It's my plan for having kids: One day I'm gonna have babies, and I'm going to love them with all my heart and I'm going to teach them to love life with all their hearts.

In a year or so I'll be graduating with a bachelor's degree. And so far I plan on starting my Masters degree online while getting a "real job" (gasp! My first real one, not with minimum wage!). And the plan goes that I want to move, almost immediately. 
my first job after college, is not around here.
I'm getting out of here.
And yes I know some of you will be all GASP, but I plan on bringing Jonathan along for the ride.
If it doesn't work out, then it doesn't work out, but I'm not going to stay here and hope that adventure finds me. 
I'm going to jump and hope that he jumps too.
And no, I don't want to have a relationship where I lead, and most of the time I don't (some people think that I wear the pants, but really, my guy is just quiet in front of other people). But my Jonathan hasn't had adventures of traveling like I have (Yay for Belgium and Texas and Puerto Rico and going to Canada this summer!) but I know (hope) that if I introduce him to it, he'll love it. He says he wishes he could travel like I do, and I believe him when he says it.

I feel like I've lost myself. That Jonathan and I have arrived at the very same place I've been before. That feeling of complete 'lost'ness. Like you've fallen in a hole and you simultaneously blame the other person and are extremely sad that they can't seem to get you out of it. And of course at the same time you feel as though you're damaging your relationship and the other person. And it's 


(as always)

But you know what? Because I've been here before, I know what it is! 
We have become codependent and I've lost myself and my own personal expression
Guess how you fix it?

Well for me, more time alone.
More more more.
More time with music.
And definitely, 
more time creating. And when I say 'more' I mean more than zero, which is how much time I've been spending being creative lately. And you'd think that because a lack of creativity is classic erin kryptonite which is quite well known to me, that I'd plan out a time to be creative and thusly not fall down a scary rabbit hole inside of my own head on a daily basis. But alas! I've always felt that creativity cannot be planned, which...well I just don't know about. But today begins a time of planned creativity. Planned color and music and alone time. 

And maybe I'll call it 'Spontaneous Art' and then I'll schedule it everyday. So it will be spontaneous and scheduled which seem to cross each other out but still sound intriguing to my ear which is quite perfect, if I do say so myself.
And I do!