|Posted by Nikki Yeager on September 22, 2010 at 4:08 PM|
I set out to do 21 things I've never done. I decided to run a marathon. Write a book. Go to Spain, go to India. Try my hand in the real art world. Surf.
A thousand things that I consciously decided I would do because they're things I've always wanted to try. Things that make my world go around and make my days a little brighter.
And I set everything aside to do them. Art show after art show. Associate Director of Marketing. Terrible guitar playing. Places and things I could have imagined growing up are now the places and things I have. Things I set out to get and made mine in a gush of concentrated effort.
Amongst all my firsts there's one I didn't expect. One that I'm almost against, one that I rarely admit and hide without obvious effort.
I've given up the singular 'me' in search of a 'we'. And while I'll always be the independent, individual girl I was since I was old enough to say "I", there's something different. A domestication - the word itself almost an insult, but an insult I secretly love.
No one says it wth admiration like they say "weren't you afraid?" No one looks at me and says "oh living with your boyfriend, I wish I could do that!" Not in the way they say "Cambodia? Alone?" or "I'd never be brave enough". No on smiles at a story beginning "my boyfriend and I did..." like they do when I tell them about my near encounter with a shark or the time I dove out of a plane over Long Island.
And it's odd because I've always fancied myself a die hard adventurer. Afraid I'd never find a reason to settle down. Terrified my eccentricities, while enjoyable for friends, would drive every decent boy away.
But here I am in Brooklyn. In a one bedroom apartment with an hour commute. A 9-5 job and a kitten that requires as much energy as a child. And when I get in bed it's rarely a fitful sleep that I surrender at 3am with a burning desire to paint. Now it's become a sort of blissful collapse. Instead of journaling I've taken to pouring my thoughts out to the ear next to me. Instead of getting up and roaming the streets well past midnight just because I can, I've settled in watching movies with my closest friend and playing with kitty.
Friend after friend has come up to me, disillusioned, "I always thought you were...."
To which I can only reply: I am.
I still am adventuresome. I'm still driven, motivated, energetic. I still have a love for nighttime and a distaste for stillness. I still go after the things I want and even if it seems impossible, I find a way to get them.
I'm still Nikki Yeager. I'm still 'me'.
But for the first time in my life I've become something more. I've become a partner. I've become a half to a whole, a girl who pays only half the amount rent should be and worries about only half the responsibilities (how convenient relationships are!). I'm a girl with twice the social circle, with twice the happiness and twice the security. Sure, I have someone else to consider when making certain decisions but someone else considers me, too. And that someone would NEVER restrict me from reaching higher than reasonable. Even if it meant inconvenience and annoyance. Even if it meant taking time for myself halfway around the world or locking myself in a room with nothing but art supplies and an idea for days at a time.
And he's the person who will make sure I always stay true to the 'me' inside our 'we'.
The only person I want to live with for the rest of forever.
And if that makes me despicably domesticated so be it. I'm still every bit a crazy girl. Still the same firecracker I was in Cambodia and the same fearless girl from Japan.
I'm still me, but a happier version if you can even imagine such a thing.