And a new year begins, and so far, very well. I spent New Year's Eve and a decent chunk of New Year's Day with Bret and a bunch of his friends from college. The experience was not entirely comfortable, sine I don't actually know any of them all that well. The entire evening was an exercise n teaching me how to deal with being with someone who is still very actively involved with the life he had before he met me. This may be the first time I've ever had to deal with that - in general, the lives led by those I dated were in the same environment as the one I lived in (high school, college, etc.) and that which came before was gone, essentially. I still have a ways to go before it doesn't nag at me, I guess. It isn't so much that he had a life that didn't involve me. It's that I tend to assume he will value one aspect of his life (essentially, his College Life) over another (Life After College, or Life With Me). I keep assuming that he will decide those people in his life are more important to him than I am, which rationally I recognize doesn't have to be the case and, most likely, one is not placed over the other at all. However, I still worry about it.
Maybe that whole "General Anxiety Disorder" thing isn't as far-fetched as I thought.
But. But but but. This is the part I'm proud of. I did not simply defer to my usual "everything's fine" afterwards and tell him I had a simply wonderful time, etc. I actually made the effort to tell him pretty much everything I've written in this entry up to this point. (This is how I can rationally know that he doesn't value one part of his life over another, in fact.) Granted, I really had to push myself to do it, but it was the first time I ever felt like I could say that everything wasn't completely fine. I think it's a combination of being comfortable enough to be honest with hime and growing up enough to know that I am allowed to say when things aren't perfect. I liked it. I liked walking away without the burden of all the things I should have said. A resolution sprouted when I told him how I felt, I believe - to tell people when things are not ok. Between that and resolving not to be a doormat, putting the entire world before myself, I've got my work cut out for me this year.
I think I'm up to the challenge, though. If nothing else, I'll give it my best.