Jason and I had a small postmortem on the metro ride home last night. We laughed about the quirks we had noticed about each other in spending so much time together and the accommodations we each had made. Where I had spent so much more attention and time in attending to housekeeping details than usual, Jason held back his instinctual need to adjust the sofa cushions immediately upon walking in the door and, nobly I think, chose to spend more of his evenings and weekends doing fun things with me than doing much needed work or cleaning the bathroom. We both learned about compromises, and we also learned about the importance of starting on neutral living grounds should either of us get married.
I also learned about two new aspects of myself. I was surprised to discover how much easier and how much more enjoyable it is to do housekeeping chores when someone else is involved. I had fears about how my own cleaning habits (or lack thereof) would fit into Jason's tidy lifestyle. I found that it was not only a simple thing to put the apartment constantly to right, but it was actually a pleasure to do what I could to help Jason out time-wise. Moreover, I head home now resolved to tackle some of my own closets and cupboards and purge those things that I haven't touched since my last move (bread machine, I'm looking at you!).
The second thing I learned about myself is what a dangerous thing to do this trip was to my contentment with my life in Denver. It's not the dread of going back to work - in fact, this week I really started to miss the productivity, energy, and motivations work provides. I kept busy with my DC To-Do list, yes, but I also started to long for the sense of order and accomplishment it provides. No, I am dreading going back to my empty apartment, and that's a first for me. Far more than the great city, the great adventures, and the great museums, I was spoiled on this trip by the companionship of a great friend. I missed Rachel, Ben, and Jack; and I'm really looking forward to seeing my parents this weekend; but I am really, really going to miss having someone with whom I can break bread and talk the day over. I am afraid the fall-out of this trip will be the overwhelming of the pleasure of living alone by the stark silence of loneliness.