Read the first part of the story here.
Right before I left for Australia, I planned to go home to my parents to say bye to my mom. She was recovering from surgery and couldn't come see me off at the airport. Karen offered to drive me there, and with my parents over an hour away, it was a tempting offer! My parents both knew about her existence, but I had kept her hidden quite well, and the prospect of them all meeting each other was nerve-wrecking to me. Anyway, Karen drove me and on the way I called my mom and casually dropped that Karen would be coming too. My mom, who's greatest wish is for her four kids to be happy and healthy, welcomed Karen into her home and her heart without batting an eye. That, chatting and spending a perfectly ordinary afternoon together at the kitchen table, meant I got a bit more comfortable with the thought of spending my forever with a woman instead of a man.
Inevitably, the day came that I would be going down under. I didn't sleep that last night in Amsterdam, staring at Karen's face and smelling her and touching her hair and already missing her. A couple of panic attacks later I was finally on my 28 hour journey, and dreading it. It took three days for me to get that I was on my own and could do anything I wanted. And so I did. I went snorkelling at the Great Barrier Reef, saw turtles and kookaburras and giant grey spiders and wild koalas and huge komodo dragons and perfect sunsets, went hiking and hugged old trees, all the while missing Karen.
We're all giddy because we bought our dream home together!
On the day I realised I loved her, I was on an old boat. The captain was this old piratey hippy that had been all around the world, and he told me to be like a jellyfish. He didn't mean I had to be slimy or stingy, but I should try and turn my brain off more. "Just be in the moment man, flow through life and be what you want". However cliché, something clicked right there, surrounded by tourists in wetsuits. She was my lobster and I wanted to spend my life with her. Why fight that?
So instead I embraced this scary new love of ours. I came back and I let myself be with her. Our romance flowed into living together in her tiny house, us buying our first home together, her perfect proposal last August (don't worry, I'll share in a different post, it deserves its own stage) and finally starting our business The Happiness Troupe together. Now I'm not saying it's been fun and giggles all the way, we definitely push each others buttons like any couple does. Whenever the bathwater cools down though, I remember that old hippy and his boat, and I choose her all over again. I'm her jellyfish and she's my lobster, and to us that's romantic and not at all gross.
At the Chamber of Commerce to register our business at the end of the rainbow :)