This month officially marks the longest I’ve ever cohabitated with a significant other. (Sadly enough, it also marks the longest I’ve lived anywhere since I moved back from London a year and a half ago, but that’s a different story.)

As I was finally getting around to putting up some photos today, I remarked on the fact that I’ve grown used to living in a house without curtains. When I first started coming here, it really bothered me to feel like people could see my every move. I grew up in the countryside, after all, and have never really come to terms with having neighbors. I feel like they’re spying on me all the time – perhaps because I’m constantly spying on them.

Now, a year after I started coming to this house, I walk around it in all stages of undress without a moment’s thought. Funny thing is, this evolution closely parallels that of my relationship. At first I wasn’t used to this new intimacy, to always having someone around, someone not only to share my every thought with but also to see me trip and fall over my own feet, and who just the other day witnessed me opening a car door straight into my nose.

Yeah, that one hurt. And guess what? He laughed. But again, a different story.

For people who have already spent long periods of time in relationships, this is not big news. But for someone who had spent twenty-six years living life solely in their own head, my newfound emotional nudity was something of a shock.

Cohabiting with someone has been an exercise in living out loud, in accepting that I can’t hide all the gooberish things I do every day… and more importantly, accepting that there is someone who can possibly see them and still love me. That’s a big one, and I’m still working on it.

As my self-consciousness has faded, both in this house and in my relationship, I find that I actually prefer life without curtains.

The outer world can see inside, and I am OK with it.

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