My life continues to change.
I seem to have reached my equilibrium weight, at around (curses!) 201-204 lbs. I was really hoping for 195, but maybe it's a good thing; having the goal be just out of reach keeps my head in the game.
I was formally taken off my last maintenance medication. I only take supplements now.
Although I still use CPAP, the sleep clinic is optimistic I could be weaned off it. They don't recommend I try 'until I have a few months where I can get bad sleep as you get used to not using it,' so not yet.
For the past couple of months, I've been dating an awesome woman I'll call The Runner. The Runner recently completed her fifth New York Marathon, and I went out to cheer her on and greet her at the finish line (along with a few members of her family; one brother ran it with her, and another brother and their mom met us at the end). At lunch after the race, I mentioned that running a Marathon was one of those things I had just accepted would not be part of my life - around the time I gave up on being a fighter pilot or astronaut, for example.
She said "Didn't you tell me you walked around Manhattan? How far was that?"
"Thirty-three and a bit miles, but it took half a day!"
"How long did it take you to walk 26.2, do you remember?"
"Sure, we checked. Around nine and a half hours."
"So the maximum qualifying time for a recorded finish is around six hours. Maybe longer."
"Yes. You don't have to make it 26.2 miles for the first time ever. You just have to do it 50% faster than you did in May, when you were entirely untrained."
So yeah, I now own running shoes and horrendously expensive technofiber running gear. I haven't run much outdoors yet, as I consider winter to be a bad time to try to learn what with ice and slush and even sharp cold- all things a novice runner shouldn't try to deal with. But recently, after seeing Star Wars: The Last Jedi out in Hicksville, NY, I found myself .8 miles away from the train station with fifteen minutes to make the last train for quite a while. It was cold and I didn't want to wait for the next one. So I ran. In hiking shoes and down coat, carrying my computer bag.
I made it in around 7-8 minutes. When I got there, I wasn't breathing hard, and my heart rate went back to normal in a couple of minutes.
So maybe I'll try for the 2019 NY Marathon. I'll be fifty fucking years old then, jesus, where does time go. But that's a pretty cool fiftieth birthday goal.
I was talking to The Runner about things in general. She mentioned that sometimes she felt that I didn't have room in my life for a real relationship; that it felt like I was content with my life and there was enough room for maybe what we had, two months in, but not really room for the relationship to go anywhere. She said that feeling wasn't constant, but it was there often.
I thought about that long and hard before answering (I'm learning, albeit late in life) and told her "I think it's that I was so miserable for so long, I had these other things I had done to keep myself a functional human - close friends, friends' kids to uncle, all these bonds you find strangely intimate for friends. And then that fulfilled maybe 50% or 60% of what my life felt like it could take, and I couldn't find a partner to fill my emotional life up all the way. So I folded myself down, crunched myself into that 60% so that what I had filled my available space."
"So is there room for more? Why does it only feel like it sometimes?"
"Because I feel like a flower. I'm unfolding. Slowly. Inconsistently, because I'm still afraid of what's out there, because in the past it was a cold dead place. But as I unfold a tiny bit, I find you there, and it's a place I really want to be. So I try, and I work, and I unfold a little more. But sometimes I'm still struggling to make that next adjustment, and it must look like I'm stuck, and my life is full."
We looked at each other for a while.
"Oh," she said.
"Did that make any sense?" I asked, slightly alarmed.
"Yes." She paused, took my hand. "I'm out here. I'll help. You need to show me where to pull."
And the crumpled edges of my soul creaked as she took hold and forced them wider another tiny but measurable bit.