From Living Alone to Living with My Other Half
Hey guys! It’s Sunday night over here (you’ll read this on Monday morning, look at me being all last minute & what not… wait that is how I always am 😂 ) and I have had a really brain foggy, painful (my liver is in a very weird state of pain today — maybe because of all of the post-surgery pain meds), and lazy kinda Sunday.
I was just saying to J, “What should I write about on the blog for tomorrow?” and after he threw out a few ideas I wasn’t a huge fan of, and another few ideas that I am so a fan of but I want to save them for when my brain isn’t so foggy, he said, “How about you write about living with me?”
My Own Space //
We all know I had a good run of living alone for the last three years before he and I moved in together in July. Well, I wasn’t *alone* because I had Hudson for nearly that entire time, but Huddy & I had our own place and I was very, very, very used to having my little haven to come home to to decompress from the craziness of life.
One bonus now is that life is not currently all that crazy. Well it is, but in a way different way. During my years of living alone I was traveling constantly, spending my days out and about, and working pretty much 24/7 and living dat blogger life. Not to mention my home was also my office, my location for mostly all of my photo shoots, and became the designated spot for all of my blog writing, video shooting, and more. In some ways it felt like less of a home and more of a bedroom with an office tacked on to it… but I do believe it was perfect for me during that season of my life.
I lived in the same apartment for three years, which is the longest I have lived anywhere since I lived at home with my parents before college. In college we moved every year, except for our last two years where I lived in a house with six other girls. After college I lived in NYC with my best friend Katie for a year, and then moved back to LA where I lived with my college friend & Alpha Phi “big sis” Laura for a year.
My one bedroom apartment was the first thing that was all MINE… and it felt really, really good. For the first time in my life I was making enough money to live on my own and have a space to call mine. It was nothing fancy, but if you know Brentwood or Los Angeles in general than you know that living on your own is a luxury in itself. Stepping in the door to my old place and soaking in the vibes was something that always made me feel a huge sigh of relief. Total and utter happiness to come into my own space.
In those years I learned a lot about myself. I learned that my Human Design type is a Reflector (head here to listen to the Human Design episode on my podcast to learn all about it), which taught me so much about my personality that made a ton of sense. In essence, Reflectors thrive off of a lot of alone time. I never quite understood that about myself in my adolescence or in college, and even for the first few years out of college I strove to surround myself with people.
When I was living alone I finally had that refuge of a place that was just for me. I could do anything — be my relatively messy self, go on crazy cleaning/organizing sprees when I felt like it, leave my Vitamix and juicer out for weeks on end, blast the A/C at all times and live in my cozy winter PJ’s, overflow my drawers and closet space with all sorts of clothes that I’ve hung onto for years, designate corners of the apartment to the never-ending slew of boxes I get sent from brands for product reviews, have phone calls and FaceTime dates with my besties in the Bay Area / other states at any hour of the day or night, be a total night owl, foam roll for hours while listening to Eminem and then Postmates Cafe Gratitude, you get it.
I was doing my OWN thing. I would have girls’ nights at my place pretty often but we would all end up sitting on the ground because Hudson had totally taken over the couch (cat hair life), and my dining table was more of a barstool situation that was really more of a recipe photoshoot location than anything.
After I started dating Jonathan we spent a lot of time going back and forth. His place was SUPER sophisticated and grown up compared to mine, especially given that he is four years older and has been living the “adult life” for a little longer than I have. I have also come around to the fact that he also just has way better taste in home decor than I do, so that also played a huge role.
I loved having him over to my little one bedroom girly / food blogging office haven and I loved spending time at his place. After dating for a year and a half with plans to move in together this summer, I personally could not have been MORE ready to live with him. Clearly after you’ve heard all about me being a Reflector with my odd blogging hours, photoshoots at home, home office, etc. then you know that I have become extremely picky about who I live with.
I knew that wouldn’t be an issue with J. I knew I would be stepping away from my luxurious “just me” set up but would be stepping into a new loving home with him, which I was so excited about.
Shedding the Layers //
When I got home from my water fast in June, after two months of travel and major self-exploration, stepping in the door to my tiny one bedroom apartment that once felt like such a special homey haven to me actually felt suffocating.
I don’t know if you guys are like me, but when something is no longer right in my heart… I kind of shatter, and I get very, very impatient about making it right. In this case, that meant finding a new place for me and Jonathan to move into together.
During all of my traveling this year and the intensity of the water fast, I felt like I morphed into somewhat of a different person. Not to mention facing chronic Lyme disease and mold poisoning and full body hives all year had taken a toll on me, and living alone in my cramped and messy space that was overflowing with stuff (that felt like junk to me) that I had gathered and held onto over the years just felt like something in my past. Maybe other people who have spent significant time traveling and then come home may have felt the same? If so I would love to hear!
Anyway, Hudson’s hair was flying around everywhere in fluffy white clumps and Jonathan was dropping me off from the airport and then heading back to his place, and I burst into tears. Actually that would be putting it mildly… the truth is I got pretty hysterical. I cried and cried and begged him not to leave. (We had just been together in Sacramento for the weekend.) His response was, “Ummm… I’ve been house sitting your place for TWO MONTHS and taking care of Huddy. I’m going to let you guys reconnect tonight and I am going to go home for the first time in forever and do my laundry and get my stuff together. You’ll be okay, I think you’re just overwhelmed.”
I was overwhelmed. I sat on my floor with Hudson in my arms and bawled my eyes out for the rest of the evening. It was this strange feeling of shedding a layer, shedding a skin really, feeling like I had outgrown that season of my life, the season of living alone and working from home and making my work my LIFE. Staying in that one bedroom apartment felt like it would be taking a step back — so I resolved to find our perfect space as soon as I could.
I wasn’t sobbing because I wasn’t currently living with Jonathan, but it was more about the desire of welcoming a NEW space into my life. I had this INTENSE desire to get rid of nearly everything I owned. I felt a new phase of my life coming on, one that was built around someone who had grown so much and someone who knew exactly what she wanted. I no longer wanted a home/office that felt like I had to be “on” all the time — I wanted a home home, a place to call mine & Jonathan’s, a place for our love to grow, to entertain our friends, a place to retreat from work and write/read/relax my heart out.
Moving On In //
Timing is a crazy thing. Two nights after my floor sob sesh with Hudson after getting back from my solo travels, I was officially diagnosed with Lyme disease. My mom was down here for the appointment and she decided that she and my dad would rent a place down here to help me with the overwhelming amount of treatments that were to come. We called the number for a place we’d seen the last time she was in town that we FELL in love with and guess what? They were finally taking applicants!!!!
So my mom, my dad, me, and Jonathan were the first applicants for this new place, and a little over a month later Jonathan and I were the first residents in the building!!!! A brand new building, IN my neighborhood, one that fit all of our requirements: lots of light, hardwood floors, laundry in unit, an open kitchen, a long hallway for Huddy to play, everything we love in walking distance (Alfred, Jonathan’s office, OTF, so many of our friends, great restaurants, yoga, Farmer’s Market, etc.), a second bedroom for my home office / future baby room (?!?!), and… my parents RIGHT UPSTAIRS (okay a few floors over too which is probably for the best lol)!!!
So yes, needless to say, I am a big believer in timing. Right when the Universe told me, “Jordan, its time to shed the shit out of these layers you’ve got goin’ on. It’s time to ditch your old spot, get rid of everything that no longer serves you, and start a new chapter with the love of your life,” RIGHT THEN is when this place became available. Complete fate.
Something you should know about Jonathan and I is that we don’t really fight. We’ve learned that he is moody and I am crazy (that is what I say at least, lol) so knowing each other’s triggers is key, and it keeps us from arguing or fighting almost all of the time. We definitely disagree on things, but for the most part we respect the hell out of each other and we were best friends before we ever dated so the whole fighting thing isn’t really our jam.
Because of that, I thought that getting used to living together would be a piece of cake!!! LOL I was wrong. Everyone told me it would be an adjustment and I kept thinking, Ehhh not for us. But it totally, truly has been.
The good outweighs the difficult parts times 2938298. Coming home to him, or him coming home to me, is the best feeling in the world. I never again want to revisit the days of living alone in my lil one bedroom. The weird thing is, I can’t even drive up the street of my old place anymore without getting the chills, in a bad way. Maybe it’s because I got mold poisoning living there and maybe it’s because I spent the last 8 months of living there being extremely sick — but I also think it’s because I am so much more damn happy now. Our home feels like a family, with Jonathan and Huddy and of course my parents in the building, and I am in love with it.
Hardest Parts //
But onto those difficult parts of learning to live together and share a space… we have totally opposite schedules. I have been a princess about going to bed whenever the hell I want and waking up whenever I want for the last several years. And homegirl needs a LOT of sleep. Now being so sick especially, but also always. Jonathan can survive off of VERY little sleep. He’s kinda like a machine, and he is known to work himself into the ground. So the first several weeks of living together went a little something like this:
“Ummm babe, are you going to come to bed?” – Me
“What? I just got home! I need to play with Hud in the hallway and then clean the kitchen and then maybe eat something and then decompress for a while and then take a shower and then meditate.” – Him
*Tries to calculate how many hours this will take, and the fact that I can’t sleep knowing all this commotion will be going on, and panics* – Me
That sleeping time issue was really hard at first for both of us. I was petrified about losing sleep (which I did), and he felt like he didn’t have free reign in his own home to wind down after a long, long work day. After two months I feel like we are getting into more of a rhythm. Communication has been key. Luckily both of us have no problem speaking our minds. 😉
Solution: I have been staying up a little later and he has been coming home and winding down much earlier. We have fallen into a fun habit of watching TV together in bed and talking all about our days before we fall asleep. The craziness of moving in is over so he doesn’t feel the need to clean/organize as much late at night. And I think he likes having the grounding ritual of falling asleep earlier/together. 🙂
The other thing is that Jonathan is very much like MOST of the people in my life (my dad, all of my best friends, many roommates I’ve had, etc.) in that he is SUPPPERRR organized and clean. I on the other hand tend to be on the more disorganized, last minute, messy, very chill side of the spectrum.
So I will come home and find that Jonathan has rearranged the fridge, thrown away my brand new can of salt-free beans that I was planning to make a taco with (this happened this weekend hahah), moved my protein powders so they’re nowhere to be found until I call him. etc. etc.
On the one hand this is very nice, and I know I am lucky that Jonathan is a clean freak who keeps our place looking and feeling squeaky clean. On the other hand it can trigger the childhood Jordan who had my dad (#Byron, anyone?) following me around our house with a dish towel and erupting over a crumb on the ground and not letting me touch anything in the house whatsoever. Jonathan is NOT like this, but because of the way I grew up and me being extremely sensitive to living with an OCD cleanliness-obsessed human, it has caused me to think long and hard about my reactions to such things!
Overall I am learning to be a more organized person and it’s been very good for me. Jonathan has definitely done a lot more work than one person should have to to keep our space clean while I am sick and in bed most of the time, so he is amazing for that.
As far as other potentially difficult things… we both love our space and love to have alone time, but I don’t think we have run into difficulties with that so far. On Friday night he was with his boys and I was with my BFF Alexi and it was great. Today (Sunday) he organized all day and I hung with my mama and then laid in bed (like I said, in pain AF) and we both got lots of alone time to breathe.
I think the adjustment has been on the easier for us, as far as what I have heard from others! I know we will continue to run into things that come up (like my absolute panic about the slight ant problem we have right now and my simultaneous panic about the chemicals we’d have to use to kill the ants… and Jonathan’s extreme patience doing one corner of one room at a time with the ant spray hehe) but the communication will always keep it real.
OHHH and me getting used to grocery shopping for not one but two people, and not two normal people but one ravenous beast (him) plus myself with all of my crazy food specifications. That is one thing I am definitely still getting used to!!!
Best Parts //
There are so many amazing things about living together — from falling asleep together every night and feeling like I am having a sleepover with my best friend EVERY SINGLE NIGHT, getting to binge watch Netflix shows together (why is this so fun???), having a full-blown dad for Hud (I mean he was already his dad but now Jonathan feeds him morning and night and plays with him for so many hours its unreal & somehow takes more pressure off of me than I even knew I needed), eating dinner together every night and learning to shop for two, having a built-in handyman (lol), getting to share everything with each other and spend so much more time together, and truly just build a home and a life together.
Lots of you know that after a couple weeks of living together, Jonathan proposed (!!!) so we have had all sorts of new and exciting adjustments around here. All in all, he is my other half and living together is kind of my favorite thing in the world. I get excited to see him every day and I miss him a lot while he is at work (lol but true) and he has even been a champ about my family living in the building — I know he loves how much help they’ve been truly, my mom is a full-time assistant/nurse to me in many ways right now. 🙂 AND like I said… the best part is every night sleepovers with my best friend in the world. It has not stopped being exciting yet!
Lastly…We also both knew that we have the same lifestyle, which helps a lot. We don’t really like to go out late, we both love to stay active and busy on the weekends (when I’m healthy) but we also love our downtime and relaxing time, we both treat Hudson like an absolute king (ok if my roommate of any kind didn’t we’d have a problem), we can both get majorly in the ZONE when working/cleaning, we eat super healthy and love to cook, we have our little yoga routine certain nights of the week, I’ve gotten him into a reading routine before bed, etc. Now I feel like I am explaining our relationship to you but a roommate relationship is hugely important too, on top of him being the love of my life!
So!!! If you’re reading this post and you are thinking about moving in with your significant other, I’d say DO IT but do it when you’re good & ready. I loved having all those years to myself, and I know J loved living with his best friend for many years before we moved in together. When you make the leap, make sure that open communication is goin’ down and that you are aware of each other’s little triggers and quirks. Patience is worth it (even when it’s hard) and you may have to buy 10x the veggies/food to keep the fridge full but you also have a built-in best friend and life partner at your side in your very own home so…. WORTH IT.
What do you guys think? Do you live with your S/O? Do you live alone / how is it?! I wanna hear it all!!