Roots to grow or a new leaf to turn?
It was a long, devastating, magical and eye opeming relationship with my ex Orion. We met while we were both young and homeless (18 & 19). During this relationship so many crazy things happened, he saved my life, I drew a knife to save his, he was kidnapped, we escaped homelessness together, I started school, I came out as trans-(no, none of this was on/because of drugs, just have bad family pasts and were both abandoned young, I left home at 16). But SO MUCH happened.
We lived a ride or die relationship, and it wasn't until we reached security in our apartment and jobs that we lost security within one another. We survived together for so long, we forgot how to live together or live for each other. We grew to hate the world we faced when were homeless, the poverty, the divisions, the selfishness, the people who threatened our lives for empty wallets and last dollars. It made us both bitter knowing we had no choice but to work to barely pay the bills to never really be free of all of the bullshit. We blamed each other and refused to be responsible for our own individual emotions. We ended up splitting on behalf of this, and so he could care for his injured father and family elsewhere. It broke my heart.
I lived, and five, almost six months later after his leave (now ages 21 & 22) I find myself struggling. We decided to go separate ways for the time being but still have called and said I love you almost every day, though for a month or so we said nothing.
Fastforward and I met someone, we started having a fling out of my job, and continued after leaving the job. We both said we weren't ready for a full relationship nor were expecting one, we had a lengthy conversation about our expectations (or lackthereof). I knew my heart of hearts belongs to Orion, which I know I can never change. Our roots are far too deep; he knows all of me, raw, unfiltered growth and pain.
So let me drop in the confusing, life altering details. I'm aromantic. So I'm not romantically attracted to people. I love Orion as a person whom I've shared many lives with in just a few short years, we changed and adapted together so many times. He never left my side. My loyalty to him is indefinite and my love for him greater and incomparable to a "boyfriend"; he's part of me. It all sounds so dramatic written out.
Here's another deet. Orion dropped the news a few days ago he may be wanting to move back home. My undying loyalty to him has reserved him a place anywhere I find myself, as he's well aware I'm never going to become attached to other people quite like I am to him.
The last deet is, my ex-coworker-what I thought was something in between a fling and casual courtship, has become a lot more than that. In such a way they accidentally slipped, I love you. Of course I didn't say it back and of course they understood. Since I'm aromantic, I can virtually take on a partnership with most anyone even if we're not alike at all in worldview; but to be in love with someone in a partnership, I rarely know anything less than all of the person, from the bad to the good to the disgusting (we're all a little gross in our own ways) over much time and the practice of overcoming things together.
My ex-coworker, who took me out for my birthday and surprised me with gifts, is here with me in the apartment at least every other day, who had been building feelings my dumb self didn't catch on to-wants me to make a choice. (Of course I told him immediately as soon as Orion told me he wanted to come home so we could discuss). He's not sure if he wants a relationship but he wants to open up to me and have me be a more permanent part of his life.
But I don't know what I want. It's not a choice between Orion, or my ex-coworker: it's a choice between completely different life paths. Choosing my ex-coworker may amount to no great lifetime partnership, but may prove a learning experience for me, and may teach me to continue to grow my roots. It could send me down a path of being single for a while and be with myself longer. It could be more. To choose Orion, I choose a partner with deep roots to me and a loyalty to dedicate myself to his, mine, and our needs, for as long as we both consensually wish. Likely, a lifetime (his values & hope) as his parents have before him (did I mention we both met at the same place his parents did around the same age/situation?)
What choice is there between your roots and turning over a new leaf? What should I do?