Awwww, thanks so much for checking back in and sharing your story! Does the nervousness happen every time? Does it seem to get less each time, or is it more or less consistent for you?
I'm feeling great, actually! I heard someone mention compersion on a local poly listserv I lurk on, and my first thought was "that sounds lovely, and like something I could never achieve in a million years." I don't know if what I'm feeling qualifies, exactly. I had a little bit of a twinge getting into bed last night, but otherwise I just feel happy and relieved. I feel happy for her, but if I'm being totally honest, I mostly feel happy for/with myself. I feel happy knowing she's thinking of me, that I'm doing well by her, and I feel magnanimous and generous. That, in turn, has made me more generous. On my lunch break yesterday, when a one-eyed homeless man asked for a bit of change to buy lunch (yeah, he seriously had one eye), I went and bought him a meatball sub. That, in turn, exponentially increased my happy/generous high. (Would that I could do that every day--I'm a grad student working 25 hours a week and collecting both loans and interest on those loans, due to graduate into a rough market in about seven months. Eeeep.) When I got home this morning (I spent the night at a friend's house for non-sexual comfort snuggles; hopefully being alone tonight doesn't affect my mood too much), the police were here because my crazy, angry, unhappy neighbors had had another disruptively loud argument, and I just felt detached from their world, their seemingly constant experience of anger and resentment.
(...that said, I still think one of them's a total jerk and the other's a bit unhinged, but it's not bothering me the way it sometimes does. But, y'know, I just wanted to admit that I'm not pretending to be some sort of transcendent, anger-free spiritual wisp.)
I've been thinking more about that tree simile, too, and it feels more and more accurate. I'd climbed up a tree of my own anxieties and was stuck up on that one narrow point, wanting to get down and explore but too scared to take the jump I needed to. And then I did. And the thing I was so afraid of, the thing that was causing me so much distress by worrying about it in the future, turned out not to hurt at all. I landed and, having recovered from the shock of not having broken limbs, I'm skipping away.
It certainly doesn't hurt that my girlfriend is being wonderful about all this. She left me a little gift in our mailbox, and another one in one of my favorite mugs, both with sweet notes. I have the sneaking suspicion I will find more throughout the week.