(it was always you)

I wrote this on October 28th, which in my Calendar is a pretty great day. I realize that a lot of you have probably heard me throw around a handful of anniversary dates which can get confusing because why the hell are there so many? let’s kick it back to early may of 2008—this is the day Dylan asks me to be his girlfriend, as we’re prowling through a cemetery (at this time i was living in both a small and old town, cemeteries are closer than any of the parks alright!?) before my mom calls me home because I’m actually grounded but she’s got a feeling about this guy being a pretty great one. (the feeling is mutual, ma)

five and a half years later here we are—oh but wait! there’s another one. Rewind now back to the third day of September in 2011. It’s a stormy late summer morning and I’m marrying my best friend. We’re in this tiny room with only my family and we look like two dreamy kids getting married in the middle of what would end up being a hurricane. His recruiter had told us that if we wanted to get married before boot camp and be able to seamlessly move to his first station together we’d have to be married by the end of the week. We rise to the challenge. We celebrate that night on the back porch underneath the wet stars of a too-wide Mississippi sky, stumbling over our happiness.

Now cut to This Day, October 28th, but the one in 2011. All of our family and friends who were able to be there, all of the love from the great ones who couldn’t and were especially missed. I’m wearing a vintage 1950’s summer dress with tiny little pale gold flowers sewn on, baby’s breath flowers tangled in my hair. There’s a delicate layer of lace from my mothers wedding dress sewn to the bottom of mine. We both have a best man. I walk across from my back porch to where the two trees angle in towards each other and marry my best friend (again). Build me up Buttercup by the foundations starts to play and the whole day spirals wildly, like a child’s toy spinning erratically on the floor. Almost too beautiful, too quick. So fast I barely remember the rest.

And now here we are, two wonderful years later. The best of my tiny little life so far. And if i’m being perfectly honest, I’m pretty maddeningly in love with this dude so I’m all about remembering every single anniversary, no matter how many. Now I’d like to tell you we’re gonna celebrate BIG you know? That it will be fancy, maybe stupidly expensive just for the hell of it, the whole nine. But secretly we’re the kind of people who skip out on extravagant steak dinners that we plan for weeks just to split some beer and pita sandwiches with the best sweet potato fries in the world at our favorite deli on young avenue. And not-so-secretly, we’re the kinda people who feel good about it.

I have a feeling tonight might be spent with the best pizza from our favorite pizza/bar, a video game marathon or some halloween themed donuts, a terrible (wonderful) late 90’s movie probably about cops— maybe even of the matrix trilogy or the Disney cartoon sort (aristocats is his favorite, I’m just sayin’) and the two of us curled up on our little red couch. which is sorta kinda everything I want.

And to this dude who I married I would like to say how I’m so happy that I get to be by your side as you grow into any and all parts of yourself. I am still so drunk in love with you. Everything about you is such a comfort to me. I use the word comfort deliberately because the idea of it is something I think so many are disillusioned by and associate with being complacent, which I think is so terribly inaccurate. It’s the product of our lives growing into each other in a way that isn't working against its self. It’s easy to be with you, to love you, to laugh at the weirdness of life and enjoy my place in a world that has you in it. These are things I am always astounded by and always grateful for. and I hope, man do I hope, other people know at sometime in their life this kind of clumsy, exhaustive affection.

The past (almost) two years spent living our adventure in Memphis have had their great ups and downs. It’s hard being away from the home you know and love; it’s wonderful being the closest we may ever potentially be to our families. It’s a little daunting meeting new people and making new friendships; it’s really relieving and reaffirming to know that we can do it with mostly relative ease and that it is in fact sometimes worthwhile. It’s hard feeling so close to the things you want but never quite there; it feels so damn good to be able to cross off a great number of things from our several-page “to-do” list. It’s hard and helpless feeling like you’re not in control sometimes, but it’s reassuring to know that we work hard to celebrate the joy we find in life when it seems tough to do so. It’s hard doing new things; it’s important that we don’t stop doing them. and I am grateful. I thought I would always find myself look back on these years laughing but exhausted just thinking about them, you know? A lot has changed, a lot is still waiting in limbo to start changing and that’s the hardest, but it has all been so, so good. I’m so happy to be here with the greatest person I know and to look on all of this and say that this is my life. It is sweet and full of warmth, our hearts always bright, always full of fight and hope.

So anyways—I hope all your October 28th's have been as good as mine.