From February 14, 2015
Five and a half years ago I looked out the window of a plane at the sun climbing through mountains of clouds. The whole sky was golden, filled with the warmth of joy that comes from the sun and I felt as if I were living in a fairy tale. I’d just met someone who changed my life in the short amount of time we’d been together. I’d done something I really wanted, took control of my life and took a risk because this person I’d just met had changed the way I saw my future. That person, of course, was A.
We were almost nineteen, volunteering in Tanzania and had only known each other two weeks. None of that mattered. It didn’t matter that we lived on different continents, that our family backgrounds and childhoods had been so different. It didn’t matter that we were going to go to school across the country from each other. We found in each other those things that make you realize the kind of person you can be.
At the time I was newly dating someone else, but I’d never felt for him what I felt for A. Still nervous around men, I had never been comfortable around a boyfriend the way I was comfortable around A. I found myself talking with him like I would a close friend, sharing my stories and life with him as I never had with a boyfriend before. I didn’t have to hid who I was or try to suppress the person I was for fear that it would drive him away. Five and a half years later, that hasn’t changed.
Dating long distance for four years taught us the importance and art of good communication. Living abroad taught us the joy of adventure its necessity in our lives. Living together has taught us how to collaborate and be the team we always hoped we would be. Looking into our future, there are more lessons ahead than I could count, but also a forever of happiness. The people we saw in one another nearly six years ago have become the people we are today and I look forward to watching those people continue to grow and change together.
Valentine’s Day may be a bit of a hockey holiday, but when you pause to reflect on your life and relationships, the day can be more than simply chocolate and gifts. To all, Happy Valentine’s Day! May your day be filled with those you love most.