Two Years // Eleven

Photo by Travis Deuel

Two years ago today I married the most incredible person I know. It is the best thing I have ever done and every day I am reminded how lucky I am to be your wife. 

I fell in love with you when I was 14, but it took five more years before I could relax into that love and trust that it was real. I knew how young I was, and I knew how strong my feelings were. And I was terrified. I tried not to let my crazy out because I didn't want to scare you away. I tried to be who I thought you wanted me to be, which I'm relieved didn't hurt my cause. I never even envisioned a wedding or broached the subject of marriage with you, scared that I would jinx myself and it would never happen. Years passed. You're the one who first mentioned it. We were packing up the kitchen in our Irving Street flat (San Francisco apartment number 2 of 3) making note of what to keep, what to toss, and specifically, what to buy in the future, things that we didn't necessarily want to have to pay for ourselves. "This sounds like a wedding registry," you said. And my heart leapt into my throat. We had been dating for over six years, I was 21 and about to move to England. We were going to be apart for seven months and had never really talked about "the future." Saying goodbye to you was the hardest thing I have ever done. And I knew leading up to that goodbye that I never wanted to have to say it again.

I don't really know how it progressed from there. Somehow we came to an agreement. An agreement that we would get married. And being apart was more painful than I thought possible. But it also forced us to communicate in ways we never had to before, to put words to our feelings because we couldn't just reach out and hold one another. The loneliness was palpable. I had trouble sleeping for the first time in my life, twisting and turning under the sheets, frustrated that your legs weren't there to intertwine with mine. It was the first time I had been on my own and I fell in love with you all over again, this time much deeper for the man you had become and the idea of a life together.

The days leading up to our reunion were similar to those leading up to our wedding day. It's hard to describe unless you have either been separated from the one you love or about to join your life with theirs. I have never felt so alive. The anticipation took over my body and made me tremble with anxiety and excitement. It had also been a very cold, wet, dark, and brown winter in England. The most dreary season of my life, (and yet due to the experiences I had and the relationships I made it was simultaneously the most incredible), and when you finally arrived at the end of March, the entire country was turning green and blossoming. I was consumed by the anticipation of your arrival. As I walked down some street in Norwich the day before I left for Dublin, I thought, "this is the last time I'll walk down this street before we're together again," and as I brushed my teeth the morning I took the train to London, I watched myself through the mirror and thought "this is the last time I'll brush my teeth in this house before we're together again." The crazy was back. And I felt the same way two years later before we flew to Hawaii to say our vows.

The worst days of my life have been those I have had to say goodbye to you, and the best ones have been the ones where I know we'll be together. I broke my own heart the day I told you I had to go to England. It even hurts thinking about it. And your initial response was my worst nightmare. But you came around. And it turned out to be the most monumental thing I have ever done. My mom told me a very valuable thing at a time when I needed to hear it. And that was that true love has a way of working itself out. 

So thank you for the moments of anguish, because they make life that much sweeter. Thank you for loving me and for making me feel alive, again and again. Thank you for growing up with me. I can't believe how quickly 11 years have passed, and I have a feeling the next 11 are going to go by even faster. There is nowhere I'd rather be than in this life with you. Happy anniversary.

(To see the rest of the photos from our 'first look', click here. To see all of our wedding photos, click here.)