Miraculously, my soul mate and I traveled through the same public schools since age ten before meeting one another. And when we finally did…well, suffice it to say, I still remember the first time we smiled in the hallway at each other. It was one of the sweetest, most intimate moments of my life. Young love.
Back in the day, these two seventeen-year-olds traipsed about life unfettered. Well, more or less.
One was in advanced classes, busy yearbook editor-in-chief, and the other woke late and rolled to school eventually. One felt very awkward in her skin and avoided P.E. with dread, and the other started and ended his day with swim and water polo. One was admittedly depressed and seeking answers for humankind’s woes, while the other enjoyed life with a positive approach to everything.
So, after missing a guy I’d been dating, my best friend sought to solve my emotional distress. “I know a great guy for you,” she told me that summer.
Sigh. We’ll see.
She introduced the two of us that last year of high school. And it was a match. We spent every extra moment we had together. For six years. And we wondered, when would our silly inseparable behavior end. We didn’t know anyone else who liked to be together as much as we did. And we still don’t too often meet other couples who love and choose to be together ALL THE TIME. Except for the one time we “broke up.”
(This picture was taken at the photography studio in our senior year. I had yearbook business to attend to…my love was getting his senior portrait taken. We got this–one of our most cherished photos.)
Later that year we graduated high school. Drove around the United States in our little beater. Backpacked Europe. Flew to Alaska. Browsed community college catalogs together. Carpooled to classes. Studied Spanish at the park. Stayed up late reading each others papers. Went to sleep reading each others papers.
And finally, we transferred up north. He to UC Santa Cruz to live in the woods. Me to UC Berkeley to vibrate to the busy pulse of life there. We took turns visiting one another each week, savoring the differences in our lives as we journeyed on through university. During our last year we worked and enjoyed the simple school life. We planned our wedding, applied to the Peace Corps, and finally awaited news of our next chapter in life. Together.
Peace Corps was one of those experiences that I’ll get to here…one of these days. I’m still in baby-bliss at the moment, so my heart and mind are not traveling there often right now, but the experience impacted my life in so many ways.
And afterward, we didn’t want to settle down. We didn’t want to start a home. We didn’t want to return to the States…just yet. We breathed travel. So we flew off to Ecuador and traveled. We tasted dry Atacama desert air and savory quinoa soup. We stayed in hostels with Frankenstein sink faucets, Inca-hewn walls and our icy-cold tent. We struggled to understand my husband being stabbed in the chest one day. And we cried together as he healed and we moved on towards Patagonia. And, after a year, we finally had had enough, and we came home.
We came home. We were lost. And we very slowly crafted the people we are now, making decisions about each item we brought into our home. Then, we laughed as we discovered we were pregnant with our first baby. Our car had just been driven over and smashed to bits. We walked home and made strong drinks that night. We moved to a little apartment flat and settled in for our new adventure. And then it’s so easy to look back and see…but the years skipped by. Our second baby came to us. And finally our third last year. And now we find ourselves happily enjoying the bliss of mountain air in the summer. Cold lake water and long tangley lake weed (OK, I dread lake weed actually). And childrens voices filling the days (and nights oftentimes) with song and laughter.
Not sure how it’s been a decade already. It doesn’t, and then at times, it DOES feel like it’s been that long. In a good way. We’ve now been together as partners in this lovely lifetime for almost half our lives. And we can’t wait for more. More adventures. More laughter. More growing old together. More hearty meals and memory stories. (My husband tells me stories from our own past since my memory stinks so bad. I can tell you which book I wrote a note to myself in during lecture, but fun lifetime memories…so hard to retrieve. Go figure.)
So, today, I want to give a special thank you to my dearest love of all. My loving husband.
Time to savor the day!