Eight years ago, I began on one of the craziest journeys of my life. That is to say, continued on the journey that is my life in the relationship that has become the keystone to my progress. Eight years ago on August 13th, Nathan and I became a thing.
I’ve spent a great deal of time thinking about this milestone as we’ve come up to it. That’s because eight years seems like a big deal to me, for some reason. It’s also because it wasn’t at all what I thought it was going to be like. As with most things, being on the inside changes everything.
I’ve often wished I had a cuter story to tell about how Nathan and I ended up an item. I wanted to be sought after. I wanted flowers, or candy, or poetry, however bad it may have been. I wanted us to have some wild story about locking eyes on an elevator every day for a week at a workplace… or something where we accidentally bumped into one another and I spilled my drink and felt clumsy, only to be swept off my feet. I wish he looked at me and said, “I’m going to marry that girl someday.”
…But that’s just not who we are. Instead, I got two weeks where Nathan came straight to my house instead of his. Two weeks of watching movies and goofing off in my Coquitlam apartment. Two weeks where we got closer and closer until one night I realized that I really liked this boy, so I kissed him. Or rather, I inched towards him until he kissed me.
When I think about it, the story of our beginning is a perfect one. There was no fanfare or excitement to it; the two of us just quietly fell in love. And our relationship has remained on that course since then. We aren’t extravagant in our love for one another. There aren’t over-the-top gestures that keep us going. There is no ring to create a promise. Instead, Nathan goes to work every day and keeps our family clothed and fed. Nathan comes home every day because this is where he wants to be. And maybe that simplicity is our sweet story; not one of showiness, but rather one of endurance.
There have been hard patches and easy ones. There are bound to be in any relationship, especially one that continues over the course of so many changes. We have experienced deaths and births, created our own child, found and poured love into our homes, shed tears and so many laughs with friends and alone. We have butted heads and made up.
It is not easy. It hasn’t been easy. And it’s been especially difficult for me to understand this simple principle. It doesn’t come easy. Relationships are a lot of work. And where I’ve always wanted something more, and felt that there was some thing out there that I was missing out on, I now realize that it’s this quiet and steady pace that’s kept us afloat. And that eight years later, my life without him is one of the worst scenarios that I can imagine.
He supports me, in every way that a man can. Which is not to say that he coddles me because he never has, but he holds me up with logic and reason, and helps me make the right decisions for our family where my impulsive nature might steer me otherwise. And he’s patient with me. For all the times that I’ve been afraid to talk to him, he’s held his ground and held my hand when I needed it. And put up with me; through all the temper tantrums and complaining, he’s the person who tells me the truth about who I am and who we are together.
No matter which way my world spins, and it does spin quite often, he has been there… plugging away in that way that he does. I admire him for being so reliable. I know exactly who he is and what to expect… and I know in my heart that he loves me. I’m lucky and grateful to have him in my life as my partner and friend.