When I look back at who we were this time last year, I’m amazed at the differences. Sure, you still have that tuft of curls that fall across your forehead and I’m still an over-analyzing ball of anxiety when it comes to dealing with the American visa system, but oh, how we’ve changed. One year ago we got married in a small ceremony in front of a warm fireplace and most of our closest friends and family. The wedding, planned just five days before, was a blur of laughter, tears and the certainty that things would never be the same as they were in that very moment.
Today I sit in our South Loop apartment reflecting on all of the incredible adventures we’ve had over the past year: we traveled to Spain, Portugal and Morocco, we packed up your things and moved into an apartment in Chicago that we had never seen before, we spent months FaceTiming each other from different countries, we celebrated our marriage on our originally-planned wedding day with all of our closest friends and family at the best cottage party ever, and then we moved – together this time – to start our new adventure in Chicago.
We met in September 2011, you (drunkenly) told me you loved me in December of that same year, we went to Disney World, backpacked Europe, got engaged at sunrise on Mount Royal in Montréal, drank a LOT of wine, and got (surprise!) married months later. All I can think of right now is how it has always been you for me. You’ve been my best friend (even when I’m hangry or nervous), my biggest cheerleader and the best damn kitchen dancer I’ve ever met. Thank you for tricking me five and a half years ago into being your girlfriend (and special shout out to the girls at the Hey Rosetta! concert for drunkenly ordering you to kiss me).
I’d be lying if I said the last four months have been perfect. We’ve had our spats and even gone days without speaking to each other (which takes real effort in a convertible one bedroom apartment), we’ve talked about me moving back to Canada for work, we’ve argued over what to have for supper, and we’ve both gained more than a few pounds of American weight. But even despite me being impossible some days – where no matter what food you try to bribe me with or how much you try to make me laugh, I won’t – you’ve never given up on me. And when I simply couldn’t take one more day of you throwing your dirty underwear BESIDE the washer, I stuck it out (and screamed really loud internally). One thing I’m certain of, even if I obsessively read articles about the divorce rate in America (can we please move to Europe?), few people are as lucky as I am to have someone as wonderful as you to call home. And that means a lot when you’re more than 1,700 miles away from the people and place you love most.
Happy one year, J.
(If that wasn’t enough mush for you, check out my latest article for Yahoo! Canada – 12 things I learned in my first year of marriage).