Today I have been married for 10 years. 10!!! It sort of feels like it's gone by in the blink of an eye (time flies when you're having fun!) but at the same time, I find myself asking, "Haven't we always been together? Was there really life before M???" Because I feel like my life didn't really start until M was there to share it with.
I know, I know. I'm getting sappy and serious, which is just not my usual m.o. I'm sorry, this whole anniversary milestone has me feeling romantic. And yet, there was a time when I thought our story wasn't very romantic.
Of course I love M and think the world of him. Or at least I do now. But it wasn't always that way. I met M nearly 14 years ago. To make a long story short, there was a time when he was my friend. I mean just my friend. He was a really nice guy and we had fun together. But he didn't really make me weak in the knees. I didn't like him that way. I had labeled him in my head and I thought I was looking for something else entirely.
But I was wrong. In so many ways. For one thing, I had mislabeled him. But more importantly, one day I woke up and realized that the greatest thing that would ever happen to me was right in front of me, patiently waiting for me to get my head out of my butt. And my knees have been failing me ever since.
And yet, even though I have fallen in love and I am blissfully happy, I still thought for a long time that our story seemed so, well... blah. I mean, things just didn't go down the way I'd always dreamed of. I was too sensible to have hoped for a love at first sight kind of thing, but still, I wanted a romantic story. Shouldn't I have spent some time pining for M before I got him? Instead I felt like things were backwards. I didn't want him until after I already had him. Before M, I felt like the story of my life had been unrequited love. I would be interested in someone and just wish they would notice me in return but they never seemed to. I'd always felt such a emotional resonance with songs, movies, and stories where people were wishing and yearning for the object of their affection to notice them.
To quote a favorite movie:
Do you believe in love at first sight? Nah, I betcha don't, you're probably too sensible for that. Or have you ever, like, seen somebody? And you knew that, if only that person *really* knew you, they would, well, they would of course dump the perfect model that they were with, and realize that YOU were the one that they wanted to, just, grow old with.
Or how about Taylor Swift?
...Dreaming 'bout the day when you wake up and find
That what you're lookin' for has been here the whole time
If you could see that I'm the one who understands you
Been here all along so why can't you see?
You belong with me
Isn't that what everyone who feels a little unpopular hopes for? But my story wasn't like that. I was a little disappointed. I ended up falling for the guy that I didn't notice at first. Not very glamorous.
And then I realized.
I had been so selfish and self-centered in my perspective. I WAS part of a romantic story that was just the sort I had dreamed of. I was just playing a different role than I expected. I was the object of affection that finally noticed the "friend." M was interested in me and was just wishing I would notice him in return. And I finally did.
I got to make M's dream come true.
Happy Anniversary M. Thanks for making me part of a romantic love story!
(One of our engagement photos.)