How did it ever come to be six freaking years already? Even more than that when you count the on-again-off-again before 7/10/03. But we've talked about the meeting stories for years. We've re-hashed the early days many times. Let's talk about something deeper today, shall we?
I never felt like you were a part of my life until 2006. God, that sounds bad, but I gotta say, it is the truth. You were my permanent vacation. I could escape to you and pretend that all was right with me. That's the hardline truth of it. I could pretend that I was OK when I went to see you because I could fool myself into thinking you wouldn't know otherwise. The thing about you and me is that we never fought often; but when we did, they were doozies BECAUSE we really didn't know a lot about each other. The most honest things we've ever said to each other included, "I don't feel like you know me." We've both said it, and we both meant it 100%.
(This is really turning into a nice anniversary post, isn't it? It'll get better.)
Something funny started happening in 2006. I started realizing that I was using you as an escape. I started to realize that if you didn't know me, I couldn't blame that all on you. You didn't know me because I wouldn't let you know me. You didn't know how bad things would get for me because I wouldn't let it show. You never knew if I got irritated with you because I never said anything. And you know what? When I started to tell you stuff, you started to tell me stuff, too. We actually started SHARING our lives with one another on more than a part-time basis because we were really talking. One of the best moments of our entire relationship happened, for me, at the Sonic in Davenport over some chocolate milkshakes and a cherry limeade. Isn't that interesting? Nothing super-sexually-charged. Nothing like standing atop the Eiffel tower. It was just a black bench on the west side of Davenport; but seriously, it was one of the best moments ever for me when I think about you.
Since that moment, we actually share life. We're partners now rather than vacationers in each others' lives. You solidified that for me when you were willing to take me to the hospital in the middle of the week instead of telling me it would be fine. I needed that to make you solid, real in my head. We took each other as partners a long time ago, but I feel it has taken us (me?) this long to actually get.there. I'm there now, and I'm pretty sure you're there now, too, and it is a LOT easier than maintaining all the other pretty vacation poses.
So, I may not be as cute as I once was, and we may not have as many little trips with diary quips of how adorable we are together, but we're finally partners. And I may not yet be sharing everything with you, but I'm sharing more and more every day, and I hope you see that. I hope you see how much more I've finally been able to let you in - because that is truly the one thing that scares the crap out of me.
Tammy said it best to me once - when you let someone all the way in, all the way deep inside, you give them the power to destroy you because they can hurt you like nobody else can. It isn't a new concept, but she put words to my fear, and I still carry that around with me. Trusting that I won't be abandoned or left behind is h.a.r.d., but I'm getting there, beeb. One little breakdown at a time, you show me that you're here for me, and I hope I do the same for you, too. (You burrow, though, instead of blow up like I do.)
So, today is our anniversary, and I don't want to say "happy" anniversary. I want to say thanks for an honest anniversary. Thanks for a real, true, hard-core anniversary. Thanks for holding on through all of the "happy" ones to get to the real ones that actually matter. Thanks for being patient enough to stick around when all I knew how to do was push you away. Thanks for remembering that there was something deep inside of me that you loved enough to make a committment towards even when I was blowing up everything I could get my hands on.
There are so many more things I could say, but I don't think I'd ever be able to convey how much different I feel about today when I compare it to the past.
More today than yesterday. So freaking much more.
Less than tomorrow. Exponentially.