Today marks nine years since Geoff and I got married. I know some of you were reading way back then; our wedding reception hall was festooned with over 1,000 origami cranes, handmade by readers. (Thank you for those.) Our first dance was to Ben Folds' "The Luckiest," a song which I had written about after I first heard it. It is our song: "What was my life before you? What if we'd been born at the wrong time? Someday, when you die, I will be so lost without you that I will die, too, and that will be right." (Interesting note: if you google "Ben Folds 'The Luckiest'", that entry is on the first page of results. Huh.)
When you first fall in love with someone, it is hard to think about anything else. When your brand new relationship is moving forward - from long distance to local to sharing a home to being engaged to newlyweds - it is hard to feel too bad about your life. You feel lucky and blessed and beloved, so often. Or at least I did.
I have never regretted marrying Geoff, and I have always loved him, during these 9 years of marriage and 13 years of being a couple. But there have been days (as you have witnessed) when that love was not enough to keep me from despair and depression and sadness. Over time, even an amazing, complicated, reciprocal love relationship loses some of its power to lift up. As much as I've tried not to, and as much as I've remained grateful for what I have, I have also often taken it for granted. I have often failed to marvel at how amazing it is to be part of such a loving relationship, and I've instead grieved over a lack of career, a lack of money, a lack of stability, a lack of direction. (And make no mistake, this is a loving relationship, and I know that, possibly now more than ever. My husband loves me and stands by me and believes in me, no matter what, and these last few years have shown me that. He has not shown a moment of resentment or impatience over my job searching, my sadness, my excitement over dreams which many would call impractical, and even my occasional reluctance to follow any dreams at all.)
Today is our 9th wedding anniversary, and to celebrate I made Geoff a movie. I believe he appreciated my effort and my finished product, but I also realized, as I was making it, that putting the images and words and music together was also a gift for myself. Look at all of those smiles, and all that silliness, not to mention those two people who we created to become part of our family; look at all that time passing. I can't watch it and take my husband for granted. I can't watch it without being overwhelmed with gratitude and joy and tears. I am so, so, lucky.
I don't know what the future holds, but as long as we are still together, still loving and supporting each other, still choosing each other above all others, then I know that I have been blessed beyond measure.
Happy anniversary to my sweet Geoffrey. Here's to many, many more.