This is the first time I had to do the math to remember how many years we’ve been together. Was it 2001 or 2002? Is it 12 years or 13? I interpret this to mean we have passed some sort of invisible benchmark where neither of us is sitting around holding up fingers, counting time, asking ourselves “It’s been 3 months, seven days and 55 minutes…I think it’s really going somewhere!” Could this really be something? Could this be…LOVE?
We’ve been together 13 years, but it feels more like three. We’ve been together since I was fresh-faced and 25, and now my eyes crinkle at the top as I inch toward 39. Thirteen years makes our relationship a gawky teen, wide-eyed and hopeful but thankfully short on angst and ennui. The training wheels are off. We’re really in this thing, albeit still a little awkward.
Thirteen years in means less spontaneity, and more durability. Thirteen years in means planning ahead for fifty years in, and making decisions now that will help us feel secure then. It’s not the dopamine-rush of year one, or the wobbly uncertainty of years two and three, it’s the shelter and safety of having some real time behind us, of having shared experiences that really shaped us as people, taught us as individuals, and bound us as partners.
Sometimes I think there’s a certain amount of luck attributed to each person, and I used all mine up when you hitched your wagon to mine. Sometimes I think that the universe has already given me so much good by putting you in my path that I couldn’t possibly be eligible for more. Now I think that you are my luck, and your presence in my life is such a grounding force that it helps me create my own abundance.
Thirteen years, and in a lot of ways we’ve only just begun. In the grand scheme of things, 13 years is a tiny drop in a big bucket. We’ve still got a long stretch of road ahead and though I’m no fortune-teller, I have a feeling the view’s about to get more interesting.
And at the risk of sounding like Thelma and Louise, let’s keep going.