I’m feeling very sentimental & lovey-dovey today…so I’ve decided to write a post about my best friend, the love of my life, my #1 adventure buddy and partner in crime...my hubsby, Eric. :)
In a cute video that I watched this morning, one person was prompted to “talk about the experience that changed [their] life.” Before I could even think about what I would have said, my brain was already playing back the MOMENT that my life changed forever as a movie in my head. This is how it went down [and I am totally not exaggerating AT ALL…just as long as you read this story in a Dick Tracy-esque narration in your head…]:
Date: October 2, 2007 Time: 4:55pm Location: Doe Library [South Desk], UC Berkeley Campus
The Doe south desk was busy. People were clocking out from the previous shift and clocking in for the next shift. I had just clocked in for work. I’d heard rumors of a new hire from the rugby team, but I hadn’t met him yet. That was about to change.
The furthest door from the desk opened. A flurry of gold fairy dust swirled the air. A man walked in. The room got dark, except for a spotlight on his face. He had brown hair and his eyes were green. He was walking in slow motion, hair blowing in the wind that suddenly started whirling around when he opened the door. He flashed a smile to someone at the south desk and I swear one of his teeth caught the light and sparkled. I picked my jaw up off of the ground and remembered to breathe.
And there you have it! The moment that changed my life.
Isn’t that such a huge statement? “The moment that changed my LIFE.” Haven’t there been TONS of moments that have changed my life? Of course there have been! I’m not ignorant to the fact that EVERY MOMENT in my life has lead me to exactly where I am today. This one is just one of my all time favorites, and that’s probably why my brain pulled it up before I even had a chance to think about it! :)
Here's his rugby photo from the fall semester when we met, a pretty accurate depiction of what he looked like the first time I saw him [minus the fairy dust and whirling wind]:
Look at that stud!
[Note: I am about to shamelessly gush about my relationship with Eric, so prepare yourself.]
I am often dumbfounded at the love that we share. Yes, to this day! I still, after more than five years of being together, have moments when I wonder whether or not this is REAL LIFE. To me, our love is a real life fairy tale. And I never really thought that those existed.
By the time we started dating, I’d spent 22 years in a world/society that taught me that love had to involve: fighting [where knock-down-drag-out fights meant that the couple "REALLY" loved each other], compromise [which, to me, meant that one or both parties wouldn’t be happy]/settling, guaranteed unhappiness [“you can’t always be happy”], resentment [as if it was an inevitability], an unavoidable end to the “honeymoon” phase, hard work, and on and on and on...
Ok, ok, maybe I’m exaggerating a leeettle bit to make my point, but what I'm basically saying is this: I don’t think that society prepared me for the love that E and I share -- I didn’t even know that a love like ours could be created! So I am still working on re-programming my brain to accept & embrace the last 5 years as my truth about love, instead of the previous 22 years of “society’s truth.” While my head still hasn't caught up, my heart knows this truth with 100% certainty: what we share is real & true.
Don't get me wrong -- this love that we share hasn't just magically created itself. We have both done a lot of intentional growing, both as individuals and as a couple throughout our relationship, and we continue to do so on a daily basis. I guess I'd say we've put "work" into it -- but don't let that conjure up a negative image for you, because it is anything but negative. I love the "work." I live for it. I am energized and uplifted by the work that we put into our relationship, because the reward is always exponentially bigger than the effort.
One of my biggest learnings on this adventure of love with Eric has been 100% in support of the cliché: it’s the little things.
Every day is filled with tons of little moments that melt my heart. Not only because Eric is such a sweet and thoughtful man, and he always knows JUST how to make me smile...but also because I choose to revel in those moments and I LIVE for them. Instead of focusing on the tiny things that I used to let bug me [and well, sometimes I still do let them bug me], I do my best to focus on his greatness, and that brings out my greatness as well!
Here are just a few of our little things...
- E sets two alarms in the morning [since he always gets out of bed before lazy ol’ me] -- one goes off 10 minutes before he wants to get out of bed, and one for when he actually gets out of bed. After the first one goes off, E does what we call the “Flip & Scoot.” He flips over onto his side [facing away from me] and scoots back into me [think: little spoon], where I am now lying on my side; I throw my right arm around his tummy and tuck my knees in behind his knees [if you’re wondering about our size discrepancy, my face is basically in his mid-back]. It’s what we call “bundle mode,” and I absolutely love waking up like this.
Our friend Gloria took this photo of us when we slept over at her house. Thanks again, Gloria!
- We laugh together…a LOT. He’s the most hilarious person I know. He’s quick-witted and clever and so so soooo silly & goofy. We can lose ourselves to laughter over the seemingly tiniest things -- we are often in our own world and people around us can’t understand what we find so amusing. We are just totally comfortable with being our goofy selves with each other, and it always results in much hilarity [for us, anyways].
- We are super open about PDA [Public Displays of Affection]. My #1 [and Eric’s #2] love language is physical touch. I just love to be close to him [read: all over him] all the time! Whether or not we’re in public! Our friend Warren told a sweet story about us being "gross" in public [in an interview that he did for a video that aired at our wedding reception]...thanks, Waz. We love you, too. ;)
- We have filled up 2 gratitude journals in the last 3 years [our most recent journal is pictured below], and we write in it every night [of course, in the last few years we’ve missed a few nights here and there, I’d venture a guess that we’ve missed less than 45 nights total in 3 years]. We just write a little line to the other person, saying “thank you” for something, from “Thank you for being so clear in your goals for financial freedom! You are an inspiration to me!” to, “Thank you for bringing me food when I’m busy working in the morning. You are so sweet & thoughtful & caring! I love you!” and of course, “Thank you for sweet morning snuggles, they are the best way to wake up in the morning!”
- Since E is 9 inches taller than me, we've gotten in the habit of looking for uneven surfaces to kiss & hug on, to lessen our height difference. We took this picture on "our" tree pot, which is right outside of the Doe Library. Whenever we left the library together, we'd always make a beeline for this little ledge, so I could stand on it and hug & kiss him without breaking my neck.
- And even when we aren’t physically together, we always find a way to connect and show each other how much we love each other through skype dates, phone calls, emails, texts, snapchats……..well, you get the idea.
Our little things make the bigger things in our relationship all the more incredible. He really is my best friend in the world. And I'm grateful every day to be with a man who loves, accepts, and respects me for ALL of my Weird [and Crazy], and who prioritizes making our relationship the greatest relationship we can make it.
Thank you, Baba, for showing me the meaning of TRUE love's kiss. I love you! All ways, always.