Almost two years ago, I wrote a post on this blog that was directed at you. You even commented on it. I don’t know if you knew it was to you; all I know is that I was feeling things I didn’t want to be feeling, and I was scared, and for the first time there was someone who made me feel safe.
When you’re an anxious person, when the world scares you just by existing, you can’t imagine what it feels like to be at peace. That feeling is reserved for dreams and for pharmaceuticals. Your muscles are always tense or shaking or your stomach wants to turn over and over until it works its way completely out of your body. Even breathing is hard. Love, then – consuming, all-encompassing, deep and overwhelming love – affects your body as much as your brain. The cliche is someone making your heart beat faster. You make mine slow. You make it beat in time with yours. You make my breath come easily, my muscles relax, my stomach behave.
Being away from you – being so far distant for so much time of wishing I was with you, and wishing I wasn’t, and being afraid of how things would be if I was there – was one of the hardest things I’ve done. The months of being apart before being a real, true-life couple felt empty in a way I’ve only once tried to describe:
“I miss the certainty of you in my life. I miss knowing that we can default to being around each other, but you’ll still give me my space. I miss you buying me two coffees because you know one isn’t enough. I miss you letting me tuck the sheets in even though you sleep better when they’re messy, and rolling over in the morning to see your face before I see anything else. I miss hiding my face in your shoulder when you say something that overwhelms me with feeling. I miss touching you. I miss holding you. I miss being casually and easily with each other. I’m not home until I’m with you. I miss being home.”
Loving you long-distance may have been the best possible way to learn love. As much as it hurt, I had the space to explore my feelings. I wasn’t able to rush. I had to take my time and you had to take yours. And now that we’re together, I can appreciate the peace you bring me so much more.
What I love about what we have is that you didn’t fall in love with me; you loved me. You continue to love me. You love me when I’m bursting with joy, with sadness, with fear. You love me when I’m too depressed to crawl out of bed and when I’m too anxious to buy my own coffee. You don’t try to cure me. You exist with me. You love my worst and my best. You love me with everything you are and I love you back and somehow we are more than the sum of our parts. I love that being with you is so quiet and easy and that every moment feels like a lifetime but these lifetimes feel like moments.
I’ve never been so sure in my life as when I agreed to marry you. I’ve never felt so safe. It’s never been so quiet.