Choosing to say “I love you. Thank you for being.”
The text I received two nights ago from across the oceans read as follows:
“I met you for the first time 16 years and 5 months ago…unbelievable what one chance meeting can mean in one’s life. I adore you and love that I chose to meet you even when I didn’t want to be there.”
By “there” he meant an orchestra concert. That his best friend, Taylor, dragged him to on a Saturday night. Taylor wanted a chance to impress a young lady, who just happened to be my best friend. She was there volunteering with me. I was there because my grandmother had suggested that I do something useful in my spare time – and because I loved it!
So imagine a15-year-old Jihad. As a volunteer at a concert in a very large park. It didn’t take him long to get into mischief.
Towards the end of the evening he had either been banished to the back of the grassy lawn by some bedraggled adult who had failed to tame him, or he had wandered over there himself to lay down in protest, and display his utter boredom.
Either way, that is where I met him. Or shall I say, really saw him for the first time that evening. His big brown eyes and gorgeous smile, combined with his cocky confidence and quick wit was definitely a killer combo.
A month later, we decided that we were an item. And I remember asking him over the phone one night, how long he thought we’d be together: “A year, I think,” was his reply. That sounded good to me. In fact, I was thrilled that he liked me ‘that much’.
Now I know, that what made him stand out from the other ‘hotties’ I liked back then, is his deep, kind presence, razor sharp intelligence and full-out lust for life.
Anyway, 16 years and some change later, we are still together. And, I’ve often wondered how that happened.
I used to spend a lot of time asking myself if we were “right for each other” (a question that’s never seemed to bother him), or if we were both just crazy.
But now, in my experience, relationship boils down to one thing.
Choosing to meet each other. Choosing to be with each other. Particularly in the moments when you don’t want to be there (which is different than not wanting to be with someone).
Choosing to open up, to share what scares you most when it would be easier to shut down. To be all in, instead of halfway out.
Choosing to be the first one to say “I’m sorry. I fucked up.” Even when you both fucked up and you really don’t want to be sorry.
Choosing to stretch yourself and get uncomfortable. Choosing to remember that you chose that person. To grow.
Choosing to ask for what you want.
Choosing to say “I love you. Thank you so much for being. And, being with me.”
So the text I sent in return across the ethers read like this:
“Wow, my love! I love that you chose to meet me. And that you continue to choose to meet me over and over again. I had an amazing dance class tonight. And, I have an amazing life being your wife!”