To My Girlfriend of One Year,
While a year of dating may be a minor celebration for most, for me it is a milestone worth rejuvenating over. I haven’t had the best of luck on the dating scene, and even when my relationships did become lengthy, my desire to stay did not. I’ve never done so much in such little time. I’ve never been as excited for what is to come as I am now.
In 365 days, we’ve gone to Charleston twice. The first visit there, I shared a moment with you I am positive I will never forget. Holding onto an umbrella at night at the beach with light mist and no one else there, I asked you to be my girlfriend. Since that day, I’ve felt a sensation of exuberance beyond comparison. Two months later we traveled around the nation. We started with a Lana Del Ray concert in Charlotte, made our way north to catch a Tigers game in Detroit, headed west to explore Chicago and St. Louis, and later relaxed and revived ourselves in Kansas with tomato beers and an awesome tour (with an equally awesome guide in Tanner Knowland). From there we strolled through the Rockies of ‘Rado ;) …and we marveled at the magnificence of The Grand Canyon.. I’ve never told you this, but easily my favorite part was when I took a picture of you leaning over a rail and taking in the scene. I’ve never seen so much beauty and perfection in merely one photograph. As breathtaking as the canyons were all the way down to the river, you made it just as difficult to inhale, as you are both creations only our Father could draw up.
When we arrived home and were out of money and thrills, I wondered if we’d continue on finding adventure. Ten months later, I have my answer. We haven’t stopped finding happiness in each other and exhilaration together.
We’ve hiked regularly. We’ve worked out consistently and met goals. We’ve read one-third of the bible, prayed over each other, attended church week after week, and got baptized. We’ve grown closer to God and deeply in love in doing so. We stuck with our desire to see new places in taking in New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. In fifty-two weeks, we’ve stepped foot in twenty-six states. I don’t know if you’re aware of this or not, but there’s still plenty more left and that excites me. You’ve inspired me to complete a romance novel I’m proud of. I’ve inspired you to expand your opportunities. We’ve both inspired the other to live each day with the kindest of hearts. I try to do my best to make you smile as much as possible every chance I get, and you succeed constantly in doing just that for me.
Not everything has gone our way, though. Apparently, it is impossible to be on a home loan when your student loan debt is as high as the house itself, and total loss accidents and issues with dogs getting loose from iron fences aren’t ideal either. A flat tire last month wasn’t to my pleasing, and parking tickets in D.C. took a little bit away from an otherwise wonderful experience. Still, we’ve taken every punch with God by our side and have done a great job of recognizing that this is the best thing we will ever have on this earth…ever. With that, nothing can keep us down. There is nobody else I’d rather take to my family’s weird, Grammy-themed Christmas parties, and I’m assuming I’m your favorite companion to bring on your family outings in the Sapphire Valley mountains. We are truly best friends and I love it.
So in the end, I’m thinking this: If people don’t believe one year is momentous enough to celebrate…maybe they’re just not doing it right…because I couldn’t be more enthused to tell you I’m happy we’ve landed at this point, nor could I be more ecstatic for the joyful years to come. And if all we ever do is wander around for the rest of our lives, we’ll never be lost because we’ve already reached the destination we’ve longed for. We are right where we are meant to be regardless of where we go. I love you and I love us. That will never change…not in any other city, not in any other state, not in any other country or continent or planet for that matter. I love you everywhere. Everywhere and forever.
Happy One Year, Michelle,