Before June ends, I’d like to take some time to look back on and honor, through my humble writing, a recent milestone in my personal life. It’s been two years, a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, a life-changing decision to cohabitate, and one crucial election season later, and we’re still standing. With the chaos of the world determined never to end, it is a gift to have someone with whom to share all the ups, downs, and in-betweens.
It all goes back to that one unassuming February. Fresh from months of vacationing and exploring, I was ready to settle back home and perhaps meet someone new. I walked in without any expectations and walked away with something special.
Little did we know we were going to get to know each other during an unforeseen pandemic. I can still remember our last date before lockdowns began in the city. We ate and talked and walked without a care, no idea it would be months until we could see each other again. The next thing we knew, I was stuck at home feeling trapped in my little space, and he was outside working as a medical frontliner (even catching COVID a few months later). It was a scary time during which we drew strength and hope from each other. Physical distance notwithstanding, we leaned on and learned to appreciate the good in each other.
Navigating the early days of the pandemic, just the uncertainty of it all, made me realize the true value of life and the magic in the little things. It pulled me down to earth and brought me back to the basics. (Of course, I speak as someone with that privilege.) Life pre-COVID, with all the glitz and the noise, made it easy to look past what’s there and always want more. Now, as the world learns to live with this new normal and life once again becomes more eventful, I hope to never lose sight of that realization.
And so I’ve made a more conscious commitment to an attitude of gratitude. I practice it in all aspects of my life, romance included. For me and my person, “thank you” never gets and will never get old. It has become our “thing” to always express gratitude even for everyday things. “Thank you for making brunch.” “Thank you for making dinner.” “Thank you for the treat.” “Thank you for taking out the trash.” These are anything but empty words. They are a constant reminder of our appreciation for each other and every little thing that contributes to our life together. There are many wonderful things I am certainly proud of in this relationship, and our expressions of gratitude are definitely high on the list.
Aside from the pandemic, cohabitation was also a challenge we had to conquer. I wouldn’t lie and say it was all peachy; it wasn’t. As someone incredibly independent with very particular compulsions, I struggled in a new environment where I had to share with and consider someone else. Thankfully, I have been gifted with a person who is admittedly more flexible and adaptable than I am. I can say we really fit together quite well. And now that we have settled in completely in our home, life is harmonious, peaceful, fun, and silly all at the same time.
There is unique joy in finding your person who does not complete you but rather enhances your life. I used to miss living alone but not anymore. The simple things like meals, movie marathons, trips to the supermarket, and even household chores are just a whole lot more fun and interesting now that I have a partner in crime to do them with. And should I need my alone time, my person has learned to let me have my space, which gives life a pleasant balance.
For our second anniversary, I had only a couple simple wishes—that we be blessed with good health and success in our careers so that we can continue working toward the future. Having lived through some tough times recently, I am more confident than ever that we can withstand whatever challenges that come our way.
And so I end this with another expression of gratitude to the person who has become a wonderful partner and best friend. I shall never get tired of saying my thank yous to you. Know that you are a gift I will always treasure. All my love always.