At brunch with a girlfriend last weekend, I mentioned that my first wedding anniversary with Garrett was coming up.
"Yes!" she exclaimed. "How has the first year been?"
"In all honesty, it's been wonderful," I said.
"Of course it is," she replied, "because you just get to be married."
I liked that. It's true. We have had no wedding to plan, no child to care for, no big changes--just yet--to deal with. Right now, we're simply enjoying being married. Loving each other, being nice to one another. Traveling, exploring. Having fun. Focusing on us.
In the almost 7 years of our relationship, we have gone through four years of college, one cross-country move, the start of our careers, and the planning of our wedding. We've been through a lot of change and, though with difficulty at times, have embraced it all.
"You guys are lucky," my girlfriend said later during brunch, "because you've grown up together. You've gotten to grow into the people you are side by side." (She's very wise, this friend of mine.)
I think that's one of the biggest keys to our relationship: we've been able to change and grow together. Since we met at such a young age--Garrett eighteen, I seventeen--we really had no choice but to change and grow (see the story on how we met here). It has been the willingness to do it together that's made us last.
Everybody changes throughout their life; I'm definitely not the same person that I was ten years ago--heck, I'm not the same person I was one year ago. There are parts of me that will always stay the same, yes, but I've grown and adapted and have focused on bringing the parts of me I like forward and pushing the less favorable ones out. Garrett isn't the same, either. When I met him, he lived in a daily pair of athletic sweats, had no desire to ever be in a relationship, and wanted to live in a tent on a beach after college--for the rest of his life. Luckily, all of that just made me love him more. I have never tried to change him and he has never tried to change me. Instead, we support one another as we grow into the people we want to be.
I really, really value the people that we've become and the relationship that we've built. I can only hope that we continue to evolve well together, to continue to fortify what we have.
With that, I would like to cheers our first year of being just married. I think we've done a pretty good job at it so far.