My birthday was on Saturday and it was so great. Anthony came home from Europe and we just didn’t leave the apartment all weekend. After 3 weeks of not seeing each other, that was all I wanted for my birthday. But he also wrote me the sweetest thing as a gift, and I had to share. I just love his writing and of course it made me cry. Hopefully this isn’t an over-share and you guys enjoy it like I did! :)

~

You know me. You know I have a hard time keeping my mind quiet and my body still. I thought you should know that you are my silence and my stillness. You’re my peace and quiet, my meditation.

My blue tranquility and the calming sound of rain on the window on a Sunday morning.

That crisp, pure, middle-of-nowhere, arctic air filling my lungs, reinvigorating and reminding me of life’s brilliance.

Transcendent music I can’t ignore, and that I listen to with my whole being, eyes closed, floating.

Of course, you are so much more, too. But lately I’m thinking a lot of the in between. It’s really in between all of the belly laughter, wild nights, and sunny afternoons when I actually understand how much you do for me. How you put me at ease. That you’re my home.

Like that beautiful, clear night after we left Mary and Scott’s house. We were driving home along the coast and the moon was massive, sitting on the glowing pavement ahead of us, always a few feet from the hood of the car, just out of reach. The water was billions of infinitely long gold ribbons rippling independently and then converging to brush against the papier-mâché cliffs. We were on stage in a magic realism play, the scene about the timelessness and elevating wonder of love.

And those nights, early on, when all we could do was lay in bed for hours and stare, learning every detail in each others’ face — every freckle, every silver streak in colorful eyes, those slight dimples, subtle curvature of lips. We’d take turns running our hands down the side of the face,

 

then falling onto the neck,

over the shoulder,

and down the arm

only to stop at the hand,

interlock fingers,

 

and squeeze.

 

It’s really cliché. It’s something teenage couples do after school when their parents aren’t home, not couples in their mid-twenties who met online. And we knew that, we laughed about it, but we just couldn’t not do it. We couldn’t help ourselves, so we didn’t.

And, of course, the day we stayed in bed until 6pm staring out of my big window at the long sky, flirting and joking but, in between, just laying in unmoving silence in each others’ arms. It was new for me — silent silence and still stillness — because those things had always meant laying awake in frustration or the loud, resonating guilt of avoiding deadlines. But there, with you, everything stopped and hushed and there was nothing else but that sky and the weight of your head on my chest. It was the meaningful quietness following the final pitches of a ballad, suspended. The moment after your breath is taken away by something beautiful. A quiet moonlit drive along the California coast.

Your love gives me something I’ve always struggled to give myself: rest. Real, rejuvenating rest. It gives me space to breathe and sit and not mind breathing and sitting. It adds time to deadlines. It makes pints a little bigger and 8 AM a little later. It makes days in bed last forever.

~

It was a great birthday present, to say the least.

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More beautiful photos at Two Happy Lambs

While Anthony was away we had a misunderstanding and it was really hard to work through something and communicate effectively when he was across the world and in a really inconvenient time zone. I am just so glad that we work things out the way we do, and that we experienced that together, because it made us stronger.

Anthony is a big reason why I am so happy to be where I am at 26. But I also have a great job that I enjoy and feel challenged by, which is the biggest victory of this year. Anthony and I also moved in together a few months ago, which has been so fun. I love that I finally have my own place that I can decorate and make a home. I also feel like I am settling into Santa Barbara more and establishing roots. I’m making more of an effort to make friends and that feels really good.

If I looked at my life right now at age 12, 18, 22… I think I would be really happy with what I saw. That’s a great feeling.

 

What do you think your young self would think of your life right now? What was the most special birthday gift you’ve ever received?

 

 

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