in case you didn’t get enough sappy love on valentines. my life- among other things- is a love story.
our love is one of summers. that summer in 2006 where we kissed on our first date, got fake tattoos at the county fair, and fell in love on a rock, under the stars, at the lake. on our fourth day of dating, i wrote “i know who i am going to marry” in my journal. i’ve always wanted it to be him. and then it was a week later and i was leaving to michigan for college while he was going to tennessee; neither of us had any intention of beginning our undergraduate career being in a relationship, but somehow we both did. the thing about long distance relationships is that what you lose in physical proximity, you gain in words. communication. in midnight conversations with the blanket over your head so as not to wake your dorm roommate, you find that you learn things about yourself that you never knew, simply because of this other being. and the thing about love is that you find a way.
it was 4 school years of plane flights: travels to tennessee and visits to michigan. it was handwritten letters and sending leaves in the mail. i’ve kept them all, you know. and then it was spending a summer living at friend’s houses, staying out later than we were supposed to. it was hyperventilating attacks and bloody noses, throwing up in your pool at my 18th birthday because i didn’t allow enough time for my cake to settle. summer 2007 was celebrating our first anniversary in your backyard, eating the homemade dinner you made. it was a week of country concerts and our first fight, trips to montana, and campfires in your backyard. another summer of traveling by ship across the mediterranean in 2009, drinking tea overlooking St. Sophia in Turkey, snorkeling in the Red Sea, and running through the bazaar in Marrakesh. that summer. there aren’t words for that. i don’t know if there is a way to describe what it felt like riding camels up to the egyptian pyramids before sunrise. you tilted me back and kissed me in the sweltering heat right outside the great pyramid. i still remember what i felt like in that exact moment.
and then there were the endings. graduation from college and a celebratory trip to florida. we slept outside on the beach and you got third degree sunburns. typical. it was a 20 hour drive back to oklahoma, listening to harry potter on tape, and me reading out loud to you from one of my favorite books. twizzlers and gatorade. we broke up that summer. and that was when i learned that it’s possible to be sadder than you know. it was then that i realized i could live without you, but that my life would be less colorful that way. it’s funny the way things look different when you are in love, the moments are clearer and crisp, but it’s the absence of love that makes you notice. even still, it was a summer of staying in touch, wishing each other happiness.
i don’t know if the world provides us with soul-mates, but what i do know is that i’d pick you every time.
and then it was two summers ago, and i was on a flight to costa rica to meet up with a boy i never stopping loving. you hand picked flowers for me. there was no question. but there were all the answers. i’ll forever be grateful for that summer. ziplining, snorkeling, holding monkeys, riding bikes through the rainforest and having a picnic on the beach. it could have been anywhere, as long as i was with you. last summer was new york, wandering around the city, waiting in subways, midday naps in the park. both chasing separate dreams but doing it together, every step of the way. and the truth is, if i am going on an adventure, you’re the person i want right by my side.
of course the season doesn’t matter, it could have been winter or fall. but when it comes down to it, you will always be my summer.
i know six things about love.
1. it will make you a better person
2. it is simple.
3. the more you give, the more you have.
4. it is constant.
5. it can be everything you’ve hoped for.
6. it must start with yourself.