Today/yesterday (June 11, 2012) was me and Phil’s 6 year anniversary.
From what I’ve learned, love is not about sharing every possible experience with someone. I don’t want to spend every moment of every day/week/year/life with one person. I want to be able to stand on my own — to live my own life and do my own thing and be my own person. That’s not to say I don’t occasionally need or want another person to stand by me; I’ve just found that there are some life lessons best learned independently. In the words of my more eloquent friend Jonathan, you should grow separately.
When people ask how we’ve managed to stay together for so long — through high school and college and all the life-defining growing moments — my answer is always, “we let each other do our own thing.” There is no one person who is the exact same as you; and if there is, that’s boring. I like things he doesn’t care for and he likes things I don’t care for — and that’s all fine. We experience things outside of our relationship, and grow in ways that we wouldn’t be able to if we only learned from each other.
I’m not saying that I’m not emotionally dependent on him (you get out what you put in; can’t love and be loved without being vulnerable). He’s a huge part of my life, but he’s not my entire life. We are defined by things outside of each other. We push each other to learn and experience and to be better people.
I recognize how lucky I am that I have such solid emotional support, especially in times when other things in my life are not so solid. In my senior ad in my high school yearbook, I wrote that Phil was “my constant in the madness of 3+ years.” I’m proud to say that it’s now been another 3+ years, and that statement has never been more true. Happy anniversary to us; here’s to many more! (:
Pictures: a mildly embarrassing one from the first week we met in 2006 (I was 14 years old?! What!), and another from a few months ago in 2011.