Gratitude Journal: Anniversary Edition

Ben and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary this past weekend. Ben seemed more excited about this anniversary than the others that we’ve had over the past 14 years.  But it took me a little while to really get into the celebration.

It’s not that I don’t like anniversaries. I definitely do. Or that I don’t understand what a huge deal it is for us to get to celebrate our wedding anniversary. I get that too, and it’s why I I’ve been writing about marriage equality for the past two years.

It’s because this anniversary reminds me of how fast time has gone by. And I’m saddened that I can’t ever get that time back or at least slow it down to savor some moments a little longer.

I can’t believe it’s been a year since we exchanged vows in front of our family and close friends, many of which met for the first time that day. I can’t believe it’s been a decade since we started our journey in Chicago. And I can’t believe it’s been fourteen years since I’ve fallen in love with the kindest, sweetest, and most loyal human being I’ve ever met.

I look at one of our favorite pictures from when we first started dating and can’t help think that we had no idea what was coming. Many exciting times.  A lot of challenging ones. All worth being where we are today.

I want to practice what I preach and take a post to express gratitude for this anniversary:

  • I’m grateful for Ben: I feel lucky to get to share my life with someone, but especially this someone. I couldn’t possibly explain all of the ways that he’s made and continues to make me a better person. So I will just be thankful for it.
  • I’m grateful for the loving people in our lives: We are very lucky to have family and friends who have been supportive from the beginning. We also have some that it took a while to get accustomed to two men having a loving relationship but have put their fear aside and had our back ever since. Regardless, it means the world to me that people cheer for our happiness.
  • I’m grateful for marriage equality: It’s been such a big year and an amazing time to be alive to experience a huge social change. I’m sure that we will get to a point where marriages between same-sex couples become so intertwined with the societal fabric that we will forget the significance of marriage equality. But for now, I want to acknowledge that many people thought this moment would never come, and I’m glad that I got to experience it first hand.  
  • I’m grateful for blogging: There’s something about writing that I find cathartic and that helps me express what I’m feeling. It has been such a great outlet for many reasons, but especially being appreciative of the life I get to live.  
  • I’m grateful for the last year of experiences: I will never get to relive or extend the fun experiences of this past year like buying and decorating our house, our strolls down the river walk to our wedding venue, or a nice dinner out just the two of us. Hopefully appreciating them will prevent me from taking them for granted.

I love you German. Thank you for everything. I’m looking forward to the years to come.