I recently celebrated my three-year anniversary with my boyfriend, Gatsby. I’m generally introspective and retrospective in nature, but birthdays and anniversaries make me especially so. I try to think about where I was the year prior: where was my head? What was my cause of anxiety, and do those things matter to me anymore? And then I pick apart the 365 days between then and now. I configure a timeline in my head of the highs and lows of the year, and set goals for myself for the year ahead.
In specific regards to my relationship, I was in a low place last year, probably the lowest I’ve ever been. I was still recovering from the unexpected and painful death of my grandfather. I had just finished a mentally draining internship that left me feeling depleted and stupid. Gatsby and I had fought almost every day of the semester. There were so many times where I was convinced that we weren’t going to make it to our anniversary. I was halfway through my second-to-last semester of college. The weight of that time limit was finally beginning to settle in.
It wasn’t all bad. I was interning at The Zoe Report which ultimately made me want to be a fashion writer all over again. I was happy with my friends. My roommate situation was more positive than it had been since I started college. I was going out a lot. I was incredibly social — perhaps as a cover for all the stress I was feeling at the time — but I was happy about it.
But we made it through, my boyfriend and I. We celebrated our anniversary in Palm Springs in a tiny Air BNB in the desert. We ate dinner at a crappy Italian place I had found on Yelp and laughed about it. We had fun together. Genuine fun.
So we made it to another year full of its own issues: the start and adjustment to being in a long-distance relationship. The summer was hard and filled big fights about our future that neither of us were equipped to have. But we made it through! We fought for every day together. When I was so ready to throw it all away, he pulled me back. I did the same for him. And then we made it to November 16th, 2018.
Well, “we made it” actually means “my flight on November 15th got delayed, cancelled, and rescheduled for 24 hours later.” I landed in Los Angeles on November 16th and 9pm. We had missed on the dinner reservations my boyfriend had made us. I had a 100.7 degree fever and a headache. But we were together.
The rest of the weekend was spent doing absolutely nothing. We slept until 1pm every day. We ate pizza for breakfast. We got up to shower before cuddling up in bed again to marathon The Great British Bakeoff. And we laughed about anything and everything for seventy-two hours straight.
So we have three years of I Love You between us. A whole lot of fights, and a lot of love. I don’t have it all together and neither do we. But we fight with and for each other. And I’m not sure I would be quite as satisfied with our relationship had it not been full of trials and tribulations.
Landing in Los Angeles, my head was everywhere. I hadn’t showered. I probably looked horrid. I had been crying for hours, and was running on two hours of sleep and nothing to eat but some Shake Shack, coffee, and half a bagel. But it didn’t matter. Because the second his ice blue Jeep pulled up I was instantly relaxed.
So thank you to my boyfriend. Thank you for three years of laughter and fights and everything in between. I love you.