I’m not a particularly sentimental person, or a huge fan of expressing my emotions in respects of my partner – I’ve never been one to flood Facebook with intense and frequent outpourings of devotion. But I think maybe once in a while is acceptable, so…
Today I am grateful for Jake, and I want the world to know that. Seeing as I can’t stand on the roof and yell it, posting it here will have to suffice. I have a lot to be grateful for. He keeps me sane, even though often he is the cause for my insanity 😛 He is my anchor, keeping my head out of the clouds and on a level. He has the best sense of humour, and always knows how to make me smile, even when I feel like shouting or crying or running. We’ve been through hard times and dragged each other through them, and we’ve kicked back and sailed through the good times with Bob Marley and a cold cider. We play and joke like children and argue like an old married couple. We have so many in-jokes we can’t even remember them all. We go for meals and movies, we have the hearts and candles and flowers and teddies, but we also have the assassin films, Sims 3, play fights, pillow fights, the yelling at the Xbox when some bastard shoots us AGAIN, the debates over which Avenger is best, and of course, stealing bites of each other’s food (well, Jake stealing mine…). He can read me like a book, and I him. He knows my worst fears and my greatest dreams. We compare and consider what the first things to buy would be, if either of us won the lottery (Jake would buy a KFC bucket, of course) and whether we would even tell anybody. No-one else rolls their eyes quite like Jake does when I throw the millionth outfit on to the bed in a fit of I-hate-all-my-clothes. I trust him with my life. He turns into a 5year old child when he’s had one too many, or when it’s Christmas, or when he’s just generally excited at anything. His enthusiasm for life can brighten anyone’s day. He’s protective but not stifling, concerned but not controlling. He fits into my family as if they have known no different, and his family have welcomed me with open arms. He drives me so far round the bend I could reach to slap his ass and sometimes I have no idea what nonsense he is talking. But I wouldn’t change a thing, not in the slightest.
I am not a perfect girl, and he is not a perfect boy, we don’t have a perfect relationship, but I don’t want that anyway. Perfect means the end of the line, the ultimate finale. There is not space to grow in perfection. There is no elbow room for jostling each other around, fitting together with a little effort like the last jigsaw piece. There is no capacity for learning about each other and learning about myself there, too. Perfection is the vast, bright landscape accompanied by a pleasant but mundane smile, fixed in place, an unchanging picturesque view of a Paradise everyone seeks. But if in this Paradise, I can’t kick up the dirt a little and bend the trees into a den, or create matching forts to have a stone war with Jake in, then it’s probably not the kinda place for us anyway – at least, not yet. I’m not gonna mourn for the roses around the door I don’t have, if I’m not done planting the seeds yet.
Today is our anniversary – two years together. Wow, two years. It’s such a weird feeling, because it’s gone so quick and yet, it’s been forever at the same time. So much has occurred in the two years of our relationship, perhaps most significantly my transition from the local college to University, altering the relationship from close to long distance. I’m no longer 20mins drive away, but over 2 hours. No-one can ever predict how it feels until they are put in the situation. So many people my age don’t even try to fight through the difficulties of Uni, instead opting for the pre-Uni break up or not even going for the relationship in the first place because of the inevitable departure of one half. But I am so glad we didn’t do that. The summer was rife with doubts and worries, and it’s not been a walk in the park, but it’s a lot easier than people give credit for. We are so lucky to live in a generation where contact is a series of buttons away – phone calls, texts, emails, Skype – and while nothing ever replaces the physical presence of a person, these methods sure help to fill the gap a little. It goes to show that any relationship can work with some effort. I’ve visited Bristol and spent time with Jake; he’s visited Plymouth and spent time with me. We still have our own lives and hobbies, probably more so than before, yet we still make time for each other. It is surprising how many couples don’t do that. From experience (my own and witnessing friends’ relationships), the couples who are most likely to have the jeopardising issues are either those who don’t spend enough time together, or who spend every minute with each other. Strike the balance between being a person in your own right with your own time, and being one half of a partnership, and you’re probably on to a winner.
All I can say in the end is that I’m excited for the future. I’m excited to know where the unpredictable river of life will take us, through whatever rough rapids and Utopian streams that we are carried through. We’ll build bridges and burn some too, and we’ll be divided in places but reunited in the end. One day we’ll reach the ocean and drift into a red and orange emblazoned horizon, crossing the line into a realm unknown but until then, I’m enjoying drifting on my back in a slow lazy river with a cocktail in hand.