September 6th, 2008. Ten years (and four days) ago. Somewhere between the hours of 11pm and 2am, I kissed a girl I had been in love with already for four years prior. It was one of the most terrifying things that I have ever done, and believe me there are many other things in my life that I have done that I should have been scared of. I have done things that most people would find way more terrifying than that. Nonetheless, I was scared. We had been flirting that whole summer, and although I think my heart knew that it would be fine, my brain (as usual) was in the way. I don't remember anything after that awfully delivered kiss, but I'm sure we snuggled and (eventually-I was panicking) fell asleep like we had been doing that whole summer while she was out east at her summer stock and I could visit her a few times before starting my first year of college.
The next two weeks were absolute agony. We spent every night on the phone, (as I went back up to Albany over three hours away) mostly me talking and her adding in a word or two here in there, debating on what we were doing and if we really had feelings for each other and where this was going. We finally decided that we would date, in secret. I had been keeping secrets my whole life, so this was nothing new to me, and over the next few months I spent over a thousand dollars on weekend trips to go see her either on trains or buses, and to this day I wouldn't change a damn thing. They were the best weekends of my life up to then, and I finally felt like I was sneaking around for the right reasons instead of the wrong ones which I had been doing for years. Something in me let me know that this was the right thing to do be doing, and I trusted my gut for the first time ever in those months - deciding to finally listen to it. We kept our relationship (mostly) a secret for four years.
One of the emotionally hardest nights I remember was when same-sex marriage was legalized in New York.
Sarah has been with me through so much over the past ten years (and more since we were friends first) - and I honestly have no idea how I could possibly truly thank her but I am hoping that continual love and support in all that she does and wants to do will come close.
A year (and 4 days) ago, we got married. It was small, quick, and perfect - and then we got to spend a long weekend with our close family and friends which was even more perfect than I think we both imagined it could be, and declare our gross, mushy, nerdy love for each other. It was the most 'us' thing I think we have ever done. The whole weekend was relaxed, casual, and fun - and I cannot wait to repeat it one of these years.
Sarah, I have loved you for over 14 years now, and as much as I desperately loved you back then - it was a love that I had felt would never come to be. A love that was denied not only by my religious upbringing and society, but also because I had felt that you would never feel the way that I did. No thought makes me happier than knowing now that I was wrong. I knew that I loved you fiercely back then, but now the love has changed and grown in a way that I never thought possible for me. I was sure that I would never attain a love like this, simply because I felt so undeserving. You not only changed my life, but the way that I perceive it - as well as myself - and I am everlastingly grateful.
I love you more each year, month, day, hour, down to the infinitesimal second. I have no idea what the love will become over our next ten years - but I am looking forward to finding out.
Thank you for loving me, sticking with me, and supporting me through the last decade. You are my everything, and I cannot imagine this life without you.
"I'm not half as good at anything as I am when I'm doing it next to you."