let's chat about life and love. is that okay? can you pull up a cup of coffee and listen to me for a little while? or better yet, let's chat over some spiked caramel apple cider and pumpkin muffins. because its FALL and i want to.
life moves so, so quickly that it often leaves me standing here in amazement that i've actually lived for twenty-six years. it sort of feels like a 13 going on 30 moment, in that i find myself feeling like yesterday i was walking onto the Bryant University campus to start school and today i woke up living on the upper east side in New York City with a boyfriend that i've been dating for EIGHT WHOLE YEARS. i sit back and think to myself… how?
a few weeks ago i had drinks with a co-worker and the conversation turned to frankie. because she loves frankie. as in the he's-so-funny-and-nice-i-love-being-around-him love that i would say 99% of our friends feel. i don't even know if he knows that he has this effect on people or if he's just wildly oblivious to the way people react to him.
we started talking about “what it is about him,” you know… mushy girl crap that i love to gush about at any time, because again… i feel so lucky to have him.
and, really, i knew from the day i met him that he was special.
the story goes that i was obsessed (which i was) and frankie was NOT (at all), from the get-go. it was a potent cocktail of fate/challenge/determinedness that kept “us” alive that first year, because TECHNICALLY, we weren't an “us” at all. my friends told me i was crazy and i should move on if he wouldn't “commit.” but i couldn't. because there's just something about frankie.
i never could put my finger on it. i always knew it was SOMETHING but i couldn't point it out specifically.
so imagine my surprise, as i'm chatting about my relationship over drinks in an irish pub, that i realize: he is just inherently good.
is it really that simple? yes. that's what it is.
i sat in that bar and spilled out all these thoughts: “he's just a good person. he's probably the best person i know. he's smart and funny and goofy and sweet. but above all, he's kind and caring and loving. he isn't vocal about emotions, but he's a fierce protector of all people that he loves and cares about. he's sweet with kids and respectful of his elders. he admires his parents and models his role in our relationship after their strong bond. he's a soother, a supporter, and a hard-worker. he's wildly loyal. he'd never be a cheater or a liar. he's close with his family and he loves me far more than i ever thought was possible… he's just… really, truly, the best person i know.”
she just looked at me and said, “you know, it's really nice to know that, that still exists. it gives me hope.”
which is why i'm sharing this with you guys.
our relationship isn't perfect. we're eight years in and we work at it every day. we fight, but i've learned to choose my battles. if i had to pick the best thing he's taught me in all these years, i'd say it's patience. (especially because he tries my patience all the time.) but, our relationship has had a profound impact on how i interact with people. when i'm upset or emotional, i take a step back and think about what i want to say and what the best way to communicate those thoughts are. its about making a conscious decision about how you speak to others and what you say. being heard is more important than being right or being loud. its about seeing the big picture. its about not having a blow out fight over things that don't really matter in the end. it's about compromise and respect and communicating effectively. he's taught me all that.
i think in the end it's about appreciating each other and valuing what we have.
and i'm really, really thankful i've found someone like him.
ANYWAY. frankie. i'm sorry i gushed about all your good qualities on the internet. but i truly, truly love you and i'm so grateful for you and for all that you've taught me.
i'm the most “me” when i'm with you. happy anniversary.
P.S. for those of you who come here for food, there WILL be a recipe a little later today so be on the lookout! xoxo