On anniversaries, change, and the state of my brain

My brain’s been in a weird funk the last couple of weeks. There’s been a lot going on, and a lot to think about. I’ve been deep in what appears to be a highly involved stage of wedding planning, where I write as many work-sounding emails in my time before and after work as I do during work time.

On top of that, it’s actually been warm here the last few days, and I’ve been obsessively starting to do things like gardening in our backyard. It’s a completely foreign concept for me, because previously we only had a spider-infested fire escape—but I’m excited to have an outdoor space!

So all of that has been taking my mind away from my routine a little, but in all honesty, I think that’s been all right. And in lieu, it’s given me a lot to think about—especially as today came up.

See, this is one of the busiest weeks of the year for me in terms of family and celebrations. There’s an anniversary, three family birthdays, and a dear friend birthday that all happen in a span of seven days! In my head, it always feels like going up the first hill of a roller coaster, and today’s the day that I crest the top of it and start hurtling down.

Okay, that doesn’t sound great written, but it is!

This year, though, today’s a lot more than the first of that series of celebrations.

A bit of backstory

Four years ago today, I was home on a sick day. That’s a little weird to think about now because there’s so much of a stigma around it in light of the pandemic, but at least back then it was normal! I was happily pajama-clad, unshowered, and curled up on the couch with the Minnie Mouse comforter I got when I was four.

I had just started seeing this guy I’d met online. We were getting along incredibly well, bonding over conversations about superheroes. He worked nights, so he usually came over in the mornings and would sleep all day until I got home from work. Even though I was sick, he still showed up that day with his own pajamas, a tub of ice cream, soup, and his 3DS.

We’d agreed to have some Pokémon battles, and he was ready to stay up all day with me for that!

If you asked, I couldn’t tell you who won the first battle. I have no idea. But I remember that a demand for a rematch happened. That’s when he started throwing out Dragonite after Dragonite, and I noticed a pattern in their names.

That’s right: He used the names of his all-Dragonite team to ask if I would be his girlfriend. And even though he demolished my team, how could I say no?

Now, today's our fourth anniversary.

A lot has happened in the last four years. We’ve gone through the stress of unemployment, the heartbreak of losing family and pets. We’ve gone through the absolute emotional wreck of buying our first house together. We’ve fought, we’ve cried, and we’ve struggled.

But the thing is, that’s just what life is sometimes. Sometimes it rains, sometimes it shines. I don’t say that to be a downer; I just think it’s important to understand.

And for every bit of rain, there’s been a whole pile of sun. Moments that light up the day, adventures, learning and growing together. It far outweighs anything life has thrown at us.

I’ve always believed that what matters is how you handle the things that come—and that you have the right people beside you when they come. I’m lucky that I’ve been able to find that, and I can only hope that if you haven’t yet, you do too, whatever form that takes.

Today is the last time we'll celebrate this anniversary.

Knock on wood, of course! Pandemic permitting, this week is going to get one celebration quieter for me starting next year. I’ve been thinking about it basically since October, and it’s weird now that it’s here. So I’m feeling a tad nostalgic, to say the least.

This time next year, we’ll have a new anniversary in September.

I don’t know if I know the right words to express how happy I am about it. I will be the first to admit that I don’t always handle change well, and it’s kind of a big one. But it doesn’t exactly feel like a change; it feels like I’ve turned the page, and now I get to see what happens to the characters in the next chapter.

I’m excited about it, y’all.

So yes. That’s where my brain has been at these last few weeks, and naturally I haven’t been writing as much. I’m hopeful that as things start falling into place with the wedding, and I can stop writing so many emails (and/or spending hours discovering ways to hide moogles on the dessert table, which definitely has happened more than once), I’ll have more mental room for it. But in the meantime, I will do my best to enjoy this crazy, nostalgic week as it happens!

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