Day 15: 17 + 18 + 19 = 21

Twenty-one years ago this very night, Jim and I fell asleep in our first apartment.  We were dating seventeen whole days (though we had known each other for a year and a half). I was eighteen, Jim was nineteen; it’s been 21 years.  Wow.

Not a lot of people born in the 1970s have been with the same person for the last two decades. Looking around, I’d say we’re fairly rare.  I’d say we’re more lucky than special. Yes, we’re a great fit, but we were lucky to figure that out early, and first, before misfits or misfires. We’re not still together because we’re stubborn or tenacious; we simply fit. We’re like a pair of matched socks that just belong together.

As we approach our twenty-second Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, I find it hard to believe that it’s been so many years.  Sometimes,  I look back to eighteen from twenty-one years of deaths, births, near-deaths, lows and highs, and I want to reach back and tell that girl, “Hold on tight,” but even if I could do that, I wouldn’t need to.  That girl has a boy to hold on to, who will hold her hand when she buries her father, sleep on the spring  popping out of the hotel bed so she doesn’t have to, and not sleep at all when their child needs overnight supervision in the hospital. He’ll always buy her the best presents and put on a good face when she buys him the wrong thing.  He’ll make sure they eat because, even after 21 years, she still can’t cook.

Some girls are waiting for a prince to save them from nothingness.  Maybe that’s why some women are still waiting. I really don’t know because I didn’t wait. I took a leap of faith and had some really good luck.  The wrong pieces will never fit, no matter the amount of work; thus luck does matter. Still, a good relationship is an accomplishment earned not an entitlement owed. I’ve done well with a partner who lifts me up, believes in my hopes, and supports my dreams.  I’ve done the same. I know I’m a good wife and life-partner; Jim tells me so.  Seriously, I know it.  Substance is something you make together, not something you’re given. .  After the 21 years we’ve made together, I think we’re pretty damned substantial.

This blog challenge is really straining my writing muscles, but I adore this song below by Ryan Adams. I think it speaks to the awe of looking back and finding oneself in the present with much more eloquence than I can muster on the 15th blog post this month. Wish me luck with the last 16!

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