Writing about the passage of time is an exhausting enterprise. It is especially tiring when one considers the pace at which it seems to escape us. Still, it is necessary when it allows things to come into focus more clearly. Stopping to reflect on my relationship after celebrating four years with the person I love, feels bewildering. Sharing it with the world once felt like an impossibility. Yet, here I am writing this and here you are reading it.
Four years ago, after talking almost non-stop via a dating app (yes, we are an online dating success story), I met Brandon for the first time. I went on that first date filled with confidence, but I had not yet told the whole world the complete story.
For the next six months, I would see Brandon almost every week. With the passage of time, we grew closer and I became surer of our chances at something real and lasting. On June 26th, 2015, the US Supreme Court released a decision that would make gay marriage the law of the land. Feeling inspired, I penned a letter letting the whole world know my full story, posted it on my blog and drove to the Washington coast where there was no cellphone service. When I returned to Seattle, my whole world had changed for the better. Without a doubt, I would have never felt brave enough to be open and honest with all of you if Brandon had not been in my life.
The next year, we moved in together. Family and friends began to meet the person of my dreams. We began to build a life together. There were innumerable challenges before us. There would be arguments, disagreements, and tense moments. Yet, time after time, we fought for something bigger than ourselves. The idea of a proper union was cemented into our minds. This simple idea would become the horse pulling the cart forward.
In 2017, chasing a couple of dreams, we decided to move to Los Angeles. Brandon wanted to pursue an education in the culinary world. I wanted to shore up my nonprofit understanding before pursuing bigger opportunities once we returned to Seattle. 2018 would end up being our most challenging year yet, but we learned the value of depending on your partner. Through the good times and the bad, when one of us needed to be heard, listened to, or consoled, the other was there waiting with open arms. More importantly, we learned the value of retiring selfish things and being completely present.
2019 will present its own unique challenges (every year does). Yet, with the passing of each day, I feel more confident in the path before us. No longer am I the scared man who first sent a nervous message to someone I thought was cute. Now, I am loved, accepted, and appreciated for who I am. This may be the greatest gift Brandon could ever give me.
Be good to each other,
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