Seven is the number. Lucky, mystical, magical. It’s the number we all live by. Seven days. Seven seas. Seven Harry Potter books.
There’s just something about seven. Cells renew every seven years (I mean, sort of). Life tends to cycle and renew and regenerate in strong and interesting ways in sevens. At least it does for me, especially in my marriage.
It’s our seventh wedding anniversary today. We had been together seven years when we got married, and today we have been married seven years (14 years total; I’ll never make you do math if I can help it). Each year is more complex, rich and loving than the last, and I have a lot of thoughts on the matter.
Our wedding was absolutely one of the happiest days of my life, but not because it went perfectly and not because I woke up serene. Far from it. When I reflect on our wedding day, a gorgeous summer day in Southern California, I think of how nervous I was at the start. How anxious for this spectacle that we had been planning for over a year to go off without a hitch. How I just wanted everything to go perfectly.
Spoiler Alert: The wedding is never going to go exactly how you think it will. Events that rely on dozens to hundreds of people, weather, and money are complex. But if you let it be what it is, plan as best you can and otherwise surround yourself with amazing, loving, supportive, open people (bonus if they have great taste and dynamite dance moves), you will have one killer, glorious party full of surprises you could not have planned if you tried. Oh, and an open bar. Always opt for an open bar.
In addition to a fabulous party, our wedding was the best day because by the end of it, I was married to my guy.
I look back at the photos of it and have to laugh at the stark contrast of those of myself getting ready before the ceremony, and those once I got to see my man. I was so much more relaxed once I got into his arms. It is where I am calmest. It was true then and even truer now. In the shelter of his love, I am at my safest, most vulnerable, most accepted, most truly and deeply myself. It’s clear from that day, as all the days before it and since, that I’m the luckiest person on the planet.
We both found our love wildly inconvenient at first. We were in college and both had big plans that didn’t include being in love with someone. However, we quickly went from “keeping it chill” to “oh man, well, we totally found each other super early in life but yeah, yep, yes, you’re the person.” We ultimately realized just how lucky that made us, and accepted our fate, becoming the adorable idiots love makes of us all, that we remain today.
We decided to just stand beside the other until it stops being awesome. Hasn’t happened yet.
Even through the cross-country moves, and job changes, career changes, dramas, funerals, weddings, babies. Through severe depressions and anxiety and turmoil; through existential crises and significant triumphs. Through job losses and heaving sobs and painful laughter and food poisoning and hangovers and make-overs and childbirth and sleep-deprivation and jet lag and concerts and heartache and health scares and pink hair and parenting. With him by my side, it’s always, just, rad.
We laugh a lot. We talk a lot. We argue. We make up. We get to live our messy, imperfect and often blessedly boring lives side-by-side. At this point, we’ve been together so long, I don’t make sense without him. He brings so much to my life: humor, logic, steadfast support, unflinching belief, balance, safety, passion, security, adventure and I could go on and on. I have, without question, been my most formed as a person by him, our relationship and our love.
In retrospect, we were so young getting married at 26. 26! It’s bananas to me now. Not because it wasn’t absolutely the right choice and timing for us, but because it showed such deep faith; that in these young and still pretty unformed selves, we managed to sift through all the muck (internally and otherwise) and make the choice to stand by one another, grow together, and support one another, without truly knowing what the gravity of adulthood, marriage and life would mean.
Marriage is a choice. A sacred choice, but a choice. It’s a decision about sharing. Do I want to share my time, my thoughts, my feelings, my fears, my finances, my children, my nachos, with this person every day, all day long?
My life isn’t perfect, my marriage isn’t perfect, but it is the best choice I’ve ever made. Not only did it give me my partner in all things, legally and spiritually binding my best friend to my side for life (sucker), but it also gave us our son. It gave me the opportunity to become a mom and see him become a (remarkable) dad. Choosing this man, and this man choosing me, gave us both the freedom and opportunity to become better, stronger, truer. Love is a powerful gift.
So is luck.
Happy seventh, dude. I fucking love you.
Photos credit: Amber Medley Photography