2 Years of Loving You //

Dear Brandon, 

Two years since the day that changed everything. You're my best friend, in every sense of that word. You've changed everything for me since the day we met. 

People often ask if I knew you were the one, or did it grow over time. I always say that I knew right away. Ever since you walked into my life-- barefoot with a flannel shirt-- you walked right in and made yourself at home. You never once blinked at the idea of forever. That's how we've always been. A forever kinda thing. 

I'll never forget one of the first nights we spent time together. Barely friends, we were sitting on a blanket in the front yard of a friend's house. Late May, humid air hung still, as the first of the lightning bugs started to come out to play for the summer. You were sprawled out, lazily, at complete comfort, even though you didn't know me well at all. I wasn't like that. People have always made me anxious, nervous, like I need to prove that I'm worthy for their approval. But not you. You didn't care what I thought. You smoked a cherry Black and Mild, blowing sweet, cherry-scented smoke into the air. I couldn't stop watching you. Your confidence rocked me. I felt steadier just being around you. 

That night, you told me that life was funny because we're hanging out tonight, but we'd probably never see each other again. We lived in different states. I was moving home and you didn't know where the summer, or the fall, or really any season after that, would take you. You lived life fast and freely, spontaneously and light. I lived life, meticulously planned out, a die-hard rule follower, each day has a schedule with little room for error. 

The next summer, we would be inseparable. You taught me to be care-free, to hike in the woods and follow the sun. You completely messed up my plans. You made me late, you made me messy, you made me a little bit distracted and a little bit obnoxious. You taught me that balanced meals aren't fun without dessert, that country songs are meant to be sung loudly at night with the windows down, that back roads are better than highways, that "No Trespassing" signs are meant to be ignored. You taught me that community and people and relationships make our life what it is, that ruining your plans to help someone in need is never time wasted. 

You've taken who I am and shaken me up, so that I sometimes am left spinning, wondering who I am and how I can let the dishes pile up and the laundry go unwashed, because playing outside is simply more important today. You make me a better version of myself. 

Forever all my love, 
Annie