|© Photograph by Alice Gao Photography|
Marcus and me at Madison Square Park enjoying some French macarons, September 2010.
I am unbelievably lucky to have such a wonderful guy in my life -- one who always finds a way to calm me down when things go crazy and awry, whom I can talk to about literally anything, who will give me a tummy rub when I have an upset stomach, who is always down for a midnight snack even after we've brushed our teeth. I find myself (as cheesy as it sounds!) close to pinching myself, just to see if I'm dreaming all of this, dreaming I've found the one person that completely understands me and my quirky ways. It is hard to find the words to express the happiness I feel to have finally realized the love that we are all destined to find in this universe, this lifetime -- but I'll try anyhow. I stumbled upon a letter written by the late novelist John Steinbeck in response to his son, Thom, where he spoke of Susan, a young girl with whom he had fallen in love during his time at boarding school. This letter, which can be found in Steinbeck: A Life in Letters (editted by Elaine Steinbeck, the writer's wife during the last eighteen years of his life), embodies how I feel about my relationship with Marcus, so here I dedicate the following excerpt to our love, a love that still gives me butterflies and turns me into the giddiest girl ever, even after sharing an apartment and adopting a kitty together.
November 10, 1958
First—if you are in love—that’s a good thing—that’s about the best thing that can happen to anyone. Don’t let anyone make it small or light to you.
Second—There are several kinds of love. One is a selfish, mean, grasping, egotistical thing which uses love for self-importance. This is the ugly and crippling kind. The other is an outpouring of everything good in you—of kindness and consideration and respect—not only the social respect of manners but the greater respect which is recognition of another person as unique and valuable. The first kind can make you sick and small and weak but the second can release in you strength, and courage and goodness and even wisdom you didn’t know you had.
You say this is not puppy love. If you feel so deeply—of course it isn’t puppy love.
But I don’t think you were asking me what you feel. You know better than anyone. What you wanted me to help you with is what to do about it—and that I can tell you.
Glory in it for one thing and be very glad and grateful for it.
The object of love is the best and most beautiful. Try to live up to it.
[...] It sometimes happens that what you feel is not returned for one reason or another—but that does not make your feeling less valuable and good.
Lastly, I know your feeling because I have it and I’m glad you have it.
[...] And don’t worry about losing. If it is right, it happens—The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.
Happy Anniversary, Marcus -- thank you for being you, for being my best friend, for being a great listener, for being my rock in the stormiest moments, for making me a better person, and for being the good that never got away. Love you always! :)