Today I have been married to that man of a man ^^ for exactly 2,557 days. Eddie and I have spent the last four days celebrating our journey of seven years together thick in the heart of the place we love the most – the Blue Ridge Mountains. In many ways we feel closest when we are exploring the Appalachian Mountains, so we decided to celebrate our love among the trees, animals, and crisp mountain air. These past four days have been some of our best. We walked together completely content talking about the life we have lived thus far and the dreams inside of us that are pushing us forward. A proverbial renewal of our vows, we completely consumed ourselves with each other’s presence and breathed in our moments together with two big smiles.
Reflecting on our relationship during our trip, I started thinking about what has kept me and Eddie together throughout these challenging, yet fulfilling years. What I came back to is that we want each other to have the best possible life ever. Eddie moved with me to the middle of nowhere without a job and much of a plan so that I could go to the photography school at which I wanted to study. He fought for me when I struggled with our marriage and wasn’t sure how to maneuver through the battles I faced. He encourages me every day to be my best and makes me believe that I can do absolutely anything. He is constantly inspired by the desire to see me live a meaningful and vibrant life.
Eddie has a dream of hiking the whole Appalachian Trail. It will mean that one day we may have to abandon our careers for a while and set out in to the woods together. It will be challenging, but I want him to do the things that he desires in this life. I want him to be able to see his greatest dreams actually happen.
Marriage, in many ways, is pushing your biggest life partner to living the most courageous, amazing life possible. The more you push one another, the more fulfilling your lives will be. Although not all of my dreams are Eddie’s and not all of his dreams are mine, we are both enriched by one another’s desires. I would have never thought seriously about hiking the entire Appalachian Trail, but I can only imagine the adventure we are going to one day have living out Eddie’s dream. In the same vein, I don’t know that Eddie would seriously consider fostering or adopting children in the future without the seed I have planted; however, he is excited about what now seems like a plausible future for us.
In another light, pushing your life partner to living out the most meaningful life also takes the form of challenging one another to grow and pursue things each of you would not naturally reach for. Eddie challenges me to be more patient and selfless, merely by example. I encourage Eddie to be more bold and try to build deeper connections with others. We have a lot of room to grow in pushing one another in areas we are weak, but it is just as important when encouraging one another to living a life of depth. The greatest love is the love that pushes you to turn outward and love the world around you. This is the love that Eddie and I are striving towards more these days.
Some highlights from our backpacking trip this weekend:
Within the first hour I got stung by a bee on my butt and fell down a hill off the trail as I thought that a bear was falling out of a tree right above us (it was only a branch). The above photo illustrates some of the aftermath.
We met three men who brought a frozen steak to cook over the fire for dinner and named them all Ron Burgundy. Below is one of the Burgundy trio.
Here's to seven years with you, Eddie, and many more filled with love and growth and adventure and living out our wildest dreams together.