"You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous,
but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone
though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow
not in each other's shadow."
— Kahlil Gibran The Prophet (on Marriage)
I think it's safe to say Juan & I have mastered what this quote suggests. Allowing each other the space to grow as individuals yet still having our roots be intertwined. We recently celebrated our 1 year wedding anniversary, and if you know anything about our journey this last year, you know it hasn’t been easy. We’ve only been able to spend 4 months out of the last year together, which is pretty crazy to think about! Even though it wasn’t on purpose, and it was a really hard time for both of us, we both know that was the way things had to be.
I also realized I’ve never really shared anything about our wedding! I guess because the way we did things certainly wasn’t what we’ve been told is the “right way” to get married. And there were plenty of things about our wedding day that would be other people’s wedding worst nightmares:
didn't get to chose our wedding date
only knew the date 24 hours before
I didn’t have a wedding dress (but Juan picked one out for me & surprised me!)
neither of our families were there (& Juan still hasn’t met my brother!)
we didn’t have rings, a registry, or a reception
we were in a city neither of us are from and that neither of us even like
we took pictures with fake flowers and a fake cake and our friend who had never touched a real camera before took a few others in a park
had 1 week of honeymoon and then we were separated for several months after
It was a wild time, but we both took each moment of it in stride. I remember as we were getting ready on our wedding day, I had that feeling of "oh man, we're really doing this..." and doubt started to creep in. We left our Airbnb to hail a taxi to head to the civil registry where we would be married by a judge who we now joke was actually a wise old witch in disguise. We jumped in the taxi, both of us wearing clothes that Juan picked out for us. And suddenly I heard Bob Marley singing to us "I wanna love you and treat you right, I wanna love you, everyday and every night.” Out of all the taxis we could have gotten in the big city of Guayaquil, we got one that was playing Juan's favorite artist of all time.
It was that moment that I knew. That was exactly where I needed to be doing exactly what I needed to be doing. All fear and doubt melted into the sweet lyrics reminding me that this really was love that I was feeling, that we were both committing to something bigger than us, and that we were always going to be taken care of. Turns out it was actually a burned CD the driver had made, so we got to listen to it all the way there. We held hands, looking at each other, with a knowing in both of our hearts that this was the start of something beautifully new and expansive.
Juan and I celebrated our 1 year anniversary on October 22nd. We were reminiscing on this last year, everything we’ve been through together, the endless hoops we had to jump through just to be together now. We were laughing about how hard & painful yet beautiful and perfectly divine it all has been. How when the rest of the world was being transformed by fear, we found ourselves being transformed by love. When we set our minds & hearts to something, we make it happen. That’s just the kind of people we are.
Juan looked at me, laughing his big laugh, as we were wondering if anyone else on the planet would be willing to go through what we’ve been through to be together. He smiled and asked “We’re crazy, right?”
I smiled back at him, planting a kiss on those lips I fall in love with over and over again and said, “No doubt about it, baby.”