This Is Why I Choose You

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This Is Why I Choose You

Choosing you, continuing to choose you, is the best, bravest, and smartest move I've ever made.

I was looking for something recently, lost in the wilderness of my oldest email inbox, the "9999+" glaring at me from the left column. In the midst of navigating through offers expired a decade ago and notes from friends who are now little more than strangers, I came upon hundreds of messages from when we first met.

I opened one at random and read it with nostalgia covering me up like a warm blanket. We were so young, and so hopeful, and we thought falling asleep beside each other every night was the answer to a multitude of life's problems.


The truth is, we weren't that far off.

I didn't know going in what was coming. When you're still counting down the days until your next kiss, the minutes until the next time you can hold hands, the seconds until you can shed your clothes like a metaphor and press your hearts together unencumbered, the future is nothing more than an abstract shape on the horizon.

Choosing you meant committing not only to the present, but to the unknown forever.   

There's no way we could have foreseen the way things would unfold. House sales falling through, more time spent on two separate continents, all the deaths and disillusionment and tiny tragedies that make up so much of our adult lives. Would I have said "I do" if I'd had a crystal ball to show me all the sleepless nights, all the countless doubts and worries? Would you?

My answer is unequivocally yes. Yes, yes, yes.

Yes, because in the middle of all that mess was love, holding us together like glue made out of grace and forgiveness and patience and an awful lot of laughing at inappropriate times. You've seen my twenty-tissues face, and even kissed it, my nose still running and my eyes still red.

You've complemented me at my most confident and at my most painfully insecure. You've kept your cool when I'm relentlessly losing my sh*t. And I know it's not very modern of me to say so, it's not very feminist to feel this way, but I have no idea what I would do without you, how I could survive this world without the way you center me.

In New York, I took the subway from the Bronx into Manhattan almost every day. Sometimes, when things were bad, the yellow line at the very edge of the platform was hypnotic, magnetic. I would come as close as I could, lining my toes up so that they just touched the outside of it.


From above, a pleasant voice would bing-bong a warning that a train was coming, to stand back from the yellow line for safety, and I would take a reluctant step or two back. It's not that I wanted to jump. It's not that I wanted to fall, or even invite an accidental push into oblivion.

I think it was just a way to tempt fate, to dare lightning to strike. I think I didn't know what to do with myself, so standing inches away from the side of a speeding train seemed as good as anything.

Then I met you. It wasn't that you gave my life purpose, so much as loving you and you loving me gave me some space to find my purpose, gave me some breathing room to learn what to like about myself, what to love about who I am.

Toeing the line didn't seem so appealing anymore. Every day with you was a day that I willingly stood back from the yellow line. I didn't need all that wind rushing past my face when I could feel how your eyes were like sunshine when you looked at me.

And isn't that the real reason we ever choose to be with someone? Because — for a moment, for a lifetime — the howling loneliness of simply being human falls away, and we're able to warm up from the inside out.

It's belonging with someone, TO someone, owning a voluntary piece of their soul and inviting them to hold a voluntary piece of your heart in their hands that makes the choice worth it, that makes saying yes such an act of bravery and necessity.


Every day with you is a day the worst of the cold can't touch me. Choosing you, continuing to choose you, is the best, bravest, and smartest move I've ever made.



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