I've always said that I would hate to end up married to someone if the first time they proposed to me, I said no. But really, that is kind of what happened with us. And here I am, happy as can be, three years deep into the longest monogamous relationship of my life.
You like to say that our honeymoon was the first conference we did together in Turkey, our first time working together in a Kaleidoscope capacity. And it absolutely was such a dream-like phase! Three-hour afternoon breaks, all-inclusive wine and smoked salmon, 100 yards away from the beach, 9 of the most well-behaved children ever, and no newby Kaleiders to worry about.
Whatever happened between now and then is honestly a blur. I remember chatting with you about you getting an apartment in New York and me coming to help you renovate it (lol). And then all of a sudden we were walking around the Upper East Side in desperate search of wifi for a midnight deadline because you didn't have any yet. 40 grant applications, three team retreats, one 30th birthday, a boyfriend and a half later, and suddenly, somehow, we got here.
And then this year, our first rough patch happened, with all the scariness of not knowing whether things were going to work themselves out in the end or not. But I think my biggest takeaway, and the biggest builder of trust for me, was the fact that rather than things working themselves out, it fell to us to do so, and we both made the decision to. That's enough to reassure me that we can do it again and again if we need to (seriously hoping we won't).
We complement each other in so many perfect ways—I'm stingy, you're generous; you're a die-hard pessimist, I'm a bubbly optimist (lol, jokes); you're the bad cop, I'm the good cop. You're the brunette to my blonde. And we also contrast each other in so many fun and terrible ways. Neither of us seems to have an internal clock (or even know where to find one, let alone how to read one). We both love talking ecstatically about exciting plans for the future and letting someone else bother with the practical details. We both have a weakness for good food, and our eyes are both way bigger than our stomachs (in more than one way). Sometimes our partnership makes me question the great Matchmaker in the Sky and whether or not we were exactly the right two to have embarked on this thing together.
Beyond all of our jokes about being work wives and also real wives, and mom and dad, and life partners, and etc, the honest-to-goodness truth is that our relationship has taught me more about what a partnership means than any other one has. It feels crazy to say that, but I think it's true. My favorite thing about all of this has been that every time I think that maybe it's over or maybe we accomplished what we set out to do, we get to wake up the next day and FaceTime for seven hours or drive to New York or have a very important meeting before a 6 a.m. plane ride or give each other tattoos or any of the other crazy traditions we find ourselves building. It's such a beautiful and constant reminder in my life of the things that are new every morning. I really do love watching you grow yourself, your team, and your vision in meaningful and unique ways. Thanks for being that and thanks for creating that in Kaleidoscope! I love us.