A Year of Us

I was 15 minutes late to our first date, exactly a year ago today. We had matched on Hinge three weeks earlier, but I was already actively dating a few other people and he was the one I was least excited about. At the time I had recently finished reading, “Get the Guy” by Matthew Hussey and was feeling motivated and inspired to find a serious relationship, having spent the previous two years working on myself and (unsuccessfully) casually dating.

I distinctly remember choosing to wear a white shirt because I’d stalked his Instagram and he seemed to be a light-hearted, positive person, and I didn’t want to scare him off with my usual gothy, witchy vibes. We met for a puppy play date at a poorly lit dog park in Hollywood and sat on damp grass as we got through the usual get-to-know-you first date questions - what do you do for work, where are you from, how was your week, etc. You know, unremarkable shit. 30 minutes into our conversation, his dog squat over me and peed all over my legs.

I now know Luna to be such a sweet, well-behaved dog that it’s shocking to look back at that moment and the brazenness of her behavior - maybe she knew something we didn’t. Liam was of course horrified and embarrassed, and for a moment I considered going home. But our conversation was going so well and he was so cute, plus I’d already driven all the way out to Hollywood from the Westside, I told him that if he didn’t mind smelling his dog’s pee all over my legs, I’d be down to keep hanging out.

So we smoked a joint and had dinner at Wurstküche, Luna and Jojo lying at our feet as we downed boots of beer. I remember thinking that he was silly, too tall for me, and distractingly attractive. But he was also disarming, and because I had low expectations of seeing him again, I ended up revealing details about myself that I’ve never shared on first dates.

We talked for 3 hours that night. When I left I thought that while this probably won’t go anywhere, still doubting our compatibility, I figured he could be a tasty snack, a beautiful notch to add to my bedpost.

On our second date we went to an acro yoga class, and I found myself impressed at his lack of embarrassment and willingness to participate. We got vegan sushi for dinner and again talked for hours, but when we got back to my car we discovered that the passenger’s side window had been broken into and his backpack had been stolen out of it. I found myself impressed yet again at his immediate reaction - his compassion towards the thief, the thought that they probably needed it more than he did.

I made out with him in my car, careful of the shattered tempered glass on the seat.

That night I went home and texted my friends that he might not be a snack after all, and since that date we’ve spoken basically everyday. Last week we signed the lease to our new apartment, and in just a few weeks we’ll be moving in together.

It’s crazy to think how much has changed in the past year, in the past couple of years really. A little over a year ago I was in New York, blackout drunk, making out in a bar with a dude whose name I never got and whose face I can’t even picture in my head. Two years ago I was high off my Yoga Teacher Training, feeling motivated to really take control over my career and find a solution to my bouts of depression (which I’ve discovered while reading my old writing is something I’ve dealt with for years but struggled to name).

For a long time I’ve felt as if my life was at a tipping point, that my edges and seams were on the verge of becoming fully undone, and Liam happened to walk in at exactly the right moment. If I hadn’t gone through the terror of being unemployed for 10 months, weathered the instability of dating an emotionally unavailable person, and been forced to confront and vocalize my destructive thought patterns in therapy, I don’t think I would have learned the tools to be the confident and yet fully vulnerable person I’ve been able to be with him.

And I am so lucky to love him. It’s hard to articulate everything that he is to me - how his sweetness, his warmth, and his thoughtfulness have left an indelible imprint on my heart. He’s the first to celebrate my accomplishments and is the best at patiently listening and giving me advice when I’m feeling overwhelmed. He walks our dogs in the morning when I’m on early work calls at home, and takes them on hikes in the afternoon when I’m at yoga or pole. He also drives me to and picks me up from LAX whenever he can, any hour of the day or night, no questions asked. If that’s not love by LA standards, I don’t know what is.

A couple of years ago I wrote about my Saturn Return, which was every bit as scary and stressful as astrology makes it sound, but it was also probably the most transformative and illuminating period of my life. I recognize that this is just a new chapter in my story, that my life will continue to go through emotional peaks and valleys, but I’m excited to see this turn into “our” story. “Our” life and “our” journey, together.

Happy anniversary, Liam. I am so grateful for you.