July 2003 and May 2018
About 15 years ago (in May 2003), before social media, smart phones, Netlflix, the financial crash and skinny jeans, I was a 20-year old girl living in Fredericton NB with 2 high school friends-turned-university roommates. I had just finished my 2nd year of university at UNB and was about 8-months post-break up with my high school boyfriend of 2 years. I was looking for temporary work, thinking about moving back home for the summer (like one of my roommates just had) and was figuring things out. I was at a point in my life where I was starting to feel healed after being dumped (it was my first big breakup and it was BAD), and I was becoming pretty uninterested in dating or guys-I figured it was time to stop looking for acceptance and learn how to be alone after a few foolish and depressing months of floundering in the ‘dating scene’.
And then one day in walked in this shaggy, tall boy with ill-fitting clothes, a bass and a few boxes of grubby items. He was to be my new (subletting) roommate, the cousin of my roommate who had just moved home for the summer. He was quiet, moody and a bit down it seemed, but he was friendly and obviously smart. We started hanging out (as you would with someone who was now living with you), and over about a month or so the hanging out quickly became flirting (I cringe to think of this now but we totally did the ‘let me teach you how to play bass by reaching around your shoulders and moving your hands’ thing) and then one night after a few drinks, well…it’s not romantic but you get the idea. We don’t agree on who leaned in first for that initial kiss, but I suppose in the end it doesn’t matter because after an insanely infatuated summer together (and yet apart as I moved home to Sussex for a job), the course was set for us and we’ve together ever since.
I’ve been thinking about this milestone for a couple months now, in complete shock that this much time has passed but also so grateful that we made it this far. (I’ve been randomly looking over at Dan and saying ’15 years!’ like he doesn’t get the passage of time.) There’s a huge difference between being 20 and 35 years old and yet we made it through growing up together; figuring out school and jobs and eventually careers, moving and being apart for months at a time, having no money and then having a bit of money (always just a bit), getting married and deciding on having kids, the struggle to have that first one (and the shock of how quickly we had the second one), me starting a business and the support that goes with that, and so many ebbs and flows that I can’t possibly remember them all. We’ve had times where we were naturally less close (those early years with kids come to mind, at least for me), but through it all we kept coming back to each other and now we are on this path closer than ever. It’s not a reach to say that he’s the foundation of my life and I am unashamed in admitting that our relationship has the biggest influence on my happiness and mood. We’ve been very lucky in life together so far, without any major conflict or pain or challenge, but when that does eventually happen (as it does with any life) I know that we’ll be ready for it because we have 15 years under our belts, and hopefully many more to go.
So here’s to drunken hook-ups with roommates, and the resulting true love that can happen.
Happy 15 years babe, so happy you walked in the door.