This weekend Andrew and I are celebrating 7 years of being in a relationship together. I love celebrating special occasions and I love him, so of course anniversaries are one of my favorite things. I have to be honest, though. As fun and momentous as an anniversary can be, it also feels like any other mundane detail of me and my life. Rachel likes tomato sandwiches. Rachel has green eyes. Rachel was born in Tennessee. Rachel has been with Andrew for 7 years. Andrew is so wholly a piece of who I am (the only way I know how to phrase the experience of being connected to another person and also your own individual identity) and so time doesn’t seem all that extraordinary. Seven years is wonderful, but seven years isn’t extraordinary. Extraordinary is when I catch him looking at me while my brow is furrowed deep in work. Extraordinary is how I can remember in vivid detail the first time we held hands. Extraordinary is watching him run around with our dogs. Extraordinary is coming home after a long day and finding him waiting to hug me in the door way before I’ve even parked my car. Extraordinary is being able to watch what he does with his life outside of our relationship. Extraordinary is the way my breath gets lost in my throat and my heart stumbles at the thought of being the one to outlive the other.

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So, here’s to seven. And eight, and nine, and forty-five.

“Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not eternal passion. That is just being “in love” which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Those that truly love, have roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two.”

Photographs are from my Photo I class in 2011.

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