Note: Not the actual proposal, just a playful reenactment.
After the ball dropped on New Year's Eve, my wonderful partner of a year and a half dropped to one knee and asked me to marry him.
After years of believing I would die alone and no one would ever be as fond of me as I was of them, life handed me a big surprise and an even bigger "I told you so." If only I could go back in time and tell the girl who could never get a date that she would be engaged by the time she was 25 and to enjoy being single and loving herself as long as she could before it happened. If only.
I wasn't initially going to share this news here, as it is pretty personal and perhaps a step away from the stories and experiences I usually publish, but the other night, I found myself thinking about all the people who have disappointed me and/or so easily left me behind over the past couple of years. And how those people and the pain they caused somehow cease to matter as much when I look at the person who has stood by my side through absolute thick and thin since the moment we said hello.
In spite of all the ways I've been hurt and left and all the times I expected him to leave too, he never did. And this ring on my finger is his way of telling me he never will..at least not without a hell of a fight.
I've never had to question our relationship or his feelings for me. He's never given me a reason to feel doubtful or unsafe, even though feeling doubtful and unsafe is in my nature. No matter how many times I pushed him away based on my deeply ingrained belief that all people suck and will let me down sooner or later, he bounced back and cleared away the dark clouds inside my head.
And through these ups and downs, he taught me something invaluable:
People WILL stay.
And the only people worth spending a single ounce of energy on are the ones who stay, the ones who stick, the ones who fight.
So here's to ALL of those people, not just him. Here's to the family members/friends/partners who stay. Here's to the ones who prove people like me wrong.
This is why I got engaged. This is why I'm staying too.