Tuesday, January 12, 2016

13 Years and Counting

Matt came over to say goodbye tonight. He came over after he finished lessons, and we hung out for about an hour before he had to go home to his kids. Considering that, before this Christmas break, the last time I saw him was at my Campbell graduation, I am so happy that I got some real quality time with him despite him being so busy.

We've gone from awkward kids in middle school Academic Derby to a brother who is a high school music teacher and married with two stepkids and a baby on the way and a sister who is almost done with a Master's degree and about to (hopefully) start her Ph.D. I'm so proud of who we've become.

Thirteen years is a long time. There have been plenty of times where our relationship could have completely fallen apart (largely thanks to me, let's be honest), yet this break we've sat and talked and cuddled (I needed physical touch in a big way the day after Jim died, and Matt knew that), and it's been a perfect picture of the relationship we've built, one that outlasts time and distance and drama and growth.

Yes, things have changed. I don't consider him my best friend anymore, simply because we don't have the time to devote to each other that we used to and I have other people now. But the title doesn't matter. He's family. We're family. And after all this time, we both know that we can't get through life without each other there in some capacity. No matter where we are in the world, I have that security, and it's such a gift.

I honestly can't imagine still being in love with him at this point. All through high school, when I was desperate for him to love me the way that I loved him, he kept promising me that when I got out of our hometown, I would see that he isn't the only person in the world who would love me and I'd understand that the feelings I had for him were based on the fact that he was my whole world. And per usual, he was right. Matt seems to be right about just about everything in my life. He knows my brain that well.

Now that I have so many other people whom I know love me, I understand that Matt isn't all I need or all I can have like I used to think. And now, I can't imagine him being anything but my big brother. Literally growing up together gives us a bond that anyone I met at Campbell can't understand, but I know that Matt is grateful that I am loved the way that I am. And I'm grateful that I still have him to remind me of what I deserve and what to do when he knows I'm not being treated right and my emotions are clouding my rationality.

I know that without a doubt, he's gonna be standing next to me at my wedding one day. Other relationships may have fallen apart recently, but thirteen years in, and I know that this is one for the ages.

I just hope I can convince him not to wear a bridesmaid dress at the wedding.

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