As the final minutes of the day of love quietly ticked by late last night, I was reminded of Valentine's day exactly one year ago. I had just finished a rather stressful day at work, before changing into a pair of dusty rose coloured shorts and a black singlet. I crammed myself into a humid, overfilled train carriage, where several people coughed and I silently begged my immune system to please allow me to stay healthy.
After standing, swaying and lurching with the disruptive motion of the train, I disembarked at my station and raced up the six flights of stairs, taking the steps two and three at a time in an effort to avoid the hoards of workers on the escalators who were also (most likely) returning home from their respective rat running wheels. Avoiding eye contact, I speedily removed my train ticket from my pocket and slipped it into the slot at the turnstile in one sweeping, deft motion. I stepped outside the bustling train station where I was then forced to impatiently wait for the little green pedestrian man to indicate that it was safe to cross four lanes of beeping traffic. It seemed like he was running late.
When he finally blinked at me, I raced towards my tiny apartment, past the Police station, local cafes that had closed for the day and tiny restaurants adorned with fairy lights and chalkboards offering Valentine's Day specials when a familiar figure appeared before me holding a bunch of grassy green lettuce. My boyfriend (now husband), ever the impressive chef had surprised me with what could only be described as edible flowers, the ultimate Valentine's offering for another self-confessed foodie.
The stresses from my day washed away in the new tide of emotions. Love. Sometimes it can be bittersweet, however on this occasion it rippled through me, taking with it my troubles and leaving me with a feeling of clarity, fresh and cool.
At various times during the last year, it seemed as if the river of life ran dry with boring daily routines that were necessary to afford our expensive rent, food and travel passes. There were many grey days, that seemed to blur into one another. Weeks flowed by, murky and dark until we started to plan for our transition from the city to the coast. Planning that move brought a familiar feeling back into my life. Happiness.
No longer did I feel trapped in a repeating cycle, feeling depressed and unhappy, unable to connect with those around me. I had greater momentum, greater flow.
This year I have found that I'm more relaxed about day to day living. Little things don't seem to irritate me as they would have last year. I can confidently begin each day with a long stretch and positive outlook. My home life is more active and colourful than it has been in years. Together, Byron and I have been on frequent day trips to explore our beautiful region, we picked up surfing together as a hobby, run side by side for exercise, take daily trips to sandy shores with our little puppy and have shared more home cooked meals together in three months than we ever had time to during an entire year in Sydney.
This Valentine's Day I was thankful to have had my best friend by my side every day since we celebrated the same lovers holiday on February 14th last year. We've had a busy twelve months, travelled to Malaysia together, moved house twice, quit our old jobs and found new, exciting ones. We even expanded our family to include another fur baby (Coco the foxy-dachshund cross), and one of the more important milestones: Married each other in a (mostly) secret ceremony.
With each passing day, I continue to feel more replenished, more in tune with Byron and more excited at the prospect of enjoying all the joys of this sharing this life together.
Happy Valentine's Day, B. Weigh anchor. I'm looking forward to sailing through more of this wonderful life with you.
Love Bella xx