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  • Writer's pictureChante Jero

Happy One Year

Special occasions often are a time for reflection. High school graduations allow you to reflect on your childhood or previous school years. On birthdays you reflect on the year or years before. Judging them and weighing them against what you think to be accurate, and reevaluate what might not be true.


For a while now, I’ve been thinking about the simple quote, “it’s the little things that count,” those words seem to mean so much more than they used to in a way that’s profound in their ability to leave me confused.


I’ve always thought about it more like a motivational quote: “Believe in yourself, and anything is possible.” Like something I should be living up to. But just not understanding. Or getting. Just out of grasp. Like maybe if I just believed enough…


For years I dated online. It was the easiest way to meet guys while determining what characteristics, hobbies, and interests would make Mr. Right. And as a talker, it was easy for me to weed out the ones I wasn’t going to work well with; often, getting more than a one-syllable response is rare. A genuine, decent, two-sided conversation that didn’t almost immediately turn to what size my breasts were was the elusive Loch Ness Monster. Like you’ve heard the legend, but you don’t know if anyone ACTUALLY believes it, and if they did, you’d engage them in conversation but walk away thinking that they were looney tunes.


So finding someone to connect to that makes it to the first date is a miracle. Like Minerva liking someone the first time she meets them, without barking first (maybe someday!!)


Then add to it the laundry list of odd things I’m looking for, and the likelihood of finding the perfect person for me is like finding the right needle in the haystack on the first try without magic. Or a miracle.


Then I met Matt. The guy who turns my world upside down. Who helps remind me daily that life is how you live it right now. It’s driving up to the bluffs to watch the sunset while the dogs run freely to their hearts’ content. Driving through the countryside, listening to music, reaching for each other’s hand, and finding comfort in knowing our lives’ journeys made us ready for this. It’s being able to hand Matt something he would have forgotten to bring had it not been for me. It’s thinking about how I’m craving something specific to find it tucked away; a snack Matt brought to share on our trip.


If you had told me even two years ago that I would be living the life I am, I would have laughed in your face. Like seriously. And if you know me, you know it takes a really good joke to get me to laugh. And laugh, I would have. Hell, the me from then is still laughing at you two years later.


It was in the last year that I finally realized that the quote “it’s the little things” isn’t a reminder of something to achieve but rather a reminder to slow down and enjoy the little things. Allow yourself the time to slow down. Live a life you love today because we aren’t promised tomorrow. Live a life that makes these stupid clichés make sense.


Don’t settle for anything less than your idea of perfect. Look for the person who makes your heart happy with every shared smile across the room. Look for the one that finally feels like home. Look for the person that makes you want to be a better person without a single judgment. That supports your dreams while keeping you tethered to the earth. Find the person who makes you understand the answer “you just know” to the question “how did you know they were the one for you?” Because they exist. And you deserve nothing less.


Happy Anniversary, Matt. Thank you for being my best. I love you more every day we spend on this crazy journey together.


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Melita Ray
Melita Ray
Jun 24, 2022

Wow, a lot of awesome pics and great adventures captured in the video! I love it!

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