February is the Best Month and Another Grateful Day

This weekend, we celebrated Paul turning 34. It was a weekend filled with literally our favorite things: amazing friends, White Russians, excellent hip hop, pizza, hiking, delicious beers, way too much cheesecake and jam bands that sing about bbq and camping. I made Paul a video of his friends back home wishing him a happy birthday (including his local friend, Oatmeal) in an effort to help him feel less homesick. We watched it together, we laughed, we reflected over this past year and I got to remember why his birthday is so important to my life.

I tell this story all the time about how we first met. It was on his 25th birthday and I was drinking underage at BW3's because I was a dummy and in an attempt to numb the shock and awe of breaking up with a boyfriend of 3 years. That's when I ran into Tony, a mutual friend of ours. Without much formality, he immediately inserted the fact that his friend was here and he thought we should meet. I was incredibly incapable of even processing that thought, let alone actually meeting anyone. He insisted and I met a man in a sea of boys wearing a backwards hat and a Hurley hoodie he still wears today.

It was a movie moment that demands you to pause. So I stopped. I was impressed just by his demeanor, not asking for anything but a great conversation and none of the pretense I was used to with man-boys his age and in that terrible sweaty sports bar on a Thursday night. I tried hard to be ridiculous, just to see what he would do, and he didn't even flinch. Not even knowing anything about me, this athletic-built dude in a sports bar idly chatted about Conor Oberst and his yoga class, and now knowing Paul pretty well, this wasn't for my benefit, but actually what he was into. It is always sincere, everything that comes out of his beautiful mouth. There wasn't one second spent in the first hour of meeting Paul that made me want to leave or say something mean, and at 20 with an inability to be easily amused, a sad heart and an intolerance for bullshit, this was extremely rare.

But it has to be one of my favorite nights of my entire life.

Last year, in between his actual birthday and his birthday party, we decided to move. It started with looking for houses in Michigan and when that didn't feel right, Paul looked at me and said, "Why don't we move, like really move?" It was a Sunday night, the only night we were able to spend together because of our crazy schedules. It took us about two hours to decide completely what we were going to do. And once we decided, everything literally fell into place, movie-style. At his bowling birthday party with friends, we announced that we would be moving to Tahoe.

So many great moments have happened in February. And now as I drive to and from work with this giant backdrop that doesn't seem real, I wonder why I always relate everything to "a movie-script ending." At least twice a week, I swear I'm on a Truman Show movie set. The mountains and the alpenglow of my evening commute cannot be real. I remind myself that it is, but there is always this thought in the back of my mind that there is a zipper at the base of these mountains. That this isn't real life.

It's just too good to be true.

The rest of meeting Paul eventually had a happy ending, but we didn't walk off into the sunset like the movies. Our first year of knowing each other was hard as I struggled with allowing the sunshine in and letting it happen to me. I just kept telling myself it was too good to be true. I was looking for the zipper. I thought it was all a green screen. But something really great happened. I let it happen. I allowed myself to believe that all of this happiness was real and I deserved it. And once I allowed that in, the rest is history. I have an unbelievable relationship with the best person in the world, everyday is literally the best day and we get to spend every blink under this incredible sky that we now call home. But it would've never happened if I believed "it's too good to be true."

What does that mean, anyway? "It's too good to be true." When applied to princes in Nairobi attempting to scam your bank account, that's just dumb, not good. When applied to lake front castles for $100, that's just fishy. But when something good happens to your life, the good as in something great, a relationship, a new job, isn't life too short to just go ahead and believe it? Shouldn't your gut know what is true and what is a lie? And when you don't know the difference, isn't that a clue you should start trying to figure out why you can't trust your instincts?

Along the way, I've learned that everything good in my life has taken a fair amount of faith and trust. I'm being hurled towards 30 at an alarming pace and at this point, no day is worth doing if you don't believe it can be the best day. I believe that completely.

Because if I didn't, I wouldn't be living in one of the most beautiful places on the planet with the best dude on earth. And before you call me lucky, I'd rather be known as someone who never gave up on believing life can be great, not just good.