walking alone in bookstores.

It’s easy to fall in love in a bookstore. Maybe not with a person, per say, but with the atmosphere that surrounds you: the walls that lend themselves to adventure and dreams, the way stories line up one by one politely waiting to break down barriers inside you.

I like to walk around bookstores alone. When I met Andrew in high school, we would sometimes meet at our local Barnes and Noble and walk around. Seperately. We did the same when we started dating a few years later in college. Go together, explore by ourselves.We still do this today and it still fuels that same joy today: together, but separate.

We’ve been married three years and there have been times that walking our own directions has hurt us. We’ve spent too much time apart or let our minds wander into a dangerous form of selfishness that leaves us wondering what our lives would have looked like living wild and off on our own.

But the truth is, part of the joy of wandering through the aisles of a bookstore alone is heightened by the meeting of another hand as you finish and walk out into the world.
We are humans and thus dreamers, after all, but to dream alone is a lonely task. To take your vulnerable dreams and say, “I don’t know if we can do it all- the you dreams and the me dreams- but it’s definitely worth it to try”-- that is my favorite thing about marriage.

We are not the same people we were at 18 when we met and definitely not the same people who said “forever” at 23. We are new versions of ourselves and will continue to shed these selves as the years fade on. And I like that. We are continuously getting to know the friend we have chosen to walk beside into our future-- to see the good and the bad-- and to grab onto the vulnerability of their deepest dreams and desires too.

Thanks for letting me walk alone in bookstores, Andrew. You’re the best friend a girl could ask for. Here’s to year four and the adventure we weren’t expecting-- I’m glad I get to walk beside you as you become the better versions of ourselves.