I was prepping a post about D&D for today, when I realized I had something much more important* to talk about. You see, today is a very special day. It’s the anniversary of the birth of the most important non-me person in my life. That’s right, it’s Steven Schapansky’s birthday today. As you may know, Steven is my spouse, and as of a week from Saturday, we’ll have been married for two years. As of March 2nd, we’ll have lived together for one. Yes, international romances play havoc with anniversaries.**
Anyway, I thank my lucky stars every day that somehow, out of the millions of people on the internet, I managed to electronically bump into him. I most definitely have Doctor Who fandom to thank for that, but I’m not going to go into that here.*** Maybe I’ll do a how-we-met post someday, but for right now, I just want to reflect on how insanely lucky I am to have the life that I do—specifically, the life with Steven.
Steven and I do not do everything together. He likes to go out dancing. I like to stay home and watch old movies. He likes to go play hockey. I like to stay home and watch comfort TV. He likes to go shopping. I like to stay home and work on jigsaw puzzles.° But despite a few exceptions like these, we’ve become one of those couples who is almost suspicious in their togetherness. We are a Team. Capital T. Actually, capital everything: TEAM. Our strengths compliment each other remarkably well. Where I lack, he excels, and vice versa.
I’ve talked about my struggles with mental health here before. Steven has no such issues. I warned him that living with mental illness, even as an observer, is not an easy thing. He didn’t brush me off and say “Oh it’ll be fine.” In fact, he did one of the things he does best—research. He looked up information on what it’s like to provide support to a person with depression. He dug in and tried to learn how to help. And it shows.
I couldn’t ask for better support. He motivates me when I need to get things done. He cuddles me when I need comfort. He picks up the slack when I don’t have the energy for chores or podcasting duties. And he doesn’t let himself get dragged down by my issues. (I think that last one might be the most important of all.) I lived on my own for so long that I got used to just putting my head down and getting through life. It’s very different now. I still have to put my head down and power through, but now everything around me doesn’t stop cold when that happens. The dishes still get done. The clothes still get washed. The podcast still gets edited.°° That’s kind of an amazing thing.
And now I’m feeling kinda squirmy about this post. I hope it doesn’t come off as self-satisfied or gloaty. What I am is intensely grateful. A few years ago I couldn’t have foreseen this kind of life. I’ve had some truly wonderful and satisfying romantic relationships in the past, but never have I been a part of something where I fit so completely. The phrase “my other half” always seemed silly to me. Not so any longer.
This is kind of a rambly all-over-the-place post. I realize that and apologise for it. In part, this is because I’m not really feeling the writing thing today. I’m pushing myself to do it anyway because if anyone deserves a special post for their birthday, it’s Steven. But the other reason this is so scattered is because I get all gooshy-squee-sappy-happy when I think about my life with him. It’s hard to put those kinds of feelings into coherent words. They should have sent a poet.
…Or maybe this guy (who joined Steven’s LEGO cohort this morning). He’s excited to attend a baseball game at Clutchers Field.
*Yes. That is how much I love Steven. He is much more important than D&D. That’s love, people.
**Which is totally fine with us because getting married on Valentine’s Day was an accident of convenience, not a choice on our part. We didn’t even realize the planned date was February 14th until a couple days after we set it. This is what happens when you plan important life events around a Doctor Who convention. (Again,) which is totally fine with us.
***If you do want to hear more about it, check out my audio essay for Reality Bomb Podcast Episode 019.
°Are you noticing a theme here? Because I’m noticing a theme here.
°°I’m referring specifically to the Uncanny Magazine Podcast here, which we co-edit. He’s occasionally taken on more than his fair share of the burden on that one. Thus far I’ve managed to bang out every Verity! and Apex (when I was still editing that). But it’s nice to know if I really tank one day, he’ll have my back on Verity! as well.