This time last year I was nervously packing my bags, preparing to head back to California to spend the holidays with Kyle and his family for the first time. I packed, unpacked and repacked again, wondering if I would make a good impression, hoping I would fit in with his family and friends. I remember the pressure I felt the entire 7 hour drive from Los Angeles to Lake Tahoe fading away as soon as his parents opened the door and hugged me. The week with them was blissful and I knew as we drove away, back to the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles, that a new tradition had been born.
This month has me all reflective and nostalgic and stuff. I can’t help but marvel at how far Kyle and I have come since we made that trek one year ago: going from long distance to living together, owning a dog together and planning a future together. I can honestly say we truly became an “us” this year; a team, a dynamic duo, two people who have learned to put the happiness of their teammate before their own. We’ve grown this year: becoming more centered in our oneness and chasing dreams for the future. And, as we pack for another Christmas in Lake Tahoe, I can’t help but feel proud of us and our commitment to one another.
I’ve heard the first few holidays as a couple can be challenging: finding ways to merge separate traditions together to form a unique blend that works for you. I have to say, this is one relationship struggle Kyle and I haven’t faced, as was evidenced by this weekend’s blending of holiday festivities.
I think it's time that I let you in on a little secret about me, since we're friends now right?
I love Star Wars.
Yup, I, Ashten, am a little Star Wars nerd. I love Han Solo, wish I had Princess Leia's hair, have definitely asked for an Ewok for Christmas and adored Yoda for his wisdom. Star Wars taught me to appreciate a good sequel, a good sidekick (Chewie and C3PO) and to be loyal to your friends.
When I was little, TNT would air the Star Wars trilogy once a year and my dad would let me stay up and watch it with him. It was the one night a year (besides New Years) that I was allowed to stay up and it quickly became our little tradition; one that I looked forward to every year, even as a teenager and young adult.
To this day I get a little giddy when I hear the theme song. No shame.
Kyle and I decided this would be our gift to each other this year: a date to Star Wars, a “holi-date” if you will.
I just made that up right now. I might be a Jedi.
Kyle picked the theatre: the only certified IMAX in the state of Georgia, which is about 40 minutes from our house. I picked the restaurant: Cheesecake Factory, where we celebrated our first anniversary and which reminds us both of home.
Just merging traditions. LIKE. A. BOSS.
The day was so special: I got to live one of my favorite memories of my past with my future. As we drove home later that night, still mesmerized by how freaking awesome the movie was, we started talking about the past year and how far we’ve come and we agreed that the best thing about the holidays is that we get to do them together: no matter where life takes us,we just enjoy being together. Kyle says the comradery of our relationship is what he loves the most; that, in me, he’s found his best friend. And I feel the same. We agreed that before we hop into the holiday madness, we will take some time to celebrate our year together with a special holi-date like this one: just us, something we both love and some good food.
Tomorrow, we board a plane for Los Angeles and will brave another 7 hour drive to Lake Tahoe, a drive that will be sponsored by Serial and Starbucks, and I just can’t wait to see what happiness this holiday holds for us.
Now, if only I could use The Force to do my laundry and pack for our trip that would be freaking wonderful.