Thursday evening, Rob and I are hopping on a plane in Washington, DC and flying to France, Scotland, and Ireland to celebrate our fifth anniversary abroad. Although our anniversary isn’t until May, the realities of being a DC wedding photographer who got married during busy season are sometimes challenging! Paris may seem like an obvious to choice most, being the “City of Love”, after all. But for us, Paris has a more special meaning — to explain, let’s go back to the start.
Rob and I started dating my second year of college; we met at my 20th birthday party in October and hung out as friends for a few months before dating. That summer, just months after our relationship began, I was scheduled to study abroad in Paris — I had been taking French since the 7th grade and despite my best efforts, was not very proficient. I could write and read it okay, but speaking it was almost a joke. I knew it this was a path I wanted to continue, that I needed to immerse myself in the culture and soak in the language directly. We tearfully said our goodbyes as I departed that June.
But things didn’t go quite as easily as planned. Our new relationship didn’t have a strong enough foundation to survive not only the distance, but the widely differing schedules as we were time zones apart. As I walked the streets of Paris, seeing couples hand in hand, I longed to be there with someone I cared about, causing the distance to seem even further. In my head I knew, if I stayed, I would lose Rob for good and ultimately, I had to make a decision. My heart told me this was worth fighting for and I ended up leaving to return home, unbeknownst to him (Years later, as we planned this trip is when I told him this for the first time. He obviously ended up knowing I left, but never really knew the full reason behind it.).
If I’m being totally honest, at first, I was embarrassed. Did I really just leave FRANCE for a guy!? I’ve always been a strong, tenacious person who believes that I can anything you tell me I can’t. But looking back, I realize I didn’t leave for “a guy”, I left for my husband and that’s always worth fighting for. I feel like, even in this day and age, it’s still frowned upon for females to make the grand gesture as it makes them appear weak or unworthy; however, I don’t regret my decision even for a second and if I could do it all over again, I’d do it exactly the same. Because I knew if I left the City of Love, that I would marry that man and spend the rest of my life with him. And that one day, we would go back to Paris together, hand in hand, like those lovers I envied so many years before.
That day is Friday.