Nine years ago today, on June 30, 2001, I became a better person.

My courtship with my now husband was a long one, spanning eight years before we finally got married. There was some opposition to our union even though we came from similar backgrounds. It was a tough year before we got engaged, with people citing reasons why we shouldn’t get married, everything from age, socio-economic backgrounds, and the fact that we were both at the start of our careers. These reasons have faded, the virulence a forgotten remnant of the past.

People talk about why they marry a certain person and cite love, attraction, and other tangible qualities. For me, it was about trusting my instinct. It is a feeling, something that rumbles in your core that guides you to make those important decisions. It is unwavering, something that you know inside of you, but can’t explain to others. As soon as my husband asked me to marry him, I knew it was the absolute right decision for me.

When I am around him, I feel calm. I laugh more. He tries to keep me laughing by telling me corny jokes, which almost always leads to a chuckle that comes from the same core that knew he was the one. He has always accepted me for who I am, whether I play mother, writer, or lawyer. I have complete freedom in choosing how to live as an individual. He has cheered me on through every doubt, always telling me to pursue happiness.

And the thing I love about my husband, his uncanny ability to live and to let live. I have a very hard time with this concept, but everyday, he shows by his actions, that this is a short life, but can be a rich one, by focusing on the things that matter the most. I am known to concentrate on the small details, the inconsequential ones, while my husband, reminds me that there is the grander picture, the one that should matter the most.

To tell you the truth, it doesn’t really feel like nine years of marriage, I feel as vibrant as the day he asked me to marry him.  We had a celebratory pre-anniversary lunch, laughed out loud because neither one of us liked our entrees, but we were both sitting next to one another, holding hands, and talking about nothing in particular. It was simple celebration, but that’s usually how we like it. I wasn’t fussing at the lack of good dessert to top off our meal, because you know what? It didn’t matter.

I looked over at him, thinking maybe that bigger picture stuff has finally rubbed off on me.