Year Four: Photos, Questions, and Answers
For our last anniversary I wrote an open letter to Leigh Anna, reminiscing on some of the key moments of our third year as a couple. This year, I thought it would be fun to share our most recent photos from Preachers Rock in Dahlonega and to open up on a more personal level with a couples Q and A.
How did you meet?
B: We actually met in high school and had an ongoing crush situation from about 11th grade to early college. We both liked each other, but never really admitted it for fear of being rejected or making our friendships weird because we also had the same friend group.
When Leigh Anna would come home for college we'd hang out and flirt like girlfriends for the weekend and then when Sunday night came, she'd go back to her school and I'd go back to mine. Surprisingly there was never any jealousy or issues with dating, because at the end of the day we were friends above anything else.
L: We met in Home Ec and bonded over A Shot at Love with Tila Teqila.
Do you want to get married? Have kids?
B: I think marriage is definitely the plan, but I'm not really sure about kids. I'm very confident that I don't want to birth children, so if we did decide to build a family I lean toward adoption 100%.
L: Yes, but were in no rush to get married. As far as kids go, I’ve never wanted to carry a child and being a parent isn’t high on my list, so it will probably be a while before we consider acquiring children.
How do you guys deal with arguments?
B: Honestly, I'd say we're still figuring that out. We don't fight often, but when we do were FAR from our best. I need time to cool off and collect my thoughts, but Leigh Anna wants to hash things out right then and there.
I'd consider my attitude to be the biggest cause of arguments, so I've had to do a little soul searching and get real with myself about my tone and in what situations I'm most likely to respond poorly. I've realized that stress and anxiety is my biggest "trigger," which I think has allowed Leigh Anna to have more patience with me. She knows it's not personal, but also reminds me that it's not fair to take it out on her - which I appreciate.
L: (Haha) I’ll second that.
Do you plan on settling down in Atlanta?
B: I like Atlanta and I like my job here, BUT I do feel like it may not 100% be where I'd want to live forever. In a dream world we'd live somewhere smaller or a little less 'city', but still cool – which could just mean moving to a different part of the state.
L: That would be ideal for me, personally. I’ve grown to love Georgia; I think it’s becoming more progressive in terms of environmentalism and social issues so I’d like to be a part of that. It’s a good mix of wilderness and city – plus most of my family is in the South.
What's your best tip to start living more sustainably?
B: Be more mindful in what you buy and strive for progress over perfection. We still wind up with plastic bags, snack wrappers, and the occasional straw, but we know that those things are so small scale compared to the impact that we've made by not eating meat, shopping secondhand, choosing ethical options, and not buying so much in general.
L: Stop buying so much stuff – or at least stop buying so much new stuff.
What do you enjoy most about travelling together?
B: I'm actually realizing that I may not genuinely love traveling as much as I anticipated. I appreciate the experience after the fact, but the pace and unfamiliarity during the two week long international trips gets to be overwhelming for me. I've actually decided to take time off from big trips for a while so Leigh Anna can enjoy traveling without lugging a big baby around.
L: I was fortunate to have been introduced to traveling in my early teens and it has become something that I absolutely life for. I am a curious person, so I thrive in situations where I have to navigate unfamiliar territory and I love learning things through experience. As far as traveling with Brooke specifically, I like being able to flex my travel muscles and show her new things - even if all she really wants is to nap.
Are you both still in school? What are you studying?
B: Journalism + PR. Ideally one day I'd get a job writing for a brand or company centered around sustainability, slow fashion, activism, and/or better beauty.
L: Wildlife management with hopes of transitioning from behavioral studies to conservation.
Whats the best relationship advice you've learned this far?
B: Tell your partner what you need more (or less) of. No matter how great things may be, your person will never be a mind reader, so instead of getting hung up on their shortcomings or wishing they would do x,y, and z - just say it. I think resentment (amongst other things) was a part of the reason my first marriage failed so hard, but I'm glad I learned that lesson and was able to bring it into my relationship with Leigh Anna.
L: Everybody expresses love differently. For me, it’s physical touch and for Brooke it’s acts of service. Learning what makes us feel loved has been helpful in our relationship. If you're only trying to love your partner in the way that you want to be loved, it may not necessarily be resonating with them.
Year four brought us more adventures (as usual), a few "life upgrades," and even some lovers quarrels. With the current state of the world and economy, there are so many things about year five that we are uncertain of, but it's so reassuring to know we won't have to do it alone.
We hope you enjoyed getting to know us just a smidge better and we'd LOVE to thank Christina Kelley for these photos.
-Brooke + Leigh Anna