I love you. In hindsight, my life before we met looks like it was designed to prepare me for you, like Fate left her fingerprints on so many formative books and conversations. Yet, for all that preparation, when my friend finally introduced us, I almost missed you! "Earning to give-me-a-break, am I right?" I didn't recognize you at first as the one I'd been looking for—I didn't even know I'd been looking. But that encounter made an indelible impression on me, one that eventually demanded a Proper Introduction, this time performed in your own words. At second sight, I could make out the form of the one I am now privileged to know so well.
We survived the usual stages: talking, seeing each other casually, managing a bit of long (inferential) distance. It has been said that love is about changing and being changed—Lord, how I've changed. And you have too! I loved you when CEA was a basement, I loved you in your crypto era, and I'll love you through whatever changes the coming years may bring.
I will admit, however, that thinking about the future scares me. I don't mean the far future (though I worry about that, too, of course); I mean our future. We're both so young, and there's so much that could go wrong. What if we make mistakes? What if I can't find an impactful job? What if your health (epistemic or otherwise) fails? In this light, our relationship appears quite fragile. All I can do is remind myself that we have weathered many crises together, and every day grants us greater understanding of the challenges that lie ahead and deeper humility with which to meet them.
I also understand you better with each passing year. And that's a relief because, let's face it, loving you is complicated! There's so much to understand. Sometimes I feel like I'll never fully Get You, and then I grow a little jealous toward people who have known you longer or seem to know a different side of you. When I get to thinking this way, I am tempted to pronounce that I am merely "adjacent" to you, but we both know that this would be true only in the sense that a wave is adjacent to the ocean. And you? You make me feel seen in a way I never thought was possible.
I know you've lost people recently. Some expected perfection of you and the company you keep, others missed the Way Things Were so much that they forgot the beauty in the Way Things Are. They insisted that you haven't been yourself lately, but darling, you're only as broken as you think you are. I am no fair weather lover; our honeymoon phase has come and gone, and I am here to stay. As long as you are a part of me, I will be a part of you, and I will continue to take your name.
We tend to talk the most when some Issue requires resolution, but I hope you know that for every day we argue, there are 99 days when I think of you with nothing but fondness. 99 days when I relish your companionship and delight in my memories with you: dancing, traveling the world, reading in the park, raising the next generation, talking late into the night, bouncing a spikeball off Toby Ord's window . . .
I love your tweets, even when they make me cringe, I trust your judgement, even after you buy a castle, and I cherish a meal with you, even when it's a lukewarm bottle of Huel shared in an Oxford train station. When we disagree, I love how you challenge me to refine my map of the world. I am constantly impressed by your boundless empathy, and I am so thankful for everything you've taught me. I love your eccentric friends and rationalist neighbors. My parents like you too, by the way, even if they don't really get what I see in you.
I love you x 99.