Yesterday was my one year wedding anniversary with Elaine. It was quality day – went for a morning mountain bike ride, did some artwork together, ate some good delicacies. Then again, every day with her is a good day. I work at a place with a lot of guys and I do get commented, from time-to-time, "man, married life must be tough. You're tied down." And by "tied-down" I suppose they mean, can't date other people, and they're 100% right.
The best part of it is, I wouldn't want to. Because in exchange, here's what I do get. A lifetime partner, who shares my passions and interests, yet has enough uniqueness to keep me progressing. An absolute best friend. There is nobody I would rather do ANYTHING with. I get absolute love. There is no question, no wondering what's on the other side. And then of course there are the million little things where you're like…wow…how the hell do we have that in common? It would take too much time to describe them all here.
I've been in non-married, very close relationships, and there is something about marriage that I can't exactly pin-point that is different and better. It's a stronger connection, and when you glance at the person, you know instantly that – we're a team. Something about those vows, the ring, that plunge that makes that a reality. It's the coolest thing in the world.
I've done some things in life. I've travelled, won a few races, been involved in big adventures, taught, tried to save the world, met with congress…done so-called "important" shit. And the truth is, it pales in comparison to one second spent with Elaine. It all feels rather irrelevant, insignificant and minor.
We have a funny habit, Elaine and I. When we go out to dinner, we sit next to each other, not opposite. It sounds cheesy as shit, but opposite is a little to far apart. It's just something we do. Anyhow, last night, at our dinner toast, we said, "That was the best year of our life. But we're just getting warmed up. Let's make the next year the best year of our life."
I'm confident in it. Very much so. Yes, there will be challenges as our therapists in our mandated therapy sessions constantly remind us. Whatever, we've already been through way more. When you've walked on coals, something like that feels like a warm bubble bath. The fact of the matter is I'm more in love with this girl today, each and everyday, than I was one year ago. There are many layers to her, and all of them impress and make me smile. She is smart, she in beautiful, she is soulful and she is good.
A strange circle yesterday. On our way back to the bus station, I saw my cell mate from, well – what seems like a different life. Marcus is his name. An 18 year old kid, in for burning the inside of a dumpster. He was a good kid – you can just tell – but he was scared like me. Anyway, I saw him and we chatted. How you doing? Good. Cool. Man, that was probably the shittiest time of my life. A shake of the head in agreement…"yeah." I introduced him to Elaine, and we all shook hands. None of us criminals, but people who deserve that level of respect. I was proud to introduce him to my wife, and I can't say a part of me didn't rewind back to the past and revel – and I'm going to even say brag a little – about how far things have come. Utter despair to complete happiness. It was a brief conversation, but I hope Marcus is doing as well.
I think, to experience that absolute joy, you also have to experience the deepest low. I've always liked climbing mountains though.
Elaine Alta Vardamis. I love you. You are my life, my lover, my best friend, my world. Thank you for the single best year of my life. Happy anniversary beautiful girl.