This one has taken me a while to imagine and even longer to write. I suppose we will always struggle with verbal communication as our relationship grows more profound into the unspoken and the need for words diminishes. It became clear to me while we were driving from Brownwood back to DFW a couple of weeks ago that we have indeed lived some adventures over the years. I had always believed that living an adventurous life would slow the course of time, or at least the perception that time is moving. In some ways it has. Our many travels have revealed parts of the planet that we could not have understood without traveling there and have shown us parts of ourselves that were not yet visible without the experience of travel. However, I cannot help but feel the weight of age, even at a reasonably young age, and the knowledge that we have been married for ten years.
Perhaps my greatest joy in reflecting on these 3650 days is that I long for more. And unlike at the beginning where the longing was for travel, experiences and personal success, the desire now is simply for time with you. I think many couples become accustomed to time apart from their spouses. They have girls' and boys' weekends. They travel for work often. They split tasks to manage their kids. I can certainly grasp the appeal in those particular types of marriages. But we are not in those categories. I do not intend to disparage other people's needs and choices here, but voluntary time apart is merely unappealing and unfulfilling for me. You are the muse to my madness. Your smile widens each night as the days fall away through the course of our meals and our bottles of wine. The time we have together is where ideas are born, plans are hatched, and our connection is deepened.
I realize these letters over the years are pretty one-sided. There are probably people out there that believe that I am a needy asshole and that you might benefit from some "alone time." We both know that the door is always open and that the life we have here is indeed a choice. At the same time, I do my best to ask you where your feelings are and what needs should be addressed regularly. It always seems to come back to sleep and alone together time to get you fully recharged. For me, it is, and likely always will be, being on the adventure of marriage with you. We do not have kids. We have wrestled with that since the beginning ten years ago. And we have likely at least a few more years to decide what course of action to take in that arena. For now, no pets, no property, and no obligations but love and trust in the paths we are choosing.
Ten years for us - Our 19th trip to Italy together happens in a couple of weeks. Perhaps our Italian life is our child or at least our pet. We have visited 31 countries together since 2007, and that list will likely grow again this year. We have so many possibilities on the horizon, and yet they are imbued with an edge of uncertainty. This likely more how I like it than how you would prefer it. At the same time though, every time we shut the engines down awhile we both become intolerably grumpy. I don't want to be grumpy. But perhaps we will get better. Maybe the dream is to reach the next space in life. We have had these life chapters, and they are better than fiction. The story can bog down at times, but there is always resolution, poetry, intrigue, and climax. Is there a better way to write a novel?
In conclusion, since this is now bordering on long-form prose, the ten years since we married have been the most pivotal and enlightening days of my life. I hold out hope that we will continue this journey. I dream each night that I will keep waking up with you and that our lives will only become more precious with joy while becoming more open and charitable as well. Thank you for marrying me ten years ago. Thank you for agreeing to do it over again hundreds of times since that warm day in Austin, Texas. I love you more than the sum of every part of everything I have loved before or since I met you.