Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Anniversary

“You do realize your relationship is epic don’t you?”  

I laugh a little and then nod.  Of course I do.  Who wouldn’t? 

I’ve been married for 15 years today. I am 38 years old. Do the math and you’ll see that I got married when I was 23.  To my high school sweetheart.

It’s ridiculously old school except for the fact that I moved 3,000 miles away when I was 18 and have lived in New York City off and on ever since. When I was very young (and married) I would sometimes be embarrassed that I was so young and married to my high school sweetheart in New York City.  I worked at a corporate law firm with a bunch of other young, single people who couldn’t fathom being married, let alone to the same person they dated in high school. I was kind of a freak show. 

But, John and I are both small(ish) town kids that left home as soon as we could and never looked back except when we were looking for each other.  Although we’ve tried on several occasions, we’ve never been as good apart as we are together. Together, we’ve traveled back and forth across the United States four times.  Together, we’ve seen the world, played too much, amassed piles of debt, gotten out of those same piles of debt, tried our hands at film making, screenwriting, acting, white water rafting, mountaineering, and several other enterprises I’d rather not admit to now that I am grown-up. We have been together through the best and worst periods of our personal histories. We have supported each other and stood by helplessly as we watched the other dismantle and re-build her/his life over and over again. We have two children together. 

Our relationship is epic because it is fundamentally flawed. We are a freak show. We’ve never done things in order, we’ve been ridiculously nomadic, made huge mistakes, been overwhelmingly cruel to each other and somehow, against all odds, we have managed to hobble into middle age together, intact and still in love. 

In fact, despite all the crazy, no one has ever been kinder to me.  John, for all his faults, is the truest, sweetest friend I’ve ever known.  He is impossibly positive, unfailingly patient, unbelievably loving.

My relationship with my John is my strongest expression of yoga. Marred by base humanity, it is a constant reminder that a life rooted in patience, diligence, constancy, kindness and a willingness to accept things as they are, is a connected life.

And for me, that’s been the greatest anniversary gift of all.