But more than that, I love happy beginnings – the beginning of something beautiful, something that lasts a lifetime. I wish I saw it more often, but happy beginnings are becoming very rare these days. They do happen though, and since they occur less frequently, when one does come around, it’s that much more special.
Such was the case today. Two really wonderful people – one of them that I have known since high school – got engaged today. There was something so magical about it for me that I have yet to wipe the stupid grin off my face. It’s not that people never commit to marriage anymore, but these two people, both of whom have walked a sometimes difficult path in their respective lives, just kind of stumbled into love. They knew each other before the “love thing” hit them in the head like a bat, and they suffered through nagging doubts and trepidation because, let’s face it, the whole “sex/love/marriage” thing can be incredibly scary and overwhelming. It was for me when I met Bill, and subsequently started a relationship. But somehow, I always knew he was the one. I think my friends have had a very similar experience.
When you’re “slightly beyond 29,” you learn quickly what works and what doesn’t. I’ve tossed countless “first dates” aside because honestly, there was no point in pursuing something that was obviously pointless. It’s there or it’s not. You know instinctively, like when you know a thunderstorm is about to hit, or when you know that your child needs you, even though there is no outright indication. Instinct...more people should trust it, follow it. I wish I had trusted my instincts more in the past. After enduring the shame of two failed marriages though, I realize that it was my "path" to walk, my life journey. What I took away from those relationships was incredible learning experiences that lead me to exactly where I am supposed to be. Everything serves a purpose.
Bill has never been “work.” And while our relationship has not been picture perfect, our love has been rather effortless for me. He grounds me, centers me. He reminds me that sometimes I’m just a freaking nutcase who needs to stop and remember what’s really important in this world. I wouldn’t swear to it, but I do believe that I am the one who reminds Bill of similar things, as well as the fact that HE is important. He neglected himself and was overlooked in a loveless marriage for so many years, but now it is my mission to make sure that never happens again. For the most part, we waltz along our chosen path, content with each other and the life we are building together, for each other. It’s an amazing feeling, one that I never thought I would experience. Sometimes I have to pinch myself, just to make sure I remember that this real and remind myself that I deserve this...Bill and I both have earned it.
Congratulations Marie, and Wayne. I wish you EVERY joy and happiness together. May the thought of “growing old together” be as pleasant a thought as it has become for Bill and me. What you have is so special. People wait their whole lives for it and never find it. Nurture it, treasure it, and above all, remember that you have earned this.