Time and Distance
Sheryl and I married nineteen years ago, today. The two of us, so very young and so very sure of ourselves, jumped in with both feet, completely unprepared for what was ahead.
I look at this picture of us, our wedding announcement, and it is very easy to find myself back in that frame of mind. I understand the choices I am about to make and the reasons for them. I see confidence, and foolishness. I know how much I love the woman next to me, but also see the rationalizations I make when it comes to stuff I am unsure about. I can look back at those things and see how I have grown from them, how together we have accomplished a great deal.
It is hard to not focus on the foolishness that is soon to follow this moment. The bad financial decisions I had already made, and would continue making (on the best day of our marriage, Sheryl took over the finances), the ridiculous things that would consume my thoughts and dictate the course of our early years. It is a wonder anyone ever survives the first few years of marriage. Yet, those things impact who we have become and I cannot be upset about things and events that have allowed me to be where I am now.
I can’t express how grateful I am to my in-laws for their kindness to us during our first two years of marriage. Letting us live in their Provo house for 150 a month (I think we paid rent twice, maybe three times) allowed Sheryl to finish school and us to find our footing in this world.
I am surprised at how much hair there is in that photo. Such a pretty couple.
As we approach 21 years together, a few things stand out. Our interconnected nature is not unexpected, but sometimes, the extent of it surprises me. All of my thoughts involve Sheryl on some level. When I imagine myself without her influence, I see a person drastically and fundamentally different. My life before us is still caught up in her. All my stories and memories that come before her are preamble.
Because of her I am calmer, more in control of myself. I was all emotion before we met, reactionary and volatile. With her influence, I make better choices, I see things more clearly. I don’t rush into things as frequently. Not to say I don’t still make horrendous mistakes, or that I am somehow a complete person. The cumulative effect of our life together is still unfolding. There is so much to learn and so much to do. How wonderful it is to have someone like Sheryl along for the ride.