10 years ago today I was a month into the first academic year in which I was not a student since I was a kid. I knew that journalism was not my calling – despite successfully completing my degree in the field – but I had no idea what was. I cobbled together a living as a musician and by picking up contracts and freelance work here and there but I was, for the most part, directionless.
I had spent my undergrad years and the few that followed convinced that I wasn’t cut out for the 9-5 world despite never really working in it. I’d convinced myself that I had some other calling but I didn’t know what.
Eight years ago today I was back in school, running the student paper and collecting the last few credits I’d need to make a run at teacher’s college, despite being only partly convinced it was the right decision and having no clue at all about how I’d pay for it.
Seven years ago today things were totally different. I was happily working a “regular” job, earning a regular paycheque and putting together the foundation of a career that I find rewarding and challenging to this day.
And five years ago today I married the woman who helped make it happen.
I don’t think it would surprise anyone who knows us if I went on at length about how insanely happy I am with Amy, or how totally head over heels in love with her I am. It’s a cliche to the nth degree but she absolutely is my best friend and I can’t imagine life without her.
What not everyone knows, though, is that without her I wouldn’t have the career, life or sense of contentment I have. When we met, I was a blue-haired mature student (in only the strictest sense) desperately trying to figure out what came next. I was happy but I was living for the moment, terrified of what I’d do when the ride ended.
Amy made me comfortable enough in my own skin to realize that what I wanted was a family, a life spent in the company of people who I adored. She made me realize that not only could I be happy working in the white collar world, I could thrive there. She made me realize who I was and who I wasn’t and that there is more that defines you than the work you do.
People I knew back then, back before we met, sometimes ask me if I miss being in a band; if I miss the whole lifestyle of going to shows, walking the streets at all hours and generally living moment to moment.
And sometimes I do.
But when I look around me now, at my wife and our beautiful daughter and my dog, or at our beautiful home and wonderful friends, I can’t think of anywhere I’d rather be.
Thank you, Amy, for making this all possible. Thank you for being the friend, partner, teammate and co-conspirator I need. Thank you for being the Bert to my Ernie and the Ernie to my Bert. Thank you for five amazing years and so many more to come.