October 18th, 2015, Paul and I embarked on one of the biggest adventures of our lives! We stood together, in front of our friends and family, and committed the rest of our lives to one another. It would be an understatement to say he year has absolutely FLOWN by. I think that tends to happen as you get older (Turns out, there’s a scientific reason why!) whether you want to or are ready for it to happen. When people say it feels like yesterday, my god, it really does. I have always felt calm cool and collected around Paul, which I don’t think is a way most people would tend to describe me (including, sometimes, Paul). That wedding morning, I was as cool as a cucumber. I woke up at 6, maybe 5:30, promptly woke up my mom, and we went to the grocery store to get muffins and juice; you know, normal things. I definitely was not the crying mess I had imagined myself being; I think I got all that out of my system as I listened endlessly to Canon in D (This would be Paul’s version!) and that Twilight wedding song. I think I was more caught up in making sure I savored each and every moment for what it was, not what I wanted it to be. To say it was the most beautiful day I’ve ever had would be putting it lightly. Everything came together picture perfectly; it was 100% everything Paul and I had dreamt it would be.
Paul and I knew pretty early that we had something special. I cannot describe it; it’s a butterflies in your stomach kinda thing. I knew when he took me out to a romantic dinner by the sea side, he wanted to say “I love you”. I had a VERY BIG sneaking suspicion that he was going to propose at a special dinner the Friday before a track weekend. I mean to the point where I was scoping out his pockets to see the bulge,; the ring box bulge, ya perv! Again, the proposal; I thought I was going to be a balling wreck, but I wasn’t, and I think that comforted me more than anything. We don’t have what you see in all the cheesy movies; the movies that tell you how you’re supposed to feel. We have something better.
October has many special dates for us. We “made it official” in 2013, we got engaged in 2014, and we got married in 2015. Elena’s birthday, Paul’s mom, was October 13 (she was born on a Friday the 13th), and October 31st turned into arguably the most challenging adventure we have ever been on.
I think that people often view adventure as a good thing, but lots of things can happen, both good and bad.
A stroke of real bad luck hit us that landed Paul a flight in a helicopter, 5 days in a hospital, and followed by a solid 2 months of recovery. After 15 years of riding, THE MOMENT came.
Some would view it as good luck that it wasn’t worse, but concussions are fickle beasts that are frustrating beyond belief. The bottom line is that no one really has a clue how you will recover, and no one really has a clue what to look out for besides immediate things like pain. It really felt like a wait and see situation. I still had the white tips of my wedding manicure still on my nails, and there goes Paul exercising that “in sickness and in health” vow (just a couple warm-up laps! I didn’t mean to….). I was beside myself.
Obviously, with Paul riding motorcycles, it had always been there in the back of my mind that something could happen. We had many conversations about riding. We both agreed that to not ride, to give it up, would be more of a loss than if something were to happen. I knew that even if I lost Paul due to an accident, I would still feel like the luckiest girl in the world because I had the chance to spend two years with him. This was an EXTREMELY large pill to swallow after this accident; impermanence is a difficult concept to accept when you’ve come that close. I wanted to take it all back and to demand that he give it up; however, the bottom line is that’s not how we work. Never was, and it never will be. I don’t think that’s how any relationship should work; I am in a relationship with you and not a dictatorship, I don’t get to tell you what do to with your life. Suddenly, because I have a ring on my finger, I get to tell you what and what not to do? It is his passion; he has met some of his best friends riding, and I am thankful to say those friends have become my friends (Paul: NOW you know why I married this girl??). The community is full of incredibly smart, talented, and down to earth people who are open and accepting. It’s a family; we get to watch children grow up, I get to watch people wrenching endlessly on their bikes getting it perfectly dialed in, and a camaraderie that is unmatched.
This year, and this marriage has been full of immeasurable growth and insight. It was HARD; everything had been unicorns and roses, and it felt like it all came crashing down around us. We are lucky; lucky beyond words, and I’ll be damned if I don’t live every single waking moment to its fullest potential. In marriage, you have your best friend next to you, and you also have your best friend challenging you to be your best version. There are seasons to life, everyone’s life, and I have learned that compassion is your best friend, you never know what season someone else is going through. Thank you to everyone who has been part of our adventure, cheers to MANY, MANY, MANY MORE!!!!!!!!!!!