more of this, somewhere else

Our first date was nearly 13 years ago. He took me to a beloved breakfast joint in Portland, Genie’s, that tried, unsuccessfully, to break onto the dinner scene in 2004. He was kind, open, communicative and intriguing. This was a real person. Someone who had a clear sense of who he was and what he wanted from life. I hadn't met many people like him, authentic and wholehearted. Oh, and mighty good-lookin'! 

At some point during the night, I had a flash of this stranger across from me as a very familiar old man. It was the kind of flash that can't be ignored. A prophetic kind of thing.  

We talked long after the last drop of wine was sipped. Until we were the last table and the waitress said it was closing time.

It was near midnight when he asked me, “What would you like to do now?” I replied with, “More of this, somewhere else.”

Today is the 4th anniversary of our wedding and we celebrate by waking up in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Not the typical place people travel to spend romantic anniversaries—but perfect for us. 

John is a remarkable human and the kind of partner that makes me tear up in gratitude any time I contemplate him. If you've met him, you know exactly what I mean. He has oodles of integrity. He is committed to a life of joy and authenticity. He is wholehearted, patient and hilarious. He is generous with me and he chooses me every day (stinky breath, ugly robe and all). And I choose him. Even on our crappiest days when we're grumpy, exhausted and on the edge of losing our connection—he grows even more stable, keeping his part of the foundation from cracking, drawing me in closer at a tenuous moment when it would be far too easy to fracture. He lets me in and I let him in, to the tender vulnerable places most people protect with shame, denial or bravado. He is quick to compliment, celebrate and cheerlead. He makes a home for me in his arms, which on long and weary travel days is a priceless gift. 

Thank you John, for choosing this ride with me.

Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
— Albert Camus