I was twenty-seven in 2003. Twenty seven! I could list the ways I’ve changed since then, but it would take more time than I have to write, and more importantly, more time than you have to read. Suffice to say, things are different now. Here are a few major changes in the last decade:
-We now live in San Diego. Dena and I moved to Southern California in 2012 after a lifetime spent in Georgia. It would be an understatement to say that things are a bit different out here.
-My job is better. When we met, I worked at Baker and Taylor, which is the very definition of a dead end job. Now I work for Walgreens, which is a much better company.
-In 2003, I weighed 175 pounds. My weight has increased to as much as 220 pounds, but is now back in the 180 pound range.
-My brother and Dena’s sister were barely out of school in 2003. Now both of them are married with children.
Ten years seems like a long time, but is it really? In the great scheme of things, it’s hardly a blip. But what about in a human life? When you think about it, a decade really is a long time. When someone spends ten years of his or her life with you, it’s quite a commitment.
Time is funny. Sometimes it seems that an hour can last an eternity, but years can pass in the blink of an eye. Before you know it, youth has passed and middle age stares you in the face. Life can be lonely, but that loneliness is lessened exponentially if you have someone to spend it with.
You can meet someone anywhere. You never know when that magic moment may occur. You could be in line at the supermarket, ordering a drink at a bar, walking down the street; or you could be working at a book distribution warehouse in a small Georgia town. You could go for a drink of water, and end up meeting your soul mate.
Being together for a long time is a unique situation. You start out unsure of yourself, and your standing in a relationship. Over time you find that you can be yourself. At some point you even begin to feel comfortable with each other. There is nothing quite like being in a room together and feeling that words are unecessary. A comfortable silence can be a blessing.
No one can love you, understand you, or stick up for you like your soul mate can. Having someone who is always on your side is a wonderful feeling that I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world. After all the ups and downs, all the travels and adventures, all the mistakes and triumphs, I know that I will never, ever be alone.
I began this post by talking about changes. So many things are different now than they were ten years ago. But one thing hasn’t changed: I love my wife. I love her even more than I did back then. She is my rock, my partner, my reason for doing the things I do. She is my other half.
Now, on our tenth anniversary, I just want to say thank you, Dena. Thank you for being my biggest fan, and for always encouraging me. Thank you for supporting me in whatever I do. Thank you for giving yourself to me, and for accepting me as I am. But most importantly, thank you for loving me. I don’t know where I’d be without you.
I have no idea where we’ll be in another ten years. California; Georgia; Antarctica. I don’t know what will have changed or what we’ll be doing. God knows things change so fast. But one thing I do know: I’ll still love you. In ten years, or in a hundred, I’ll still be your Bear.
Happy anniversary, Little Bear! I love you!