The First Year of Forever
One of my boys who is married ribbed me the other day when I mentioned how in awe I was of the speed with which time has passed since Gina and I went out on our first date last year. He said, “When you’re married, that’s nothing.” I laughed it off, and then called him a relationship elitist, reminding him that he was once exactly where I was with the woman who is now his wife.
Today marks one year Gina and I have been together. We decided on this date after a month of dating because it was the day of our first date and neither of us have been on another first date since. We never had a conversation about being what the kids call, “official.” There was no serious talk about transitioning into a relationship, and I never formally asked Gina to be my girlfriend. To us, there were never any questions about our status because from the minute we sat down for our first date, we both kind of knew we were each other’s answers to the question, “What does love look like?”
Many people who have been with me from the inception of this blog, and others who have been in my life longer than that, have always known me to be a complicated romantic. I have always loved love but had no idea what to do with it when I had it. My lessons in it mostly came the hard way. I had to be humbled by not only my own mistakes, but also by obstacles that were bigger than me. This whole blog has been about documenting a journey for which I had no map and no compass, but as the title of it implies, marriage has always been the destination. Even before Gina came into my life, people would ask me what I’m going to do when I get married. Now that she’s in my life, that question is asked even more often.
The truth is, I don’t think about what I’m going to do with this blog when Gina and I get married because I don’t really think about marrying Gina. I think about forever with Gina. The ring, the wedding, the dress, the tux, the vows, of course all of that stuff has crossed my mind, and of course, when such visions do start to appear, Gina is always in the picture. She has been since the moment I met her for our first date at Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop. And like any couple in love, we talk about marriage, and fantasize about raising a family. They’re all very sweet thoughts and fun things to discuss, but they’re not as real as the present.
Nothing matters to me more than today with her and one year of us. When I think about our future together, it is bright and it is beautiful, but it is not now. What is now is what’s important, and though I may not know what next year looks like or the year after that, I do know one year of Gina has already changed my life forever.