When I thought about marriage as a little kid, I pictured a happily ever after fairy tale Disney story. The American dream had been pretty much imprinted into my brain. To be successful I needed to get a wife, a good job, and have some kids. That was the basic idea I had of marriage. It was inevitable. I had never really thought about the process that had to happen to get there.
Going through high school was one of the best experiences in my life. The opportunities to be with friends without the responsibilities of an adult. I never even imagined that I would find someone that I would be spending the rest of my life with. It never even occurred to me. All I was trying to do was hang out, have fun, and I guess make good grades so I could go to college. Along the way though, I met some amazing people that are still some of my best friends, but I also met my best friend and the person that now knows me and all my failures and yet still loves me.
I have only slowly started to realize what true love is, and it definitely does not involve a Disney princess (although she is basically one). The amazing thing about being in love with someone who I’ve known through my best and worst years is that we have grown together in astounding ways. Being in love, I have found is not, an emotion. Its not a feeling that is fleeting, here one day gone the other. I have learned through many experiences that love is an action.
Being with my fiance for so many years now is a daunting thing to look back on, but it also is a way to realize that we together, have loved each other in so many different ways. The flirtatious emotions that I felt freshman year of high school may not exist, but there is a bond that has connected us in a much deeper way. Being able to sacrifice my wants and desires is one of the main ways that I have been able to show how much I love her. And that is what I have found marriage is all about. The uniting of two people, fully willing to give up the desires of ones self, in order to provide, respect, and love the other person with all of our being.
I am so lucky to have been able to learn these valuable lessons at an early age, and I truly think it would not have been possible if we hadn’t gone through the infamous high school dating period. In the end, I will not be riding off into the sunset, and I will not be living happily ever after, but I will be living life with the one person in this world that fully understands me, still loves me and is willing to deal with the inevitable valleys that our road will take us down. And that is the best fairy tale ending that I could ever imagine.