Year 1: Blog Post 1
Today is our first anniversary. Oh, how time dissolves into nothing.
It was 2010 ... a perfect June Second Saturday in Sacramento when I bumped into Trish and Jessie at Glenn Hall Park. The sun was out and it was the first over-90-degree day of the summer. Being 25, naturally I had spent the day drinking Summerfest and Silver Bullets while BBQing in the spring heat. By the time our intoxicated group migrated on bikes from Zack’s house in midtown to Glenn Hall Park in East Sacramento, it was magic hour and the sun was setting over the golden California grass on the American river levee. We went to the park for a Beatles cover band concert. I wouldn’t normally go as I’m not a fan … But I’m glad I did because I met my future wife. The sun was fading into the calm of night and liquid courage was pumping through my body and this delicious little blond was sitting right in front of me, so I said, “This band kinda sucks, don’t you think?” She said, “No ... I’m actually enjoying the show.” This was just the first in a series of things we don’t have in common. But from that point on we have been almost inseparable.
Prior to our marriage, life didn’t slingshot many major hurdles my direction. Trish endured her share of obstacles adulting (kind of a given as a single mom). But our first year of marriage … Well, it has paralleled Bitcoin values, with the highest of highs and seriously unexpected lows.
Going into the year, our trajectory was set for smooth sailing. No turbulence was in in the forecast. I decided to kick my bike racing habit and focus my energy on backcountry skiing and Nordic racing once again. We eloped in the Sierra Buttes with our immediate families and closest friends, an ideal day in mountains with wildflowers popping, light breeze, snow still in the peaks, and dark blue skies. We could not have asked for a more perfect day to share such a special moment with our loved ones. Next, we spent 10 days honeymooning in Vancouver city and island. In June and July, BC is the millennial’s wet dream with inventive vegan eats, not-too-hoppy brews, temperate rainforests, and mountains views to inundate Instagram accounts with all things drool-worthy.
We were in Victoria with three days left of our honeymoon when the call came explaining my grandmother was in the hospital, and if we wanted to say goodbye we needed to come home now. Trish and I scrambled to get home: two ferry rides, a border crossing, six hours of driving, and one flight later we made it to the hospital room in time to say our tear-filled goodbyes to queen bee grandma. Two weeks later Trish’s uncle passed from cancer and four months after that my grandpa passed.
During this period of rapid-fire grief, Trish’s son decided he no longer wanted to live with us. His exit was like a tornado. We were left with a broken home, piecing shards back together and sweeping away the ones that were gone for good.
It’s difficult to convey the rollercoaster of emotions, from the elopement planning phase, optimistically starting the rosy next chapter of life. Enjoying an adventure-filled and carefree honeymoon, until reality hits and it’s never when you expect.
During this period of loss and abandonment we both had the opportunity to do some real soul-searching and sort out what we do and don’t want out of life on this earth. For me, it was a realization I don’t want work in commercial construction or volunteer on non-profit boards, and Trish decided to make a career switch to policy and for the first time in her adult life focus on herself. It is so powerful that moments of intense pain and mental anguish can result in tremendous growth. Most importantly, from bottoming out in these potholes along the freeway of life, we’ve grown closer together as life partners and I wonder way I waited so long to officially commit to continuously exploring the earth with this amazing human.