When we say we would die for something, we also mean we would live for it too.
Just as America’s founders pledged their lives and fortunes and sacred honor to each other to create an unprecedented country, the two of us pledged as much to each other to create an unprecedented marriage. And 10 years in, we’re experiencing the freedom such a pledge brings.
Exercising the freedom of choice in our day-to-day life means having the opportunity to break away from contrived standards established by anyone trying to sell us something. We chose not to buy any more of the commercialism or of the groupthink it spawns. Our commitments aren’t to the corporate world or to anyone else’s definition of success.
Our commitments are to being our exact, authentic selves: people living in the moment, not consigned to a consumerist straitjacket or to the naïve strivings of our younger, less independent, less happy selves.
Those younger selves, like many people, never felt enough to be happy. They never felt accomplished enough. Never fulfilled enough or smart enough or rich enough. Always waiting for something more in order to be happy.
Those days are done. We both declared: Enough!
We are happy now.
Love is a choice. It’s not a measure of what you feel or how someone makes you feel. It’s an active verb—to love. It’s a promise you make … and keep. It’s who you are when you become the person entwined with the other who wants for you even more than they want for themselves. It’s the intersection of respect and desire and fidelity that creates something from nothing. And that creation is the most wondrous, human thing anyone can do.
And it is fully enough.
Love is brilliant and profound, because it springs not from obligation but from choice. It is the ultimate expression of liberty, to choose the constraint of marriage. It is paradoxical paradise—bliss from promise.
To declare not “I would die for you,” but “I would live for you” is enough to build a future on.
And still, 10 years of that life is not yet nearly enough…