This Is 40

Today is a day that will change my life forever. It's a culmination of a bunch of events that have happened to me over the past few years. And for all that is going wrong with the world on a macro level, my micro-world has been full of great things. But I'm getting ahead of myself. To tell you where things are and where they're going, I have to take you back…

Several years ago, things weren't going well in my life; it was a mess, and everything was stressful in all the wrong ways. Life needed to change. So, I started making changes to improve things for my family and myself. It was a difficult path,[1] and something I thought I'd never recover from. Of course, those around me – specifically my family – would often remind me that things would get better with time; the pain that I was feeling and had been feeling would be temporary, and life would improve for me. At the time, I was in a deep dark hole and didn't know how life would get better.

But through patience and therapy, I started getting out of this hole and seeing how much of life was improving. As part of the coping and then healing process, I had buried myself in my work when I could while focusing on being a single father. And that effort with work started to bear fruit. I started to get recognized for my abilities and was given chances for more responsibilities that others in my position had not been offered. And recently, for the second time in a year-and-a-half, I have been promoted. I'm responsible for a lot, and I even have a new and exciting challenge at work ahead. Things with work couldn't be better.

And for the first time, my personal life is matching how great my work life is. Life has been amazing, and I'm in love. It may be a bit cliche to say, but it's a love that really is too deep for words; they simply would not do justice to describe the feelings we have for one another. I don't know that I could have asked for a more perfect person in my life. I'm still in awe of her on a daily basis. I cannot fathom how I've done anything to deserve her as a partner. She's the most amazing person I've known: she's beautiful, smart, compassionate, supportive. When we decided to move in together, we didn't know that the pandemic lockdown would be starting the next weekend. Throughout the pandemic, she's been a mother-like figure to my sons and met any of the challenges of life with poise and grace. Being together so much during this time has only cemented our love, and I knew the answer to a question before I even asked it at the end of last year.

Planning a wedding in the midst of a pandemic isn't ideal; in our situation, there are people from other countries that we would want to come celebrate with us. We decided to wait until near the end of 2022 to tie the knot with the support and company our family and friends. But the more we planned, the more we realized that we could not wait another day to marry each other. We still want the big event, but it feels right on so many levels to do something small first. So we decided to get married earlier than our original date in a small outdoor ceremony. Looking over the days that made the most sense, we chose to get married in March 2021. In fact, later today, we're getting married.

This is also significant because today is also my 40th birthday. If I'm being honest, I've never been a fan of my birthdays. I'm sure there's something in my past, but now that I'm old, I can't remember. But what I can remember is that it's just never been my thing. But this year, I'm making the exception. I'm getting the greatest present I could have ever asked for, and I'm starting a new chapter in my life. When today is said and done, I'm hers forever. My life is about to get even better. The best of my life is still yet to come.

This is 40…

  1. Divorce often is, but sometimes it is the necessary path. ↩︎