If you know me, you know my stories. You know my greatest accomplishments, my most profound failures, my deepest pains and my greatest joys.
But, most of you don’t know me in that way. We all put up walls, wear masks, hide many aspects of who we are due to a myriad of reasons; whether it be shame, guilt, modesty or just plain forgetfulness. I am 40 years old, and I have accomplished many things in my life. I’ve been fortunate and honored to wear the title of U.S. Marine. I have jumped out of an airplane at 14,000 ft and safely made it back to Earth. I have traveled and danced with villages in the South Pacific, swam with sharks in a protected reef and also learned that family is more than blood. I have met some of the most caring and non-selfish people in the world because of my travels. But life is more than those happy moments.
I have always been something of a co-dependent, and before I ever realized that aspect of my personality, I had stepped into relationships for the wrong reasons. I have been married twice and in countless committed relationships only to have them fail. You’ve heard the phrase, “It takes two to Tango“; it is true, and I’ve accepted my part in each of these failures and over the last few years have grown and learned much. But out of these relationships, I have 4 of the most precious gifts any man can ask for. My four children, Adrian, Christian, Elena and Timothy. 3 of which are my blood, and 1 not, but you can’t tell me that. When I saw my first son born, it profoundly changed my life forever; both in good ways and bad ways. I put aside all, of what I considered, childish ways; and became ‘a dad’. That was good. But, I had two other aspects of my personality that didn’t work so well. The first being that I was a workaholic and tried to work, work, work, for my family. The second was that I was completely engrossed with my son, and totally neglected his mother. This concept followed me through my other children as well.
What is it they say? “Hindsight is always 20/20”
I am sure you are asking yourself, “Why is this dumb-ass bearing his soul to me?” I am sure many haven’t followed this far even, and that’s OK… because bearing your soul takes a bite out of a man’s pride and can be very hard to do, especially in my case.
With all of my past (perceived) failures, I have become pretty cynical in regards to marriage and often try to discourage anyone that I find considering getting married. Don’t get me wrong, I am still strongly against ever getting married again (and that is just me) but with the amount of cynicism coming out of me sometimes, I have to believe that it was like a black cloud hanging around me. That was, until this last weekend of June 18, 2016. I went to the first wedding since my own back in 2009, and there I was, watching two of most beautiful people, both inside and out, becoming husband and wife. My nephew and his bride. Yes, some of my cynicism came out, but on my way back to Denver, I realized something.
Marriage is beautiful… for the right people. Marriage is not a bad thing… for the right people. Together forever is ideal… for the right people. These two are extremely precious to me now and forever, as they have made me believe. Everyone is different and can find love in different ways. Many people will never marry, and that’s OK. Many people will never have children, and that’s OK (even though many people should get fixed). Unfortunately, many people won’t ever experience an event that makes every millimeter of their body excited from the elevated levels of endorphins that come from these events. Everybody is different, yet everybody is perfect in their own way. Me, I’m a romantic to my core, I love the touch of a woman. I love those little things that I see everyone posting about on social media. I even got a teary eye (or two) when I saw the bride on Saturday. I wish I had someone to watch Netflix with so we can ‘chill’ with a bottle of wine or bottle of water. But even with all my past, I also wouldn’t change any aspect of it, because I have been fortunate to experience many things, grow as a real man, a real father, a real friend and re-energize my passions and forge a brighter future both personally and professionally because of it.
What is right for me, is not right for you.
I am no longer a cynic. But don’t get me wrong, I do know that marriage is NOT for me. But, it may be right for you. Find your passion, embrace your passion and share your passion with others. Make an indelible mark that last long after you are gone. We are all different and wonderfully made. There is beauty all around, just open your eyes, and your heart and you will see it.