Prepared notes; introduction to a new chapter.
I've felt that I've been living in a somewhat liminal state for the past several years — "liminal" meaning, literally, "the confusion of being in-between things". It's a feeling that strikes most strongly on long introspective plane flights, the physical dislocation of travel, the surreality of international airports, the sense of being above and beyond any particular home, all sharpening this aspect. I have been in transition, into full adulthood/out of young-adulthood, to the state California, through the stomach-dropping section of a career arc, etc. It's been quite a ride.
Sometimes in life the section breaks are clear: birthdays are a big deal early on, you go to different schools, to college, maybe your family relocates, etc. These often turn out to be the important mile-markers they feel like at the time. Sometimes not, but often. Other shifts in the story are more subtle, hard to detect in real-time, emerging only in the clarity of hindsight.
Tonight I have occasion to remark on both varieties.
A little over two and a half years ago, I met a woman. Rina. At the time I was living in the far remote reaches of northern California, behind the Redwood curtain, off a gravel road off a gravel road, at the edge of the grid, plying my trade as a frontiersman of the internet. It'd been a good run, but I was itching for a change, thirsty to get back into more serious and sustained contact with the rest of the world. Rina was living in New York City, metropolis where I came of age and where we'd met cute, and somewhat more distressingly imminently bound for London, which also happens to be the first "real city" I ever set foot in as a free-standing human being, the place that first gave me the bug to get out and see the world. Improbably, against a daunting reef of timezones and what seemed like my better judgment, I decided to pursue her.
With the eagle-eyes one is only gifted by looking backward I can see it, in the early lush green of the spring of 2010, the sun setting orange and simmering outside of Everett's Tavern where I started explaining it all to my best friend and roommate Mark. "I met a woman", I said. "I'm gonna go for it." Turning point. Page break. Start of a new section.
Tonight — assuming all went well and I'm actually posting this pre-written note on the public internets — I asked this woman to marry me. Spoiler alert: she said yes!
This then is the more obvious kind of milestone. The end of courtship, the beginning of partnership, the opening of a whole new chapter.
I've been blessed with an ever-loving family, an unbelievable pantheon of friends, colleagues of legendary repute, and outlandish doses of good fate and fortune. I have been blessed with more than I can ever rightly see as my due, blessed and blessed and blessed again — and now by the love of this amazing beguiling inspiring intriguing irresistible beautiful kind and caring woman. There's so much potential here, it is truly an embarrassment of riches.
I can't say anything but "thank you", to my fiancé (whoa) Rina for believing in me; to all my friends, foes, family and fellow travelers who helped shape me into the man I am today; also to anyone who's put up with a somewhat short-tempered — even more than usual — Josh for the past six weeks or so. The time leading up to this moment has left a lot on the old duder's mind, as they say.
And now, onward! There are a lot of logistics to wrangle — job prospects, wedding dates — and an earnestly endless set of unknowns to answer. I don't have any illusions that it's easy street from here on out, but I take enormous comfort, conviction, and courage from the knowledge that going forward we will face what comes together.