I wrote the following as one of my assignments in my Orientation to Graduate Studies class at the University of Maryland University College. The goal was to write an article in the style of the “This I Believe” series by Edward R. Murrow. Unfortunately after I finished my essay and turned it in I realized that the assignment had been to write something about our professional beliefs and not a personal one, so I had to scrap the assignment and write another one in about 10 minutes (which, for the record, I got a 98% on). I really liked what I wrote in my original essay, though, and I wanted to share it here.
Fair warning – It’s mushy.
I believe in a lot of things. I believe that the majority of people we encounter as we go through our daily lives are fundamentally good people. I believe that my word means something, and that my integrity is one of my most precious commodities. I believe it is important to love your job, but that it is also important to maintain a balance between your career and your personal life. I believe that we should all have more art in our lives. I believe I will have another slice of that delicious pie, thank you very much.
And I believe in love.
When my wife and I met neither one of us were in a position where we were looking for a serious commitment. She lived on her own and was enjoying that fact very much, and was just looking to date someone who was interested in going to cultural events with her. I had just gotten out of a nine- year relationship and was very much looking forward to the idea of being on my own and commitment-free. We were both dead set against ever marrying again. We met on a dating site, and both of us were very clear about those things to each other from the very beginning. We were both in full agreement that whatever happened between us was going to be strictly casual.
Less than three months after we started dating we were engaged. The night that it happened, a mutual friend of ours looked at us and told us that it was obvious to everyone around us that we would be married some day. When we were alone later that evening I admitted to her that I had been thinking about what our friend had said. Without saying a word she handed me her phone with the screen opened on her browser search history. At the top of the “recent searches” list was the phrase “How long should you wait to get married?”
For us, the answer was “just over a year.” We were married two weeks after the anniversary of the day we met.
I could spend hours talking about all the ways in which my wife is the most perfect woman in the world. I could show you all of the messages we send to each other over the course of the day. I could make you uncomfortable with tales of how much we flirt and how we cannot keep our hands off of each other. I could tell you how much my heart soars when I see her or how excited I get about just spending time sitting with her on the couch and watching bad television shows. I could do all of this and so much more.
But I won’t.
What I will tell you is that every morning when I wake up I reach over and touch her and I am happy to be alive, and every night when I go to sleep the last thing I think about is how lucky I am that she is lying next to me. All of the wonderful things that fill in the blanks between those times are icing on the cake.
Love exists. It’s real. It’s palpable. I know, because I can feel it in my heart every time I look at my wife, and I can see it in her eyes every time she looks back at me. This I believe.