Today Elysha and I celebrate 12 years of marriage.
As I look upon the photos taken from that perfect day in 2006, I'm astounded by all that has taken place in the last dozen years. Twelve years isn't a terribly long period of time, and yet I feel like we've lived a lifetime since that glorious July day.
So much has happened. I look back upon our innocent eyes and unwavering smiles and can't believe what is in store for the two of us. We were standing on the edge of so much.
Since we were married...
We bought a home and started our family. Two brilliant, happy, energetic people who love to read and cuddle but still can't pick up their toys now grace our lives with laughter and joy.
I launched my writing career three years after our wedding day, publishing four novels and a book of non-fiction. I also started work as the humor columnist for a magazine and routinely publish in Parents magazine. I co-wrote a rock opera and four musicals. Three comic books. Two screenplays.
Five years after our wedding day, I started telling stories onstage, first for The Moth and then all over the country and the world. I've told stories in theaters, bookstores, bars, breweries, libraries, town halls, churches, college campuses, and many more. I've competed in 75 Moth StorySLAMs and GrandSLAMs combined and joined a vibrant and brilliant community of storytellers, directors, producers, and fans of storytelling.
Seven years after our wedding, Elysha and I launched Speak Up, producing more than 70 shows in the five years we've been in business and establishing partnerships with organizations and venues throughout New England.
Nine years after our wedding, I started teaching storytelling, first in a local library and now all over the world. I work with universities, hospitals, nonprofits, corporations, politicians, attorneys, the clergy, and so many more. Just this year I've worked on the campus of Yale and a Mohawk reservation in Canada.
I've started speaking all over the world, delivering TED Talks, inspirational speeches, commencement addresses, and more. I've delivered sermons on Sundays in churches throughout New England. I've shared the stage with world renowned storytellers and comedians. Received sex advice from Dr. Ruth. Had my story recorded into a phone by David Blaine.
We've traveled, laughed, and loved. We've cheered from the upper reaches of the stands at Patriots games. Celebrated holidays with friends and family. Attended concerts in the park. Spent long, lazy days at the beach. Watched our children grow.
Best of all, we've made so many new friends in the dozen years since we've been married. Brilliant, supportive, interesting, accomplished people who have made our lives so rich with friendship and love.
Our only regret about our wedding is that the friends we have made since that July day were not with us for our celebration. As I look at the photos from that day and see the faces of so many of our dear friends, I can't help but notice how many important and precious people in my life today were not present on our wedding day. People we had not yet met. Did not know. I wish they all could have shared the joy of that day with us.
It's truly been a lifetime of experiences packed into twelve short years. A joyous, bountiful, beautiful dozen years of marriage. That only happens when you choose to spend your life with the right person. The perfect person. A woman with vision, drive, courage, daring, wisdom, and a willingness to support every crazy idea you may have (and had a few crazy ideas of her own).
It only happens when you marry someone who wants to share every step of the journey together. Side by side. Hand in hand.
None of it happens if the woman in those wedding day photos is not Elysha.
Happy anniversary, honey.