The first major shift away from myself and toward another person came at the hand of my wife, Emily. I didn't realize it at the time but the tectonic plates upon which my life had been built were dislocating. A life that had been constructed around a self-centered existence began to turn outwards. We were married in May of 2011 and the beginning of the rest of my life commenced. Our journey isn't marked by the illusion of perfection, but by a love that transcends circumstantial happiness. Marriage is the hardest thing I've ever had to do. The stakes are high, but the reward is more than worth it.
My understanding of love was somewhat childish before I had a child. In most ways I understood love to be reciprocal. The tit-for-tat kind of love that cheapens the very nature of what love should be. In the single moment that my son was born, I knew that the love I had come to understand was only a small part of what love could be. I have come to know a love that has no expectations of return. A love that doesn't ask for a relational deposit. A love that transcends the transactional nature of relationships. Fatherhood has changed me, and I would venture a guess that it's not done with me yet.
A story is the most powerful and important element to our lives. Our stories began before we were born and will live on well after we are gone. They are informed by a cast of characters, some we will never meet and some that know us better than we know ourselves. Our stories give us a framework with which to experience life. A context for conversation. I live to tell stories. To listen to narratives. To find within the thread of our lives, the things that connect us to one another the most. I sing these stories. I play these stories. I write these stories because they need to be told. They need to be heard.
Freedom very often feels like the intangible expression of life. The ever elusive unicorn of existence. It seems as though freedom is the goal. The end game. And yet very few ever experience a real sense of freedom. We find ourselves trapped by the monotony of life, or the demands of responsibility. We are bound by the need to control our destinies and entrenched in what will eventually be seen as an effort of futility. In our innermost being, we are at war with ourselves. Fighting to breathe. Fighting for something real. Fighting for freedom. The joy and experience of freedom isn't in the destination but in the journey. This is my journey. This is for freedom.