this here's the story of the start of the biggest trip I've ever taken. let me tell you a bit about my life...
I've worked at the same job since 1993. she's treated me well; we've enjoyed a wonderful symbiotic relationship. however, over the last few years, my interests have shifted and I've wanted to spend my 9-5 doing more artistic things. in fact, my primary goal at work for the last 4ish years has been to shuffle things around and get stuff done such that I could telecommute part-time and not leave her in a lurch.
after one of the more trying and interminable battles I've ever waged, I finally did it - last thursday was my last day in the office. which means that, unlike what southwest offers, I'm now free to move about the world.
I'm typing in the dallas airport - the obvious logical place for a stopover between LA and my new digs - paris. for the reefer madness crowd, today is 4/20 and my plane to paris boards at 4:20.
I've never lived outside LA. never. LA is just something I've sort of assumed forever (it's been the assumed setting for my movie, not that I've assumed I'd live in LA forever). it wasn't until recently that I even noticed that I'd never lived anywhere else. it wasn't until even more recently that I realized I recently set a new personal record for longest duration of consecutive days outside LA - about 7 weeks in australia and new zealand. I'd never spent 2 months away from my parents house (not that I've lived with my parents the whole time, but just that I've never been far from the vicinity)? I recall being somewhat shocked when I encountered a 25ish year old girl in south dakota who said she'd never been more than a couple hundred miles from where we were standing. and I've never gone two months without seeing the 405? damn...
off I am and off I'll stay. leaving a wake of glitter, apparently. the good news is that I'll have more time to take pictures, update my lj, spin poi, and not have such pressing compulsory hustle and bustle. the more good news is that I intend to speak markedly better french than I do today (which, with a week of hindsight, is amazingly true. my french is WAY better than it's ever been).
the less good news is that I'll be away from Her.
a while back, I wrote that I'd found the girl. as it turns out, I was right. my statuesque canadienne (who here in my lj, for the sake of innocence-protecting name-changing, I call krista) and I are happily embarking upon the rest of our mutual lives. she and I are engaged to be married at an unspecified date in the future. at a specified location in the future - burning man.
years ago, I was talking with an ex girlfriend who'd recently gotten married. she told me that getting married changed her relationship. she said that it wasn't like before getting married she'd had a crap relationship. she had intimacy and trust and all the fixins. but, she claimed, when she got married, it suddenly hit a new level that she didn't even know was missing before. at the time, I dismissed it as newlywed hysteria. or warm feet. or something. I defer. my own thoughts and feelings toward krista and our relationship took a giant leap in the aftermath of our engagement. my theory is that the knowing that I'd made a life-long commitment is what that's about. I think.
the way it all happened was relatively fairytalltale... she and I broke up and up we stayed broke until thursday night at burning man. we'd talked during the broken upness, but we were not a lingering breakup or on-again-off-again (jiggity jig). during the broken up time, we both grew and changed. except at the time, I only saw how she'd grown and changed.
during the breakup talks, krista told me she had planned on proposing to me saturday night as the man burned. also during the breakup talks, I told her I didn't think I'd have said yes. by thursday night, I'd forgotten about that exchange.
I started thursday the way I had started every day since breakup - not thinking that she and I would get back together. but I had a revelatory thursday and conciously realized that she'd grown and changed. and I re-realized what a wonderful badass she is and how she and I will make each others' lives better forever.
I strode up to her, gently grabbed her chin and turned her face toward mine.
I said yes.
and that was all.
it was clear to me that I'd just asked her to marry me.
I subsequently learned that she understood it as well.
surprising how much sense it makes.
I didn't get a picture of it - except in my mind. I have this wonderful snapshot in my head of her in chloe (the green faux-fur watermelon cloak pictured below), with half her face obscured by shadow, and the rest glimmery inridesent... like a flashbulb or fireworks are going off around her. that image, more than anything I've ever experienced makes me want to be able to draw. at least I've got it in my head.
as I missed the opportunity to physically capture the amazing mind's-eye-only picture, I cannot show it to her, you, or anybody else. but I've got two others that work in its stead.
one of the cool things about getting engaged is that I got to be right about this picture. I was a bit overcome with herness during an alone moment shortly after we met. pragmatically speaking, I took that picture to hedge my bets - if I turned out to be right about our future, I'd have quite an amazing present to give her. if I turned out to be wrong, I'd never show it to anybody. I didn't show it to anybody until we were engaged. I contemplated saving it for a wedding gift, but I was too excited to share.
about 6ish hours after the yes, I got this picture of our first together sunrise.
4/20 is genuinely the first day of the rest of my life.
and I start it covered in glitter.
thank you jessica and everybody else who helped this transpire
yes - I know it's not 4/20 anymore and I know I'm not in dallas - I've spent quite a week in paris, but quite an internetless week. having a great time - wish you were here