A Decade Worth Celebrating

Eleven years ago, a strange yet solid guy sat across from me in a Human Rights course at the University of Ottawa. He had an earring, and an immense Presence. I didn’t know who he was, nor why he left an impression on me from moment one (even though he actually dropped that class before I would get to talk to him), but I know that that moment is imprinted in my mind forever

A year later, I came back from a Victimology certification course overseas, and my soon-to-be bestie officially introduced me to that man. I can remember the smirk on her face, introducing us, and I can remember the firm, certain handshake this man had. This is Jacob. Oh yes, I remember you … 

That year, Lisha, Jacob and I hung out all the time. We literally became the three amigos. Our lives became intimately intertwined. Jacob and I would hang out together occasionally too, until ungodly hours of the night, talking. About everything. He was my devil’s advocate – intelligent, provocative, thoughtful, caring, generous. We went kickboxing together. We went to plays and concerts and school events together. 

Everyone thought we were dating. 

And I thought they’re crazy. We are clearly just friends …

He was also the man I called when shit hit the fan in my life. Mostly from my then ex-boyfriend, who massively preoccupied my life in the worst kind of way. But Jabob, he was always there. He’d listen, he’d reach out, he’d help, and he was never judgmental of my (certifiably) crazy. I guess he too sensed something beyond what was presenting.

Jacob and I always had so much fun together. 

He always freaking surprised me!

I remember this one time he picked me up with his bright red RX7 (a sports car, for those who have no clue). I thought to myself “who IS this guy?!”. I liked it.

A fucking vegetarian who plays Aussie Rules Football? (What even is that?!)

A year later, I moved back to Toronto, and before I did, I found this note on my table. Written from Jacob. How he’ll miss me and the friendship we had built. I thought…sweet. And strange, it isn’t over

Throughout that year, we kept in touch, and even saw each other a few times.

Throughout that year, I found myself telling my family “I wish I could find a man just like Jacob! But … not Jacob.” “Huh?” was the response. “Why not?” Because. He’s my friend.

Turns out, that initial friendship was the greatest gift we ever gave to each other: the time and space to connect as free beings, without the chains of putting on a show to be chosen as a mate. 

Jacob knew everything about me, because I treated him like one does a girlfriend. And nonetheless, he fully embraced me as I was. 

I can never forget that camping trip that changed the trajectory of our lives forever. I went with Bozo #who’scounting to the camping trip that Jacob organized and prepared for (man, now I know how much work that is). Years later I found out how challenging I was with my demands and unpredictability, but … we’ll leave that part be. I remember this one moment so distinctly: Jacob is cooking breakfast for everyone (like, 10 of us). I made a comment about needing to eat first (obviously I’m special…), and, while I don’t remember what he said, I know I felt “put in my place”. Not something anyone actually achieved with me, before.

Something awakened in me. 

The next day, I’m watching him cook (again!), and I can see the radiance of this spectacular man I have had the privilege of having be part of my life. I thought to myself “Now that’s a man!”

Something immediately shifted and landed right where you’d expect…

The next day, I cooked the meat I had brought and that night,  I got food poisoning. (One more food poisoning a few months later and that was enough to convince me: vegetarianism, here I come!). That was, in hindsight, one of the best things to ever happen to me. Because of course, I woke up Jacob to take me to the hospital. Which he immediately did. And the sight was not pretty, as anyone who’s had food poisoning likely knows … 

At the hospital, Jacob’s dad shows up (what?!). He invites me to stay with them so I don’t have to drive to Toronto in this state. He says my 15 year old brother is welcome, too. I said sure! 

The next three days were magical. Jacob and I hung out. We ate yummy homemade food that he cooked. We went for walks in the forest. We hung out by the water streams around his house. We went hiking for hours, even at midnight when I was sure I’d get eaten by bears! We explored the natural world he grew up in. We sat on a rock on top of the mountain and stargazed. So many shooting stars… Just one wish…

I thought the entire universe was conspiring to get to me to pay attention. This man, right here, is gold. He’s the man I’ve been waiting for. 

On my last night there, I was on his bed, talking. I realized, at some point, I can’t leave this bed. I told him, and he said I could stay. So I did. And we went to sleep spooning, in the warmest, coziest way. I had never felt more ‘home’. 

Everything about that trip awoke something primal yet certain in me … I now categorically knew: this man is mine … 

So we spent the next month or so flirting via text. He’s a witty guy, and increasingly this union makes more sense. 

A month later, he visits me and we decide together to delve into the next layer of whatever this relationship would bring. When we kissed, I viscerally remember the softness of his lips, and I knew: I am in love … 

The date was August 22nd, 2013. 

While that’s part of the story of how we came to be, who we have chosen to become has been a mindful, intentional and life-affirming journey. We have both evolved with each other (never been at the expense of the other). We knew, from moment one, that to remain intimate with one another demands we stay vulnerable and real. True to ourselves, and intimately honest with each other. Respectful and generous with our engagements. We talk a lot (though let’s be honest, I probably do 80% of the talking…shocking right?!).

In the last ten years, our love (RIG) for one another has evolved with us. It has morphed into its perpetually evolving fullest potential, as Jacob and I have lived a full life together. 

So what I mindfully  celebrate today is our commitment to one another and the quality of life we choose to create together, not merely the passage of time (for it’s own sake). After all, our partnership is an intentional union by choice, not a relationship testing our capacity for endurance

We have embraced the inevitable challenges with trust in the process, and each other. We have always intentionally chosen to stay Present to each other with nothing less than respect, integrity and generosity of Spirit. No bulshit. No mind games – ever. Our intentional has never been to ‘win’ a fight; but to evolve together and co-create a meaningful reality for ourSelves and our family. 

Over the last ten years, I have discovered so much more about who Jacob is than I knew when we got together. For example, I have discovered that he can fix transmissions and engines in cars like a fucking pro! I have also discovered that he is unwavering in his commitment to what deeply matters to him. And, simultaneously, he is incredibly flexible (at all logical levels!). 

Truth is, Jacob is categorically the love of my life, and I wouldn’t change a single fucking hair on his body. I look at him and I rejoice inside my being … and I know, we belong

Thank you, Jacob, for persistently choosing me as your life-partner, time and again, in the midst of all of it. Thank you for the immensity of who you are in my presence. Thank you for being such an incredible life partner. And an even better father. Thank you, from the depths of my being, for the immensity of what you are.

Truly, I am in love with who I am in your Presence … that’s how I know: this is for real.

I have delighted sharing my life with you, and I can see it be no other way. I rejoice at the thought of sharing the rest of my life with you … every moment there is to come.

Jacob, I choo-choo-choo-choose you. In this lifetime, and all the rest 😉 
Yup, with so much #vegancheeze on top!

PS- to know a bit about my husband, check out this interview he gave after his 150th footy game this year … <3

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