230 // 19th Year

Monday may have marked the first official day the students returned for the new school year, but due to a “phase-in” program we are running this year, today is the first day that all the students have ridden the bus together.

I got a chance to meet some new—or, new to me anyway—high schoolers with some unique challenges and absolutely delightful dispositions. I am grateful for my years of experience and the knowledge that a student’s description on paper rarely bears much resemblance to the student you meet in person. A child’s worst behavior is what you receive in hand but they will always strive to show you the best of themselves every day.

Stress levels continue to decline, but the long working hours are wearing on me. The only thing saving my sense of stability is knowing that the breaks are also getting longer. There will be more time for reading and writing and an easier time of motivating myself and staying focused.

I’m enjoying the chance to get some words down and some pages read, but I admit I’m anxious to get home. Today also marks the 19th year since my wife and I first chose each other and we have chosen each other again and again, every day since.

We’ve only been married for just over 2 years, so in a way this anniversary is even more meaningful than the one that marks our wedding. It marks all the time I wish we could have been married but legally couldn’t. It’s a reminder of how we found the courage to be ourselves, to love each other, and to build a life while being hated, over sexualized, and alienated.

We’ve come so far. Humanity has come even further and rather than lamenting the time lost, I’m grateful to live the dream so many before us fought for but never saw.

Today is the end of one kind year and the beginning of another. A year with seasons like any other. A year with cold month, hard months, months of growth, and warm months of sun and green too. A new year with my love begins and no matter what it brings we will weather it, always.

I wish there could be more celebration but there was already so much last month and there will be so much more in a couple of months. Still, this day means everything and I can’t let it end without saying so. This day, 17 years ago, was the beginning of my real life and today I celebrate that most of all. It’s been such a lovely life. A life other’s might only dream of and one for which I am infinitely grateful.