Over the years, you know I've taken pride in the fact that I've made some really good decisions at critical points in my life. Some I knew were going to be important decisions and others I had no idea would be so monumental. Some I made with the support of friends and family, and others I made in spite of advice or logic against them.
I am sitting here with the clarity of hindsight on my side and taking stock of all those important decisions. Probably the first important decision was where to go to college. Despite my dad's best arguments, I decided against the Ivy League and went with my heart down to Durham. My years at Duke were amazing -- I'll never regret that choice. But, listening to my folks served me well when I was making the decision to study abroad. Fearful of traveling to a place where I wasn't conversant in the language, I almost went to Scotland instead of Italy. I am so happy that I took a chance and ended up in Rome for almost six months. Then, when most of my classmates were going on to New York, DC and Atlanta or heading to med school, law school, or some consulting firm, I chose California and a graduate degree suited for the entertainment industry. Again, it was the right choice.
But, Sweets, my best decisions led me to you, and us, and our life now. I still shake my head in amazement when I think about how I almost decided not to go to Manhattan Beach that night we met. Even though I didn't know what a pivotal choice that would be, I still believe that some part of my subconscious heart knew what you would become to me when you walked through Sarah and Stacy's door. How else can I explain the instant connection we felt? And to think that I was feeling almost too tired and lazy to haul myself down the 405 to meet up with you all.
And what about our first date more than two years later? According to conventional wisdom, we shouldn't have been dating at all. Weren't we supposed to be each other's rebound relationships? Logic and rational decision-making should have instructed me not to fly up to San Francisco for a night at the opera with you. But, my heart told me to do it, and I chose to take a chance. And that evening was the most magical I had ever known. Even now when I am awake and restless in the middle of the night, I replay that evening in my head (it's something I started doing years ago so that I would never forget it). That decision started a whirlwind courtship that culminated in our wedding two years later.
And here we are on our eighth wedding anniversary, many decisions later. We've made some choices that we had no idea would be so monumental: like my decision to work at that start-up (would the world really be open to another search engine with a funny name?); and others that we knew would affect the course of our life together: like the decision to stop at two children. But really, the decision of which I am most proud is the last one I made completely on my own -- and that's the choice to marry you. Happy Anniversary, Sweets. I love you.