Being unapologetically authentic and finding true love

With our wedding less than two months away, I think about the process I went through to get to this point. The point of finding a wife. It’s been quite a journey and one that has taken me back to 5th grade. The point in which she and I first met. The last meaningful time we spent together prior to reconnecting for writing was 8th grade, and a lot changed for the both of us with the 17ish years that have elapsed since. This isn’t about our story, but the prelude.

At 32 years old, I’ve spent close half of my life in relationships. I’ve been called a serial monogamist by my closest friend and people label me a ‘relationship’ guy. But my mom once told me I was too young to get married. I’d be in line for more evolutions as a person. Evolutions that might change who I am. And that’s exactly what happened. At 32, I’m much different than any point of my life. But this is the point in which it became clear that I was ready. I had crossed multiple dreams of my dream list but had yet to cross off family. I always felt the desire to love for something outside of myself. I like many, have felt at times that I was with the person I ‘could’ marry. That could, is what dating is all about.

In dating, it starts off with common interest or an attraction, but gets to a point to where you decide whether or not this person will be the subject of your attention. Courting and being courted. It’s human nature to seek out companionship in the form of a partner. But when do you know when it’s the right person? All of the women I’ve dated have been great and made tremendous additions in my life, of which I’m thankful. I’ve been helped with leaving the NFL, Suicide and Authenticity. Key victories in my life. But development and growth don’t always translate to forever. In relationships, we have an obligation to growth. Helping your partner grow is par for the course. But finding a wife isn’t about a woman. It’s about you.

As a man, I had to grow. I had to work on managing my frustrations, communicating, contributing above and beyond to maintaining the house, paying bills…all things of which I’ll need as I co-build my family. The development and growth from scrutinizing myself and my flaws as a partner and a person, without running away from my weaknesses, has put me in position to be more authentic and be able to express fully who I am. This authentic expression is key to finding harmony in a partnership. For both sides. If you don’t know what beat you March too, you won’t be able to sustain a healthy marching pace together, it won’t be natural. For me, I had to shed. Shed the ideas of who I thought I was and step into who I am. This isn’t comfortable and hasn’t been comfortable. But neither is scaling a mountain. But this is the only path to joy. Choosing to be yourself unapologetically. Not being afraid to reduce your life circle.

In my pursuit of authentic expression, I’ve rejected materialism, turned minimalist (although I love technology), lost friends, deployed capital, made mistakes and failed…but all of that led me to my soon to be wife. Someone who knows Lawrence. Not Cadillac, LJ or LoJack…but Lawrence. It took me awhile to get back to Lawrence, but as I did, the love of my life showed up. What was once an arduous and painstaking journey. Has become the light of my life. At one point, I didn’t think that this feeling was possible, that real love existed. But I found it, only when I was only willing to be 100% committed to authenticity to my soul. In leaving everything behind that I thought I wanted like football and the idea of a relationship, I walked into everything I need. Unconditional love and support and encouragement. But most importantly understanding. An understanding of who I am and the courage to hold me accountable to being who I am. This makes her the one. I feel seen, supported and loved, all while being myself unapologetically.

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