I've written some here about how my interests have evolved over the years and have occasionally wondered at the time lost when I was younger. How they've evolved beyond "interests" in my mind to now being crucial areas of study and writing and politics. Naturally, what I read has influenced this development, as have blogs, including some that are over my head, introducing me to writers and thinkers and concepts, as well as threads leading from one book to the next.
But the truth of the matter is that the major influence in my evolving approach to things has been Aimée, my beautiful and brilliant wife and my best friend. In our life together, I have learned more about what it is that I want and believe than I ever knew or understood before, and Aimée is a big and necessary part of that. Partly this is simply through engagement with her on an intellectual and emotional level. Aimée is very intelligent and passionate and can argue with the best of them. Unlike me, she has some grounding in philosophy and political theory. She also comes out of an activist background. (So she was in this sense both more theoretical and more practical than me. Ha!) I'm still the same person, but I'm more fully who I am than I ever was before. Her encouragement has been crucial (she encouraged me to start this blog, for one). I'd had encouragement before, of course, from friends and family, and I don't wish to deny it. But it turns out that the kind of love and trust we share was something that was necessary for me to be able to recognize my own self, and to be able to embrace and think about and write about the uncertainties.
I can wallow in my frustration at all the lost or seemingly wasted time, when I could have been doing this or that. I can and do complain about not having sufficient time now to read what I want to read and to write and think about it. And it's true that much of what takes away from my current time reading and writing is my responsibilities to her and to our daughter Mirah. It might be easy, when frustrated, to imagine having that time and not having those responsibilities. But of course these are not mere responsibilities, but the joys of my life. And, in fact, not only would I not be the same person pursuing these interests were it not for Aimée, not only would those interests not be the same, since they have developed and evolved in large part within the crucible of our relationship, but those interests take on added importance and urgency because of her presence in my life and because of Mirah.
Today is our third wedding anniversary. It's hard for us to believe that three years have already gone by--or indeed nearly five years since we met--but at the same time, it seems as if we've been together forever (in the good sense). We've been struggling with balancing our time together since Mirah was born eight months ago (also: !). And lately the major part of that struggle has been with sleep, lack of which has affected us both negatively. It can be easy to lose sight of each other through this kind of thing, and we've been sort of on hiatus in recent weeks especially as Mirah's sleep has been particularly bad. (Happily, it appears that things are finally getting better on that front.) I can't imagine my life without Aimée, and I can't imagine me without Aimée.
Happy Anniversary Aimée!