Tuesday, April 5, 2022

The Greatest Adventure of My Life

14 years ago today, my wife and I said "I do" to each other in a restored dance hall in Yonkers, NY, and I can honestly say it has been the greatest adventure of my life.  

Our wedding invitation.

I say that without hesitation, or perhaps with a tiny bit of hesitation-- I mean I want to be accurate right?  Perhaps there was some other adventure that I embarked on that was bigger?  I've been on a few of them.  Driving down to Venice Florida to start clown college, not knowing a single soul there.  Driving cross country to the Dell'Arte school without having been there before, to figure out how I was going to learn to live in rural Northern California.  Teaching clowning as part of a cultural exchange program in Chile.  Studying clown in Czechoslovakia. Traveling to Copenhagen Denmark on a whim and then lucking into three weeks of following Dario Fo around the area.  (As I like to tell it, I met Dario in 1995, and he won the Nobel Prize a year later.  Now I'm not saying there's a connection... I'm just saying that before he met me, he was not a Nobel Laureate. )

But even looking at all those cool things I did, I can say that getting married (and having a kid) is the greatest adventure I've ever had.

Here's the video the NY  Times took the day after our wedding. 

It's amazing to see us as we were then-- before we were parents, embarking on our great adventure.

This is who we were back then.  Two newlyweds.  (Literally, this video was taken the day after the wedding as we were packing to go on our Honeymoon to Paris) 

We're not that far off from that now, although a little worse for the wear and perhaps a little less starry eyed.  Time (and Madness) takes its toll. (Thank you Rocky Horror!)

We're about to set off on another adventure- a couple of weeks in Thailand!  

Read the full article in the NY Times here.

It Doesn't Always Feel Like An Adventure

It doesn't always feel like an adventure, mind you.  Of course, many times it does.  Sometimes it feels super exciting, and everything is a blur and a whirlwind.  I can't concentrate, I've got a pit in my stomach, my palms are sweaty, my heart is racing, and I am not exactly sure what's going to happen next.

There have been times when this adventure feels downright dangerous to my physical, mental, and emotional health.  My head is reeling, I've got a pit in my stomach, My palms are sweaty, my heart is  racing, and I am not exactly sure what's going to happen next.

Sometimes it feels like a slog, and so rote and predictable and the same old same old- so much that I want to scream. My palms get sweaty, my heart starts to race, and I am pretty sure I know exactly  exactly what's going to happen next.  Until I don't.   And then rinse and repeat.

Hmmmm... these things all feel the same....

Because let's face it, adventure is all of those things at once-- it's just hard to focus on any one of these things at a time.

One of the many clown wedding photos I insisted on taking.  I'm not sorry one bit.

Here are some tips to remind me to focus, when it gets difficult (and even after 14 years, it still gets difficult.)

Henry Ford said "Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you are right."  I have a tendency to focus on the negative, to worry about what could go wrong, and think of solutions to prevent things that have not yet happened and might never happen.  Sometimes that's good, and sometimes that prohibits me from enjoying myself fully.

2) WE, NOT I
The more I can focus on the fact that we are on the adventure together, the better off I am.  I am historically poor at this, and I am trying to get better.  But at the same time, The Greatest Adventure of Our Life would be a terrible name for this post, because I'm trying to explain my point of view, not ours.  And there are often differences. Stark differences.

Enjoying what I have and not being disappointed by not getting what I didn't want.  Words to live by.  

This is a variation on a fortune cookie I once got which said "The Joy of What You Have Is Lost By Wanting More."  That rings so true for me.


Life will gobsmack you when you least expect it.  So stay flexible, and always bring a towel. (Obligatory Hitchhikers Guide reference). 

5) If I had to do it all over again, I would.  

No regrets.  You can't change the past.  And in this case I wouldn't if I could.  I could have made better decisions along the way, there are some situations I didn't deal with very well, or could have handled differently, but let's look at #3- the journey.  I'm very happy to be on this adventure with my wife, with my child, and with all of the other people that are involved in my life.

Looking forward to many more anniversaries!

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