200 days until I get married

200 days.

It almost doesn’t seem real. Yet in about 28 and a half weeks, Alex and I will become wife and husband.

A year ago, I was stupidly busy. (Not that I’m not now, but still…) I was doing a lot of things that really lent no credence to the notion that one day, I would be standing in front of someone official, pronouncing my betrothal to poor, unsuspecting soul. A year ago, things were dramatically different.

Well, except that I’m even busier than I’ve been in years. And that I’m engaged.

I think back to when I was a teenager, listening to the stories as my friends went on dates, went out and broke up with boyfriends/girlfriends, and lamented the fact that there wasn’t anyone out there for me. All my friends kept telling me was: “It’ll happen when you least expect it” and “When it’s the right person, you’ll know”.

In a superficial way, it’s like that scene in “The Matrix” when Neo talks to the Oracle for the first time. She says that being The One is like being in love: you know it balls to bones. (The Oracle is oddly crude with her choices of words.) The sign behind Neo (which she refers him to) reads “Temet Nosce” — “Know Thyself”.

The first time I saw “The Matrix”, I had no idea what the hell that meant. I mean, I understood the definition, but I really didn’t know what it was to know oneself. Does anyone truly know oneself? They say you can meditate on such things and discover an inner oneness with life and the world, and come to know who and what you are. But let’s be honest — how many people really do that? I take yoga, and the best zen I get is in savasana after a good yoga class. No matter how many paschimottanasanas Lori puts us through (even squashing me flat to the ground — which I come pretty darn close to doing), there’s no sudden burst of: “Holy crap! So that’s what I am!”

And yes, despite all the spiritual soul searching I’ve suffered, nothing has even come remotely close to the epiphany of knowing that I not only love Alex with every quark of my being, but that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. That’s my forward-looking view; if I turn around and see how I got to this point, suddenly I find myself looking in a mirror at what I’ve done, and what I know.

Seeing myself. Knowing myself.

It’s kinda creepy, actually. The insight that comes around as the simple result of knowing that I am so comfortable with someone that the move to give up my former permanently imposed bachelorhood for marriage as being completely natural is like having wandered around for years with smudges on my sunglasses and not noticing, only to take them off and see a world free of distortion and filtering. I see myself as I am, as I was, and as I will be. The potential is there. The wisdom (taken for what its worth) is there. The confidence, the foresight, and the direction are all there.

I wish my job were this clear!

All of this I have to owe to Alex. She’s the one who realized that something was there early on. She saw something I had missed, and didn’t see until a couple of months later. In mid-July of last year, things were good. By early September, they were comfortable, like a favourite shirt. By late October, it was like we’d been together for years, not the mere months we’d experienced. And at the beginning of this year, there was no way we were going to let each other go.

200 days.

You could call it the last hurrah before I’m locked down, but I won’t. It’s time that seems like forever right now. Like a kid who reads “Dec 1” on a calendar. Almost there, but still so far away.

I know myself. And I’m excited for the next great chapter of my life.