Exactly 10 years ago today, on October 5, 2006, I met the girl who I would start dating 4 months later, and marry within 2 years. In a crowded building called The Factory in Franklin, Tennessee, I saw who I thought was a beautiful Puerto Rican or maybe even half-Korean girl.
I was wrong in both my assumptions on her ethnicity, but as I introduced myself to her in a line of hundreds waiting to get into the main room where an episode of CMT’s Crossroads was soon to be filmed, I knew right away that this fellow “extra” for the audience of that episode was A) out of my league and B) someone very intriguing and special.
Now flash-forward to this past August. It was close to midnight in the parking lot of the movie theatre in Spring Hill, Tennessee after having just seen the premiere of Suicide Squad. My friend Jarred and I were laughing as we reminisced about the “10 years-ago” versions of ourselves; back when we lived in a house together along with other bachelors. During that time frame is when we happened to meet and begin dating our future wives.
He then said something that has stuck with me: “We married the right girls.”
It’s weird to think that the more naïve, less mature version of you is responsible for making one of the most serious (and permanent) decisions of your entire life; a decision that will not only affect other people’s lives but also create new life.
I feel like only now do I know enough about life to begin to make a decision like that. But it doesn’t work that way. Instead, it’s the opposite:
The reason I am now the mature and experienced person I am now is because of the girl I married 8 years ago.
It turns out, the 25 year-old versions of ourselves knew enough of what they were doing when met nearly 10 years ago, fell in love, and got married.
By “doing life” together for nearly a decade now, we have by default taught ourselves and each other what emotional intelligence is all about; making daily conscious decisions to choose to be victorious, not allow ourselves to be victims.
I see emotional intelligence as the inside-out version of what love is. By choosing to love your spouse, you choose to victorious instead of allowing yourself to become a victim.
A decade ago she and I were 25 year-old kids trying to figure out life. Now were are 35 year-old adults with two beautiful children. For the most part, we’re settled down and along for the ride.
I don’t know which surprises and adventures are ahead, but I do know this: She’s the one I want to spend the rest of my future with.
Victors versus Victims
Victor: compliments others
Victim: criticizes others
Victor: embraces change
Victim: fears change
Victor: forgives others
Victim: holds grudges
Victor: always learning
Victim: thinks they know everything
Victor: accepts responsibility for their failures
Victim: blames others for their failures
Victor: has a sense of gratitude
Victim: has a sense of entitlement
Victor: sets goals and develops plans
Victim: never sets goals