Saturday, October 24, 2009

True Wealth

This morning I woke up early, brewed some coffee and made breakfast for Madelene. She works on Saturdays, which are her high-intense sale days. I always feel bad she has to go in on Saturdays, so I am always up when she is, trying to make her feel at ease before she rushes into the world of rude rich people and nasty customers complaining about their $100k car. She has a lot of pressures at work, but finally, she is at a place that respects her time and pays her what she deserves as a hardworking woman.

She sometimes hides her stress from me when she comes home at night. Her reasoning: because she doesn’t want to bring work home. But if she can’t vent when she’s home, then where can she vent? Her stories about her line of work is interesting because everyone buys or leases cars every so often, and they like to hear the ins and outs of a car dealership. I’m always trying to make our home a place of peace; a place where she can walk through the door, see the fire roaring, warm up and be handed a cocktail before her dinner is served. During the summer, we sometimes eat dinner out on our deck with candles and enjoy the beautiful scenery before we retire for bed. She needs that little slice of serenity, because I know when she returns onto that showroom floor, it’s going to be a different story.  

After working 8-12 hr shifts at high paced and demanding corporations, I decided to do freelance work back in 2003. I was on disability for quite sometime because of my panic attacks and depression. I couldn’t cope anymore. Madelene helped me so much through this terrible time in my life. I started doing things like eBaying and working part time jobs bartending, which were all fun at times, but I needed more. I wanted something for “me”, but I didn’t want the turbulence of being stuck in a cubicle feeling strangled of all my strength and stifled of my creativity. There had to be more to life than just sitting there, waiting for it to be 5 o’clock, and sometimes, 8 o’clock. I wished my life away. I kept a journal which eventually turned into my book. I kept writing, and writing, and then, writing some more. It took over five years to finally make any real money out of writing. The book sold somewhat, but it was more like trickles here and there. I didn’t write the book for money though - I wrote it to get my heartfelt words out there in order to help people who were struggling with what I had gone through. When it finally paid off, not only in the monetary sense, I felt a sense of satisfaction with my life. It was then it dawned on me: I didn’t need to be in a cubical to make a life for myself, as well as for my partner. I didn’t need to be in the middle of a herd of sheep.

I’m finally doing things that my heart is in sync with. Madelene asks me all the time, “Why do you get up so early on Saturdays with me?” I get up with her every single morning just so she can feel at peace in her own home and have some time to just sit, have her coffee and do absolutely nothing. I also get up with her because I love talking with my wife. I love our morning conversations over coffee. Sometimes, I have to literally tell her to get up and get dressed because she left herself with only ten minutes to primp. Sometimes, our two hour conversations feel as though it were only ten minutes. Sunday mornings, when the both of us are off, we can sit there from 8am till 1 o’clock in the afternoon and not even realize that our morning is officially over. I love that.

They say that time flies when you’re having fun. Even our vacation went by too quickly. I hope that doesn’t happen with our lives though. I hope, just because our time together goes by too quickly because we enjoy one another so much, that our lives don’t slip by in the process. My father said to us once, “I love that you two do things for one another and especially that you do things together.” He’s very old fashioned and believes that you should do everything with your spouse. He’s also a little hip because he’s okay with Madelene and me being together, despite the old Brooklynite Italian views upon being gay. She has not only been accepted by my family, but taken in as my family. My mom calls Madelene her daughter - not even thinking twice about explaining why there seems to be a fifth child in the mix. My sisters have welcomed Madelene so much, which I’m so thankful for. She feels like she’s apart of a whole other family, besides her own.

I guess I’m writing all of this down because I’m so incredibly thankful this morning for having Madelene in my life. After 14 years of being together, I would have thought the feelings would have faded out a touch, but they only had gotten stronger, with a deeper sense of affection. We’re not the perfect couple by no means, being that we had separated twice in the past, but during the times of separation, we had discovered that we no longer could live without one another. That’s why I believe everything happens for a reason. We don’t have a huge house with a white picket fence, a few kids and a dog running amuck, but we do have a small apartment with an overwhelming amount of love and acceptance. I couldn’t ask for more. And that, is my idea of true wealth.