31 Days, 31 People
Day 13: BEN
Ben and I were married for 14 years. We made two really awesome daughters.
It’s possible I wouldn’t be in the profession I’m in had I not known Ben. I graduated college with a BFA, emphasis metal sculpture. Ben had changed majors from electrical engineering, and audio engineering to broadcast journalism. By the time he graduated, he almost had enough credits for two degrees.
We got married pretty young by today’s standard. I was 20, he was 22. I knew Ben in high school, but really never gave dating him much of a thought. It was after he’d graduated, in the summer before my senior year in high school that we actually hit things off and I got to see that he wasn’t just an annoying weird dude. He was ridiculously, awkwardly smart and super funny and we shared a really deep love for music.
Most of our correspondence in the early stages of courting was good old fashioned snail mail. He was going to school in Reno, we wrote back and forth pretty regularly. I was not computer savvy then. We’d had a computer in our house when I was younger and I remember spending hours typing in lines of code to make lines and circles do neat animations across the screen. And I took a computer class from Mr. Barton in high school, I have little memory of what I learned, though. In my first semester of college, Ben asked if the school I was at had email. I went to the computer lab to ask, “Do you have a thing called email?” the lab assistant looked at me like I was asking if he had some aliens hanging around that I could talk to. He’d never heard of this email thing. Eventually, Ben showed me how to use Pine for email. It was 1994. And so it began. I learned a lot about computers and software and technology from Ben over the next decade-and-a-half.
He ended up transferring to UNLV, we married, finished school, we lived simply, saved and worked hard.
There’s a lot of story here. 14 years and two really amazing children worth. There are a lot of feelings and emotions I’m not sure I can even begin to scratch the surface of here in this tiny, early-morning post of gratitude. What I will say is that while I do know I made the choice I needed to make, I am very grateful for what we had when we had it. I have absolutely no regrets about getting married to Ben at age 20. I don’t believe I was too young. I believe our relationship took the course it needed to take and I’ll always believe that everything happens in our lives for reasons that may not always be clear at the time.
Maybe if we’d waited longer we’d have been different people than we were when we joined forces, maybe “we” would have never happened. I’m grateful it did. I’m grateful that Ben is a really invested father. He loves his girls, he’s active in their life.
I learned a lot from our relationship and it will always hold an enormous gravity of value in my heart. For what it’s worth, Ben, thank you.
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