Jake Bailey, I love you with an unwavering sureness, natural and inevitable, profoundly rooted, clean and uncomplicated. You are the one thing I am most sure of in life. You are the person I adore more than any other, the one I want to share the rest of my days with. Jake Bailey, you are my greatest adventure.
I know this is true for more reasons than I can say but I am going to start with one: your passion for diving into icy waters. At first it seemed like a masochistic quirk. But I now realize it is actually a philosophy by which you live your life and reflects many of the reasons I love you more than any other.
Your passion for diving into ice waters demonstrates your intractable thirst for adventure, regardless of how ridiculous the adventure sounds. It is symbolic of your approach to challenges. You find an actionable solution and then you dive in with unwavering footing no matter how cold that water is. Your enjoyment of icy water reflects the way you are able to find the good in everything. While most people would complain, you presume the water will be refreshing, you find a way to play with it, and once you’re in, you only notice how beautiful it is around you.
I also want to spend my life with you because you inspire me. Your curiosity drives you to unceasingly read, explore, and engage with the world and from your learnings, you constantly teach me new things. I am inspired when I catch you hunkered down at your desk scribbling away in your Field Notes as an intentional means of processing life and setting goals for yourself. I love when we spend the evening cooking and sipping wine, the entire time philosophizing about society, recalling memories, and dreaming together because I leave the conversation feeling hopeful. Your child-like playfulness gets me every time and brings out my most wholehearted laughter, even if it is the 100th stupid “Your Face!” joke or an unexpected tackle that drops me to my knees. Finally, the way you have made your siblings your best friends inspires me to cherish and prioritize family.
It’s been said that “if you meet somebody and your heart pounds, your hands shake, your knees go weak, that’s not the one. When you meet your ‘soul mate’ you’ll feel calm. No anxiety, no agitation.” From the start, I have felt this way about you. You are my natural companion and today, just like a when you proposed to me in Glacier and even a year before that in 2014 when we talked about our future together for the first time on Marin Headlands’ cliffs, it only gives me peace to think about spending the rest of my life with you. No anxiety. No hesitation.
Today and every day from this day forward I choose to love you with all of my being, with a love that is open and flexible to changes and growth. I commit to loving the whole you just as you are and just as you will become, without any conditions. Together with you I vow to maintain a sacred intimacy where we can both come just as we are, no composed mask or filter needed, to be vulnerable and exposed, and know we are unconditionally safe and loved. From this foundation of love we can both grow to be more rooted and whole versions of ourselves.
Jake Bailey, today I form with you the Boyce Bailey team and commit to being co-captains with you. I commit my whole self to this team, prioritizing the “us” over the “me”. I root my commitment in the belief that our thinking and our skills together are better and stronger than we could ever be as individual players and that there is nothing we cannot handle if we approach it together with an open, honest, and active determination. I will respect you and commit to engage with you as an equal in this marriage knowing that what we both bring to the table is invaluable for our team’s success.
I promise above all else to live in truth with you, to let you in, to continually reveal my heart to you as I grow and change, to take you with me on my journey so that there will always be the opportunity to grow together. Likewise, I vow to join you on your journey, wherever it takes you, as long as you let me. I joyously will never stop seeking to understand you more intimately than I do anyone else on this planet. I vow to never stop exploring with you, because today and everyday forward I choose you, Jake Bailey, to be my lifelong adventure buddy.