(We spent the weekend celebrating the wedding of two very dear friends. This was my toast to the bride and groom.)
Like Ginny – and totally unlike Tristan – I am a teacher. I taught Grade 6 for a number of years and, one year, had a boy in my class named Kieren. He was a small little dude with red hair, freckles, dimples, braces… the works. An adorable cartoon character of a little boy. One day, Kieren declared to the entire class that I was the most courageous person he had ever met. His rationale was that I was almost 30 years old, and not even married. He went on to say that I was incredibly brave because I got up every day and went to work with a smile on my face. He marvelled that I was, he guessed, just happy to be alive.
(10 years old. What a kid.)
At the time, I was understandably speechless. If I could find Kieren today, however, I would love to tell him that, in fact, he’s got it all wrong. I’d like to inform him that being single is actually pretty easy. There’s very little required in the way of communication or compromise. And more importantly, I think, there’s very little risk. Being single is safe.
To find and fall in love with someone who has the potential to make you happy, happier than you can even make yourself, well now, that’s terrifying. To surrender the monopoly of control that you have over your heart (your heart!) I’d say is a very risky manoeuvre. But we do it. We do it all the time because we know that there is one way to curb or quell that fear, to mitigate those risks, and that’s through trust. Commitment.
Ginny and Tristan have been together for 8 years now and, in that time, have had many adventures and created memories that span the globe. We’ve all been there with them at one point or another to share in those good times and see them at their best, at their most happy. But they aren’t entering into this thing blissfully ignorant. They know the fear. They’ve tasted it a few times. And yet, instead of quitting, instead of running for cover behind a shield of independence like so many of us do, they chose to face it, to lean into it. Together. Forever.
And I think that is fucking ballsy.
So, please, join me in toasting two of the most courageous people that I have ever met. To Mr and Mrs Steeves-Blair-Hicks!