The Best Gift

My wife Jill made this for me. It's the best gift I've ever received.

While on the surface this is an obviously adorable and thoughtful gift, Jill has no idea the layers of meaning I've attached to it.

The three places represented in the heart are not simply places we've both lived and shared part of our lives together, but they are three places that housed very distinct phases of my life. 

I look at this and see me as a whole, but also see the very clear divides between who I've been and the life I've lived in each of these places. I see that who am I is not who I always was.

Another reason this is so significant has to do with the nature of having a relationship with me. I generally make friends quick, but I'm not easy to get to know on a deeper level. I have a very wide group of people I consider friends - people I'd gladly get a drink with, etc. But my inner circle is very small (short joke, Corey). I've gotten better at this over the years, but it's safe to say I don't really form a whole lot of "deep" relationships. This picture serves as a reminder of the deepest one I'll ever have, and that it will not be held down by any boundaries.

This applies to people but it also applies to places. I've spent most of my life feeling like I should be somewhere else, only to get there and feel it again. It could be angst. It could be wanderlust. It could just be how I am.

That started to shift in the past few years. Colorado became a place I called home. I beamed with pride, love and gratefulness for the place I woke up everyday. That only strengthened when I had a person I loved to wake up with every day. My current team in Austin, Texas knows how big of a struggle it actually was for me to leave Colorado, and that it's still a struggle I deal with daily.

Yet, this picture she gave me suddenly made it okay for me to be somewhere else. And to continue to go. Because I get to go with her.