I’ve neglected you, my friends. Of late my life has consisted of nothing but yoga both self-practice and teaching (of course), p90x, and The Contest.
Ah, The Contest. For those of you who haven’t been following my daily (albeit, annoying) status updates on Facebook, allow me to catch you up. In the last few weeks our lives have been consumed by an online contest to win our “dream wedding” (or at least a $100,000 dream, if one were able to actually put a dollar value on dreams). So let me take you back to how this all began…
After leaving glorious Vancouver, where I was living earlier this year before deciding to rejoin A on tour, I found myself in Montreal, wondering what to do with my time and how to organize my new life. Granted I’ve been on tour for over five years now, but this is a new tour, new people, (some) new cities… all in all, a new life. I went from working each day at a trendy yoga/running clothing company and teaching both in the store and privately AND still training to run the marathon… to “Well, here I am. A housewife. In a city where I know no one, on a tour where I know…8? people. This should be interesting.”
But I’m all about adjustment. Like I’ve said before, I’m a Sagittarius in every sense of the word which basically means I’m incredibly RESTLESS. Can’t stay in the same place for too long or every fiber of my being begins to itch with boredom. So there I was, in Montreal. A city that by no means would leave one bored, but when A got up to go to work everyday, and my practice was done, and my chores completed, I began a deep and meaningful relationship with… TLC. Yes, TLC. The Learning Channel. The home of reality gems such as “Kate Plus 8″, “What Not to Wear” and “Toddlers in Tiaras”. I know… completely rotten. But I suppose it was better than “16 and Pregnant”, no? Anyway, at the core of this relationship was a little show known as “Say Yes to the Dress”. A reality show all about the Kleinfeld Bridal Salon in New York City and their customers…. brides-to-be. Now let me tell you right off the bat, I despise shopping. Honestly. I’m one of those girls that has a list, checks it off as I go and then needs to get the hell out of there before the flourescent lights (which have the lovely ability to highlight each inch of hard-earned cellulite on my thighs) and Top 40 music eats away at my soul. (Shopping on vacation is a whole other story…but I digress). However, I could watch these women shop for wedding gowns for hours. Literally, hours. So one day there was an episode on and the bride they were following had won a contest on the radio which awarded her a “dream wedding” with rings and catering and all that other ridiculously expensive stuff included. I say “stuff” because a lot more than I ever thought goes into planning a wedding. Which is one of the many reasons The Wedding itself kinda fell to the bottom of our list of things we’d like to do with our money in the next few years. So this particular bride made me think “Wow, that’s genius. A contest. What a shame there isn’t something like that for same-sex couples…wait a minute….” So I turned to my trusty friend, Google, and typed “same-sex wedding contest” into the magical little box. Google thought for a few seconds and then replied to me, “freedom2wed”. And just like that, everything changed.
Freedom2Wed is a group of top wedding vendors in Washington DC who decided to celebrate the recent legalization of same-sex marriage in the District of Columbia by organizing a contest, awarding one couple with a “dream wedding” valued at $100,000 (Say that three times fast!). All they required you to do to enter was fill out a form telling the story of how your couple got together, why you want the wedding, etc. etc. And then attach a picture. “Writing? This is something I can sink my teeth into.”
So I began pattering away at the keys, telling the story of how A and I found each other, and what a day in the life of two circus nomads is like. I’ve told and retold the story so many times. It’s pretty cute, if I do say so myself, and I’ve even considered turning into a screenplay someday. Perhaps I’ll share it with you at one point… but that’s for another day.
So for about an hour I pounded away at the keyboard, smiling as I recalled the early days of our relationship, and silently thanking myself that some of those days have passed. As a couple, like wine, we’ve definitely gotten sweeter as we’ve aged. After finishing another day at the circus, A walked through the apartment door (always with a smile) and asked what I was writing.
“Baby, I’m going to win us a wedding.”
She is a master at humoring me. I truly believe that is one of the reasons we work so well. “Oh. Okay! And how exactly are you going to do that?”
So I explained the contest to her and together we picked out a photo for our submission and with a final click!, we sent our entry on its way. Out into the universe… possibly never to return. But for the rest of the evening I fed off the high of retelling our story. Such warm, yummy, fresh from the oven chocolate chip cookie type memories. Like every single moment in my life up until that point led me directly to her.
And then, as it does, life went on. We transferred to Quebec City and began to make a new home, as we do… every. six. weeks. Then, out of nowhere, Fate decided to send me an email. And this is what Fate said:
“Hi Girl, I’m not sure how else to get in contact with you but I wanted to let you know that your couple has been selected as one of the finalists in the freedom2wed contest to win a dream wedding. Please contact me as soon as possible so you can participate.”
Sidebar: One of the most valuable elements that yoga has brought into my life is the relationship I’ve developed with my physical body. My teacher told me that yoga is the ability to diagnose your own sensations. Well, the “sensations” I had at that particular moment were definitely something to be observed.
My hands began to shake uncontrollably. My chest felt as though Thumper himself had taken up residency there. It was one of those feelings that before had only been brought on moments prior to stepping on stage, or those seconds at the top of the hill on my favorite roller-coaster right before the plummet to the earth below. It. Was. Awesome.
So I made the necessary phone call, found out the details of what we were required to do next, and discovered that we had three days, that’s three days to put together a video explaining to all the world why they should vote for us to win this once in a lifetime event. Of course this came at one of the most critical times of A’s working schedule. Setting up the circus. Bringing each show to life is something every single employee takes part in, hard-hats, steal-toed boots and all. And long days. The first day she had off would have to be the day we memorized, recorded, edited and submitted our video. With the help of another circus comrade known to you as Technology Guy-Extraordinaire, we did all that was required and submitted our video at 1:30AM, the day of the deadline. And then… we waited.
One week later the 6 finalist’s videos were posted on the freedom2wed website and the hurricane of voting began. As did my Shameless Self-Promotion. Every avenue I could think of was jammed with emails and messages asking people to support us in this contest. And most importantly, to support Marriage Equality. To allow to us finally not feel like third-class citizens. Never, in all my wildest wonderment did I think the reaction would snowball into what it has.
We have been flooded with messages of support, pride, love. Friends from past lifetimes have reached out to us, showing signs of assistance. People from all corners of the globe have rallied around us to help us win this contest. And instantly, it stopped being about The Contest. The very first night the voting was open, I lied awake, feet twitching with anxiety into the early hours of the morning. But after that initial day of worry all of that fell to the wayside. I never felt the effects of Six Degrees of Separation as I do right now.
During my teacher training, one of my teachers would always say “I am you, you are me, we are One.” He would mesmerize us with the idea that the very air we were currently breathing had traveled thousands of miles across the jungle, the oceans the desert to nourish our bodies. The prana (life force) we were sipping had also breathed life into the trees, the animals, and friends on the other side of the globe.
What a beautiful sentiment. And now, I actually get to experience that to the utmost degree. The web of people we have around us from Chile to Australia, Germany to Vegas, Singapore to good old Youngstown, Ohio is overwhelming. And it is the most evident example that we are all connected. It’s remarkable. And not only is it logistically impressive, it reminds me that no matter what, I am never alone. Which in turn means you are never alone.
We still have eight weeks left to go before they announce the winner. However, like I mentioned before, it’s not about The Contest anymore. When I went into this I simply thought that it was about love. The love A and I have for each other. The rights we should have to celebrate that love freely. I was both right and wrong. It’s no longer just about the love we have for each other, but the intense love we have from our community. You. The love you have for us. And we can only hope as this comes to fruition that you know the love and pure gratitude we have for you.
So as the journey continues, I’ll document it here. Another avenue of Shameless Self-Promotion, I suppose. And in one more plea for support I ask you, my friends and readers to share the link below with every single person you love. And help me marry my best friend. In the country that prides itself on the promotion of freedom.
Shameless Self-Promotion: TBD
“And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.”