My life began to turn dramatically when I met the love of my life, Emily. Her cheerful attitude, musically inspirational insight and detail-oriented approach revolutionized my perspective. Her brilliant understanding of music illustrated a depth of human nature I had never known. She appreciated every intricate note and intonation in music and expressed such joy through her flute. She understood the complexity of the world I enjoyed, but she also taught me to appreciate the simple things in life. I soon learned even the simple things were not very simple at all.
Before I knew Emily, I was an aspiring historian. Teaching was a dream, but I did not have the love for teaching like the passion I had for history. I developed a great love of learning and analyzing the deeply complex sociocultural and religious contexts of Europe which sparked fantastic religious figures such as Ignatius of Antioch, Caesarius of Arles, and Christiana of Markyate. These figures greatly increased my understanding of the rich history of medieval Europe. Even as I continued my rich education in history, I was stuck in the past, rather than living in the present.
I enjoyed nothing other than complex strategy games. Chess, Stratego, Axis and Allies, Settlers of Catan, Risk, and Dominion were among my favorites. Philosophy, religion, and ethics were among some of my favorite discussion topics. While these games were enjoyable (I still love them today) I paid little attention to the beauty of simplicity. Emily, who I would consider a perfect gift from above, would teach me to enjoy these things.
As I further expanded my historical understanding, I dabbled in both studio art and art history. While not being a stellar artist initially, I developed a taste for video editing (a skill I had begun to learn in high school) and these video skills rounded my experience as I pursued the deeper historical study. By understand art’s decisive role in historical developments, I further understood the importance of culture as a historical force.
When I met Emily, she challenged me to begin living deeply, taking the moments of life and enjoying simple pleasures such as a long walk, a bike ride in the afternoon, or a simple laugh. Her insight motivated me to make dramatic changes in my approach to historical study, but even after we met, I still strived to become a historian and further conducting deep studies on ancient and medieval religious history. During this second phase of my disciplinary growth, my study revolved around St. Basil of Caesarea and the development of Christian doctrine in the context of shifting European cultures. Emily drew me to focus on the intricate details in my writing rather than limiting myself only to studying the ‘big picture.’
As we dated we engaged in adventurous winter hikes and explored cities spontaneously. These adventures broadened my horizon. As we visited parks, she played her whistle, and her music resounded with the natural world.
Short after graduating from Roberts Wesleyan College in 2016 and completed my history degree (I changed my art major to a minor) We got married on June 4th, 2017. Together we keep learning. One of the things I learned in my life with Emily is that rather than just study history, I wanted to teach it.
Soon, In may 2019, I will graduate from SUNY Brockport with my masters in Social Studies Education. Where life leads I am not sure, but I know we will thrive by living deeply in a close walk with the Lord.