It’s 10pm. My body is tired; exhausted and satisfied. Today we BBQ’d with Lidiya’s classmates, played ultimate frisbee and cycled to the coast to swim and watch the sun go down. In the middle of the living room table, Jack Johnson is playing through my iPhone & X-mini sound system. Lidiya sits across the table from me, studying economics, we live in Esbjerg, Denmark and I’m smiling. I feel the need to take stock of the all the experiences, particularly over the last four or five months, that have brought me to this moment.
The last time I wrote here was the end of February, on a flight back from South Africa. Since then, a lot has happened. I spent March working hard, as I tend to do when Lidiya is away. She was in Bulgaria at that time, and at the end of March she joined me in Ireland. In South Africa we talked about the coming year, and how we’d spend it, the main question was whether to commit to living together and finding a way to do that no matter what, or to have a commuter relationship, where I travelled to see her every month or so. We decided that we could maintain our relationship with the commuting option, but that maintaining anything is a little like stagnating, and to be together in the long run we must be growing continually as a couple. So I’m very happy to say we decided to live together from then on and avoid lengthy breaks. It was a great decision. 🙂 At the end of March, we decided we would get married.
In April we started dancing bachata. We applied for our marriage notice 16th of that month and set August 21st as the big day. At the end of April, I travelled to London, spent some great time with an amazing friend, Greg, and took part in a weekend-long stock trading workshop.
Looking back through my diary, for most of this year, entries revolve around physical training, healthy eating, goal revision and working on the direction of my business. I also recorded things I did day to day and asked reflective questions, like ‘what 20% of what I do is causing 80% of the negativity in my life’ and ‘what 20% of what I do is causing 80% of the happiness in my life’; inspired by Tim Ferris’ application of the Pareto principle in The Four Hour Work Week.
In May and June, Lidiya and I danced some more, adding in some salsa lessons. Business continued to grow and I got to work on some very cool projects with Hypertiny.
In July, I made a big decision to invest in the Rich Dad Coaching program, after being very influenced by the book, Rich Dad Poor Dad, by Robert Kiyosaki. Although at the worst of times I find I can push myself to do what I have to do, I noticed a lack of sharpness in my motivation that seemed to come from uncertainty in where I should put my focus; I was building my business, designing for Hypertiny, learning to trade stocks and was now overwhelmed with information about real estate investment and potential business opportunities, as well as perhaps investing in other educational courses or audio programs. The uncertainty was all around the work and financial side of my life, every thing else was and is pretty awesome. And it’s not like work was going bad, I just felt I couldn’t keep sub-dividing my time and energy and get the results I wanted. The coaching program is a year long, with help from mentors who’ve achieved what I want to achieve and in short I’m getting what I want from it.
August brought the greatest month of my life to date; I married Lidiya. 🙂 And our wedding couldn’t have gone more perfectly. We held our own ceremony in Bulgaria, at the beautiful Trinity Rocks Farm (Cliff thanks so much again. 🙂 ) and hired a team building crew, Club Edelweiss, to organise activities for our guests. They arranged several different games that took place on the river; archery; building a human pyramid; zip lining across (and into) the river; and dressing up and choreographing a crazy dance. Everyone said they had an amazing time, and for many it was the first time they’d tried anything like it.
In the evening, we arranged for local gypsies to collect us from the campsite by horse and cart. Six carts arrived and took all of our guests to the foot of Trinity Rocks, the crag.
We then made our guests climb for about 20 minutes in the evening heat to a large cavern in the side of the cliff face, which was decked out beautifully, with much help from our friends and family, ready for our ceremony.
We had entrusted the best part of our ceremony to a great friend of ours Tisho, and with the help of Cliff, Didi and Tanya, they surprised us with the most beautiful and personal wedding we could have imagined (actually it was beyond our imagination I feel). Tisho wrote vows for us both, promising each never to miss our early morning meditation sessions and to bring the right climbing gear when we’re about to undertake a long multi-pitch route to mention only a few things. Then we were presented with a platter and instructed to feed each other peach, for fertility, grapes, for the many kids we’ll have, and plums, for the bitter and sweet moments throughout our relationship.
Then we washed them down with flutes of orange juice. We were given rings to exchange – our friends knew we were exchanging something else – that were baby blue and pink. We exchanged our own gifts then, necklaces we had both made, neither of us knew anything about the other.
Then, I got to kiss the bride.
Photos were take against the backdrop of the cliff face on the opposite side of the valley, and against the cavern we were in, the walls of which were speckled with tea lights our friends had arranged; they turned into stars as it grew dark while we descended the mountain. Before we went though, Cliff, a very dear friend, gave shared some of the kindest words anyone has spoken about me, or us, in my life. He’s an incredible person and a special friend.
We feasted on dishes based on mung beans, potatoes, buckwheat, freshly grilled mackerel, and a host of different salads. Lidiya’s parents brought so much of their own home-grown organic produce and helped us so much that week. Petya, my new sister-in-law 🙂 made the coolest napkin holders.
Our friend Vicho, at incredibly short notice, baked our wedding cake, carrot cake, which was outstanding. Fireworks surprised everyone, but one; we formed temporary new constellations by filling the sky with chinese lanterns; my brother and sister DJ’d and we talked and danced the night away.
The day was most special because of the people who were there. My mom, brother, sister and three friends travelled all the way from Ireland. So many good friends from Bulgaria came. Another friend made the journey from Belgium especially for us… To have so many friends and family in the same place was truly unique and I’m so happy we appreciated while it was happening, that there will not be many moments in our life time when we have the opportunity to be surrounded by so many people we care about so much. We decided to try though, by celebrating our anniversaries with friends and organising something cool and different each, or at least most, years.
Also, without the help of our friends in particularly Cliff, Didi, Tanya and Tisho, who were running about, more than a week before we arrived, preparing things especially for us, and without the help of Club Edelweiss, and the local gypsies, and every person, all our friends and family, who came to celebrate with us… we couldn’t have had the most perfect wedding anyone could ever imagine. 🙂 Thank you all so so much.
And the celebration continued till just over a week later. The day after the ceremony, Cliff took the remaining guests rappelling down the waterfall in Hotnitsa, even my mom went down… I’m so proud and impressed. We did some rock climbing the day after that, with my brother and Lidiya’s family, and Lidiya and I travelled the Black Sea before returning to Ireland.
On to the Black Sea…
We were legally married in Killarney registry office, August 21st 2012, and celebrated a fantastic day there with my best friend, and best man, Steven, and my sister, Marisa.
On Friday, August 24th, we arranged a dinner in the Happy Pear, Greystones, for friends and family who couldn’t make the Bulgarian trip. Family travelled all the way up from Galway, which meant so much to me. A very special friend, Elena, journeyed all the way from Berlin to be with us. The Happy Pear usually finish up for the evening at 6pm, but re-opened to cater especially for us. I can’t speak highly enough of the restaurant, they’re unique in Dublin (or Wicklow perhaps) you can see why they’re so amazing on their website, but in short; locally grown, vegan, vegetarian, organic and super tasty food made with lots of love by awesome people. Janet in particular co-ordinated the evening and somehow read our minds, predicting every step of the way, just how we wanted things to run. I can’t thank or recommend them enough. After dinner, we toasted with wheat grass shots and my best friend Steven gave possibly the most moving speech I’ve ever heard. 🙂
Update: Added photo September 16th
And that marked the end of our extended wedding celebration. I intended for this post to cover our move to Denmark, but that definitely deserves it’s own space, as does this one.
On the day of our wedding, Saturday, August 11th, Lidiya never looked so beautiful, but somehow she has managed to go on becoming more beautiful everyday since, it’s amazing. I remind myself daily that I’m the most fortunate person in the world for getting to share my life with her.