When I started out writing these birthday tributes to Sarah two years ago, I thought I should never make these posts about me. Sheesh. Only my third post in and I'm failing at that. But give me a break: if I'm going to be writing these for the next seventy years or so I can't tie myself up with rules. So this post is about all the ways my life would be different if I'd never gotten together with Sarah.
I wouldn't have gone to University -- After finishing high school, I entered my wilderness years where I worked a few crap jobs and made a few half-hearted, half-assed attempts at 'acting.' After this went on for way too long, it was Sarah who gently brought up the idea of trying something else. Going to school, studying writing. University brought new friends, and closer ties to some older friends. It taught me responsibility and independence. If I hadn't gone to school...
I'd probably have a terrible job -- While writing itself didn't become a career, writing was among a suite of abilities I developed that allowed me get a very decent job, where I'm still working ten years later. If not for Sarah, I probably would have kept on with the 'acting'. Career highlights would have included Bank Teller in Mutant X and Cashier in Zoey Busiek: Wild Card.
I wouldn't have any money -- I make okay money from my job now, but more than that, Sarah taught me impulse control. In the years before we were married, I bought 82 coffees and 12 DVDs a week, ate Quiznos two of every three meals, paid full price for every piece of clothing, and racked up a zillion dollars in ATM fees. Indeed it was a decadent, awesome lifestyle, but I would been broke-ass-broke for the better part of my life if not for her.
I wouldn't have traveled anywhere - I can't count the places we've been together over the years (literally, I cannot count them because there have been so many destinations I've forgotten at least half). This is all because of Sarah. Maybe saying I wouldn't have traveled anywhere is bit of an exaggeration, but I know my travel ambitions pre-Sarah. I might have gone on a Vegas trip without her (with twelve guys in one room in some off-strip rathole), and I probably one day would have built up to my Trip of a Lifetime -- to London. Pre-Sarah, I couldn't imagine any destination more exotic than London, so I would have gone there for sure. Around the time I turned sixty.
I'd be dating a girl who was very aimless or terminally unhappy - You'd think I'd dated a lot of girls like Sarah before I'd dated Sarah. (Okay, "you'd think I'd dated a lot of girls" is probably not something you'd ever thought, but let's pretend.) Anyhow, most of the girls I dated before weren't much like Sarah at all. The common theme: they were aimless, or unhappy, or both. And having kept tabs on them ever since (lazy, non-stalkery Facebook tabs), they don't seem to have changed much some fifteen years later. There was a bad dating trend before Sarah, and it was likely to have continued if she hadn't come around and shook things up.
There are a dozen other ways my life would have been different without Sarah, and maybe we'll visit those some other year. Suffice to say, I cannot imagine what my life would be like without her, and I wouldn't want to. She's made everything in my life better. She's made me better.