While cleaning out our house to make room for baby, we found a few long lost gems. One of those is a large photo of Andy, sitting in his apartment when he was 24:
I love this picture for so many reasons. This was taken right around the time we “re-met” and were falling in love and it captures who he was in that time so perfectly. Obviously he lived in a disgusting apartment in New York. Actually it might have been THE most disgusting apartment in New York. You don’t have to look too closely to see the dirt on the walls. What you can’t see is that there were also strips of paint hanging from the ceiling that would flake onto everything all the time. His bed was a gross mattress on the floor. But there’s more to it – the skateboard he rode around the city, the stuffed dog he loved sitting in the corner name Monie who was usually wearing a tie like the bad ass bitch she was, the synthesizer in the other corner that he’d make music on until 4 am every night… it’s all so ANDY.
I had a love/hate relationship with that room – I was totally grossed out by the way he lived and I’d be lying if I didn’t say that even at 24 years old I had some teensy tiny reservations about his “prospects” or whatever you want to call it. But his charm and ambition and talent and spirit totally overrode that and I was utterly smitten. I happily slept in that bed next to him and woke up with lead paint chips in my mouth. Now I look at this photo and I LOVE that room. Because really, without that room, the dirt, the joy, the recklessness, the struggle, the fun, and the passion, Andy wouldn’t even make sense. This made him who he is today.
Now, when I look at this photo I see a dreamer, a hard worker, an amazing husband to be, a beautiful soul, and the only person on earth I’d want to be my teammate in life and parenthood. As I write this, Andy is doing his daily ritual of ironing his shirt before going to his recording studio and making music for a living. He built that. I want to go tell that 24 year old that he’s doing everything right. That he’s going to be an incredible husband. A father. A record producer. I am so proud of him that I could cry. (okay, I am crying)
Since I’m crying I might as well go full bore here: To all the dreamers out there – those of you putting one foot in front of the other and doing the scary things, the next harder thing, the thing that feels right, please keep doing what you are doing. Even if you are living in chaos and everyone around you is telling you to do the safe or easy thing. Ignore them and create your own path. I’m taking this advice to heart for myself as well: Just keep doing you, take each step as a leap of faith, and you’ll get there someday. Even if you don’t know what the “there” is, you’ll know it when you land.
Don’t worry about the other stuff…. Although maybe have the lead paint strips removed in the meantime. That can be a priority… It’s a health hazard.