• Justin Key

Behind the Title - Overjoyed

"Overjoyed" by Stevie Wonder

A cloud over the ocean during sunset.

Jet lagged to the extreme we landed in the Maldives after a wedding that felt more like a montage than a day-long celebration. Sleep was dragging us down faster than a backpack full of cement in the ocean as we checked into our room. While the wedding could not have been better, we put the majority of our eggs in the honeymoon basket. Wanting to make it a trip of a lifetime we fixed our sights on an extended stay of crystal clear water and white sand beaches on the other side of the world. What we got was an exhausting adjustment period and pouring rain.


Our sleep schedules synched to the time zone eventually and the rain let up for the second half of the trip. As we settled into vacation mode life finally slowed down for us enough to realize we were husband and wife. Finally, we were married and stranded in the ocean on a boat with nowhere to be. That's when the music started playing.


The anchor was up and the motor was off, adrift in the Indian Ocean the only sound was that of the waves lapping against the boat. At the mercy of the currents, we floated along as smooth as the silk in Stevie Wonder's voice. The sun, teasing the horizon, lingered a few extra moments before it set for the day. Watching from our cloud of marital bliss, my new wife and I melted into our honeymoon like the sun into the ocean.


"Over time, I've been building my castle of love Just for two, though you never knew you were my reason I've gone much too far for you now to say That I've got to throw my castle away Over dreams, I have picked out a perfect come true Though you never knew it was of you I've been dreaming The sandman has come from too far away For you to say come back some other day


The moment really wasn't hard to define through song as love is a pretty popular topic amongst songwriters. The trouble with this photo was finding the song that told our story. With that being said, I'll bet you anything Sarah wouldn't approve of the story in "Overjoyed" being the theme of our honeymoon as the love from the protagonist isn't reciprocated at any point in the song. But she's not the one that took the picture and decided to name it after a song so I get to tell the story our story my way.


Sarah was not an easy one to court. I fell head over heels for her in high school but that's a story for another day. It wasn't until college that our lives intersected in what would eventually lead to us this colorful moment in the Indian Ocean. It didn't take me long to fall for her all over again but she needed some convincing and for months I tried to persuade her to give me a chance.


"And though the odds seem improbable

What do they know

For in romance

All true love needs is a chance

And maybe with a chance you will find

You too like I

Overjoyed, over loved, over you"


Whether she was hesitant or just really wanted to make me work for it I eventually won her over. We graduated, moved, moved in together, moved again, got a dog, then engaged all with plenty of traveling in between. Our lives were nothing short of chaotic as we tried to find our way in life alone in a new part of the country.


Despite everything going on, there were moments when reality allowed us to come up for air. We were very fortunate to have one another as a support system upon which to pursue our dreams and the universe liked to remind us of that. In these moments the chaos would subside and gratitude would wash over us. These random occurrences brought us back to earth and provided us with the realization that together we would be alright.


In the months leading up to the wedding, those moments were extremely rare. The planning of the wedding combined with the stress of everyday life kept us rather preoccupied. It wasn't until that sunset cruise on our honeymoon that the sky cleared and the joy of being married finally sank in. After 18 months of preparation, I finally had everything I needed. The girl that had always had a piece of my heart was finally mine and as we watched the sun dip into the ocean, I could not have been happier.


And though you don't believe that they do They do come true For did my dreams Come true when I looked at you And maybe too, if you would believe You too might be Overjoyed, over loved, over me"


(she is!)