Thursday, June 9, 2016

8 years married


8 years.

8 years of figuring out what to eat for dinner.
8 years of leaving all the cabinets and doors open.
8 years of rushing at the last minute to put the trash out for the garbage truck.
8 years of going to bed at different times.
8 years of binge-watching sci-fi tv, but also: the darling buds of may, arrested development, parks&rec, and parenthood.
8 years of "what was your favorite part" after everything we do.
8 years of mexican food and then bemoaning the lack of tacos in georgia.
8 years of constantly renewed attempts to work out.
8 years of a cabinet full of deodorant and no cologne.
8 years of the same (mostly unused) perfume.
8 years of photo storage.
8 years of playing the who will wash the dishes game (i've officially lost...or won? depending on how you look at it?).
8 years of me telling him to turn the music down.
8 years of him not being able to hear me. (there's a correlation in there, i'm sure of it.;)
8 years of birthday, anniversary, and more recently, mother's day and father's day, expectations.
8 years of sharing an umbrella. and comb. and shampoo. and laundry hamper.
8 years of bad haircuts, of accompanying each other to family functions, of job successes and frustrations, of abandoned projects, of bins of useless old cell phones.
8 years of daydreams and shared dreams.
8 years of holidays that still don't add up to traditions.
8 years of toting around my second bedroom of books.
8 years of mayo versus no mayo.
8 years of adam scott sightings.
8 years of kissing goodbye with chapped morning lips.

these are not the things i dreamed of, before i married j at the tender age of 25. well, not entirely.
i did dream of someone to hold my umbrella for me. but i think that's where my understanding of marriage stopped. i'm guessing that i'm not alone, and that many people, when they get married, are shocked to discover that the rom-com marriages they signed up for do not, in reality, exist. at least, i'm hoping i'm not alone. ;)

it is our tradition (although i'm not sure j realizes this;) to decide on our anniversary every year whether we will continue to make a go of it. whether we will renew our "contract" for another year. ha! that's a joke, of course...mostly. ;) but you'll be so glad to know that we have indeed decided to embark on this ninth year of marriage. at times it has felt like we've been coming out of valley upon valley for the last 8 years of marriage, but every year our understandings of ourselves, each other, and our marriage, seems to mature a little bit more, and suddenly here we are, 8 years in!

after these (really very few) years of marriage (and many many valleys;), i have come to believe that like all the other worthwhile things in human life, marriage is hard but worth it. it doesn't always feel like it, to be sure. there have been many moments in the past where it did not feel worth it, and i wanted to throw in the towel and run away. i really, really did. and, i'm sure there will be moments in the future where i feel the same way.

slowly i have been learning that what makes marriage special and worth it are not the things i imagined before i was married. it is not the flowers on valentine's day, or the perfect beach vacations, or the into the wee-hours of the morning heart-to-heart talks, or the always knowing what the other needs, or the leisurely weekend brunches that make marriage special. although, yes, those can be wonderful perks when and if they come, they are not, ultimately, what makes it all worth it.

it is worth it to love. to fail in love. to look for love. to learn to love. to watch love grow.
it is worth it to be willing to join your life to someone who is often a relative stranger in the beginning, to build a life with that person who perhaps you eventually realize you can't love like you thought you could, to accept the pain of compromise on behalf of this world you've built, to at times set aside your own desires, expectations, and feelings to take care of someone else's, to create a family whose needs supersede your own, and to be fulfilled in what you give, not in what is given.

i don't pretend to know the secrets of marriage. and the extent to which my love falls short of the task of marriage is tragic. and yet. i do believe marriage is worth it. i do believe it is special. and i do believe i am learning. so despite only just barely figuring out that marriage is not what i thought it was, here is something worth writing about: i'm honestly excited to spend the next however many years we have discovering all the things that make marriage worth it.


happy 8 years, mr. loverboy! thank you for loving me through all of it. <3

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