Everyone said that "the first year is the hardest" but we had no idea what that meant, or how it would look for us.. how can you, really. But this first month has been interesting, and hard, and wonderful, to say the least.
I'm sort of a control freak. And now that we're sharing a space and seeing each other all the time, wow, it all sort of came to the surface. We knew from the beginning that this new chapter of our lives would be an adjustment, and we welcome it, with open arms, truly. But that doesn't mean that it's not without it's challenges just because we've been anticipating transition.
We are creating everything together now, our space, our lives. And it isn't natural for me to allow other people to contribute. It's hard for me to depend on people. My default is to do everything myself so that I know how it was done, and I know it was done to the best of my ability. But that doesn't work in a relationship, not the kind of relationship we want to cultivate anyway.
He's so patient. I literally think I married the most patient man on the planet. And he's teaching me how to be more patient, but it's hard. We're teaching each other a lot. Growing pains are normal, I suppose.
That's not to say that the past month hasn't been wonderful, either. It's been simultaneous, this stretching and molding.. It's happening right alongside of so much comfort and contentment and optimism and hope. Maybe that's why it's so hard to pinpoint and define what it's been like. Because it's been everything.
I don't think I've ever felt more loved than I have this last month or more supported.
But it's also been hard to balance all of these new roles and new responsibilities..
Meal planning, for instance. And budgeting. Prioritizing, and housecleaning.. Deciding how to spend the weekends, who will do the dishes, and what time to go to bed. The little things, I guess.
I found this quote a few months ago from Hugh Mackay, psychologist, social researcher and writer.. and I saved it because it resonated with me and changed my perspective about what it means to be "happy" vs. what it means to be "whole". And I want to experience it all.. isn't that a more worthy endeavor? To be real and honest, whatever the emotion, if that is what it takes to make you grow?
“I actually attack the concept of happiness. The idea that - I don’t mind people being happy - but the idea that everything we do is part of the pursuit of happiness seems to me a really dangerous idea and has led to a contemporary disease in Western society, which is fear of sadness. It’s a really odd thing that we’re now seeing people saying “write down 3 things that made you happy today before you go to sleep”, and “cheer up” and “happiness is our birthright” and so on. We’re kind of teaching our kids that happiness is the default position - it’s rubbish. Wholeness is what we ought to be striving for and part of that is sadness, disappointment, frustration, failure; all of those things which make us who we are. Happiness and victory and fulfillment are nice little things that also happen to us, but they don’t teach us much. Everyone says we grow through pain and then as soon as they experience pain they say “Quick! Move on! Cheer up!” I’d like just for a year to have a moratorium on the word “happiness” and to replace it with the word “wholeness”. Ask yourself “is this contributing to my wholeness?” and if you’re having a bad day, it is.”
— Hugh Mackay
So that's where things are. Some days are more challenging than others, sometimes we just need our space, sometime all we can do is remind each other that we're moving forward, together, and we're in this and here for each other, no matter what. And then other days I'm blown away by the realization that we get to be together for ever (I get to keep him!), and I feel so undeserving to be the recipient of the love of such a wonderful man. It's exciting, getting to daydream about all of the possible paths our lives will take, and it's so amazing to get to see his face at the end of the day.
Something I told Laura a few weeks ago on Skype, that I still believe completely:
I tell you what. I know that committing is scary and big and forever is daunting. but, the security that comes with it… the “learning how to love each other” that happens once you do that? the “we’ll work through anything” mentality? …it’s a whole new kind of swooning.
It's true. Still swooning.
This may be the hardest thing I ever do, but I have a feeling it's the best thing, too.