Once upon a time I had an idea of what marriage was. I had the idea forming for as long as I can remember, but it was probably when I was 22 and had been dating Hank for a year that I really started to think about it. And back then I knew exactly what it would be like. Of course, right? I felt well-aware of how it would and should go thanks to a made-up definition I'd built from other peoples’ relationships that influenced me in some way- my parents, friends who had married before me, friends who had divorced or separated, television and movies, little things from various parts of my world that kind of floated into my subconscious and made a home right there- “This is marriage.”
And so seven years ago today we tied the knot ourselves. Life goes by so quickly, and by the time we got married we’d already been together for four years. Because we were coupled from such a young age, we really learned everything together- all the small and large, easy and hard parts of becoming adults right alongside one another. It’s odd really, to look back at us. It’s like we were operating with blinders on- we were in this bubble of our own, evolving and changing through our twenties, but somehow we managed to only grow closer together through that decade, coming out on the other side very different people, but somehow still intertwined.
And although marriage is nothing like I pictured, it's even better. In a world that's spinning, spinning, spinning, this is my safe place. A slow little calm in the midst of everything, a deep breath that grounds me. It took a long time to really lean into this, to be 100% vulnerable and give every bit of myself, and this has happened only recently. That might sound odd because we’ve been together for over a decade, but there were always very small parts that I held back- tiny little walls that were erected one by one when I felt scared or lost or defeated that took hold in the back corners of my heart that Hank probably didn’t even see. What it really comes down to is that it takes bravery to allow yourself to be loved. It’s hard to peel back every single layer, even those last bits that you don’t let anyone through- and allow someone to peer in and see what’s there.
Our marriage is made up of two very separate, different people. Sure, we’re alike in many ways, but we’re two human beings who have decided to spend a lifetime together. We make this work by existing in our own wonderful, beautiful orbits, then meeting in the middle to create our own little universe right there. We are still who we are and we still do what we love to do- we don’t need each other to exist or to feel whole. But we choose to be together and create this life together because we want to. And we keep on choosing that, every single day.