It's 7:08 AM as I write this. The cats are screaming for breakfast, I'm on my second cup of coffee and still in my pajamas. I've been up for two hours now. At 5:00 am anxiety set off an internal alarm clock and even though I was desperate for just another hour or two, the buzzing in my mind wouldn't stop so here I am. I meant to write this anyway, so now is as good a time as any.
Eight days from today I'll probably be in this exact same position, sleep deprived and anxious and still in my jammies, but instead of catching up on admin work I'll be packing for a big trip, a flight that leaves at noon to carry me across the country, across the pond, and deposit us into London. That's because Chief Dude and I are celebrating 10 years of marriage. We are the kind of people that can't be bothered with proper window coverings or flashy jewelry or luxury cars, but give us a reason to celebrate and you'll find us booking flights. After 10 years of marriage and 14 years together, if there's one thing we love to do together, it's to be together somewhere new.
Which brings me back to waking up at 5:00 am in the grips of anxiety. I've got lots to do before going airborne and there's no time to waste. I'm going to brew another pot of liquid motivation. But, before we take off, I've got something I need to say, and I'm scheduling this post to drop on the day of our anniversary.
You think you're in love the day you get married, but you aren't.
Not nearly as much as possible.
Because 10 years later, I'm here to tell you, I was an idiot the day I married my husband. I thought I knew what love was. I thought I was IN love. I was so naive. The love I feel for my husband 10 years later makes the love I felt on our wedding day pale in comparison. It's a kind of love you can only comprehend when you finally experience it. Words don't describe it. Songs can't sing it. Paintings can't show it. It's more poetic, has deeper notes, and more vibrant colors than you can possibly imagine. When you've found your person, when you've made the right choice and given over your entire lifetime willingly, your imagination can't possibly fathom the depth of what is yet to be.
Maybe in another 10 years, I'll look back on this post and laugh at myself. Maybe in another decade, I'll consider the words I write today plain and simple, the mark of a young woman who thought she understood what love meant after a paltry 10 years only to find out that there's a whole new, deep sea level kind of love she had yet to explore. Things that I could have never even thought possible 10 years ago have happened, so many things I never even imagined or planned on.
Planning is for the birds, I've learned. I basically scrap together a general idea of what I want out of life, give it some effort and hope for the best. I've learned that holding on too tightly to an imaginary life keeps my hands from being able to catch on to something better. I don't broadcast my personal history here, but let's just say that because I had an unconventional past, I'm lucky. I had no preconceived notions of what my life was supposed to look like, no predetermined destiny from birth with familial obligations and expectations. In fact, the expectations for my life were pretty low, you could literally step over the statistical bar set for people like me. Someone could look at it through the lens of pity, or through the lens of luck- I never gripped too tightly to anything. I had nothing to grip onto. I used to hate it, but now I can appreciate the beauty that freedom. Same goes for this marriage of mine that I'm in. Never of us planned on getting married that first date. I had no imaginary perfect husband. Yet, here we are. That's not to say there aren't basic expectations of a marriage. I expect my husband to be faithful, and I know he expects the same of me. That's pretty much it though, even if leaving the dish in the sink instead of putting it in the dishwasher is cause for a snide remark from me. Or the irritation he suffers when he has to shake out bits of tissue from the laundry, as I'm prone to forget them in my pockets. These are the details that make up our daily life as a married couple who found themselves unexpectedly committed.
If you're reading this, if you've invested this much time of your day to be bothered with the ramblings of an early-middle-aged married woman, chances are you've got matrimony on your mind. I heard a quote recently that sums of my sentiments in a nice, pretty package, and it's what I'll leave you with. When asked how long I've been married, I will steal this line and use it lavishly, "Not long enough".