Today, Brian and I celebrate 9 years of marriage.
[I’ve written this post a little ahead of time, as we will be away on our road-trip down south during our anniversary.]
The little beach we live footsteps away from has a lovely home on the beachfront that people occasionally hire for weddings. Every Saturday I wonder if there will be another, and today there was. Brian was away on shift, but the kids and I left for our afternoon walk a little early and happened to catch the ceremony in progress. As we walked around the rock pools, I watched the wedding in progress and I was instantly transported back to our wedding day. I remembered the super feelings of excitement and the deep relief when the ceremony was over and we were now actually married. Actually husband and wife.
When we tied the knot we had already been together for 6 years (with a few little breaks here and there!). We already felt married. We lived together, shared our finances, spent our time together, felt truly comfortable with each other and dreamed for the future together. We didn’t think getting that marriage certificate would really change anything, and in a lot of ways it didn’t. But I do think somehow there is a weight to marriage- to that word – and that act of commitment we shared together in front of our loved ones. We did marry in a church although we are not religious (I know, I know) so it’s not about the faith aspect of it. The weight is more about the fact that we did commit for a long-term partnership. And we knew that wasn’t always going to look rosy. And it hasn’t.
Far out, it’s been hard sometimes. We’ve faced some tough, tough things. We’ve lost babies, and we’ve lost money, and we’ve lost love and we’ve lost ourselves. But – for me at least – knowing that I had made a promise to this man, made me want to work harder to renew our connection and love deeper. And every time we’ve done that, it’s made me say, “Wow, love is strong. Stronger than I could imagine.” And that is the weight of love. And of marriage.
In many ways I’m not the same girl that walked down the aisle towards Brian that day. And he isn’t the same man. We’ve grown, and not in a linear way; not at the same rate and speed alongside each other. Oh no. We’ve individually taken twists and turns, we’ve made corners when the other was cruising straight ahead, we’ve gone too fast and got completely lost along the way. Sometimes it felt like one of us was driving and the other was the passenger. And sometimes it felt like one of us didn’t want to be in the car at all anymore! But we kept driving, we talked it out, fought it out, and loved it out more times than I could possibly count.
The truth is that we don’t live life in the slow lane, and that is one thing we can both definitely agree on. We love to reach for our stars, choose our JOY and dream and live big. We’ve pushed the envelope and our time. We’ve packed a lot into our nine years of marriage and while it’s been fun, it has added to the stress at times. We’ve been pregnant and unpregnant and miscarrying, and sinking into depression and buying houses and wanting to quit uni degrees and apprenticeships and pregnant again and listening to negativity and losing jobs, and becoming parents and finding our way and moving house, and feeling isolated, and changing jobs and going overseas, and trying for another baby and moving house, and raising a toddler and having another baby, and breastfeeding, and moving house, and finishing a degree and deciding to be a stay-at-home-mum, and looking into education options, and finding our tribe and reconnecting and moving house, and losing another pregnancy and getting pregnant again, and knowing we will unschool, and doing a second apprenticeship and moving house, and going on road trips and camping, and finding our way and having another baby and being tired, and moving house and wanting to travel more and business ideas and selling houses, and having financial nightmares and another overseas trip and losing jobs and moving away from Brisbane, and having to start again, and loving unschooling and losing another pregnancy and moving to the sea and life with three little kids and, and, and.
Life. It’s full and we love it that way.
That’s probably my favourite thing about doing life with Brian – that it’s ours. I’ve learned something special in last 12 months – which has been small parts wonderful, but large parts hard, awful and overwhelming – which is that when B and I are in the flow, life is grand. Even when it’s not. Because he truly is my best friend. My partner. The one I’ve shared life with for over half of mine. And that is damn special and I feel grateful for it.
I admire and respect so much of who Brian is and what he brings to our family dynamic. .At his core, he is an amazingly involved father and partner and provider and caretaker and lover and friend and the best thing? He loves me. Yes, it sounds egotistical but I’m not blind, I see people everywhere desperately trying to find someone who loves them, flaws and all, and I’ve found that! And I’m really trying to be very, very careful not to take that for granted. Because I don’t. And I hope never to, and if you see me taking him for granted feel free to give me a wake up call. Because he’s great. Mostly ;).
So although we’re celebrating Nine Years of Marriage, we’re really celebrating more than that. We’re celebrating our commitment to us. For nine year plus. We’re pretty proud of ourselves and how far we’ve come and what we’ve achieved together.
And babe, I’m looking forward to the future too. The best is yet to come.