Come Sunday, my husband and I will have been married a year.
365 days of love, trial and error, laundry, dishes, laughter, awkward and awesome moments, car repairs, evening teas, drama, gourmet meals, getting lost, waking up and walking around this old town together.
I remember the early days, when I was determined to do everything perfectly – set the right patterns together, build a proper life, be the most sensitive, intelligent and intuitive wife ever. Of course, all my best laid plans have been swept off the table. Instead, our first year together has been a raucous, delicious and unpredictable banquet.
How grand – to be shocked by such an old insitution – how marvellous to be surprised out of my single daydreams into a rich life that leads elsewhere.
The year of elsewhere – that’s what this has been. An undoing of the past, from painfully re-arranged friendships (still raw, at best) to dear-held plans for success and comfort, we’ve both been pared down to people that we never imagined we could be, (and still like one another) when we first met. My husband, formerly the successful video game programmer, and myself, the up-and-coming graduate and journalist, are now Mr Unemployed and Mrs Nameless Service Worker.
But in losing our “selves,” we’ve found one another. Sometimes that means one of us is a wreck, in tears, discouraged, or unable to get up in the morning. Other times, that means joyful surprise and a reckless freedom. Aha! my heart often has exclaimed – I knew you could be wonderful, but I didn’t know how deep that went, defying woes about the rent, and the mice, and the bad habits, and the churlish nose-picking moments of selfishness. We’ve both risen to the occasion.
Many say that the first year is the hardest, but what they don’t tell you is how. For us, our circumstances threatened to devour our happiness, and it’s only been with perseverance and an unwillingness to crumble (although my husband would lovingly joke that I have a particular flair for falling to pieces) that has kept us together. It’s a comforting thought, to know that we’ve weathered long-term job loss, two moves, serious illness, catastrophic automotive breakdowns, familial and friendship drama, and financial hardship, and we are still in love, as well as genuinely liking each other.
So bring it on, year two. We’ll be here waiting for you – together.