This coming Monday, Ryan and I will be celebrating our first wedding anniversary. To celebarte we’re taking a long weekend up in the beautiful Finger Lakes. This will be our second trip to the region this year and I can’t wait to relax by the water, drink wine, and reflect on this past year. And boy what a year. Somedays it feels like our wedding was just a month ago. Other days it feels like I’ve aged years since I was the anxious June bride.
One year ago I took one of the biggest risks of my life. I committed myself to my best friend and to love him unconditionally for the rest of my life.
No doubt love is a beautiful thing. Falling in love is the easy part. The part that is magical and makes your life feel like a fairy tale. Staying in love is a choice. Don’t hate me, but I don’t believe in soul mates or love at first sight. I think love is a decision, a constant piece of work and intent action. And sometimes it is hard.
Of course I am no expert on marriage or love and these are simply my reflections on my relationship.
I love Ryan in a way I never knew I could love someone, and I’m amazed at how much our love can change in just one year. We have fun, we laugh, we smile, and we are certainly silly together. Yet, their are days when I can’t stand him. (as there are days when he can’t stand me either!) Some days he is just the man who leaves the dirty peanut butter knife in the sink and who scrubs the bathrooms spotlessly (never enough thank yous for that one!) There are days when I simply want to be alone. Those days when the idea of talking to anyone else or sharing the couch and bed with someone make me want to runaway.
Then other days, and these days are far more plentiful, I wake up smiling, happy that I get to live another day as his wife. Beyond grateful that our joys are doubles because they are shared. He is my teammate, my conspirator, my built in best friend. We make each others heartaches endurable, we make fun times more fun, and we make the love we see in the movies seem trivial to what we have.
One of my favorite phrases to think is, “I’ll be right here”. No matter what, ever day, I’ll be right here. Always the number one priority. That is a promise I make. That is a choice I continue to make.
Over the past year I’ve come to see love and marriage like a seesaw.
Ryan and I chose each other as partners on the seesaw on the playground, we were best friends and could think of anything more fun than sitting facing eachother on the playground, having a blast every day. We each took our designated seats, smiled at each other and thought, “This is going to be fun!” We were both excited for the joy and the thrill the seesaw would bring us as well as the fact that we got to have this fun together.
Who doesn’t love the seesaw? You have that butterfly feeling in your stomach as you’re flying up and down and sometimes you get that thrilling bounce, where you’re popped of the seat at the top, when you partner decides to make that day extra fun for you. It’s full of unexpecting surprises. The speed, height, and fun you will have lies in the hands of your partner. You have to trust him to do what is best for you, or simply be content with what he brings to the table.
Like marriage, both partners have to put in equal work. The seesaw will go nowhere if neither or only one partner is doing all of the pushing. Even on days when you’re tired and just want to play alone, you still must put in the work to make the seesaw work efficiently. And even on those days, I bet you’ll be happy you chose the seesaw over a solo day on the swings. Once you see the smile of your partner as he soars to the top of the seesaw a day spent alone is unimaginable.
It isn’t always thrilling. It’s fa fact that while on a seesaw one partner will always be up while the other is down. Such is life. You can’t be equals 100% of the time. But just when one partner helps the other get up to the top, where the views are splendid and the work is easy that same partner will come down and help the other rise to the same bliss. You work together to acheive a mutual happiness. Giving love is always better than receiving love.
Currently our seesaw is in pretty good shape, being only a year old and all. As it ages I understand that the highs and lows will only increase. But I truly believe the highs will always outshine the lows. There is nothing that fills my stomach with butterflies than the expectation and hopes of what the future holds for Ryan and me. Yes, marriage and love can be scary but jumping on the seesaw with Ryan is a choice I won’t regret. As my heart grows so does my choice to love him more and more.