Right before my baby shower, I wanted to do something special for Husband. He had been so incredible throughout the wedding planning and baby planning that I wanted to make him something to remember that what we have is so incredible too. So I made him this slideshow. At the time of our baby shower, Husband and I had been married a mere month and I got to thinking about all of the things that we had been through in our 4 years together. We had grown so much individually and in our relationship and had experienced some incredible moments and it was bizarre to think that at our lowest point, we almost didn’t make it.
Last year around this time (November 2010), we were at odds about the future of our relationship. A month prior, I had woken up from a terrible dream that had given me a sinking feeling about us. When I woke up and talked to him about it, he couldn’t comfort me. He was in the zone again about our future plans: I wanted to make them. He couldn’t be certain. This had always been a struggle for us. I knew that life was uncertain, that you couldn’t plan love or marriage. You couldn’t foresee the future or have a guarantee. You had to have faith, work at it, and communicate. He knew that way too many people end in divorce. He thought that we had so much in common and some things not in common. He wanted a guarantee that no one could give him.
That same day, I was visiting a friend in Brooklyn and I had hoped that when I returned the next day our situation would get resolved. It wasn’t. In fact, it got worse and ended with him leaving for the week to see if the distance would help him figure out where he stood in terms of our relationship. When he came back a week later, he had missed me. He wanted to make it work. And then almost immediately, as if watching lightning strike, he broke down again and told me that he couldn’t do this. He wasn’t certain and couldn’t get around it. I was heartbroken. He was heartbroken. And nothing was resolved.
We really loved each other; we knew that. We felt that life without each other seemed far worse. But we both also knew that under these circumstances we were a ticking time bomb that could explode at any time into a catastrophic blackhole disaster. The next month was like walking on egg shells. We were careful (and sometimes not so careful) with what we said to each other. For the first time, we were both on complete opposite sides of the spectrum. We were on rocky ground – unstable, wobbly, quaking, dirty, rocky ground.
In December, we threw a Christmas party to liven our spirits. Our apartment was adorned top to bottom, inside and out for my favorite time of year. We ate, drank, and belted out Christmas carols. Not normally Husband’s favorite time of year, something in him started to change. I don’t know if it was the constant analysis about marriage, the Christmas spirit, or having our most loved ones surrounding us at the most magical time of year that did it, but after this party, he started looking at getting married through a different lens. He started thinking that marriage, while scary, was not the enemy. He talked to me about considering teaching abroad, an idea I had been pushing for a while, and an idea that would require a commitment – a legal one – in most places.
We were all of a sudden not so rocky and in January, we would be surprised with even bigger news… we were having a baby. Maybe it was the news of the baby or that I felt Husband’s mindset was already changing, but I started to be less occupied with marriage or, at least, the legal identity of it. Maybe because he wasn’t so scared of marriage anymore, I was able to be calm. Or maybe because I was calmer, he was able to not be so scared. We had finally met in the middle of this spectrum.
On February 19, he proposed. With a baby on the way and a decision made about teaching abroad in the Dominican Republic, we were finally getting married.
It is awfully strange to sit here now, look at where we are only a year later and see how far we’ve come. There’s a picture in this slideshow of me holding Jersey and Olive at the park. When I showed Mike the slideshow, I reminded him that that picture was taken the day after he came back to our apartment. The day we were rockier than ever but had decided not to give up on. He said he remembered. I told him, “I’m glad you came back.”
Sometimes it’s hard to see how something good could come out of something so bad. At the time, I couldn’t see any way out of this besides an ultimate break up. After all, this and having kids, was a deal breaker for me. So, if you had asked me that week in October, what my future with him held, I couldn’t have answered it. I could never have predicted that 3 months later, we would be on the absolute other side of where we had been, on the other side of almost didn’t make it.
But we were. And we had.
A Good Life (One Republic)
Woke up in London yesterday
Found myself in the city near Piccadilly
Don’t really know how I got here
I got some pictures on my phone
New names and numbers that I don’t know
Address to places like Abbey Road
Day turns to night, night turns to whatever we want
We’re young enough to say
Oh, this has gotta be the good life
This has gotta be the good life
This could really be a good life, good life
I say, “Oh, got this feeling that you can’t fight”
Like this city is on fire tonight
This could really be a good life, a good, good life
To my friends in New York, I say hello
My friends in L.A. they don’t know
Where I’ve been for the past few years or so
Paris to China to Colorado
Sometimes there’s airplanes I can’ t jump out
Sometimes there’s bullshit that don’t work now
We are God of stories, but please tell me
What there is to complain about?
When you’re happy like a fool, let it take you over
When everything is out you gotta take it in
Hopelessly, I feel like there might be something that I’ll miss
Hopelessly, I feel like the window closes oh so quick
Hopelessly, I’m taking a mental picture of you now
‘Cause hopelessly, the hope is we have so much to feel good about