The greatest example of success and failure in life is the human relationship. I'm not just talking about romantic relationships either. Platonic relationships between friends and closely bonded families can also fall into this category. Relationships can be summed up in this quote:
"Happiness comes from the capacity to feel deeply, enjoy simply, think freely, to risk life, to be needed." ~ Storm Jameson
I wanted to find someone to spend the rest of my life with, but I never thought it would happen. Yet here I am happily married. Is that an achievable goal for everyone? I can't say for sure. All I can tell you is how I went about it. Not saying my way is right or wrong, but this is how it happened for me:
- I had to figure out who I was before I could be ready to share my life with someone else, which meant I had to go through a few heartbreaks. My prior relationships made me a stronger, better man and prepared me for my marriage. I am grateful for that.
- I had to focus more on my strengths and worry less about about my short comings while always trying to improve both.
- I had to make the effort to meet someone but not come on too strong. (This was a hard one. I was so afraid of being alone forever that I'd share too much too soon or want to move too fast.)
- I had to go on dates and get shot down...and not let it bug me. They weren't the right person for me.
- I had to find THE someone who would love me for me and everything that comes with me. Not just settle for mediocrity.
- I had to be in a relationship and believe it was going somewhere wonderful, but be okay if it didn't. (That was really HARD.)
- I had to fall in love again. I had to let myself be vulnerable and let someone else in...but also find out if she really wanted to know everything about me. (I did and, consequently, she did.)
- We had to get a puppy named Oscar. I think this was when I knew we were in this for the long run. You don't get a dog with someone if you aren't committed to one another. At least, that's what I told myself.
- We had to get engaged.
- We had to plan a wedding.
- We had to find a place to live, graduate college, have a wedding, find jobs, and get another dog named Henry.
- I had to live with a girl. Oh boy...OH NO!
- We had to settle into our routine. We had to argue about money, values, quirky habits. We will always do that.
- We had to love each other enough to compromise and continue to be who we are as individuals so that we could grow as a couple.
- We spend time apart so we appreciate our time together. Alone time is a very good thing.
- I had to lose my hair and deal with complications from CF and know she was not going to leave me because I was changing. She signed up for everything and she was and is here to stay. Plus, she thinks I'm cute.
- She will always be like Mary Poppins - Practically perfect in every way. I had to agree to go along with that story. :-) I kid, of course. I love everything about her...even the stuff that drives me mad.
Today is our anniversary and it marks the beginning of the greatest years of my life. I often hear people say "I have the best spouse in the world." What they should say is "I have the best spouse in the world...for me." That's how I feel about my wife. I feel like we were meant to be together. I love the way we do "nothing". I love how we support each other without hesitation and push each other to see how great we can be...even if one of us can't see it. I love how our hugs make each other feel better when we've had a bad day and how our time with the "puppies"...our little family...is precious to us. I love how we like spending time with each other's family and friends and have combined them into one entity. They are OUR friends and family...take them or leave them.
I LOVE YOU, MY SWEET WIFE. Thank you, Carly, for being mine...at least until you find something better. (It's an inside joke, people.) You are the greatest goal I have ever reached and I will resolve to love you more tomorrow than I do today, forever and ever.