10 years of waking up next to the same guy. 10 years of couch talking and car pooling. 10 years of cooking meals that are getting significantly more healthy year on year. (Or maybe significantly more boring)
10 years of planning holidays. 10 years of dreaming of homes and adventures. 10 years of figuring out what it means to lay down ‘me’ for ‘we’. 10 years of neatening and straightening. Ironing out the creases as we go. 10 years of letting go my preferences for everyone to win. Of choosing to be ok with “I was wrong and I am sorry”. 10 long years that are actually 10 short years. Oh my word 10 years people. Thats like a third of my life. Am I the only one freaking out here? I can not actually believe I have been married for 10 years.
And my gosh do I look older. Significantly more weathered (insert sigh). But in the staying and standing through sunny skies and storms alike, I somehow feel more whole. I look older for sure but I feel different. More secure and softer around the edges. More content with the inside of me and the everyday reality of “we” There is a deep well of love, joy and fulfilment that I have ten years on that I didn’t start off with. I think that’s a privilege that marriage gives you. One you don’t realise is there at the start. Extreme pleasure that sometimes finds itself amidst pain. There’s a passion to be better. And a belief that “this is the best possible place for me to be” that I stand firmly upon now. A belief in togetherness that never used to be under the soles of my feet. And I can’t help but wonder? Maybe the good, the bad and the ugly- the choosing to stay and remain in ONE thing is more powerful than anything else I have ever done.
When I started out on this marriage journey I never understood what the staying would produce. Oh how I would have savoured the ordinary if I had known that my capacity would increase as I chose each morning to get up and do it again. I would have panicked less about progress and enjoyed the small daily steps if I had realised the power of remaining and what it would do for my heart. I’d have embraced the slowness of a lifetime commitment if I had known then the beauty and sheer brilliance of choosing the same path regardless of the pain or difficulty that followed. 10 years ago I had absolutely no idea that togetherness would bring about the reality of my wholeness. I honestly had no idea. Hindsight is an amazing thing.
And so a decade in. Older and wiser. Still learning and still pursuing the dream on our hearts I am deeply grateful for the “institution” of marriage. For the mundanity of marriage. For the seemingly “boring” reality of choosing one man. One incredible man. The world tells us that to keep life interesting we need a variety of partners and that boredom and falling out of love are a natural progression of life. But I say that boredom is choice and a problem to solved. (Yes and amen) My marriage is what I choose to make of it. Variety and spontaneity and “spice” are possible with one man or one woman, if I want that to be the case. 10 years on I know this to be true because I have seen it first hand. Our marriage can be great but it’s not just going to fall in our laps. It takes work. Grit and choices. But it’s worth it. It is worth working through the junk. It is worth talking through the pain. It is worth the inconvenience and the compromise. It is worth your full investment. The whole part of YOU. This crazy God notion that a man and a woman could come together and live in unity and even harmony, and together, produce exceedingly and abundantly more than they could ever do alone. The almost ridiculous and often termed “out-dated” idea that when man and women partner up miracles happen. It is this very thing that has seen me become abundantly free along the way,
These 10 years for me have completely taken me by surprise. (Like lifted me off my comfy chair and kept me striding forward like nothing else “surprise”.) I’ve been surprised by fun. Surprised by intimacy. Surprised by joy. Surprised by the seemingly normal everyday things that make Dyl and I who we are, TOGETHER. And I have to say I’ve loved being surprised by this extraordinary journey. I’d do it all again – (churches, babies, moving, building, learning, travelling, growing, digging deep.) I’d do it all again in a heart beat. Without a shadow of a doubt.
And so as I look on towards the next ten I wait with a sense of calm and excitement knowing that they will exceed the last. Knowing that the best days lie ahead. Knowing that there are miracles to be found in the everyday. Knowing that gratitude changes everything. And knowing that together we are truly better than we ever would be on our own.