The summer of 2011 was one of the most simultaneously difficult and fun summers of my life. It was one of the first times that I ever fully grasped how resilient true friendships can be. It was the first time that I ever did something difficult justbecause it was good for me even though it hurt. It was the first time I saw myself falling into love and realizing that “falling” is the absolute perfect word.
I was a few months out of a not-a-real-break-up* with someone that I wasn’t-dating** for the past four and a half years of my life. I was tender but I was recovering. *sure did wreck me like a real break up.
**Fell into that tragically, typical millennial thing where we decided we “didn’t need or want labels” as if that keeps you from really feeling anything. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t. It just makes you feel like you’re not allowed to be as gutted as you are when it ends. Which is a really unhealthy place to land.
“You’ve been married for over a year now! Time to have some kids!” “You’re not getting any younger!” “When are you going to start a family?” “Oh! You got a dog? That should tide you over until some kids come along.”
There have been a few times in my life when I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, what I was supposed to do and what I wanted.
When I was deciding which college to attend, I prayed for certainty and I received an illogical, deep confidence that I was supposed to go to this specific college in this specific city at this specific time. And I did that and I came away from it with a degree that I have never used and a few friends that I would gladly spend dozens of thousands of dollars to meet again.
When my friend Ryan took a long lunch break and came to my house and told me he couldn’t wait one more minute—he had to tell me he loved me and asked me to be his partner in this life and I had so many questions and so many doubts and what-if’s swimming through my mind but my soul screamed louder inside of me, “This is something big for you. Take this and protect it!”
Everything else—I’ve just been winging it. I’ve never felt called to anything in my life.
We got home, dropped our bags, and collapsed onto the couch in a bit of a heap. We invited the cat up for snuggles and ached with the bizarre feeling that comes from sitting in a car for 14 hours—stopping only to use the restroom, eat frozen yogurt, and find a Motel 6. Why is it so exhausting to sit still for such a long time in the car?
We were starving and dreaming up all the things we wanted to eat for dinner now that we were finally home. The last homemade meal we’d had was prepared by our niece, Genesis. She made us tacos and they were extra delicious and made with love and pride.
Right now, everything sounded delicious and everything sounded too hard. But we went to the store and kept reminding one another that we’re still on vacation. We’re still on vacation so we are allowed to go overboard on cheese. We’re still on vacation so we’re allowed smushy, lovey-dovey PDA. We’re still on vacation so grab a bag of gummy bears and a six-pack of IPAs. We’re still on vacation, so let’s sit here at the dining room table and keep listening to this audiobook that we’ve become obsessed with. Continue reading “A Generous Heart: New Orleans and Marriage”→