The big lesson I learnt in my first year of Marriage.
I never write directly into my blog. I have articles or pieces of writing I compile, spell check, consider and then publish. Today I had the urge to talk directly to you from this place I find myself. That place is one year into my marriage. I write this immediately and not as structured as my other articles as I want to get these thoughts out as honestly as I can. Yes, even more honest that I usually am.
You see, one year of being married to Ben has me realise so many different things about myself. About what a marriage takes. I ponder from this first year mark, what it takes to last the next 50. I fear that to be honest. Because this first year has brought so much already, what do 50 of these years look like?
But I also reflect on how our love has already changed. How I have resisted that and been comforted from it in the same breathe. Ben and I have gotten to know each other differently. Mostly it's awesome, we know when to let things go, we know how to please each other better, we laugh differently, more affectionately. I would think we have even more fun than what we had at the start, we just need less external factors to do so. But sometimes I haven't liked the changes. They happen so quickly. Things change so quickly. "Why can't it stay like it was at the start?" I ask. "Because it can't," says the universe.
I learnt my big lesson in our first year of marriage very quickly. My strive for perfection was very quickly becoming an issue for us early days. I was desperate to try and have perfection presented at all moments because my trust levels were still growing and anything out of these comfortable (perfection) boundaries I felt should not be trusted.
I remember our honeymoon presented one of these moments. It changed my understanding of myself and what I was like in a relationship. We were paddle boarding in some random sea - upstate NYC - and I wanted to Ben to stand on his paddle board with me. He wouldn't… he started to worry that his pockets weren't tight enough and that if he fell off, he was going to lose the CC he had. That annoyed me (as did a few other travel differences on our first OS trip together), and I kept demanding that he did it. We needed to BOTH be standing on our paddle boards for this to be what a honeymoon looked like. I cracked it royally. I am so embarrassed to say so. But I was at the point of almost tantrum-ing over something so, so small. But in the moment it felt so, so big.
Ben gave it to me at this moment. "You must stop striving for perfection to trust us". I listened. "If this moment isn't enough, newly married, had the day of our dreams, the two of us stranded in the middle of the ocean, with not a worry in the world. If this isn't enough, nothing will ever be".
And he was f*cking right.
I write a lot about my Single Life. I share stories and teach techniques now for Single Pringles to find ways to be better comfortable with that process. You can check those out here. I learnt a lot about this process because for the majority of it I wasn't comfy on my own. All I did was think about Ben. I would fall asleep obsessing over when I would finally get to meet my soul mate and start a family. I was Single for years without any connection remotely similar, and I was lonely a lot of the time.
This moment took me back to this place. I had yearned for this relationship for so long, and now I was ruining it by not trusting the parts I didn't know.
I’vewatched myself on this point ever since. It hasn't gone away, but I realised marriage is so much about trusting parts of each other you don't know resist yet.
Trusting that when they say they will do something, EVEN if it wasn't done last time, they will do it the next. Believing that when you don't know how to get through a particular hurdle (learning how to fight, one of you losing a job, money stress, trying for a baby), you will find a way. Trusting that the only way to honestly do that is together. Trusting that this person is not all the f*cked up other people that have let you down in the past.
And this trust must come from an imperfect place that I can not wait for the perfect picture to happen before I give Ben my trust.
I have found this incredibly hard. Many of you have followed my career shifts into coaching and more self-made business, saying goodbye to a company, business partner and friend, our very long and challenging journey to conceiving a baby, with the loss of one in amongst all of that. How we survive in those times as individuals is already a tricky thing to navigate, let alone how to navigate it as a couple a year into your relationship. Then add on top if that - a fragile level of trust in others - from me. And somewhat Ben.
So let's say that this year has taught me that. And that lesson is one for the life books I reckon. Perfection is aimed for because we try and control. We don't know how our marriage will turn out. We don't know if we will be good at it if it will last the gazillion years we are always told it should last.
But if I stop for a second in trying to perfect it to trust it, enjoy the moments that are not perfect, and find trust in those, then surrendering the rest is going to give this the best shot to be the fruitful, loving adventure we had both dreamed about on this day. One year ago today.
It's a work in progress friends even if you wear a sparkly jumpsuit!