Thursday, February 28, 2013
How Lucky I Am
It's our nine year anniversary and honestly I can't believe it's been nine years.
But not just nine years. Fourteen years. Fourteen years since I decided to skip that stupid pep rally and meet up with my friends in the high school cafeteria. Fourteen years since I fell madly in love with a guy I thought was so clearly out of my league. Fourteen years since I was lucky enough that he loved me right back, and not just as much but strangely, intensely more.
We don't play the "No, I love you more," game. Because I know the truth. He loves me more than I love him. I love him to the very limits of my heart, but as hard as I try . . . his heart is just bigger than mine. It's grown over the years. With every ounce of my baggage slowly (or often too quickly) added onto our lives, instead of breaking, cracking, weakening . . . his heart has grown and strengthened. Sometimes enough for the both of us.
Two weeks into dating me fourteen years ago, I was sent away for the summer to visit family. He wrote me constantly, and the phone bill we racked up used nearly every last cent I'd earned from my summer job. Then he met me at the airport so the first thing I saw when I came home was him. He was home.
Three months after that, my world was torn apart when my Grandmother died. Sometimes - even years later - it shakes me to my core; the pain. I often think that God put Matt in my life at just the right moment, because He knew that somehow, this one boy would hold me together when all I wanted to do was fall apart.
Matt is the string that keeps me tied to this world.
Tied to reality. Tied to joy and life and love and hope.
That's not to say we don't have our ups and downs. High school was rough. Drama was ever plentiful, and I'm occasionally reminded that I was the cause of about 95% of it. We fought constantly, and hard. So much was so difficult when we thought it should have been simple. Wrong words were often said, and yet after any amount of time apart in the end there he was. In my head reminding me of the good times, in my heart - the constant companion to which any other boy was compared to, and sometimes he was right there in front of me, loving me enough to tell me that I was beautiful, or a dumb ass - whatever was the truth and what I needed to hear.
We married young and fast, though if the timing had worked out we probably would have eloped the very second we turned eighteen. We weren't ready, but really is anyone? Still young and going through the growing pains of life, we learned to grow together. I learned to make the bed before getting into it, and he learned that I need my own blanket to wrap around my leg at night. I learned that his socks will never end up in the hamper, and he learned that I will leave half empty soda cans around.
Anytime my world crashed down around me, he was there holding me up. In nine year of marriage he has had to deal with my crazy hormones, emotional outbursts, depression, infertility, low self esteem, ocd, agoraphobia, the scars of abuse, and chronic illness. All things that I've watched destroy the marriages of friends and family. But he stayed here. Stayed strong. Stayed ever faithful.
In my darkest hours I wait for the final straw. The final thing that breaks him. The final moment when he realizes that I'm not worth all of this. And in that darkness, he provides a light and assures me that I'm worth all this and more.
When we got married we naively said, "Nothing else matters."
We had no idea what we were getting into. And I'm glad because I don't know if we'd have jumped in so effortlessly if we'd seen into the future. If we'd seen the pain and the struggle that lay ahead of us. I'm glad that we were young and stupid. We were stupid together. We put "nothing else matters," to the test and somehow through hell and high waters we still end up triumphantly declaring the words over and over again. Nothing else matters.
No matter how I feel about life, family, friends, money, health . . .
I know that I lucked out in love.