I’m going to borrow from Noelle’s post on new things learned from living alone in order to discuss things I’ve learned since being married, although, it’s more about things I’ve learned since living with someone I’m married to. I’m always enamored with the idea of seasons, and while I wouldn’t call marriage itself merely a “season,” there are seasons through which to be lived within that. Namely, the season of being newlyweds or the season of not having children. And at the same time, one of us will die (many, many years from now) leaving marriage to be not-as-permanent perhaps making it more of a really really long season. But we don’t have to discuss that.
I’ve never officially lived alone, though I’ve had a period of months in college when my roommate had returned home for the summer or the winter holidays, and I had many weekends with the apartment all to myself. Let me tell you, I loved my roommate. And I loved having the apartment to myself. There is the core of my being, which is introverted, and it will always find its most fulfilling of refreshment in solitude. Perhaps it worked in both our favors for me to marry a musician who is in and out at odd hours and for him to marry an introvert who doesn’t mind so much spending a few hours alone. And even when that isn’t the case, I treasure my moments alone, such as right now eating Oreos and milk for breakfast because it’s Saturday and I’m a grown woman I do what I want. But I’ve learned a great deal about myself and my potential for growth as a human being since living with this other person I’m legally bound to.
I always resort to the worst-case-scenario. I’ve always been this way with everyone I’ve cared about. But now it’s worse. When you tell me that you’re done recording and he’s firing up the grill, so you’ll stay for maybe one brat, but then you decide to cut one more song and I don’t know that and it’s two hours later, and I know it doesn’t take two hours to eat one bratwurst, and I call and you can’t answer because recording, then I’m going to logically assume that you’re dead in a ditch since you haven’t answered my eight calls in the last ten minutes and I’m hyperventilating because I just know now that I’m a widow before I’ve even turned 25. I’m sure there’s some deeper meaning to all this that may have some slight connection to my urge to control all circumstances and whatnot, but after the voice in my head (usually my mother – does this happen to anyone else?) tells me to breathe, I have to remind myself that this is real life with a musician. Sometimes recording and playing takes longer than expected and you should enjoy one more movie on Netflix that you love and know he’ll hate.
Sometimes I’m a little bit lazy. There are too many times in our life together where I’ve come to him with a techie problem I can’t figure out (my iCloud storage is full, I can’t figure this thing out on my phone, etc.) usually doing whatever the adult version of whining is, and he Googles the answer to the problem. I could have done that myself, and he always reminds me of that, but he’s smarter than me in many ways, and I just KNOW that he’ll understand the Google instructions far better than I could, so you see, it’s much better for him to take the lead in my problems related to anything with buttons or wires or whatever is in this thing I’m writing on cased in/made of metals very likely mined in unjust circumstances. And also, I get very mad when I’m making dinner and he’s sitting on the couch tired from work, all the while trying to remind myself of all the times he is making a great meal for me when I return from work and feel no guilt whatsoever just laying on the couch until it’s time to eat. And I have my excuses there as well. You see, he’s also far better at cooking than I pretend to be, and when I’m in there, I have no idea what I’m doing. Getting mad is my mature way of saying HELP ME I DON’T KNOW WHAT ANY OF THIS IS. Which he would be happy to do. If I would ask for help. But anyone who knows me well knows that I don’t do that well either.
I’m a closet cuddler (don’t tell Lacy). Until I’m ready to go to sleep, but outside of that time, I sometimes like the snuggles. I still very much like my space, but I like hugs and nuzzles. This is getting too mushy for me now, so I’m moving on. You get the point. But as a classic introvert, I have always needed my space – mentally, physically, and emotionally (definitely emotionally). Sometimes it only takes that one person to break you out of that. The right person. GAH MUSHY STOP IT. Moving on.
This season is one for growing, learning, and becoming better, as all seasons are. People always say marriage is hard, and I always want to say, “compared to what?” as if single people or people in relationships but are not married don’t have hardships. It is no harder than any other season of life, but it’s different. And there’s always someone working for a good life with you, working for the same things, the same dreams, for the same purposes. I treasure these moments, but I treasured all my life’s moments even before it was attached to another’s because my life was precious then as it is now.
And today, we go to the Farmer’s Market to hopefully find some fresh blackberries and eggplant, because no matter how many times I’ve wanted to be left alone in my life, no matter how many times I’ve enjoyed being alone, shopping alone, walking alone, I would much rather go to the market with him than with myself.