A year ago I got married.
Through the months, many people have asked me, their eyes gushing with good intention, “Don’t you just love being married?”
Sometimes the answer is a resounding yes. I do love being married.
And other times…meh.
Marriage is hard. Really hard.
At times I miss being single. I miss the days when no one was around to bear witness to the fact that I could watch twelve hours of Law and Order or go for months without washing my pajamas.
As our anniversary approaches, I’ve been thinking a lot about how my life has changed over this last year.
Do I even understand what marriage is? I do feel different. I do feel married. But what does that mean, exactly?
Last October, my husband Jason and I took our first international trip together to the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.
Before we left, I envisioned warm beaches, finishing a few good books, sipping some good drinks and a little light sight seeing.
Instead, I found myself climbing ancient ruins, cutting my way through jungles, diving with sharks, and marching with 50,000 people through a cemetery at night. In other words, I was on what Jason considers a relaxing vacation.
One afternoon we were wandering around the capital city of Merida, when I suddenly stopped, mid-stride, and grabbed Jason’s arm.
“I think I need to go back to the hotel. ”
Five minutes later we were racing through the streets trying to find a bathroom because the incredibly delicious ceviche I had eaten the night before wasn’t so delicious anymore.
We eventually sat down on a bench as I frantically searched Yelp for a restaurant with a bathroom and sweated through my shirt as I screamed at him to “Stop staring at me!”
When we finally found a restaurant he distracted the hostess as I slipped by to the bathroom.
A while later, I emerged, mumbling muchas gracias to the confused hostess and escaping back to the street. Jason grabbed my sweaty, shaking hand and held it all the way back to our hotel.
I don’t think I’ve ever loved him more than I did in that moment.
I was sweaty and weak and embarrassed but he grabbed my hand and led me through the streets reminding me that even at my worst he thought I was the best.
When I think about marriage I think about that.
Marriage is gritty. Marriage is boring. Marriage is frustrating and funny and exhausting.
Marriage is still loving somebody when they’re sweating their face off in a Mexican bathroom.
Marriage is nothing like I thought it would be.
A year ago I said a lot of important words I couldn’t really understand. Words that felt heavy and meaningful but still mysterious.
As the days pass and we laugh at each other’s jokes, ride out days of indifference, and wake up next to each other morning after morning after morning, I’m beginning to understand what commitment looks like.
Some days are full of joy, some days are full of yelling, but every day I’m trying.
Trying to live up to my vows. Trying to figure out what commitment means. Trying to understand how someone could love me after I’ve eaten bad ceviche.
I’m so lucky to be trying with him.