Yesterday was spent fruitlessly (or fruitfully, depending how you look at it) cleaning and organizing, I believe, in an attempt to de-clutter my brain.
I’m not sure it really looks any more clean, though. More like I moved around the mess into smaller, more manageable piles. How is it that I’ve accomplished so much and yet so little?
You should know something. My most important, inspired thoughts are not kept in one of the many books I have for such purposes. They are written on whatever convenient scrap of paper that is available, then stashed in the back of my purse for months on end until they are thrown into our wardrobe of documents to be discovered on days like today.
My life is like one big scavenger hunt. Surprise! Receipts from four years ago! Chargers from old cell phones! Sticky notes with to-do lists and life changing epiphanies! You never know what you are going to get—or when.
When it comes to my writing, I always wonder who will find it. Will they have any idea what it is? Will they even be able to decipher my writing? (The answer is no. When we met some distant family members in the 8th grade, my seventh billionth cousin, after glancing at my math homework, bestowed upon me the honor of “worst handwriting in the family,” a title he was happy to unburden himself with. Glad I could help! I’ll let you in on a little secret—I can barely read it either.)
As you might have guessed I found one today. I had a twinge of familiarity while reading through it, but I don’t recall the circumstance nor have I any explanation as to why it was recorded in purple colored pencil. The handwriting is even more atrocious than normal. Colored pencil was not meant for speed writing.
From what I can tell, this is what it says.
“We are two ADDer’s coming together to meet the world together, filling in each other’s gaps. While we are by no means perfect, all the wonderful things about him are the exact wonderful things I’ve so desperately needed in my life, the things that keep me tethered to this earth and to him. And while our weaknesses often bring us sadness, there is so much more joy and more purpose in the sadness than I ever could have imagined.”
I’m a huge fan of authenticity. I love hearing other’s hearts and, for better and for worse, to hear their reality. We are so prone to live on one end of the spectrum or the other, to say we’ve had a good day or a bad one. We are smart or dumb. That our marriage is great or terrible. That we’re righteous or sinners. I don’t know how well that really serves us. I’m learning and trying to decipher the details and see a more complete picture like that. It’s something I really struggle with: seeing too much in black and white.
“We’ve had regrets for sure. We’ve been that dysfunctional couple. I cringe thinking about some of the stupid things I’ve said or done. But, somehow, we’ve still grown together.
“We’ve changed a lot over the years. Through it all, though, the very core of him somehow feels the same to me. My love has grown but not because of the man he has made of himself. Not because he has become someone that is easier to love (although he has). But I believe love grows, not because someone is more deserving, but because your heart changes. Because being loved and, more importantly, loving someone else slowly and fundamentally changes you.”
I know early on in our marriage, at the ripe age of 19, I thought a lot about how things “should” be. How I should be, how he should be, how our marriage should be. I did a lot of comparing of myself to others. I thought there had to be a right way to do things. I spent a lot of time frustrated and lost and worried that I wasn’t good enough yet. I think we can become disillusioned when it turns out—surprise!—neither of you are perfect and it’s going to be harder than you thought. That you aren’t the wife you always knew you would be. That you will unintentionally hurt each other. That you’ll have to apologize more than you’d like. Marriage isn’t about being perfect, but about learning and loving perfectly. Again and with much emphasis: learning. If there is anything we are equipped with that is more Godlike than anything else, though, it’s love. God is love. Literally. So what does that do for us? Everything.
“I know I picked him because he brings me to myself. He is my center. How is it that he can infuriate me like no one else can, yet can calm me to the very core. Just by being present. How he can lay with me when I am having a panic attack and his mere presence or life force or whatever steadies mine. I ask him to stay and he does.
“Being married to him has been the best part of my life thus far. And while dirty laundry is best left unaired, pretending it’s scotch white is completely ridiculous and unfair. I treasure the beauty in that. The truth of us now as we are and as we are changing. That loving each other brings us closer together and closer to God, cleanses our hearts on a regular basis, and teaches us so much about life and how to give more. And how to be more.”
Relationships suck because, sometimes, people suck. I know I do. But, we are also amazing. And so worth it!