When I was young and naive (and if you were catching me in my twenties), probably drunk, I used to roll my eyes when my parents or other people older than 25 said things like, “Holy shit! Time goes by so fast!” or crap like “Carpe Diem.” (Except when Robin Williams says it in Dead Poet’s Society, because then it was profound.)
For me, time stood still for so much of the earlier part of my life. I was so busy trying to escape whatever purgatory I was running from, that I was always yearning to leap ahead to the next chapter. I didn’t want to carpe anything. Nothing. Nada. You can shove your carpe where the sun don’t shine, I would think.
I had places to go, dear friends. And whatever was meant to be seized was always around the corner. Never what I was breathing or living in that moment.
And then I hit my thirties. And I felt like everything sped up like when you fast forward your DVR. Marriage. Selling homes. Buying our house. Having two kids. Managing careers. And I finally GOT how fast time goes by, but I still hadn’t mastered the art of living in the moments that were flying right past me.
I can’t tell you how quickly this past decade has flown by. But you know how I mentioned the whole fast forward button on your DVR earlier? Well, in so many ways, I feel like I was in that mode where I was in such a rush to get past all the commercials that I missed a lot of the main parts of the plot. I didn’t carpe shit, my friends.
I think about this because today is John and my tenth anniversary. Ten years have gone by since we got married in a multi-cultural, multi-ceremony day that we shared with some of our closest friends and family. I look back at pictures of us on our wedding day and I think, “Shit, we looked so young!” But then I also think, “Man, we were totally clueless.”
That day went by in a blur of music, family, friends, laughter, TONS of food and lots of dancing. I don’t think I remember much, but I do remember thinking, “Thank God we can finally go on our honeymoon!” See? Always looking for what comes next.
And so the days passed. In 2006, we moved into our new home and a year or so later, we brought our first hellion, I mean, child, into the world.
Shaila came. She saw. She pooped.
And we were in love.
And I remember that new love. That overwhelming, all consuming kind of love where you heart might burst. But I also remember the exhaustion. And we stumbled through the days, trying to keep things together at home and at work and we missed more of her smiles than I’d like to imagine.
Before we knew it, Nico decided to join us. And all I remember was wanting him OUT OF MY BELLY. This is me the day we had him. I had an appointment with my OB/GYN and I wore makeup to show them that I had not, in fact spent most of my pregnancy in pajamas and muumuus. (I don’t think they were fooled).
Apparently, Nico and I were on the same wavelength. He came 3 weeks early.
And before I knew it, our peanut was his own little person, equipped with a personality that could make anyone smile (except, our very short lived au pair from Hungary, Agota. She didn’t really smile very much though).
And so there were four. And we were complete.
But a funny thing happened along the way.
You see, life got kind of overwhelming. And for the first time in my life, I couldn’t carry the weight of being overwhelmed.
I buckled. I battled depression. John and I tried to work through some of the cracks that were becoming apparent in our relationship. But there were days where we would both throw our hands up in despair and look at each other, each thinking the same thing.
“Oh no. Don’t go putting this on me. This is ALL you.”
And those kinds of conversations were, as one might expect, extremely constructive and totally made us appreciate each other more.
And I continued to be a Facebook fool, posting idyllic pictures of us, as long as my hair looked nice in them. You couldn’t see any cracks in those pictures.
But there were cracks. I know, because John and I both bled a little during these years when the shards cut through our skin.
But somehow, despite almost letting those cracks become something much, much greater, we were able to carpe our relationship.
And I am so, so very glad that we did. We seized the shit out of it.
So here we are. Ten years later. And I can’t really explain why or how, but I finally feel like I know how to enjoy what I have and what I know and what I breathe and who I have beside me each step of the way.
We do not live a picture perfect life. But I’m beginning to realize that the beauty in our pictures lies in our imperfections and how we embrace each other’s as a family.
It’s been ten amazing, tumultuous, passionate, crazy, hectic, magical, disruptive, serendipitous years since John and I married. And I can’t hit rewind on any of those moments, but I am finally learning to love them all.
So, without further ado…
Happy Anniversary, John!
I have no idea what the next ten years brings us, but I can’t wait to find out. And just FYI, John, if you’re up for a little less drama, I’m totally on board with that.
All my love,
P.S. All the really pretty pictures that are professionally done on this site are courtesy of our friends at Tell Chronicles.