My idiot husband,
Five years. Half a decade. A fourth of a quarter century. Whichever way I try and look at it, it feels like an enormous amount of time. To think I thought four years felt long, and old and like we’ve done this for far too long. And yet there are some things that make it feel like we only got married just the other day. Five years ago on this very day, I was delirious with excitement, but trying hard to contain myself. People told me I needed to smile, but look shy and coy, not like I was excited and happy to be leaving an old life and entering a new one. But why not, I asked. Why can’t I be happy? I had chosen the man I wanted to marry and we were about to embark on a new trip together. And what a trip it has been.
Five years ago, on this day people asked me if I knew what was in store for me. I giggled and said I didn’t. Who does? And I quickly chased it up with a, “whatever it is, I’ll be okay because VC will be around with me.” That was my naivety talking, of course. It was easy, to flippantly say we’ll be together every moment, every step of the way. But the truth is the months and weeks that have rolled by only peel away the rose tinted glasses, exposing the real people that you are I are. When we have realised that at the core, we are a different as different can be. Those are the moments when I look at the person that you are and wonder what made me think we’d be in-sync, see eye-to-eye and take every step together, for the rest of our lives. How utterly foolish of me to assume that people remain the same, that relationships are smooth sailing and that nothing ever changes.
But nothing fun ever came from relationships built on sameness. It’s true, nothing stays the same. And yet, in the face of every difficult decision, bearing varying opinions, our wildly differing views, we manage to come out on the same page on the big things that count. We’re like chalk and cheese. And yet, we pair so damn well. And I am thankful for it every single day.
Even when I’m nagging you about working less and living some more, begging you to eat some dal, wishing you’d learn to party a little harder, wanting you to quit those damn vices for good, I know deep down that there isn’t all that much I’d really change about you. Because the differences pale in comparison with the things we can do together. And the past year has shown me that. It’s been a year of many more disagreements, but a lot less heated, loud arguments. A year of letting each other go just a bit to discover our individual selves, yet holding on just so we know we’re always around for each other. It’s been a year of quiet contemplation, but loud resounding affirmation about the decisions we have taken and the path we have chosen to steer our life down.
They say the true test of a decision is how many times you are made to question it. By that logic, you and I have been tested a fair bit. Several times we have found ourselves at that point where we wonder if this was the right thing to do. Where the white-hot fury of an arguement makes glaring differences stand out. Where you want nothing more than to sever a tie and take a break. Where you want so bad to erase a few moments in the past just so you can smoothen out the present. And yet, each time I am at that point with you, affirmation sinks in fast and hard. Sometimes slinking in silently, sometimes crash-landing in front of me with a thud and a bang. Sometimes with a silent, wry smile. And I have always taken that as the biggest sign of how right it was for me. And maybe, for you too.
So when people ask me why I decided to marry “so early” (and they still do!) I only have one reason to give. Which is that I fell head over heels, truly madly in love with a man I could see myself spending my whole life, and nurturing a home with. So why does it matter if it happened at 18, 24, 29 or 32? And how does it matter if this is year 5, or 10, or 15?
It’s just another year. But for me its been a a big year. The year I learned perspective. Thanks to you. Without that, I wouldn’t have been able to choose the right things. Or see the big picture. Or chase my small dreams. Or let go of that international holiday. Or choose a smaller home so we could bring the quiet back into our lives. Or dare to get into business so we can test our passions a bit. It’s just another year. But in my mind it will always be the year that changed everything.
Most people, five years into marriage have so much to show for it. A second car, a few babies, a home they own, a business they’ve put their money into. All the things that make up a functioning unit that is a family, which they say is ultimately the reason why people choose to get married. We have none of that. What we do have is a lot of togetherness. The kind I feel even across distances. When you’re travelling on work and I lie alone in bed, thinking about the shadows just outside the window. We have a lot of happy times. The kind that leave us exhausted from laughing hard. From being foolish and silly and acting 16. We have a lot of compassion and consideration. The kind that lets me know that I can chuck a paying job and sit at home to bake cakes and largely flit about life doing what I want, because you made it possible for me to.
So when the sun goes down and I look back on these years, I might not see the large home, the extra flat, the bigass car, the potloads of money in the bank. But I’ll still feel rich. Like I do now. Because I know that we chose well. We chose the single salary over the EMIs. We chose the rented smaller home, over the proposed house. We chose to fumble through the baking business over a secure, safe job. It’s been a year of perspective. It’s been a year of choosing well. And I hope this sets the tone for many, many years to come. May we always continue to make the choices that are best for us, regardless of what the world and their aunty seems to want us to do. May we continue to do the things we believe in most, peacefully, happily and wholly. May we always remember that in most situations, you only get to choose once, and so we must make that one chance count.
Just like we did five whole years ago.
And because I’m feeling particularly corny with love, this one’s for you:
All my love, and then some,