This is the third time I have sat down to write this post. The third time. I think I need to stop and listen. I think the Universe is trying to tell me something. After I wrote about our Happily, Ever After I knew that this post would be next. The post about me falling down the Rabbit Hole and chasing the elusive White Rabbit: the perfect marriage. Yet somehow every time I have sat down to write the words don’t come. When they do, they are only a jumbled mess.
The mess of words was supposed to resemble something of our first year. A tough first year. Where we struggled to find love in a new world of living together. We struggled to find intimacy in a new world of juggling work, house, housework and everything else that we squeezed in between.
In the car on the way home from work one night, I spoke to my husband about this post. I asked him about our first year. We have both agreed that our first year was tough, but we never said anything more than that. I had emailed him a copy of the jumbled post I had been working on and I was now asking him what he thought. He turns to me, sitting there in his suit and tie, stuck in traffic and says “I don’t remember it like that.” I was f-l-o-o-r-e-d. What? What do you mean? Of course it was like that!
He took a deep breath, as he often does when he sits there trying to explain something to me. He exhaled and said “Yes it was tough, but it wasn’t that bad”. In my pride filled, stubborn prowess, I stared straight ahead and kept re-writing the post in my head.
It has been weeks since that trip home. I have churned over and over this post and what it means. We had both lived at home until we were married. Comfortable, traditional, European homes. So when we got married and moved out, it was a huge first for the both of us. Juggling work and house was hard. In my usual way I tried to do too much. Keep it Picture Perfect. But sitting here now, almost ten years married, and I realise, the first year was neither good nor bad. It just was. What was bad, was my perception of that first year.
Since that first year I have found myself signing off wedding cards to our friends and family with my favourite Leunig quote “love one another and you will be happy, it is as simple and as difficult as that.” In our first year, I was forever thinking that I was dealing with more of the difficult rather than the simple. Yet, looking back now, that first year was simple. I was the one who was difficult. I think that in my need to be in control, I was in fact my own White Rabbit.
I had a mental checklist, one that I had chiselled as reflection of the old traditional marriages around me. I was trying to keep up the illusion, an illusion I had created, but thought was perfectly real. I thought I was being watched. Being tested. I couldn’t fail. But now I can see – that no one was even watching.