one for the ages

i've been thinking about a lot over the past couple days. there are so many things running around in my head, and for once i'm not thinking out loud. probably because i don't even know what i'm thinking. it's like all i'm doing is feeling, not thinking. i don't know why, and i don't know how to express it.

of all the things that have been swirling around in my head there are a few things i've realized. for all the crap in my life, all the junk, all the things i don't understand, there's another one that is equally baffling at the other end of the spectrum.

the more fake life [movies, tv, etc.] i watch, and the more real life i see, the more i realize that in one big, important sense, i have it really really good.

my husband is amazing.
seriously. amazing.

i know that no matter what i do - even if i go get a third tattoo, that i really want, and he doesn't particularly want me to get - he's here for the long haul.

and in the midst of such a cruel, harsh world that is falling apart; in the midst of so many marriages falling apart and our culture saying that the individual person being happy is the only thing that matters; amidst all that, we'll be okay.

we've been together for eight and a half years.
i know that doesn't really seem like much in the grand scheme of things, but to me it means a whole heck of a lot. it means that we've survived. we've survived even when we didn't have to, before it really mattered if we broke up.

i couldn't help but think about all of this last night. lately i've been struggling a bit, and peter and i were talking, and i realized in a different way than ever before, that he will not give up on me. no matter what. til death do us part.

i remember the first walk we ever went on. i told him about my life. i told him about all the crap. not specifically everything, but in broad terms. and if i'm being really honest i was probably trying to scare him away. him and his perfect family.

i actually told him once while we were dating - after about 2 years, that i didn't think i could marry him because his family was too perfect, and i wouldn't fit into it. he just shook his head at me.

secretly, i think he enjoys my craziness. not all the time, mind you. but he still shakes his head at me quite often -- i think that even after all this time he's still not quite sure what to do with me. [secretly, i find this quite funny...]

but he's it. forever. for always.
last night i was thinking about the movie "the young victoria," and i was thinking that we're like that in our own little way. and just as much as victoria and albert had a love for the ages, so is ours. not because it's worth making a movie about, but because it's true.

it's one of the truest things i've ever known.

and all too often i take him for granted. i take for granted the effort he puts into his work. how much work he does to provide for us. i take for granted that after working for 50+ hours every week he's still going to do more when he comes home.

i take him for granted, and i hate that i do that sometimes. because next to jesus, peter is the best thing that has ever happened to me. and i know that no matter what - whether we ever have kids, or just get more dogs, whether i live well or not, succeed or fail, burn dinner or create culinary masterpieces - he'll be there.

whether we travel to every city and continent the world over, or become hermits and live in a tent or a shed [or a conversion van...] somewhere, we'll do okay. we may sit in the middle of hardships for a while. we may struggle for the rest of our lives -- i sincerely hope we don't of course, but even if we do. even if the whole world falls apart. we'll be okay.

it only took me a month and a half to know that we would end up together. [shockingly, it took him even less time.] and in the midst of waiting for the ring i wondered if maybe i was wrong. if maybe, somehow i missed something. but i was right all along. we were both right. and despite the inevitable arguments that two bull-headed people get themselves into, at the end of the day, someone less bull-headed than him simply wouldn't do.

the thing about peter is - he won't let me be less amazing than he sees me. i'm pretty sure he thinks i'm more amazing than anyone else in the world - well, maybe not quite that amazing - and it saddens him to watch me be less than as much as i could be.

it's one thing to be with someone who wants you to be happy, but it's something else entirely to be with someone who wants you to be excellent, who wants you to be your best self, who wants you to be more than what you're living as because he can see what you could be. in that sense - happiness is overrated.

i may be happy watching movies all day while eating ice cream and shopping online. but if i did what i wanted to do, and not what i ought to do - if i wasted my life away chasing nothing but pleasure - i would die having never really lived.

we may have only been married for about four and a half years, but i've learned a lot. the biggest thing i've learned is that marriage takes a lot of work. it's so easy to turn into roommates, and not take the time or the effort to stay connected, to stay on the same page. sometimes we're in entirely different books.

but sometimes we don't even have to speak. those times are some of my favorites. when we're somewhere that we can't talk about what we're thinking, and yet just by a quick exchange of looks i know we're thinking the exact same thing.

we've had so many ups and downs. we've lost a lot of people in our family since we've been married. we've seen people come and go from our lives. and yet, many many times i've come back to what my best friend said in her toast at our wedding.

peter's my best friend now. my partner in crime. and from now on, it's us.

he knows me like no one else. encourages me and holds me up like no one else. he can't fix everything [which drives him crazy], but he takes the edge off just by being there. no matter how different we are about some things, it doesn't matter. 

he's mine. for keeps.

about a month after we got married peter's grandad passed away. i remember crying my eyes out at his funeral - and seeing peter cry for the first time - and afterwards i told peter he had to do me a favor. i asked him to let me die first.

that was the first time i really really thought about him dying. the first time i had any little glimpse at all into how much it'd hurt to lose him forever.

it reminds me of a winnie the pooh quote i heard a long time ago: if you live to be a hundred i want to live to be a hundred minus one day, so i never have to live without you.

every once in a while peter is driving really early in the morning, or really late at night, or he's in the middle of something and his phone is off, and i start to panic a little bit.

i don't know what i would do without him.

i remember planning our wedding, and freaking out about the details of it, getting mad at a few people, wanting to elope, etc., etc.

and i remember peter telling me then that i just needed to remember that as long as we were married at the end of the day, everything would be okay. the goal was to get married because it was about the marriage, not about the wedding.

and we did have a few hiccups on our wedding day -- including our pastor accidentally calling me nikki at one point during the ceremony -- but at the end of the day we were married.

and we will be as long as we're both here.

even if it's you & me against the world,
somehow i still think we'll end up on top.


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