Loving someone for a lifetime may be the best thing I could ever be a part of

This past weekend was our 1 year wedding anniversary. I had just returned from my girl's trip out west, that day actually, and was exhausted and on the brink of getting really sick. We went to dinner and decided to extend our celebration into the next weekend. I literally slept for the last 3 days, attempting to recover, with some deep thinking in between about this big landmark. 

It's horribly intimidating sometimes, thinking about choosing to love another human for an entire lifetime. I don't doubt my love for my husband or my commitment to him, but I know how much I've changed from when I was 20 years old to 30 years old- I can't help but wonder how much I will continue to change the rest of my life as an individual. How much both of us will change. I strongly feel my own journey as a wife will be drastically different from that of my own mother's journey (who is 32 years closer this month to loving my own father for their lifetime- congrats!). I won't go into all the statistical variables that make my own generation so different from hers, but simply my own personal thoughts- which include a strong desire to continue in a career of my own, and to remain my own person, with my own identity, apart from being someone's wife. I feel it's extremely important to me, not only for myself, but to balance out a healthy relationship as well.  Thankfully I married a man who agrees and supports these ideals. However, I feel pressure from all sides of society to take on roles and live a life I don't agree with. I desperately wish there was a manual on how to have a career and have a family- how to balance it all, or advice on how to make sacrifices, and what to sacrifice, and when. Knowing so many people in my cohort who are already divorced for various reasons including differing ideals, growing apart, and marrying too young, I'm constantly reminded that love is a gift. 

It's a gift, it's a gift, it's a gift. 

and it's work. and I've learned from being in a committed relationship for the last 7 years, and watching my own beautiful parents, that if you do love someone for a lifetime, whatever that definition of a lifetime is for you, it's not by accident... it's extremely intentional. 

I follow another young blogger named Emily who recently went through the death of her father, completely unexpectedly. She told the story of watching her mother hold her father's hand while he died, and how beautiful and inspiring her parent's commitment to each other and their family was. How the life they lived and that delicate love they shared together as a couple, combined with a family, created a legacy. I cried so hard while reading through her family's deeply emotional struggle that she graciously shared with her readers earlier this summer. A lot of what she wrote during that time, really put things in perspective for me and my own personal struggle this summer. She shared this poem during that experience. It's a powerful collection of words written by M. Mackey that perfectly sum up my feelings, my doubts, my fears, at this exact moment on all things marriage and how loving someone for a lifetime may possibly be the best thing I could ever be a part of.
                 The Kama Sutra of Kindness: Position Number 3

It's easy to love

through a cold spring

when the poles

of the willows

turn green

pollen falls like

a yellow curtain
and the scent of 
Paper Whites
the air

but to love for a lifetime

takes talent

you have to mix yourself

with the strange

beauty of someone


wake each morning

for 72,000

mornings in
a row so
breathed and
bound and 
that you can hardly
sort out
your arms

you have to

find forgiveness

in everything

even ink stains

and broken


you have to be willing to move through



the way the long

grasses move

in a field

when you careen
blindly toward
the other 

there's never going to be anything

straight or predictable

about your path

except the 


and the springing


you just go on walking for years

hand in hand

waist deep in the weeds

bent slightly forward

like two question


and all the while it


my dear

it burns beautifully above


and goes on


like a relentless

"The Kama Sutra of Kindness: Position Number 3" by Mary Mackey, from Breaking the Fever. © Marsh Hawk Press, 2006. 
*poem borrowed from another beautiful blogger, thanks Emily.*
Photo credit: Heidi Lee Photography