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The other night Hal and I had one of those long "shit feels fucked up between us right now how to we fix it" conversations and I thought about this song and how it was on one of the first mix tapes Hal ever made me and how lucky I am that I found someone who makes me better, who makes me go.



Marriage is HARD. It's hard and it's weird and it's terrifying and lonely and all of these things we do not discuss when we repeat our vows. "For better or for worse" is a little on the vague side I think.

Anyway. I was listening to this song and thinking of Hal and what it felt like in the beginning of our relationship when the biggest challenge was who was going to sleep at who's house and how nobody really fights in the beginning of relationships because everyone is too busy posing and perfuming their assholes instead of you know, farting.

Which is awesome and I totally miss that because I'm a human being and that shit was fun. And hot. And non-farty. I miss the way life used to smell when Hal was making me mix tapes and I was cooking for him every night  and we were both these people that we weren't really but WANTED to be because we thought we were better that way. We thought we were more lovable with mix tapes and four course meals and ironic sweater vests and me in the makeup I wore to sleep.

None of that exists anymore but it didn't ever anyway. That's what I've come to realize over time. That the beginning doesn't really count. The beginning is basically a total bullshit lie.

In the beginning, we made each other "happy". Now? We make each other BETTER. Happy, too, but also unhappy. Because growth hurts and the truth can be brutal and that is how we grow. That is how we grow as a couple and grow our children and that is how we grow. 
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I've loved reading everyone's "what does education mean to you" comments and I guess I wanted to include mine in the mix as well, which I've spent a lot of time marinating over the past couple of weeks and have come to this conclusion:

Education is the exchange of knowledge for the sake of growth - in people, their relationships, communities and the world. 

I see it in my kids - in their conflicts with each other and the resolutions that follow.
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I see it in my marriage - two humpty dumpties putting each other back together again after pushing the other off the wall. And FUCK, man, Fuckity fuck fuck, it is the opposite of awesome, that feeling. The last thing I want to do is put someone back together after I've just pushed them down and I'm not sorry because ugh ugh I'm so mad at you, ugh! And don't even TRY to touch these pieces after pushing me, mister. DON'T EVEN TRY!  (Except he does. He always does.)

I see it in the way we push against each other and then pull back and then, like the other night, come together like a group huddle after a shitty game.
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Compromise is a matter of strength, not weakness, I tell them and myself. But sometimes its hard to listen to our own voices. It's why we're constantly repeating things. It's why we look to our children to listen when we can't - to show us when we cannot show ourselves.
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In the end, I feel insane in the fortunate department for finding someone who makes me better, who makes me grow. And I'd rather spend my life painfully (sometimes) growing than painlessly stunted. Because by its very nature "for worse" is undoubtably what makes me better. It's what makes all of us better and closer and more tolerable and a team.
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Ra ra, go the cheerleaders in our pockets.

Sis boom ba, we say to each other, swollen faced in the locker room. 

***

142. Uncertain Times by: The Raveonettes 

GGC

4 comments:

Miss M | 3:11 AM

Thank you for this post! I had a bad day yesterday and this is just what I needed. A reminder that marriage and life in general cannot be all unicorns and rainbows all the time, no matter how much I want it to be; that marriage is work...but in the end it is all worth it and without the growing pains we would not grow!! M x

glenda | 7:34 AM

Team players.
Compromise and loving each other.
Love this post. Love your writing.

Sheelah | 8:05 AM

Perfect. I am continually awed by your ability to write about marriage in a real way without exposing any too-personal information. And really, the nitty gritty of the hard times isn't going to be the same from couple to couple; so the way you write these posts not only keeps your relationship sacred, it makes it relatable for us all. When I read these posts, I feel such a sense of relief that "We're not the only ones." Thank you for being brave enough to write about this, and applaud yourself for being able to do it so beautifully.

Kate {motleymama.com} | 9:51 AM

Perfect.