Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Looking on the Bright Side

Tim & I met around this time of year back in 2000. For all intensive purposes, we lived a fairy-tale courtship through our college years. Senior year, my good friend, Liz, pulled me aside & caught me off guard with her frankness - "You know you're lucky, right?" I had no idea what she was talking about. "You went to school & met the love of your life... you're graduating, have a job lined up, and you're planning your wedding." No one had ever condensed my life into such simple terms. She was right - I'm lucky.

All my college professors warned against having 'major life changes' during our first year teaching (rumors spread about a friend of a friend of that brown-haired girl in Educational Psychology... apparently she completely lost it & was last seen giving her wedding guests DIBELS & sending her students thank you notes for the delightful shower gifts). Needless to say, I didn't listen. I graduated December 10, 2004; started teaching on December 13, 2004; and got engaged on December 31, 2004. For the next seven months, I was legally insane. I'm quite certain that somewhere among those wedding contracts, it read, "Mental facilities that govern kind, rational thought and behavior will not be functioning properly again until after the big day." I wasn't a bridezilla... oh no, quite the opposite actually - my husband was forced to be involved in the wedding planning. Much like Dory, those months were filled with trying to "just keep swimming" through the piles of school & wedding stuff that slowly filled every corner of our apartment. There were many times that I thought I would lose it - I mean, strap me into a straight-jacket - lose it!

The end of the school year came. I survived. I was stronger for it.

Our wedding arrived; it was a blissful swirl of celebration! Momentary perfection. Most of all, however, it was our own. Something that (with the help of our family) Tim & I were able to dream, build & create - together! Our wedding went & the honeymoon came. It was about that time that I began to regain mental facilities enough to recall what my friend had told me earlier... yup, I'm still lucky.

We knew that everything was right.
We could feel it. That rainbow of perfection hung in our sky through the first eight years of our relationship. It ended on May 18, 2008. Suddenly we were unprepared... struggling to deal with something that seemed so simple before... our life. Although the next couple months were filled with bright summer sunshine outside, it was a stark contrast to our feelings. With heavy weights on our hearts & gray clouding our mind, we found ourselves fumbling through some of the hardest experiences we've been dealt thus far - everything felt uncertain, unstable, & completely not normal.

Why am I telling you this?
This week the normalcy has returned. I can't quite pinpoint what has changed or how or why, but something is different. Something feels lighter. For the first time in a while, we can feel, just a little, carefree... without guilt or sadness. Our outlook is restored... and yes, we're very lucky.

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