Monday, May 23, 2011

A love for a lifetime

Since I have graduated college in December, almost all of my friends sans one has gotten engaged, married, or had their first kid.  I'm still trying to wrap my head around all of this; that all of my friends, in less than a year, are starting on another path of their life.  One side of me smiles and gushes about how happy I am for them, and then the other side wants to yell "Why are you all getting married in the same year!", and yet another side of me just falls back in a state of nostalgia thinking, "When's my turn?"

I know what you are all thinking, Steph, you're just letting all this marriage and wedding stuff get to your head. And maybe part of you is right, but can you blame a girl for having it on her mind? I'm 23 with two degrees and a full-time dream job (that doesn't pay that well, but that's another battle), dating an amazingly wonderful man for the past two years, and I'm thinking, well okay, where is my next adventure.  I've always known that I wanted to have a family young, and that's just me.  Some people argue that I'm not exercising my full potential, that I'm still so young, or even the big skeptics that say "I'm setting the women's movement back 20 yrs". I don't see it that way though. For me, starting a family is the greatest job of them all, I mean I look at mine, as imperfect as the rest of us but perfect in its own unique way and knowing that my mother had everything to do with it.  Now don't get me wrong, my father is an amazing man who has provided for our family in ways that I can never repay, but look at the heart of a mother; unyielding, steadfast, and full of courage, empathy, and love. And looking at my mother, while others may say "I never want to be my mother", I yearn for it. I aspire to accept all the challenges that it means to raise a family and turn a house into a home because I recognize how important that job is. As I sit here writing this all for you guys, I know that I am who I am because of my mother's love. She showed me nothing but support, even when I had hit rock bottom, but never enabling negative behaviors.  Her wise words has made me wiser than more than half the people my age and I guess what I'm trying to say is that I would love to do the same for someone else.

No, I don't want to have a kid in the next 9 months but I do aspire to do so in my future. But onto other thoughts of love.

Going back to my initial thoughts on marriage and that other nonsense, it got me thinking, why do people get married? Is it because of love, because 'that's what's next?', or is it something else? I've never been married but I know that the person I am with is someone I can 100% see a future with and when I think of the future I think it's so important to love them more than you could ever describe on paper. I think it's also important to be able to talk to that person about anything, even if they get annoyed by it.  In my experience most problems have occurred because I or the other person was not open about something from the very start. When you begin to develop a relationship without open communication, you're relationship will ultimately destroy itself.  For me, it's very important to get each other and to have total respect for each other.  It should never have to be a game of what the other person is thinking, although these things happen from time to time, but I think you know what I mean.  I don't want to spend my life with someone who I am constantly trying to impress and put on a facade with.  My man needs to just gets me. It needs to come easy. Respecting each other is so important for the other things to fall in place.  Respect comes from respecting yourself. I think it explains itself.

Now please don't get me wrong and think my head is all up in the clouds of romance because I do realize we all will disagree at some point and that there will be major ups and downs to any relationship, but I think it is the way that those people work through their issues that is most important at the end of the day.  What I'd like to emphasize is whether or not I'm on a good team with my significant other.  Are we friends or frenemies? Because I'll tell you right now, when things take a turn for the bad, which is likely to happen in any relationship, I want my best friend right by me, and I pray to God that it's my man. Looking at my parents it's mad me realize how important it is to be good teammates.  My parents, as opposite from each other as they are, they make a great team.  The play every game like its a championship and when one is down and out, the other makes up for it.  That's what shines for me.  Those are the things that make an amazing future.

Sure I'm probably missing a bunch of details and many of you who are marriage have words of wisdom which are totally welcome, post a comment, but when I start a future with someone, I want it to have a foundation on the above.

“I don't pretend to know what love is for everyone, but I can tell you what it is for me; love is knowing all about someone, and still wanting to be with them more than any other person, love is trusting them enough to tell them everything about yourself, including the things you might be ashamed of, love is feeling comfortable and safe with someone, but still getting weak knees when they walk into a room and smile at you.”
- Unknown

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