Today I was talking to my friend about my 30th birthday this June, and she was surprised to find out I would still be in Seattle and not back with Hubs in NC yet. My reasoning for this was that I don't want to turn 30 with only him and our cat. Sure, I've made a few friends out there, but compared to the party I'll have in Seattle a NC bash would have a depressing turn out. In the last ten years, I've moved so much often I'm in a new place on my birthday, and I rarely get to celebrate with people who I've known more than a month. This year, I'm ready for something less... intimate.
At the core, my decision to stay in Seattle, while based on a party, really has nothing to do with a birthday and everything to do with happiness.
Hubs and I have been in a relationship for almost four years, and during that time I have learned this: Loving someone can change your life, it can fill you up and make you a better person- but you cannot be happy on love alone.
It's not all on Hubs to provide me with ultimate happiness either, it would be impossible and it's simply not his job to. He is an addition to my happiness, making my life better exponentially simply by being who he is and supporting me. Together we can travel, be active, take classes. He can laugh as I spend too much money at sephora, go to breweries with me, and all of the things. He can be a perfect, loving husband that makes me feel safe and wonderful, but he himself cannot fulfill me.
This is where things like my career come in. Staying busy, feeling accomplished, and the stuff money provides like trips, adventures, fitness, being on a sports team and all of that. These are things he can support me with, but not give me, and unfortunately these are not things that are possible in certain places we have lived...and thus why I moved to Seattle during his deployment, and stayed when he got back early.
The response I get to that is you make your own happiness. My place is with my husband because otherwise what's the point of being married. I could have any sort of shit job to make money, volunteer to feel accomplished, get a hobby to feel creative, and the ever popular have kids.
There's nothing much else I can say to that, except that it's hard to understand if you're not a career person. I don't mean you have a career instead of a job, or that you enjoy your work. I mean you LOVE your career and it defines who you are. My greatest struggle since leaving Chicago has not been loving hubs or even his deployment. It was figuring out what my new identity would be if I was not to be a creative, a MadMen if you will, any longer.
Over a year ago I started studying to be a personal trainer. It's something I enjoy, something I'm good at, but I haven't finished yet because of one thing: At my heart, I'm still a MadMen, and I continually search for ways to stay on that path. Being a personal trainer would be fun, but it lacks luster and edge. Most of all it lacks all the struggle, drama and heartache you go through to create, and the straight up euphoria when it comes to life.
But love conquers all, right? And a job is just a job. As a co-worker once said, we're selling shoes, not saving lives.
Of course, he's right. It's just advertising, and he punches in at 9 and out at 5 every day. He doesn't drive home thinking about headlines or spend his showers wondering up ideas. For him, it's an on-off switch. There's a lot of people like him who have zero passion for what they do, and if you aren't passionate about something, well it's pretty easy to forget about it and move on. If you are, it's going to be like cutting off your arm very slowly.
While I love Hubs more than anything, I guess in some ways I don't love him more than I love me. There's certain things he can only trump so far. And, he's not any different. Flying helicopters for the military is his dream, and when we were dating he made it clear that he would go after that with or without me. I don't believe that makes us selfish people, and I don't think that means he's not the one for me or we're a terrible married couple. It means the opposite. Quite frankly, we are a power couple.
Over four years we have thrived, loving each other more each day. Nothing can tear us apart. Thousands of miles, months in separate states, even war has not put a dent in our relationship. We know what we want and are never idle, constantly working towards new goals. We know each other better than any two people should. Each moment together is precious, and each phone call is the highlight of the day (even though I call him three, if not more times). I am the absolute neediest of wives, and he is the most patient of husbands. I love our cat, he pretends to hate our cat but secretly cuddles with it. I make sausage on a fork, he mades seafood chowder from scratch. My complete and total insanity somehow compliments his complete and total insanity.
So, I'm going to stay in Seattle for a few more months. I'm going to work my butt off, hike, climb, taste beer, hang out, watch epic mountain sunsets, and have a blast. I'm going to miss Hubs every moment, but I'm a tough kid and we'll be together again soon. For now, there are places to go, things to do, bad ass shit to conquer-- and I challenge all naysayers to give our lives a try and see how they come out on the other end. It's not the most ideal life, but it works, and not for any other reason but because when you love someone, you make it work. You compliment each other. Above all, you make that extra effort to exponentially increase their happiness.
That's what makes a marriage, not the lack of miles between you or the days you spend apart.
WHOLE LIFE CHALLENGE THREE THINGS I'm GRATEFUL FOR
1) For the phone. For talking to Hubs on my way to work, during lunch, and before bed.
2) For my flannel comforter from my mother in law. It is the best and worst thing to ever happen to me in the morning. I am so damn lucky.
3) For bread. God I want bread so bad. I also hate God for making bread bad for you. It should have the nutritional value of a carrot.