Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Third One's a Charm

I started this blog to talk about Morgan's and my wedding, and beyond that, our life together. And that's what it's been about, although in the last year you might not have realized that, since it's mostly been about travel (which is what was happening in our life together, after all!). But this post is going to be about the other stuff again, since we just had our 3rd anniversary on March 5.

We have had some amazing times in the last year (the last three years, as well, but I'm going to just focus on this particular one for now), and I think we've appreciated every one of them. It was just under a year ago that we found out we were moving to Belgium for six months, and went through a flurry of activity, selling or packing all of our possessions. Then were off, and life was full of new things. Finally, at the beginning of this year, we found ourselves back in California. I admit, that all sounds pretty exciting. And it was.

But we've also had some seriously challenging times.The time before the job in Gent came through was tough. We were both pretty thoroughly sick of Denver, and things were financially difficult. Traveling to another continent with what will fit into suitcases and trying to make a home in another country is hard. That romantic ideal I mentioned above, of life being full of new things, is fun until you just want to shop at a grocery store where you understand what you're looking at. You just want to know where to get a decent meal, which bakery is open on Sundays, why places seem to close on a whim. You want to know which street to take without consulting a map every five minutes. Every minor thing becomes a decision that has to be made by someone.

It's easy to take that sort of stress out on the only other person you know, and the only other one who speaks your language natively - your spouse. Although we both got frustrated and tired of things at times, I think we managed it very well, keeping in mind that we were both in the same situation and on the same team. ("Team We Are So Confused," often.) I've heard it said that taking a road trip with someone is a great test of your ability to work together, live together in confined spaces, be around each other for 24 hours a day, etc. Well, moving internationally is like the extreme sport edition of that.

All of which doesn't mean it was constantly difficult; obviously we eventually started knowing where things were, how to use the bus and tram system, how to decipher signs in Dutch. And we did a good amount of traveling in other places in Europe where we had to learn things all over again. But we were better at the process then, too. I don't want to give short shrift to the good times; I just think it's important to acknowledge the tough ones.

That was in Luxembourg. It had been raining off and on all day, and we were lost. Or wait, I think when we took that picture, we weren't yet lost. But we were about to be! We ended up seeing more of Luxembourg than we would have otherwise. But hey, that's how life is, right?  Happy accidents!

The point here is really this: it's been 3 years, and we're a better team than ever. Ups and downs have taught us a lot about ourselves. We've found the ways that work for us. They might not work for anyone else, they might not be what other people think we should do, but one of the best things about marriage is knowing that one other person, the most important person, really gets you. And if you've got that, what more do you really need?

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