I got married a year ago today on a chilly spring afternoon beside a creek in a Philadelphia park.
It’s been a year full of ups and downs and constant change — my figure being one of those changes. You always hear jokes about women getting married and letting themselves go. There is no truer testament to that than when you get pregnant 3.5 months into your marriage and grow a tummy like a long-haul trucker. Sorry, Brendan — I’ll be a slinky mermaid again soon.
Joking aside, this first year of marriage has seen us move continents, switch jobs, lose a loved one and make a baby. We’ve adapted to life in New York City, an urban center vastly different from Sydney. We’ve struggled with how certain relationships now fit in our lives all while trying to make new connections in our new home. We’ve debated what the future holds: Where are our careers going? Where will we live long-term — America or another country? How do we start a family without going bankrupt and becoming paranoid lunatics who are obsessed with parenting at the expense of our own connection?
The important thing is through all these changes, those mountainous and miniscule, the joyous times, the devastating ones and the mundane moments in between, we’ve had each other. I’ve felt since I met Brendan that I already knew him, and since we decided that we would give this legal commitment thing a shot, I’ve felt that we are walking down the path of life hand-in-hand. Brendan gives me grief because I shudder a bit at the whole “my spouse is my best friend” notion. That’s because he’s more than that to me. Soul mate is a trite, Dawson’s Creek-like term (though I did love that show). So is “other half.”
Maybe the most accurate way to describe how I consider my husband is that he’s my home. He’s my tortoise shell — yes, sometimes on my back in irksome ways, as I can be on his, but for the most part, the shelter I carry with me no matter where I go in the world. We could live in Sonoma or Siberia; with him by my side, I’d feel safe. And it’s not the “boring” type of safe. Anyone who has seen our bickering knows there’s a fire underneath both of us, as individuals and for each other. No, I mean safe in the sense that I feel I have a place to go where someone accepts me for who I am, all the flaws, all the assets, all the insecurities and fears and hopes and dreams for tomorrow, next year and forever. I also have a dance partner for life.
Happy One-Year Anniversary to my kind, ketchup-loving snoreasaurus who is a kid at heart. Thanks for choosing me to navigate the river of life with you. Now let’s go eat a frozen piece of blue cake.
All photos by Jenny Castro Photography