truth be told, the first year of our marriage was really hard. another truth be told, it took me and david a long time to figure out how to be adults. i think that when we got married, we had grandiose expectations, especially about our finances and our job. we expected to be handed a hefty paycheck without a lot of work, because (here's yet another) truth be told, that's kind of the only thing we had experienced. it took us a long time to be able to say hey, maybe we messed up and took a wrong road and don't know what to do about it. david and i both grew up in charmed worlds where disappointment and failure didn't frequent.
we were just talking about that first year and so many vivid memories and feelings came flooding back into my mind. david said it perfectly when he described those months as "dark times." right after we got married, we moved out of state for the summer and when we returned to utah, we felt misplaced. none of our family lived near us and we were the first of our friends to get married which made us feel a little bit lonely and like we didn't know where we fit. our little blue house was cold because we were too cheap to run the heater more than necessary. our fridge was often bare. for the first time in my life, i didn't get to shop the nordstrom anniversary sale for hundreds of dollars worth of new fall clothes. and it was hard.
during this time, i became a slave to comparison. i remember looking at other couples who drove fancy cars and had beautiful brand new homes and budgets that allowed for expensive restaurants and i craved that. i remember wishing for those petty things; thinking that their lives were easier, less stressful, better than mine.
you see, no one talks about the cheating husband and his humiliating public affair behind the mercedes-benz stigma. no one talks about the chronically ill baby and the struggles of raising a handicapped child from behind the designer clothes.
it wasn't until ava came that i really grasped real life. what is important and what is rubbish. what life is about and what is just stuff. the things that will make my heart really, truly happy and the things that just don't matter. i mean it when i say that she changed me; she softened me. she put my priorities in the right places. she made me want to be all of the things i want her to be; strong and smart and compassionate and confident and gracious and real. someone with moral fiber and depth in her eyes.
this past year has been the best year of my life. and i like to think it's because i've chosen to make it so; to rid my mind of the stuff and focus on what really matters. my man and my little girl. the mornings david wakes up at 6am to take ava to bagel shack so i can get a few extra hours of sleep. her wobbly first steps in the hallway. the warmth of a full house when my brother and sister come home for the holidays. i've chosen to have a thankful heart and to shoo away the thief of joy, that pesky nuisance comparison.
i don't wear diamonds on my neck and we don't drive a range rover but my husband holds my hand in his sleep and my baby is healthy and happy and you know, i can't think of anything better.
happy thanksgiving, friends.