A COUPLE'S BLOG
(a warning to the squirmish)
(a warning to the squirmish)
I have a confession. There are three things I wish I didn’t have to tolerate with him. His need for attention, choosing to fight in order to change things, and that chip on his shoulder he could never mend. But tolerating these is more than ‘this is what it takes to be with him’. It is about understanding the context through the eight years of choosing to be with him. It is about learning the journey through the stories of friends and family. It is about loving the man he has become because of it and despite it. It is about looking at him during random moments and smiling to myself at how beautiful of a person he is.
And in his most annoying, charming and not-so-me way, he opens up his context – the journey that took him here.
One of the reasons that we enjoy about being together is how well and how openly we can describe our experiences to each other, how they made us feel and what we did or what we would have done. Part of our conversations are the things we realized through the years. As we mark the few weeks that we are both of the same age, we found it apt to put together the 30 things we learned in 30 years. These conversations keep us grounded and remind us of the persons and leaders we want to be.
Her: My shift in careers has brought me more life and work learnings but less financial reward and slower climb up the corporate ladder. I have grown to choose my time and wellness over a time-hungry and overly jealous job. The latter changed me for the worse - my health, how I treat myself and other people. I was disappointed with how much time passed by without having been aware that I lived it.
Him: Working for an agency is a love-hate relationship and it is not for all. It takes so much courage, different mindset, conscious and unconscious decision to stay in the industry. Being able to finish work takes up a lot of time but it also gives a different sense of satisfaction that you cannot get anywhere else. What helps me are setting my limits and asking for help. I learned to value my limited time and energy so I can spend them on things that matter and those that make me happy.
Him: What's working for us is the freedom to maintain our individuality and the openness to pick-up on each other's influences along the way. From safe food choices, I've learned to explore new cuisines. From mere conversation with friends to game nights. And from not caring at all to becoming an avid fan of football. Despite those changes, I still get to do the things that are uniquely mine - play computer games, stay obsessed with badminton and voice my opinions about politics and work even if it contradicts hers. Being in a long-term relationship should not make you forget who you are while creating shared identity.
Her: The surprise of everybody upon hearing that we're together was not surprising to us because our differences are essential to how we are together. It begins with as simple as where we grew up: him - province, me - city. It ends with how people perceive us: him - down to earth and personable, me - vocal and intimidating. What these differences give us are wider perspective, better sense of reality and richer experience on things.
We: When in a long-term relationship, we learned that it's important not to lose the meaning of what we constantly do and say. When we say "I love you", it's not just for the sake of saying it but it is an expression of what we feel. In fact, it's even possible not to say it every day because you are saying and showing things that reflect it. Instead of developing a routine or fulfilling your obligation, it is being in the moment. It is accepting that the relationship will take another form - and you need to recognize the signals and see how it unfolds.
Being in a relationship is all about writing stories together, making memories and doing things that you'll never thought of doing on your own. These things anchor the relationship, move us to add to these memories and excite us on the possibilities of the future.