With our recent anniversary, we have been a little reflective lately--on how far we've come, on how much fun we've had, on our lessons learned, on our hopes for what's next.
Right now, we are on a bit of a deadline to figure out what's next. Byron's current research position and our lease end as this year comes to a close. Those events are both months away, but when a deadline involves your house and your main income, it always seems much closer, looming overhead and casting a larger shadow than other smaller deadlines.
So what's next for us? What do we want? We don't know.
But I have figured out something that makes it all seem less daunting.
Byron is my greatest adventure, and I his.
I used to think the phrase "you are my greatest adventure" was a little cheesy. I mean, really, whenever we make those big wordy gestures -- "you complete me," "you're my everything," "you are the best thing that ever happened to me ever and forever and always and xoxoxo" --it just feels a bit much. But, when Byron and I started to have these larger talks about what's next and where we would be in a few months and a few years, these phrases crept in, because what matters is not our decisions but who we make them with. We may be moving away, and working incredible jobs, and traveling all around the world--and all of that would be amazing, they would be the grand adventures that I always have dreamed of having. But they just don't compare to the guy I'm making them with.
I wouldn't trade any grand adventure for morning snuggles, and cooking dinner together, and figuring out how to budget and pay bills, and talking about our life together. Byron is the adventure that I choose each day.
At the same time that I was figuring this out I picked up a copy of Shauna Niequist's, cold tangerines, and read the first chapter that confirmed the great adventure I am with. Here are some excerpts that resonated with me:
I had visions of life as an adventure, a thing to be celebrated and experienced, but all I was doing was going to work and coming home, and that wasn't what it looked like in the movies.
Life is a collection of a million, billion moments, tiny little moments and choices, like a handful of luminous, glowing pearls. And strung together, built upon one another, lined up through the days and the years, they make a life, a person.
But this is what I'm finding, in glimpses and flashes: this is it. This is it, the best possible way. That thing I'm waiting for, that adventure, that movie-score-worthy experience unfolding gracefully. This is it. Normal, daily life ticking by on our streets and sidewalks, in our houses and apartments, in our beds and at our dinner tables, in our dreams and prayers and fights and secrets--this pedestrian life is the most precious thing any of us will ever experience.
That's the drama of life, swirling all around us, and generally I don't even see it, because I'm too busy waiting to become whatever it is I think I am about to become. This big moments are in every hour, every conversation, every meal, every meeting.
The life you've been waiting for is happening all around you.
You and your family and your friends and your house and your dinner table and your garage have all the makings of a life of epic proportions, a story for the ages. Because they all are. Every life is.
Isn't that some good stuff?! I find it so sad that we default to "the Big Moment" way of life--waiting for something amazing, when, in reality, we get the opportunity to be amazing in every moment. I think this is the problem with lots of marriages, too. 1. We think marriage, not our spouse, will be the big adventure that changes everything, and when it's not, we blame our spouse instead of our view of marriage; or 2. We continue waiting for big adventure after big adventure and are not satisfied with anything, leaving us devastatingly sad with all the little things that can be the most epic adventure of all.
I am happy to have figured out my greatest adventure sooner rather than later. My job now is to keep choosing Byron as my greatest adventure everyday and not to be sucked in to the lie of waiting for the Big Moment. No matter what decisions we make or where life takes us, I know that I am already living my greatest adventure.