I wasn’t supposed to be here, this happily married, this ecstatic about life, this lucky in love. According to my conscious mind and my flawed human understanding, life as I knew it had been blowing chunks for so many years, a know-it-all like me was left no other choice than to step in and drive things in her own direction.
Somewhere in my mid-thirties, after dating so many bad apples, after making so many wrong choices in relationships with men, after being too obviously hungry and desperate to be a functional member of a twosome, I finally decided, fuck it, I’m just going to be alone. Clearly, I thought back then, I was meant to be alone. And it sure as hell wasn’t me who was the problem. Phfft! No way. The world was just so populated and overrun with losers, what was a fabulous woman like me to do but embrace her plight as a solo-flying goddess, banished to mortal living and cursed with having to muddle her way through all the peons of the world. Delusional? Maybe a pinch.
Who’da thunk I wasn’t done knowing all there was to know about myself at age thirty-five? Thirty five years seemed wayyy long to me. Thirty-five years, two adolescent children and one failed marriage, seemed long enough for me to know who I was, what life was saying and what it revealed to me about all the other lifers. No?
I wasn’t even close.
First of all, at thirty-five, I was the most entitled person I knew. And if anyone would have told me I would be writing these words for public consumption one day, I would have laughed in their face. In earlier writing days I blogged about victimology! I knew what entitled look like, no way did I think that was me. Okay, well maybe a little bit … because of course, I would have to experience a teensy bit of victimology to be able to explain what entitlement looked like. Heh.
Oh hell. The truth is for years, I was consumed with what I thought the world owed me because of all my trauma, failings and bad luck. Abusive parents? Pay up world. Manipulative friendships? Pay up world. Shitty boyfriends? Pay up world. Racist people? Pay up world. Predatory lending? Pay up world. Power surges, natural disasters, appliances that break down? Pay up, pay up, pay up!! I was keeping score, dammit! It was exhausting carrying that scorecard around in my head— the list grew longer daily— but so help me, if it crushed my frontal lobe, I was not going to miss or forget a single thing! Until the day came when I finally I said, You know what? You men are just never going to get me. And this world is always going to suck. So I wrapped my cynicism blanket around me like a snuggly cape, fell down on my sword and declared— Alas, I shall withdraw all hope and trudge through this sucktastic world all by my damn self.
I wasn’t even mad about it anymore. I was just tired. And I used alcohol to kiss myself and make it all better. And I thought that was it, that was all there was to life. All I had left was to finish raising my children and live life with a constant buzz on until I got old and died. But then one day, this amazing guy showed up.
Oh my sweet love, how you saved me baby! And I didn’t even know I needed saving. On the spirit side of the story, I will always carry in my heart what we both believe:
We knew each other in the spirit world before we came to life as humans on the planet. In that world we shared an eternal bond we understood could never be broken. So secure in that bond were we, that we embraced our inevitable separation to fulfill our respective earthly assignments, knowing we would find each other again and spend the rest of our human days together. But the veil which separates the spirit world from the earth world impedes any memory we might have of that time before we were born.
Having little proof, but seeing how easily we clicked, meeting so late in life— our late thirties! — discovering such parallel outlooks, such similar traits of character, this made perfect sense to us. This belief comes from the soul side of my thinking.
On the human side, it will always remain a mystery to me how a formerly lost, formerly broken, alcoholic woman like me ever attracted a well-loved, even keel, big-hearted man such as you. Our union defies so many of my accumulated beliefs about life. No, you are not perfect, you are just as flawed and fallible as the rest of us. But it has been my experience that birds of a feather often find each other and create shit storms. Yet somehow you and I found one another and generated rainbows.
Obviously, baby, I am okay with not having the puzzle of us figured out. What I do know is this— I am so very grateful to have such a beautiful, loving, intelligent, and handsome black man as you to share life with. You are my hero! You give me wings to fly every day. There is no becoming Maria without describing how you changed everything in my life— how you are STILL changing everything.
Once ago, we were a two-income household, we had savings in case of emergencies, and we enjoyed a semblance of financial safety. One day, out of nowhere and without notice, I flipped our script, telling you, I have this dream and I want to pursue it. Ha! If the tables were turned and it were you telling me that? I’m not proud to admit this, but I don’t know if I would have been as understanding and as encouraging as you were in such a discussion. But you! Always, always when it comes to me, you have risen to the occasion of unbridled and unconditional love. Of course, you should quit your job, honey. You even smiled and appeared excited! In the fifteen months since I quit, NOT ONCE, has your enthusiasm for my dream pursuit ever waned, nor have you ever shown any worry.
On those days when I am panicking, thinking, maybe this was a mistake or when I am feeling overwhelmed and dwarfed by my larger tasks, you always smile and say exactly what I need to hear to build me back up. You have never blinked about your belief in me. I love you for that! There are so many awesome husband layers about you for which I am grateful, I could fill a book naming them all. More than anything else, I thank you for always showing up as my friend first.
Next weekend we will celebrate fourteen years of marriage. And yet, it feels as if we are only just getting started. I still have this huge crush on you, looking at you gives me butterflies. And I love that after all these years, you still look at me the way a lion might look at a fresh piece of meat (*wink*). I could look into your eyes forever, baby, lingering on the end of your gaze, doing nothing more than swooning. Your eyes hold one of the miracles of my becoming. In your eyes I enjoy a princess life, feeling the love of an entire village pouring forth from just one man.
Happy Anniversary, baby! I love us so much! ❤