This Valentine’s day I was brainstorming DIY’s I could show you or a romantic table setting or printable cards. All good ideas, but I kept wanting to write about love. I’m sure this year you think the blog is all over the place, not following my regular formula of DIY’s and frugal fashion. I had a real shift at the start of this year and I decided I wanted to start blogging about topics that inspired me or the ideas that naturally came up. As with everything in my life this year, although it sounds cliché, I am going with the flow. This might be easy for some, but for me it is a struggle. I guess life doesn’t always work that way and for me this year, I am trying something new. At this point what do I have to lose.
When I met Mark five years ago, I was in a really great place, I was healthy, had my own apartment, in a pretty good job and following my many passions. I remember when we met, I thought to myself, of course we are meeting now, I don’t need anyone. Before Mark, I had done a lot of self reflection, worked hard to be independent, and created a life that was all my own. Little did I know the growing was not over.
When I imagined falling in love, I didn’t think it would be like the movies, all perfect and wonderful. I did, however, want the emotion I felt when I watched those movies. The heart opening, make you want to cry with joy, best friend for life feeling. Little did I know the movies only scratch the surface. I had no idea how vulnerable, raw and naked I would feel. Mark would see through me like no else could, sometimes not even myself. That through love I would grow even further.
Love challenges me. Mark challenges me. It’s not the big blow outs in the movies, like you’d imagine, but smaller and simpler. The other day we were at the grocery store and we each grabbed a couple bags, they were heavy. We were walking home so Mark asked me to give him one of my bags, I told him I was fine. He said, they’re heavy, just give me one to carry. I protested. As we walked home, he turned to me and said, it’s embarrassing when you don’t let me help you. It was like a punch in the gut, a reoccurring theme in my life. I don’t let anyone help me. Not Mark with groceries, or friends with problems. He didn’t yell at me or make a scene, he looked at me and said these simple words. Love allows someone to see you, change you and challenge you.
Love makes me feel so much. I thought I knew what love was before Mark. I had a wonderful family who I loved and a great circle of friends. The love I feel for Mark is something I never could have imagined or even put into words. I think I would struggle to put it into words now. When we first started dating I would randomly burst into tears at home, in the car, I was overwhelmed with love. Although the feeling of love is postivie, it also brings with it fear, the unknown and the thought that one day they will no longer be there.
Love holds me accountable. Mark wants me to live the best life I can, not only for us, but for me. When I’m working on a project he will ask me questions and make me look at it in a different way. He will check in to see how I’m doing with the course I am taking. When it doesn’t seem like a good financial decision he will purchase a new camera for me, to “take my blog to the next level”. Mark checks in with me daily to see how I am doing, what my day was like, what worked and what didn’t. He is constantly trying to better himself and in turn so am I. When I don’t want to put in the extra work or feel exhausted from the hustle, he talks about what I am working towards and how I need to keep going.
Love is going through a rough patch and coming out stronger on the other side. Mark and I don’t really have rough patches between us, obviously we have had our moments, let’s consider these rough patches outside forces. It is different when you have outside forces affecting your relationship, because it doesn’t start with you. It can be extremely difficult to navigate. Although we have had a few times that were quite hard, they made me see how great we are together. We have open and honest communication, I never have to guess how Mark is feeling and hopefully vice versa, although that might be another story. In the past during a rough patch we have always made a plan on how to move through it, and take care of ourselves in the process. We see how each of us deals with a difficult situation, Marks’ the logic and I am the emotion, it’s not a bad thing to have two sides.
Love is a journey. We will never be where we are now in the future. As we continue on this path together, we will each grow, individually and together. This is the best part. We are creating a life together. One in which we both want the other to thrive and succeed but together want to grow in love and friendship. It is truly amazing how one person can affect your life, and not by doing anything other than being themselves. When we met, I thought I had grown so much and come so far, little did I know in five short years where I would be.
How lucky I am to have found love with such an insprining, thoughtful, kind and intelligent man. Although since he’s been here I have basically been split in half and put back together again, I wouldn’t change a thing. We are not only here to love each other but to bring out the best in one another. Not by doing or saying anything specific, but simply by showing up as ourselves. Who knew I would work so hard on myself only to really, truly see myself when Mark showed up and looked at me.