On my wedding day, I was asked if I was ready.
I said yes.
But I should have said no.
Yes. I (we) completed all the pre-marital counseling. We were complimented on how much Tim and I compliment each other, how much we had "clearly talked about certain things." We had a long enough engagement. I knew and understood commitment. We had the same intentions. We had found the person we thought we could love and learn to love for the rest of our lives. But I had no idea what was in store for me.
In society, we have this thing with marriage. We think all the hard work happens during pre-married life and even at that we think relationships take little to no work. We think once we say, "I do" our happily ever after will begin free of problems, free of tears, free of uncertainty. We throw around phrases like "he should just get me" "it's supposed to be easy." We've all heard 'em. Some are even guilty of saying 'em (myself included).
I knew this going into marriage, but I've learned it in ways I couldn't foresee on my wedding day - marriage takes work. It means listening to a long day of programming gone wrong when all you want to do is vent yourself. It means greeting your husband with a hug, not with frustration, after his 20 hour work day. It means staying up an extra hour to tidy up the place so it's ready for a visit from family. It means knowing when to say something and when to say nothing at all.
It also means surprising your husband with his favorite dessert and seeing his reaction. It means smiling big after he walks in the door with the orchid you've been eyeing for weeks. It means impromptu cupcake runs, Thai food Friday nights, dinners on the floor in your new apartment.
Marriage is one huge mix of easy and hard, simple and complex, joyous and painful.
365 days, 2 apartments, and a baby later we've reached the 1 year milestone. We've learned more about each other, we've grown together both individually and as a couple, we were introduced to a whole new sort of love when our sweet Ella entered the world. And this hasn't been without work, without trial. And that's okay, because we've become stronger and more united. After only 1 year, we've gone through what feels like a lifetime of change.
Looking back on that day, I was as ready as I could be. I was ready to take the hand of the man beside me and walk into the unknown together. And every day I'm reminded why I chose the man I did, and every day we get ready for the next.
In 50 years, if I'm still around (and still know how to use a computer) I'll look back on this and think, "oh Kaitlin, what you've learned since then." But for now I'll bask in our one year milestone, our one year accomplishment and say,
Happy anniversary to my best friend, my confidant, my world, my husband.