Wednesday, January 9, 2013

"Chapter Four"

     Today my future husband referred to this period of his life as Chapter Four. Chapter One? Childhood. Chapter Two? A wiggly hand and adolescence. Chapter Three? College. Chapter Four: Me. Our life together. What we are and what we will become. This is Chapter Four. How do I feel about being Chapter Four? We'll get to that.
     Yesterday he came home from a 3-4 day trip (it depends who you ask as to how long it was) and returned to Chapter Four. I thought up a system for our communication while he was away that made sure neither of us felt neglected and also made sure neither of us were overwhelmed by the other while we were doing things apart. I spent some time with my friends, he went to see one of his closest friends, and we both got time to ourselves and it was good for both of us.
     Chris and I have both been through a lot lately, and we've had a lot to think about and deal with. We've had life changes. We're moving forward and we have learned to cope with everything that's been thrown at us. We're taking our time, learning how to work as a unit, getting ready for the rest of our lives. Things haven't been easy, and this is something we talk about regularly. We see the people around us, some of them make it look easy, some of them genuinely have most of what they'd like handed to them. While I've had more given to me than Chris has in our lives, both of us have had to work harder than some people we have experience with. It's frustrating. It can be mind blowing. Some people seem to keep getting handouts, second chances, and free passes.
     This isn't a new phenomenon. I've grown to realize that this is something that will always happen. There are people I have known, will know, have gone to school with, worked with, been friends with, and ran into that will be in this free pass group of people. I used to wish I was one of them. On tough days I still do. The most frequent feeling I have, however, is the satisfaction that I have from earning what I have. I've earned my degrees, I've taken responsibility for the financing that was necessary for said degrees. I pay my bills. I take care of my relationships and I take care of everything that needs to be done. I work for my family. I'm a good daughter, sister and fiance. Of course I can't deny that I've had the experience of having most of these things taken care of for me.
     Every single thing I do for myself is far more rewarding than things that have been done for me, and quite frankly they usually turn out better than when people do things for me. I've had both experiences, and I look forward to the future I'm building with Chris where we will always do things for ourselves. One day we will have a family and we'll be able to help our children to grow into responsible, autonomous adults.
     Now, back to Chapter Four. I don't mind being a new chapter for Chris. My only problem with this is that I don't like the image that Chapter Three had to end so that we can start our life together. I don't like endings, and I don't like the idea of something ending because of me. Like in many books characters can stay consistant through chapters. Others need to be killed off or fade out. Some books are highly unpredictable. Nothing is really certain, except for the fact that in this book each chapter from here on out will have two steady characters, Chris and I. We will always be a team, always work together, and forever be a partnership. One that we've worked for and earned through hard work and determination.

Oh, by the way, hockey lockout over? That's one more thing that we waited patiently for, and it feels wonderful to finally have it back. Those boys worked for the changes they achieved... nobody handed it to them, and I bet they feel great for it.