Personal evolution is a wonderful thing. It can be difficult, frightening, and weird. Personal evolution can also be a joyous occasion. Over the past month, I’ve been privy to witnessing the evolution of someone that I love dearly. No… that’s not the right way to phrase it. I’ve been privy to witnessing the evolution of someone that is literally the most important thing in my life. There, that’s better. I’m talking about my wife.
Tash and I have been married for just over 12 years and, as with a lot of couples, things become routine. You find yourself talking about the same things, laughing about recurring situations and getting to the point where aspects of the relationship can be abstractly redundant. Over the years I’ve seen interviews and read articles of couples married for 50+ years that are asked “How do you keep things interesting?” or “Has the spark died over the course of your relationship?”. The answers are pretty similar about “Keeping things fresh” or “never forgetting who you fell in love with in the first place”. I think I may know how I’ll answer when that question is asked of us years to come. But it had to have a start somewhere.
Most everyone that reads this may have seen the posts about things that we’ve went through as a family, and more exact, as a couple over the past 5 to 7 years. And it’s no surprise to most that, though we had an outward appearance of happiness, I think it’s safe to say that living in Georgia for 7 years was slowly killing us. As a couple… and as individuals. Conversations started losing their spark, laughter became less frequent, and depression started becoming a regular emotion felt on multiple fronts. 2013 was a rough year. I think, since being married, it was the most distant we had become. Sure we spoke, loved, planned, and took care of the kids together but it wasn’t the same. Add in the stress of migrating a family of 6 across country, finding a home, finding a job and settling in to a new surrounding… hell… a new life entirely and you can imagine the level of complexity to it all. But it made me realize that a polar shift needed to happen, not just with our surroundings but within our own relationship. Well… January 20th, my life essentially changed forever.
It was a new year and a fresh start (as most New Years Resolutions go) but I wasn’t satisfied with “Lose 10 lbs” or “Take up a hobby”. I decided that it was high time to reconnect with this beautiful woman that was always there for me, no matter what. I made a suggestion the night of the 20th. In a world where most of us carry the equivalent of a Tricorder from Star Trek in our pockets, access to fathoms of information at our fingertips 24 hours a day, I proposed that for at least 15 minutes every night, we put everything down… turn everything off, and just talk. It may seem like a small concept but we did just that. Every night the phone gets put on mute and put aside, the TV stays off, the laptop is closed and nothing exists save for a boy from Florida and a girl from Canada. And I’ve said all of this to say get to my point of evolution.
It’s been less than a months time since we’ve begun our nightly chat sessions and I’ve come to a realization: I’ve spoken the wrong dialect with my wife for the last 12 years. Think of it as my wife trying to communicate with me while speaking Spanish from a Spain origination while I’m responding with a Mexican Spanish dialect. It may be similar and some of the words translate properly, but still, there would be constant miscommunication. But that all changed on the 20th of January and now I’m watching this woman that I’ve known as my companion for my entire adult life blossom. Someone that I’ve always known as reserved, introverted and bashful has turned into a force to be reckoned with.
From piercing her ears to dyeing her hair red (it’s going to get redder too), to her and I planning our first (of many) tattoo’s together… I’m watching this once shy woman morph into this fierce tigress that protects, loves and cherishes the things that she holds dear with more fervency than ever before. Whether it’s from self discovery and acceptance (that link is to her latest blog post about how she views herself… it’s a good read), the hurt and sadness that plagued her from the abysmal year that is 2013, the “Leveling Up” of her heart, or frankly… all of the above, she is an amazing woman… a blazing fire, a thundering storm, the fresh smell of pine after a rain storm.
60 years from now when I’m asked what’s kept us together… what’s bonded our marriage… the spark that’s kept things fresh? My answer will no doubt be that I discovered just how much Evolution can occur in the span of 15 minutes. And that makes her happy… and that’s the most beautiful thing…