No two people are alike, and usually the two people that make the decision to spend the rest of their life together are polar opposites, which makes marriage a challenge from the very beginning. Recently I made an interesting revelation about life, relationships, and the difference in personalities.
Some people know exactly what they want to do in life...what they "want to be when they grow up". They map it out from early on. They live and do certain things in a very linear path, all the stepping stones laid out one right after another. Sometimes it takes them longer than they planned. Maybe there are a few minor detours, nothing major, but they ultimately make it to where they want to end up. The paths and the routes are all very similar to each other even though sometimes they are a bit harder than the ones before. At one point, the goal is finally acheived. These people are usually very satisfied with that.
Then there are other people. They are never quite sure what they want to be, or how they want to get there. There isn't a defined ending place, so of course a map will not really work for them. The path is a very windy and crooked one. It is never really straight, or certain. Sometimes it goes forward while other times it goes back in the same darn direction it came from. Sometimes it is uphill, and then sometimes down. This type of people is constantly re-defining themselves. It is not that these people do not have goals, they just have a lot of small goals that they are continuously trying to acheive, until they get to the next latest and greatest one that suits them.
It is not bad to be either of these types of people. They are very good people, in fact, always stopping along their own paths to help others if needed. Both have great big hearts and are passionate about the directions, whether straight or crooked, that they are headed for. They both have their own ideas, sometimes very different ones, about how to get where they are going, but ultimately they both want to be happy and healthy. They both want to raise happy, healthy, smart, successful children. They both love very deeply.
My biological father, whom I didn't spend an enormous amount of time with as a child because of divorce, said these words to me on my wedding day: "You two are very different people, from very different families. You did not grow up the same and you both have very stong personalities. You are polar opposites and you have opposite birth signs. You are going to have to work very hard to make this marriage work. It is not going to be easy, and I am just telling you so you remember that every day that you are together." He said some other things too, but this is what really stuck with me. It stunned me, really, but I heard what he said. My dad did not say a lot when he was alive, but when he did, it was usually very insightful and important. I have never forgotten those words, and in fact, Bryan and I have discussed them many times.
Being married is the hardest thing I have ever done. I almost think it is harder than parenting, and I am a far better mother than I am a wife, I am pretty sure. But I believe what my dad said is true. I believe it in my very soul. But I also know that I have a choice on how to use that little nugget of wisdom my Dad gave me to make the marriage a success. Sometimes I just want to scream at the top of my lungs and run away to Mexico. Sometimes I am frustrated beyond belief. Sometimes I wonder why the hell I did this and why didn't I stay single and travel the world like I planned instead! But at the end of the day, I choose to make it work...we choose to make it work. It is not easy. Not everyone can make this choice. But this is how I make my "different" work.