When love takes you down the path that you never wanted to travel
We were standing in line at the Starbucks inside of our local Target. I had just returned with two cup holders to attach to our shopping cart (for real, whoever came up with that idea, brilliant).
I attached them to our cart while loudly debating which drink I was going to order. I read the calorie and caffeine count of each of them to my husband, something I only care about during pregnancy, and finally made a decision. The man with the patience of a saint listened to all of it without comment before finally speaking up.
“You’ve really become the stereotypical suburban housewife, haven’t you?” I looked around the Starbucks and then into the vastness that was my favorite place on Earth. Once a week I put on shoes, bundled my toddler and I up in our coats, and made the pilgrimage to my Mecca.
Sometimes we needed to pick up some odds and ends, sometimes we just wandered the aisles marveling over the new merchandise.
It was part necessity and part luxury. Sometimes the only necessity was to leave the house as most weeks, it was the only time that we did.
“Dude, I drive here once a week in my minivan to drink overpriced fancy drinks and eat organic apple chips while looking at throw pillows. I’m pretty much their target demographic.” We both laughed and with drinks in hand, began to head back to the men’s department to find my husband a new sweater.
“I can’t believe how different you are from how you were when we met.” He said as he pushed the cart that was holding our chattering daughter.
I took a sip of my drink and then put it in the cup holder (seriously, I don’t care how shallow it makes me sound, how did we live before these cup holders), and reflected on what he said.
The person that I am today is nothing like the person that I was almost seven years ago. As a matter of fact, the person that I am today would make the person that I used to be throw up in her mouth a little bit.
And perhaps, most surprisingly is that I don’t really care.
On the night that my husband and I met, I made a drunken declaration. I was a vegetarian with five cats who never wanted to get married (again), or have any children.
I was a wildly independent woman who intended to stay that way. There was some drunken making out and a proclamation that we would never see each other again.
Obviously, things didn’t go quite as planned.
I like to tease my husband and tell him that he stalked me and harassed me until I gave in and decided to go out on an actual date with him.
While this is partly true (he did track me down on Facebook that very next morning), it’s not the whole story.
The whole story would involve talking about his charm and wit. How he was just so funny those first few weeks when we only talked through Facebook messenger because I refused to give him my phone number.
Next, it would focus on his kindness. In those early days I was hot off of the end of a bad relationship that had its final run long before our wedding day.
I wasn’t just gun shy, I was suffering from full blown romantic PTSD.
Any signs of affection or genuine interest set my teeth on edge. My future husband was patient and worked through all of it with me. Even the dozens of times in the beginning when I tried to call the whole thing off.
And then, the part would come where I would tell you how he healed me. Only I won’t say that because holy shit is that a cliché.
What I will say instead is that he gave me the time and space that I needed to become the woman that I was meant to become.
If you had interrupted my drunken rant about what my life was going to be, to tell me what my life would actually turn into, I would have never believed it.
Actually, I still don’t believe it. Seven years later, married to this man, with a two year old daughter, and another on the way? No shot. No way. No day.
Yet, here we are.
I still don’t believe that I was destined for “this life”. I believe that I was destined to spend this life with my husband.
Together we were able to create what was always meant to be.
Even if that means trading my career for days filled with Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.
Even if that means trading my tofurkey for a medium rare steak (or, let’s be real, rare when I’m not pregnant).
Even if that means trading the all night parties for early morning cuddles on the couch with my daughter.
Even if that means a big wedding, a fancy dress, and the whole nine yards.
Even if that means trading in my size double zero jeans for maternity leggings time and time again.
I know that my husband can’t believe how different I am from when we first met.
The thing that I can’t believe is how happy being different has made me.
I owe all of that to my husband. I changed, not for a man, but because of one. And it wasn’t to make him happy or to make him love me, it was because I wasn’t actually the woman that I was meant to be yet.
My story isn’t everyone’s, and that is okay. It is mine, it is ours, and I love it.