Thursday, July 29, 2010
Relationship Week continues- Katrina Style!
I'm happy to be bringing you another Relationship Week installment, this time from my life long friend Katrina. There are only a few people in this world I can say I have known since birth or toddler-hood- Katrina is one of them. She's always been a ton of fun, outspoken, a little crazy in the best of ways, insanely talented, musical like you wouldn't believe, and good to everyone. And my favorite part about her- she completely and in every way defines the old cliche "marches to the beat of her own drummer." Some people just think they are are unique and different, Katrina really is, and she's all the better for it. My favorite part about her? Her wedding cake! (See below.) Sixteen years later and I still remember thinking, "just how long do I have to wait to get married before I totally rip off her wedding cake?" I've always felt comfortable and loved when I visit her family's home. Her parents were well-known to me. Her dad was my early-morning seminary teacher. I always look forward to running into her folks just for the big hugs and sincerely happy greetings. Thanks Katrina, I hope I get to see you soon!
The beauty of a relationship is its uniqueness. There are no two alike. My husband and I met my first day of college and his first day back after a 2 year break for an LDS mission. Monday, 8am, music theory. He was the guy in the back row with a bad haircut who knew all the answers and I was the one in the front row who only sat there when I showed up, usually late. I mean, come on, music theory at 8am on Monday mornings. Ugh! We did not like each other. At all. I have an entry in my journal from that time period that mentions him in a not so flattering manner. It took us 3 years, 5 roommates, 4 serious relationships and one spiritual experience before we started dating. What can I say? We’re stubborn.
That was all 16 years ago. We are still as stubborn and bullheaded but have learned how we make our marriage work. It’s not the same “work” as earlier stages in marriage, where you are still figuring each other out, and “dealing” with each others quirks, the work now is honing and building on those cornerstones we have put down and loving those quirks.
Understanding the full depth of who this man is enthralls me. He was raised in a very different home than me. His Dad died when he was young, and his Mom married a man that was, to put it mildly, not very kind. He was raised in a very rural setting and worked on his grandpa’s farm. Neither he, nor his family, were members of the LDS church (he joined the church all on his own at age 12). He held a job, sometimes 2-3, from the time he was 13 to be able to pay for his own car, insurance and personal food.
I grew up in a large LDS family, blessed with parents who were extremely faithful in church service, and were blessed with a prosperous life. I lived in a beautiful home in the Washington DC suburbs, where I met Erin, and was encouraged not to hold a full-time job so that I could focus more on my studies. Everything I needed I was given. I still had to work at home, by doing chores, such as weeding, cleaning the pool and keeping my car clean, but I lived a very charmed life.
Looking at these two family pictures you may think that merging those two cultures could be very difficult. Trust me, it is. So, how do we make it work? Forgiveness. Forgiving each others shortcomings and forgiving yourself of your own imperfections. We are best friends. There is no one else in this world that I would rather spend time with. He is the first person I think of in the morning, and the last I think of at night. That’s not to say I don’t have friends, nor am I co-dependent. I love him passionately. He allows me to be the nutty, dorky, impassioned person that I am, and I allow him to be the nutty, dorky impassioned person he is. We both realize that neither one of us is perfect, and know that we cannot expect that of the other person. It’s frustrating to not have had the same structure growing up, but we pound out our own life, our own way of being instead of being stuck on one right or one wrong. We have always made our own choices that help us define who we are. Some people have gorgeous 7 tiered white wedding cakes, we had a gorgeous 5 tiered rice krispie treat cake. It’s all relative.
Allow yourself to be who you are, and allow the person in your life to be themselves. People can change, but it cannot be forced. Have Fun! Enjoy who you are with. Learn from them, and share with them your uniqueness.
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