When you’re 24 and you tell people you’re approaching your second wedding anniversary, they often look at you askance. At least they do in more cosmopolitan areas of the world. This is less likely to happen in the rural spot I’m from. It’s obvious to me what the sophisticated side-eyers are thinking. Too young too young too young. Stupid stupid stupid. I wonder how that will turn out. Everyone’s suspicious. This made me self conscious for a long time. I’m still almost apologetic when telling people how long I’ve been married. But something interesting has been happening more recently.
When you’re 27 and tell people you’ve been married for five years, they look at you in disbelief, try to politely ask how old you are, and then, wistfully, tell you that’s awesome. They say it’s sweet. They are congratulatory.
Credit: Jessica Bush
Somewhere between 24 and 27 people freak out less. Maybe it’s that five years is a lengthy enough amount of time for some things to have gone drastically wrong and your marriage to have proven its worth to the world. Maybe it’s that somewhere in their mid-twenties people start thinking about life and how short it is. Maybe they start thinking about how having a partner to deal with the mid-twenties quarter-life crisis might be nice rather than stifling.
At any rate, today is our fifth anniversary. We are 27 years old. We’ve been married long enough for some things to have gone drastically wrong (though thankfully they haven’t), and our marriage has proved its worth to us from 22 on, regardless of what it looked like to the world. I wouldn’t have done a thing differently. We’re a family, whether 6 days in or 60 years.
I really love this prompt & I’m excited to share where I’ve been this year with a few photos. I’ve included a few highlights from around Philadelphia that mark significant events or moments that have shaped my year.
Where I’ve Been:
–On top of the PSFS building for my birthday with my friends.
–Gettysburg with Chad’s family, with a trip to the Eisenhower Farm.
–Connecticut for Chad’s cousin’s wedding
–Flagstaff, Sedona, and the Grand Canyon with my parents & siblings
Leading up to this year’s Iceland Airwaves festival, I started having dreams that I was headed back there. I’m still having them. About once a week, I have a dream that I’m going to Iceland on a last minute trip by myself. Usually I try to find a friend who can come along with me, but often I end up traveling solo.
I’ve heard that Iceland is a place you don’t go just once. You start saying, “The first time I went to Iceland…” instead of “That time I went to Iceland…” Now that the country’s otherworldly landscapes have tenaciously taken hold in my consciousness, I’m starting to believe it.
Last year when we were there, I decided that I wanted to go back for Airwaves this year. And not just that, I wanted someone to send me there to write about it. How is that for an audacious dream? Obviously, that didn’t happen. I didn’t work to make it happen, either. And I’m ok with that. My work this year has taken me in a different direction. That said, I’d never pass up the chance to go and write about Airwaves if someone wanted to send me in the future!
I don’t know why I’ve been headed there so often in my dreams. Maybe because I was there about a year ago, during a really transitional point in my life. A lot of things were changing, and Iceland gave me the space (literally and figuratively) to think and make better choices. Maybe it’s because the temperatures have dipped and the days are getting darker and I’m taking inspiration and encouragement from how Icelanders compensate for winter darkness with warmth and light and coziness. Whatever it is, I do know that I’ll find myself back there someday.
I’m thinking of sharing a little more Iceland here. Maybe it will help me figure out why it’s been such a presence on my mind lately.
So, remember that time a couple years ago when I decided to do a series called “Flashbacks”? The one that never really materialized? Right, that one.
Well, I’m picking it back up. With Memorial Day almost behind us, the event I’m looking forward to most right now is going back to Costa Rica in June. It’ll be my third time there. I worked there on a missions base in 2005, visited again for our honeymoon, and am headed back because Chad’s company is having their annual summit there. I can’t complain!
So these days, I’m looking back to look forward. Thinking of where I was both times I was there and how I’ve changed since. How this time will be different and how it will be the same.
And yes, I took this photo on the plane on my way there for the very first time, almost ten years ago.
I originally planned to root around to find the pictures from a missions trip in Costa Rica six (six!) years ago, but that is proving to be a time-consuming task.
Canada is easier and more accessible.
My mom’s twin sister’s husband’s family (lots of possessives!) owns a cabin on a Beverly Lake in Delta, Ontario.
There is also a boathouse, perfect for sequestering squealing adolescent siblings.
My parents used to go every year. They took us a few times, but we had to promise to leave them alone and not bicker. “Going to Canada” meant running, fishing, reading, and sleeping. We were not to disturb this precious, peaceful, adult cycle.
Now, those activities seem lovely. A bicker-free few days attainable. There was a time when this was not so, when taking the kids along was understandably something to avoid. A request for shattered peace, like jumping into the freezing Beverly Lake on an otherwise calm evening.
But we grew up, into our own precious, peaceful, almost-adult cycles.
This is one of my favorite pictures of my brother, sister, and me.