The world tells me I am lucky.

The world tells me I am lucky. 

I met my best friend and life partner at the age of 17. We married six years later. In five short months, we will celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary.  

The realists and the cynics are quick to site the stats that less than half of all marriages survive. We are only 10 years in and still young in our relationship as compared to those who make it 40 and 50 years together. However, we love each other. I mean undoubtedly, unwaveringly, truly love each other. We also respect, challenge, support, celebrate, and hold each other. 

I listen to stories of those on the hunt for what I have already found. I hear about the abuse others endure for those tiny moments to feel loved. This one’s partner left them. That one’s partner is no longer emotionally available. Those two just simply grew apart. She rushed into marriage or a commitment too soon. He only stuck around to avoid the feelings of being lonely. She is too strong and driven and doesn’t need anyone in her life… so she tells herself. He is constantly worried she is cheating on him. She feels the need to get pregnant so he’ll stay. He is looking for his fair maiden and she her prince in shining armor. 

You combine the stats and stories (both real life and what is portrayed in the media) and the world tells me I am lucky. The reality is, I am grateful for what I have, but what this message of “I am lucky” has done is caused to me to hide what I have; afraid that somehow sharing my story would hurt, offend, and/or push away, others. For many years I have carried guilt for being happily married. There is likely no logic in these feelings however, they are real for me. They exist. And, as a result, I have hidden that part of my story. Or, I have shared it as “we are ‘that’ couple…” and quickly turn the conversation back to the story of others. 

The truth is, there are people out there who need to hear that good relationships do exist. Great partners do exist. Building a solid foundation with another human being for a life-long relationship is possible. It’s a heck of a lot of work, takes endless commitment to success and the constant sharpening of our communication skills.  And it does exist. It is possible. My marriage is proof.

The world tells me I am lucky. 

After seven years of marriage, our little one was born. He has grown into a 2.5 year old little boy who calls me “Momma” and tells me “I love you very much” before bed at night. I was celebrated and critiqued for returning to work after maternity leave. I was celebrated and critiqued for quitting my job to try being a stay-at-home-parent. I was celebrated and critiqued when I returned to my job five months later with the confidence that being a stay-at-home-parent was not for me. I was again celebrated and critiqued when I decided to accept a promotion and start a PhD program one month after my son celebrated his first birthday. Constantly, I am celebrated and critiqued for my choice to have only one child. Still more celebrate and critique that I continue my sport of running ultra marathons.

I have learned and accepted the fact that I will always be celebrated and critiqued for the choices I make as mother. But there’s one thing that is certain, no one, I mean no one, can be a better mother to that little boy than I am! I say that with great confidence. For that, I am grateful. There are parents out there who need to see and know, that as they make the best decisions for their families, they can have confidence that they are doing just that; making the best decisions for their families, regardless of all those who may (let’s be real) will, celebrate and critique those decisions. 

My husband always has been and forever will be leading the celebratory crowd when it comes to the decisions I make. 

The world tells me I am lucky. 

I am an excellent wife, mother, athlete, student and professional. Far from perfect and full of mistakes, but excellent none-the-less. It is not easy. It takes a good amount of work, commitment, intentionality and a true partner. But, it’s possible and there are people out there that need to hear about it.  

The world tells me I am lucky. I say I am privileged to have experienced all the good times, the bad, the sleepless nights, the laughs, the tears, the fights, the struggles, the celebrations, the opportunities, the growth, the partnership. It’s all imperfectly perfect and it’s mine and am truly grateful. 

Are there great parts of your story untold? I want to hear about them, and so do many others!

Until next time, keep it real and keep showing up!