Old Photos and New Memories

Today I was trying to move some music files from my husband’s computer to mine over our shared network. I’m not very technological, so I was having difficulties. And as he had to be at work at 3am this morning, he’s already in bed and couldn’t help me out. So I searched through pretty much all of his files trying to figure out where the music was, and I came upon his pictures.

Most of his picture albums have good descriptions, including the location and often the date. I’m in a lot of these albums, so I had fun browsing through them, reminiscing to myself about how thin we both were while we were dating and the fun times we’ve had on our various trips together.

After perusing through a good number of albums, I opened his Miscellaneous folder. And I saw a video of me. That I had completely forgotten we had taken (side note: this is not anything R-rated, I promise, so don’t get your hopes up).

Not very many people know this, but my husband and I talked about postponing our wedding approximately three months before it was planned to happen. We had been living apart for over a year and I had come down to visit him. We were apartment hunting for after the wedding, so I had taken the whole week off work to fly down South and hang out with my soon-to-be-husband. It was the longest amount of time we had spent together since he moved down here.

I will admit that he and I got engaged too quickly. We had barely been dating a year, which at that time made for the third longest relationship I’d had (that’s right, I had dated two other guys longer than I had dated my now fiance). But living apart made us hasty and while I’m glad that we did rush into things, it was still a bit scary at the time. I felt like we didn’t know each other that well, and after a few months of living apart, I was starting to forget what we liked about each other in the first place.

On the day before I headed back to the Midwest, I was exhausted. We had spent most of the week squabbling over nothing in particular and we were both kind of wore out from each other. We had become so used to living alone and only seeing each other once a month or so, and we didn’t really know how to be around each other 24/7 anymore. We were both worried that we were rushing into things and that we weren’t ready to get married.

And then for some reason, after the dust had cleared a little (although not completely), we decided to take a video on his phone of his apartment. It was the place where he had proposed to me and where he had spent his first year living in the South, and it had a special place in both our hearts. We joked that we could show it to our kids one day, an idea which, after just talking about potentially not getting married at all, made me almost burst into tears. I was the one on camera and I just put on a happy face, fighting back the water works, and I remember being so afraid that (a) we would never have kids to even see this video or (b) if our kids did see this video, they would be able to tell how upset I was.

I rewatched the video tonight and I am happy to say that I’m a good faker. Even though I knew what had been going on in my head during the filming, from a viewer’s perspective, I genuinely seemed happy. My then-fiance and I joked through the apartment tour and poked fun at each other and pointed out all the important spots and we seemed really in love. And it hit me that we really were in love there, even if in that actual moment we weren’t quite sure.

After that week, I never questioned again whether or not we should get married. And 15+ months into our marriage, I still have never questioned it, even during our first few months when I was unemployed and all we did was fight about money and home decor. I feel like nobody ever talks honestly about how difficult the first year of marriage is, so I’m here to tell you that it is HARD. On top of that, being engaged is also hard if you are actually rational enough to consider the enormity of your decision (and nobody ever told me how tough being engaged was, either). I personally believe that if your engagement is all hearts and rainbows, then you are not legitimately ready to get married. Although I’m also someone that doesn’t believe in soulmates or destiny or falling in love with someone the moment you see them. I’m far too rational for all those things and to me, agreeing to be someone’s partner in marriage is a choice that needs to be thought on long and hard.

Anyway, the point of this post and its title is this: it’s amazing how different the present appears when its viewed as the past. In other words, our perceptions about certain times in our lives change as we move past them. In the present, the filming of that video was filled with turmoil. But now that it’s in the past, I view it merely as a speed bump in the greater road that is our relationship. It’s things like this that give me hope that even the most daunting mountains in my life may be viewed in hindsight as merely molehills.

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One thought on “Old Photos and New Memories

  1. If there’s one thing I’ve learned thus far in life, it’s that time helps put things in perspective better than any sort of advice anyone can give. I look back at some many things that were struggles or successes in my life, and I’ve largely come to realize that while they were highs and lows, they were less drastic hills and valleys than I thought.

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