Recently, while riding the train into the city, I couldn't help but listen in on the conversation taking place in the seats behind me. It was a group of women, probably in their mid-20s, talking about wedding planning. One was dating someone, the other two single. The common thread between them was the fact that their future weddings were pretty planned. Thanks to Pinterest, they were all set. From their dresses to the font on the menu cards, they were ready to go. They all agreed all they needed was the guy. It made me smile to think back to the days of planning all of the details of my own wedding, but then the conversation turned to more about how now that they were "approaching late 20s," they were ready to "just marry anyone."They were all in agreement; they had to be married by 30.
"If he lets me plan the wedding, I'll marry just about anyone," was said by one of the women. While I am sure (or hope) that was quite the exaggeration, it still sat wrong with me. Then, I heard: "Most people get divorced anyway; I just want a wedding." Again, hopefully not a serious comment, but concerning. My wedding was beautiful, but more beautiful than that has been the life we've led since that day, over the past 5 years. I don't know too much after only 5 years of marriage, but I do know this: I found my other half. That's why Tom and I got married. I was actually quite certain, fairly early on, that I had met the person that would complete my life.
While attending a liberal arts college, I had to take courses in numerous subjects aside from my major, including Philosophy. At 19, and with no interest in Philosophy, I can't say I remember much, but one thing stuck with me: a portion of Aristophanes' Speech from Plato's Symposium. Plato explains that the primeval man was round and had four arms and legs. They had two faces, one facing in each direction, and they walked the earth as one. Now I can't remember what it was, but they these creatures did something to anger the gods and were punished by being cut in half. They now had to wander the Earth searching for the half that had been taken from them, their other part. When they found their other half, their love was amazing. They were reunited with love and friendship. There's plenty more to the story, but I'm no philosopher, so I'll stop there.
I thought this piece was interesting and I must have thought it over enough to remember it clearly years later. As Tom and I went from friends, to dating, to a more serious relationship, it was hard for me to put into words how I was feeling. I thought about what I had read in Philosophy class years before. It was like I had been wandering around for 25 years, searching for the exact person I had found. On the big things, we were on the same page: religion, politics, family and which sports teams we preferred. But in so many other ways, he filled in on the things about my personality that were lacking, the things I knew I needed to live a full life. He had the qualities I knew I needed to survive "growing up" and starting to raise a family.
I'm an adventurer and a dreamer. I have new ideas for careers and places to live weekly. Tom is practical, serious and keeps us in one place. I think with my heart; Tom thinks with his mind. Our combination keeps each other entertained and keeps our life balanced. We don't move every year, but Tom compromises by letting me paint and redecorate yearly. He supports my love of traveling the world, and I'm the first to admit he found the perfect town in the world to settle down and to raise our family.
Last week, we celebrated at my brother's wedding. My brother and his fiancé were married in the same church we, Tom and I, were five years ago. The reception that followed was in the same place, too. It was a blessing to return to "where it all began" for our married life. It was a joy to see my brother about to embark on journey of married life. One of my favorite pictures from my wedding is one of Tom and I walking together, hand in hand, as the sun began to set on a beautiful fall day. Last week, as we were walking outside of my brother's wedding, I looked up and saw Tom walking in the exact same spot, in the same light, but with our two little girls. My heart was so full. We're growing our family and our life together, Tom and I. Our journey together is really just beginning, just five years into what I believe will be a lifetime of love and friendship.
To truly feel like you've married your other half is a blessing, and one I don't take for granted. My husband makes me happier than I could have ever imagined, and while I had a wonderful life before meeting him, once our lives converged, a new happiness began.
On our wedding day, I wrote my husband-to-be a letter, sharing what I had read in Philosophy class at 19. I wanted him to know how I wandered the world searching for my other half, until I found and embraced him for the first time. Now, five years later, I share the story to remind myself of why I said "I do", and encourage those searching, to keep searching until you truly know you find the right one. Imagine, like Plato's early man, your other half was taken from you and you have to search until you find the perfect fit. Five years isn't a long time to be married, but you need roots and beliefs in your relationship to keep it strong during the tough times, and this philosophy of believing in my other half, is mine.