This is a pic of my husband. He’s not as public as I am, thank God. Can you imagine if we were both wired to want to share everything? What a mess that would be? Oh boy… I mean really, where would this firecracker of a mouth and mind go to just rest for awhile? And where would his ‘still waters’ go to get all wavy and stuff? We’d be a walking party – the perfect silly string storm. It might be fun for a few weeks but a lifetime? Ummm no. How exhausting.
Why do I tell you this?
Because I want to add a perspective to your ‘I wonder if only I had…’ mindset, and let’s be honest, deep breath, we all do this, as in wonder sometimes.
I wonder if I married the right person?
I wonder if we have anything in common anymore?
I wonder if we’re soul-mates or if I’ll ever have one? Do I even believe in that? I don’t know…
These are the best and the worst questions. These are the topics that can drive a room full of pajama party women (do men talk about this kinda stuff? As far as I know, most don’t but I suppose it’s possible) into a frenzy of self-doubt, or mild to major panic and even start up some boyfriend/husband envy. We’ve all seen it or experienced it at some point. The first time I got married (whole other story – see I can speak to this topic honestly), during my month of pre-wedding prep, my best friend at the time (this should’ve been my first and last hint to quietly close this friendship) said to me “So, who’s your ONE THAT GOT AWAY?”. Wait a minute, I was getting married – there should be no ‘one that got away’.
Yet there it was and with every question comes an answer whether we consciously do it or not.
Who was my ONE THAT GOT AWAY?
Should I have one?
Shouldn’t I have one?
Am I doing this right?
What if there is one and I don’t know?
What does that mean about my marriage? About my life? About my my my… Oh my now what?
So I answered this ‘best friend’ of mine with the names of two old boyfriends that I still had lingering flickers for. Even saying that ‘flicker thing’ out loud seems weird. Not wrong, just bizarre. They were flickers of unrealized dreams, of stolen moments, of non-replicable touches, gazes, thoughts because they were unique to us, they were pangs of rejection that still had fire in them, zingers of physical attraction, of wonder… that’s all, of just wonder.
Wonder is rapturous.
but Wonder can also be distracting.
You know how I talk about the double edge sword of every single truth? Well, this is what my sword of wonder looks like: rapture and distraction. Two sides. Both are true.
In the world that I live in and the rules that I play by, every layer of the story is welcome to be heard because no layer is more ‘honest’ than the other. Our Living Story is how they all weave together.
Did my first marriage end? Yup. Because of the flickers from the ‘ones that got away’? – Nope. Did I date one of those flickering dudes again? Yup – both of them actually. Did either of them end up being my second husband? Nope.
Because they were flickers. Fun, fabulous hot flickers but not the right fuel for my life.
Mr. Todd and I (the still water guy in the pic and yes, that’s what I call him) were blissfully married for two years before the veil of marriage lifted and we realized we ‘chose’ each other and that meant for ‘life’. Crap really? Now what do we do? Yes indeed, over the last fifteen years or so we have had our share of marital nastiness, brokenness, detachment, resignation, deep regret for choosing each other and lots and lots of ‘I wonder if…’ questions.
The truth for us didn’t come from simply answering the questions, but rather from hearing the stories that we found in our answers.
Many times I thought my marriage (yes, not our marriage in these moments) should be over. Many times I wondered if I chose the right man.
I used to say to myself “He’s a good man, but maybe not the right man for me. He’s quiet, he’s private, he’s so black and white and he doesn’t really like people all that much. We have nothing in common anymore. What are we doing here together?”.
And he would say to himself: “She’s crazy, I can’t build a life with her. She spends money like there’s always more coming. She’s a dreamer, everything is grey with her, she’s a moving target, she’s public, loud and likes people a lot, sometimes more than me. We have nothing in common. What are we even building?”.
And then, over time, a lot of time we would take on the massive task of answering the real questions with each other. Patiently painful at times, yet always stunningly beautiful at the end of each story. We decided to answer our real questions instead of hold on to our observations.
My question: What are we doing here together?
His question: What are we even building?
And it was in the answers, and yes, note the plural: in our many answers where we found our commonality and our lifetime marital, soul-mate/life-mate connection. The answers surprised us because they often had nothing to do with being married and everything to do with being together. Silly right? We just happen to be married too.
He’s my Mr. Todd and still waters run deep.
I’m probably his – Mrs. T – and crazy hair makes me smile. (okay, so I made that up, but if I had to guess… that’s what I think he would say).
What questions might you be holding on to instead of listening to the stories of truth that live in the answers?