Recently, some friends on Facebook shared this crazy-adorable video and I made a mental note to show it to Brandon when he got home from work. When he arrived with dinner a few hours later, he insisted that I not have the laptop at the table, but I persevered (I really wanted him to see it)!
Now, before I continue, let me tell you about this endearing power of Brandon's. Five minutes into any film, he's able to guess "the big twist" and dash any hopes you had of picking a movie you thought could shock him into dropping his jaw. "I bet the dad dies; I bet the mom's the murderer; I bet it's the wife's head in the box." BAH!!
So, he starts to watch this precious video and a few seconds in, he says something like "oooh, the guy's drawing on the wrappers--" and I maaaaay have raised my voice to cut him off: "Yes, but wait 'til you see what he does with them!" But, when that super sweet moment finally came around, the moment of "awww, you were right; that was a cute video!" never came. Instead, the conversation took an adorably serious tone.
"Why don't you doodle our lives on gum wrappers?"
"No, really; you haven't doodled or written about us in a long time."
And dang, you guys, he was right. This year's been a bit crazy and though the stresses of everyday life have decreased ridiculously, I hadn't made an attempt to play catch up and write or draw anything us in quite a while. So, without further ado:
The first few months of 2015 were filled with more stress than both Brandon and I had experienced in quite a while. So much so, in fact, that our constant need to vent each day's nonsense began to irritate us.
"I would appreciate it if you'd try to speak of my job a bit more positively."
"Why would I ever speak of it positively, when I'm furious at the way you're treated?!"
We started to fall in love with the idea of selling the house and just taking off. We were looking at houses, we were researching jobs, and we even started telling our friends and families that we'd be moving before the summer arrived. We just had to settle on where.
We were torn between Chicago and Minneapolis and were going back and forth about the pros and cons of each, when Brandon asked me something with far reaching consequences.
"Why do you want to move, anyway? Because if it's just to get away from things, maybe we need to rethink it."
The words stuck and everything changed. Yeah, we were married in Minneapolis and I'd fallen in love with the city in a single day, but... why did I want to move? It's not as if we had a home ready to purchase and didn't have to worry about the awkwardness of selling and buying at the same time; it's not as if we'd gone and found a place we could stay, temporarily, with 5 animals, whilst we spent time finding this magically affordable home that was located near to the job I also hadn't found.
What Brandon said made a huge impact on the rest of the year and our lives. Yes, I had to tuck my tail betwixt my legs and un-breakup with my family and friends ("OOOOH Gilbert"), but, and more importantly, the knowledge that we'd be staying a while longer became the key to finding our forgotten tranquility. We had been given the ability to change our situation here, for better or worse. You see, we may have been locked into our destinies by a force that moves us each day to do what we regularly do - consistency, complacency, and/or a misguided sense of responsibility. However, we were willing to undo all of that and create a great amount of instability and uncertainty in order to be happy again. I believe that willingness gave us the chance to take our first steps, but here at home, and it's made all the difference.
For whatever reasons we held in our hearts and those we gave to the air, we accepted change. I no longer work where I did, and neither does Brandon. And we're happy. Motivation has poured back into our lives and we have more stories to share with each other that do not leave us feeling tired and drained and uncertainty has given way to confidence and hope once more colors the walls of our home.
Since the changes, Brandon has had time to write more shows than he's ever undertaken in a year, before; something he's always wanted to do. I've delved into my hobbies more than ever, and though I may not have kept up with #LoveDerp doodles or writing, I've crocheted a ridiculous amount and listened to more books this year than I have read in ... probably the last few years combined. We've also revived our urge to fix up the house and have continued with projects that were put down and forgotten a while back.
Summing up the majority of this year may not do justice to the revitalization of our very lives, but I've tried to capture it in as short and quick a way as it has felt - the inner details of it all left to the imagination of onlookers and snuggled comfortably within the memories of two lovers making their way across the stars, together. I ask that you read into this what I've always wanted to live by, forgot along the road, and then found again: we're all going to die one day, so why not try and be happy.