Last week I had to get an experimental yellow fever shot with my boss. Thankfully, of the two of us, I was the only one who had a reaction. Within 10 minutes of getting the dose my eyes started to lose track of my head. The room began to spin and my face felt like it wasn’t there.
In the common tongue this state is called “light headed.”
To my embarrassment, I had to lay on the crinkly, paper-covered bed and down 6 rounds of water from a cup smaller than the palm of my hand. As my boss read the possible side effects from the brochure I shook my head ‘no’ at each one, but then she said something that surprised us both.
“…a feeling of dread?”
“You mean more than usual?” I asked and we shared a laugh. I’m a pessimist. I ALWAYS have a feeling of dread, and she knows this, too.
I expected to die from the experimental immunization. But I didn’t.
I expect marriage to be the greatest discomfort I will ever experience in my tiny, 80-some-odd-year life. And we’ll have to see.
You should know, I wasn’t always a pessimist. As a little girl I imagined a Cinderella story—finding a prince and all worries disappear after “I do.” And I held onto that belief until now.
I’m entering a new phase of life, with a new, honest marriage expectation. Instead of all sunshine and rainbows forever I expect marriage will be the greatest discomfort I will ever experience AND the greatest tool for spiritual, emotional, and intellectual growth.
Spiritual growth because I will have to learn to love someone not because they deserve it, but because I said I will and I choose too. And they might ask questions that I never thought to ask. Together we can find the answers, or discuss it until we die and then see who’s right.
Emotional growth because I am selfish by nature. I tend to place my wants, my perception, my priorities first and really struggle to be empathetic and considerate of how my choices affect others. This is partly a blessing because I don’t concern myself much with what others think of me, but also a curse because I miss a lot of obvious opportunities to help someone because I honestly didn’t recognize it as a cry for help.
As harsh as it sounds, I’ll have to learn to be care about my husband opinions.
Marriage will also make me smarter because, as I’ve seen in dating and heard from married couples, when the wife has a great idea she has to figure out a way to make the guy think it was his idea.
(I don’t think this is because the guy thinks all the wife’s ideas are bad, it’s just how their brain is programmed. When a man comes up with a great idea it gets to bypass all the security and checkpoints that an idea which came from an outside source—aka the wife—has to jump through…But back on topic.)
Marriage will also force me to learn to be a great negotiator. The most successful negotiations end in a win-win situation, but right now I run my life as a dictator. I do what I want when I want to. But in marriage I’ll have to stop and consider how this choice will affect someone else. And this gets a little tricky when you’re an ENFP…
I’m great at making big decisions…Should I go to college? Sure! What for? How about 3D animation and business! Should I fall in love with a random international dude? Sure!…Well that sucked…Never do that again? Okay!
Yet I’ll spend half an hour standing in the aisle trying to decide between the blue water bottle or the purple one. #TrueStory
According to studies, it takes 9 years before a married couple starts thinking like a team. Learning to be a team player will be especially difficult for me because for the last 26 years I’ve done what I wanted to do. I made some good choices and survived the results of the bad ones.
How does an individual learn to think of another individual with the same importance as theirself?
While I don’t have all the answers for marriage—actually, I don’t have any—I think my marriage expectations are pretty safe.
It’s gonna be rough. But it’ll be great too.
Do you agree? What do you think marriage will be like? Or what is it like?
Comfortable? Or maybe just the right amount of tension?