Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The dark paint upon our floorboards has begun to peel away.

The dark paint upon our floorboards
Has begun to peel away
Inch by inch
Spot by spot
Each day revealing more chalky whiteness.

I do not approve,
But I am curious

If we remained here
Living quietly in this crumbling half of a house
Would the moment finally come,
As the final bits of darkness discretely disappeared,
When God would come out from underneath
As if to say,
“I have been here all along
In the white chalk beneath the paint.”

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

As usual, millions of things have happened since my last post.

As usual, millions of things have happened since my last post. Big things. Utterly wonderful life-changing things. For one, Andy was accepted into this really great program called TEACH/Here. They put science/technology/engineering/math majors through a fast track graduate program in education, during which they co-teach in a local public school. They are provided with a stipend through their year in graduate school and if they commit to four years of teaching in the public school system after graduating, their degree is completely paid for! Needless to say, we are pretty excited about that. Two, I graduated college last week! B.A. in English. 3.8. Done. Not much more to say about that. THREE, I have had a really great internship the past few months that has turned into a full time job! I am doing writing and public relations for the Austin Hatcher Foundation. I do things like write the Foundation press releases and newsletters, manage the Foundation's social media accounts, etc. I will eventually even be doing some grant writing. I couldn't love my job and the people I work with more, so I am excited about this new way to spend my days.

So, these are our lives now. For the next five years, Andy and I will be in Chattanooga while Andy becomes a Middle School math teacher (those are going to be some lucky middle schoolers if you ask me). Andy will start his new endeavor at the end of June and I will officially start mine on Monday. What we thought would be a short stop in Chattanooga has become an extended stay. And we are okay with that. The friends we have made here, the sense of community we have been given, give us a peace about prolonging our time here. Maybe we'll even stick around after the five years are up. Who can say? It is baffling enough to have a glimpse of what our lives will likely look like five years from now. No need to look any further at this point.

Today, as with many of our days lately, we are overwhelmed by how much our lives have changed since we got married. All you have to do is read a few posts back to understand the uncertainty we felt then. Not knowing how to pay the rent, wanting desperately for Andy to find, first any job, and then a job he loves, not knowing whether we should move or stay, not knowing what the next year, even the next week, held, not knowing if we would ever be ready for a family. Our lives have changed from a giant question mark to a long sigh of relief. Still, I cherish those months of Andy and I facing the world together, with only each other's presence to anchor us. I think they were so important to our relationship and to the peace we feel now. Knowing that we can- and have and will- survive the tough moments, makes these moments even sweeter.

So, on to the challenges we will face in this new phase of life, the hard questions we will be forced to ask, the sacrifices we will have to make, and the people that will be present through all of it. Despite the many questions that have finally been answered, life is still a profound mystery to us. Who knows how we will change in the years ahead, how our dreams and goals will morph with the experiences that come our way, or how our present wisdom will become foolishness?

Friday, January 14, 2011

When people ask me how long Andy and I have been married.

When people ask me how long Andy and I have been married, sometimes I want to say, "What do you mean how long? Well, always... always, of course. We've always been married. We've always been together." I want to say this not because I want it to be true, but because it feels true. Of course, I do have memories of before Andy came along, but they were part of another lifetime, weren't they? I wasn't really born into this one until recently, right? I can hardly imagine my life not being his, his life not being mine. I can hardly imagine that we used to say goodbye at the end of the day, that we used to not be family, that we used to have only telephone calls. Surely there was never a time at which we did not exist to each other. We've always known each other... surely... or, if we haven't, it was at least in a different life, not the one we're living now, or, if it was, I must be an old woman by now, with white hair, looking back on a childhood that I can only recall in fragments and fleeting images.

The truth is, though, that six years ago, Andy didn't exist to me and I didn't exist to him and it's not quite a year and three months that we've been married. So, when people ask me how long we've been married, I say, "A little over a year," but I might as well say one month, or one day, or negative three ounces, for as much connection as I feel to that length of time. It would be better if, in answering that question, I could communicate something real about our relationship, something that expresses how much a part of each other we feel. In that case I would say, "Always. We've always been married."