At Disneyland in Tokyo, we checked-in with each other post-wedding and I remarked that I felt… ‘married’. It’s hard to pin it down but I’m starting to see why I felt that way.
A month of new life. Now, we talk about insurance, occasionally fetch my niece and nephew to school, deliver things, clear the untidiness, knock into each other while trying to sleep, constantly feel tired for no reason, but most of all, we’ve learnt to pray a whole lot more.
Some say married life isn’t all that different from life before marriage, and the only concrete difference is the piece of paper (which is in some cupboard somewhere). In the past month, it’s been quite different. I’m still in the same house same room because he moved in, but it’s not just my room now, I even took my banner on the door that said ‘jes’ because it didn’t feel quite appropriate now.
I used to be the kind that had to split the bill evenly so that it was fair for everyone. I would pick the cheapest, most valuable option because discounts would eventually add up. I keep the cutest sticker because I can’t bear to give it away.
At some point, I let it go a little. I grew envious of the people who had little attachment to their possessions, I didn’t necessarily want to be rich, I want to be generous. To give with no expectation.
There are generally 2 ways to combine income. A) We join everything, what is mine is yours. B) We pool money into a common fund but retain an amount for our individual spending. I thought about this, and felt like option B might lead me to hide what I buy, a ‘you can’t judge me, I bought it with my own money’ attitude. To me, option A just feels less prone to self-indulgence and reminds me that money/resources are to bless others. We’re giving option A a shot. It doesn’t seem like a big deal but I think it’s an important fundamental choice.
I am freer. Maybe because I’m a little less in charge of looking at the bank account, or maybe it’s a generosity people have showered upon us. It’s easier to say God provides. It’s easier to give.
Prayer is more than words, it’s spoken through life (disregard my over-nervousness with spoken prayer). At this point, I know who I am on a good day, and on a bad day. There is the person I am when I’m fully-alive and kicking, and the person I am who just takes and remains self-centred. Having someone to remind me to be responsible, just by being present constantly, pushes me to be the person I would like to be. I don’t want to be a binge-watching, nonsense-gaming bum who feels entitled and proud.
I’m also pretty bad at keeping personal prayer time, it’s almost shameful because it makes me feel like a hypocrite. We decided one morning that we should routinely pray in the morning and at night. We did discuss this idyllic family prayer life at ‘Engagement Encounter’ so I guess this is the time to start! As much as it can feel like lip service, I know it’s more than that, it brings me back to the times when I actually went to the prayer room at night to just chill out with Jesus. Admittedly, it’s not particularly ‘useful’ but there is a joy just putting myself out there, however groggy and grumpy I am.
I see why some media get so much flak for setting unrealistic expectations. Some types of media more than others. It exaggerates, cuts out the awkward moments and sacrifices build-up for snappy storytelling. But now, being able to experience realness in it’s full glory, the illusion of photoshop perfection begins to melt away.
Perhaps it’s the choices pre-marriage: abstinence from physical intimacy, no holidays on our own, no stay-overs, meeting whenever we were free. Things feel really different now, it’s not bad, maybe slightly amusing, it’s… new. Honestly, these choices didn’t manifest so clearly and easily, and was rather grey before we decided to try and draw a big bold line.
It’s easy to keep it status quo – short check-in’s, doing work in the same space and eating together, but it just doesn’t feel enough anymore. We have to face each other and pray, we have to block time to do dinners with our family, we have to embrace each other because we are angry, joyful, or worried.
On the day that I said “Yes” to you, I agreed to this intimacy, however irritating or gross it is sometimes.
On the day that I said “Yes” to you, I declared that I was ready to jump into deep waters and make choices with you.
On the day that I said “Yes” to you, I consented to a dying to my selfishness.
On the day that I said “Yes” to you, I volunteered to raise a generation, however and whenever. (:
I guess I feel like I’m now constantly on a mission. I feel.. married.