15 January 2011

we are now in the golden land.

 image by TheVoiceThatSaid
ben and i celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary on jan 7. how fun to reach a landmark number! how did i know it was a landmark number? well, because card makers sell special "fifth anniversary" cards, that's why. but in all seriousness, it's been a good five years. it started out pretty rough (starting life together on a reservation far from home and friends can do that to ya) but we've gone through much and are currently in our honeymoon phase. yes, it took four years to get there. but i'd trade a rough four-year start for (god willing) 60 more years of fun with your best friend.

the lead image sums it up pretty well. i never knew marriage could be this nice. or maybe i did—on jan 6 2006. but real life hits and sometimes it hits hard. i remember when ben and i were dating in college. my dad was talking to me, and made a comment about how "didn't we feel like we could change the world?" i remember thinking, "wait—that goes away?" and it does, for a time. but it returns, in a subtler, richer way.

ben and i have a friend who's in college right now. and he's questioning everything. i love people who question everything. and i loved my own season of questioning in college. what made it all the more interesting (and i say interesting in a slow voice) was that my own season collided with the toughest years of my marriage. yes. very interesting.

i was married for 2-1/2 of my college years. it was tough. i got lots of flack from students for being "so young." blah blah blah. i felt some were standoffish because i was "that married woman." i remember being angry when my friends and acquaintances saw me, the question was never "how is your art?" or "how is your faith?" it was always, always "how is married life?" i was pegged. and i hate pegs. like how here animal shelters and free puppy givers are prejudiced against us because we live on the reservation. surely a puppy can't be safe on reservation. (have you met my happy, healthy dog?) frankly, i care less if people think i'm crazy because i live on a reservation. i really. don't. care. but i am offended when people assume it makes me a bad puppy parent. just like how i was offended when i was treated as the "other" in college. just for choosing my mate "early."

but i have zero regrets. none. while ben and i had some really dark years, we are now in the light. i say that in the full spiritual and emotional sense. we have come to the other side, and it is very, very beautiful.

i love you, my best friend.

taken 3 aug 2010 at the jefferson nat'l expansion memorial (aka st louis arch)