When my husband and I first started dating back in high school, we were forbidden from seeing each other. We weren’t allowed to talk, share friends…anything. His Mom had issues with us dating. To this day I’m not entirely sure where those issues stemmed from but I don’t think any of that is the point now.
What happens when you tell teenagers not to love who they love? (or who they think they love?) They defy. They rebel. They’ll get married just to spite you. No, that’s not why my husband and I got married. But that might be why we had to decide when we were 17 years old whether our relationship was worth all the crap we faced. It was, we decided. It has been.
The point? We didn’t have a normal dating relationship. The first year of dating consisted mostly of sneaking around, calling each other from friends’ phones and rearranging class schedules so we could see each other. We didn’t talk on the phone as often as most teenage couples do. That was hard for me–you know, the kind of person who expresses emotions and love through conversation (oh what? You hadn’t noticed I’m talkative?) How did I handle this? I started writing in this green spiral notebook one day. I’m a documenter. And somehow I knew what we had was worth documenting. And somehow I knew that one day we’d be able to look back on all of it be baffled at how hard it was. I wrote “notes” to him day after day recapping things that happened and how I felt hoping that some day, one day,I’d be able to share it with him. Anytime I felt the urge to call him or talk to him, I wrote instead.
I still have that notebook. It’s mostly filled with I love yous and we’ll make its. For some reason I pulled it out of the closet tonight and was glancing through it. And then I flipped to a page with a colorful header: Happy 6 month Anniversary. The notebook was halfway full at that point. And it made me realize that we had it hard off from the very very get go.
How did we know it was worth it? How did we know we’d actually make it work? How did we know it was actual love?
One day I’ll tell this story from the beginning. For now I still don’t have the courage. But here I am to tell you that if somewhere deep in your gut you really believe something is real and something is worth it…go for it.