Alright, here's a start. This is a post that has been sitting in my draft folder for weeks. I've poked at it, added to it bit by bit, considered deleting it, left it alone, sat staring blankly at it, wondering why I was even writing to begin with.
We'll start with the why.
Why: You, those that I photograph, grant me this incredible gift on your wedding day (or any time we take photos together). You allow me into your lives. You allow me to meet your parents, to play with your pets, your children, to hug your best friend, and to be up in your business on one of the most significant, beautiful, achingly emotion days of your life. You allow me to capture moments, fleeting and precious. You allow me to see your laughter, your tears, your stress, excitement, bewilderment, joy, sorrow, pain, pleasure, the list goes on. You allow me to take you on an adventure, to explore the unknown, geographical and emotional, and to get down to what really matters to you.
Whoah. You guys, that's a huge deal. And it's a deal that I do not take lightly.
So here's why, why this blog post: its here to let you know that you're not alone. Love is love, no matter what form it takes, no matter if it is new or old or grand or simple or dignified or messy. If each and every one of us spoke just a little more of our emotions, about our experiences, well, it would be magic.
So here we go.
I cried in the shower this morning. Let's be honest, when you're a mom, or a woman, or a human, you cry in the shower a lot. I do, at least. But this time stood out.
I was thinking about Jack Johnson. Specifically, I was thinking about a Jack Johnson concert that Drew and I went to when we were first dating, years ago. The concert was incredible, but the real memory was made after we had exited the venue. We left early (before encore, if I recall correctly), to beat the San Diego traffic. We paused a moment in the parking lot to decide if we should buy a poster (we did, it's now hanging in a place of honor on our wall). Jack Johnson came back on stage, and began to play one of our favourite songs- Do You Remember. Cliche, perhaps, but we've always thought of it as "our song". As the years go by, it seems more and more applicable. As he played, we got lost in the music. Moved in close. Began to dance, slowly, thoughtfully, emotionally. If you know me at all, you know I don't dance, unless I'm drunk (never) or coerced (not likely). This was a rare occasion. We danced, holding each other close. We, in that moment, felt in perfect unison. The song ended. We bought our poster and went home. Nothing crazy, right? Just a cute moment between two fresh folk in the throes of young love.
A year later, Drew got down on one knee and asked me to spend the rest of my life by his side while the same song played in the background. He had made a shuffled playlist of our favourite love songs, and told me later that whichever song was playing when the moment came to propose (he had left the music on, picked me up from the airport, and come back home just in time for Do You Remember to begin) would be our song. So, there you have it. Our song.
We are now going on seven years, and those squishy, lovey, heart-exploding moments are fleeting, and often seem few and far between.
I hear you. Seven years? C'mon, you babies, that's nothing! I know, seven years isn't long in the grand scheme, but Drew and I have been through some pretty serious shit together, things that mature a relationship and make one year feel like ten. The honeymoon stage didn't last long. That's not a complaint, it's just a fact.
Raw and honest moment here (I'm made of those), there are days nowadays when our love feels tired. Worn out. Thin.
As I stood in the shower, I cried, I ached for that fresh, new love again. I cried because I wanted things to be simple, magical, sparkly and unicorn-y. I wanted to giggle and blush and feel my stomach leaping around when I thought of him. When I thought of him, I wanted to think about the Little Dipper freckle pattern on his shoulder, about his incredibly calming, charming presence, about the mischievous spark in his eyes, not about his cluttered desk, how much we owe in taxes, and for the love of God, why he didn't make the bed once again this morning.
I wanted for things to always come easily with us, to fall into place without effort, without struggle, without, well, work.
Ouch. There are days that it feels like that's all love becomes after awhile. Work.
There I am, crying in the shower, and it hit me. What, in all the goodness that life offers us, is not worth working for? Who ever said love was easy? My mother has reminded me countless times throughout my life that love, marriage, partnership is incredibly hard work. It's something that you work at every day. Some days you work hard, other days you work really hard.
But hey, just like I'm always chattering on about, the effort is absolutely worth it.
Rewind five years to our wedding day. Drew stood across the aisle from me, in a field cleared, tilled and planted by our own hands (work) under an arch made my by father (work), and made his vows to me.
He didn't vow that our lives would be perfect. He didn't vow that we would always get along. He didn't vow to give me everything I'd ever wanted, plus unicorns and sparkles. He vowed to fight with me. That's right. On our wedding day, he promised me a good row. Because those that are willing to fight through the hard times are those that will last.
Well played, Vanasse.