Tag Archives: Marriage

What We Give Up, What We Gain

10 Nov

Have you ever noticed how when you’re in a relationship, you lose yourself?

Maybe not completely, and certainly not all at once. But parts of you get lost

in moments of compromise and apologies and sacrifice. Parts become pieces

that are yielded to expectations of the title you hold.

Girlfriend. Boyfriend. Husband. Wife.

Moments turn into days, and days turn to weeks, and years pass by unapologetically, scraping away aspects of yourself you didn’t realize were gone.

You used to love to bake, but he is a diabetic. You used to read avidly, but she is a movie aficionado. You love the big city, but his dream job landed you in a small town. You have always lived with pets, but she is allergic. He wants a big family, but you have always feared children.

The things you love, become the things you were willing to give up. For him. For her. For us.

Any maybe the fact that we lose ourselves is a big part of why we end up losing each other. Break ups. Separation. Divorce. She is not who you fell in love with. He is but a shadow of who you used to know.

We change, we grow, we shed our skin over and over again.We live a thousand lives in a million different frames of mind.

But maybe my focus is misplaced. Maybe it is not the losing that matters. But rather, that which you gain from the loss.

Maybe our bodies are making room for a better version of ourselves. A version that is more of who we are than who we have ever been before. Because of you. Because of me. Because of us. Together.

It’s okay to mourn the loss of our past selves. The parts of ourselves that are no longer deep within us. Just as it is okay to fear this loss, to fear what it means, and to be afraid of who we are now becoming. To be unsure of how this shift will effect your life. The life of not only her, but him. And both of you together.

We are human. Therefore, most things in life are inevitable. Emotion. Feeling. Experience. The beginning. The middle. The end.

We can not measure who we are in regards to who we have been, just as we can not measure love or sorrow or pain.

All we can do is be aware of the ways in which we change. In relationships. In marriage. In life. In love. The ways in which he has changed you. The ways in which she has inspired you. The way in which somehow, after all this time, you have both become one.

One love existing in two different bodies. And maybe, that is the biggest miracle, and the biggest loss of all.

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Book No. 28 – And Never Stop Dancing

17 Feb

Book number 29 is called And Never Stop Dancing by Gordon Livingston. I guess some people would classify this book as a “self help” book, but really I think it just highlights many issues we all struggle with in life. It is written by a Psychiatrist who shares with us his own experiences in dealing with his patients, people with anxiety and depression, and people who have forgotten how to love life. Many people seek psychotherapy because they are burdened with grievances. Abusive childhoods, alcoholic parents, bad marriages, and many other misfortunes. We are all shaped, to some extent  by our past. Which is unfortunate, because none of us has the power to go back in time and change what happened. Many of us are burdened by mistakes and experiences of the past and that is what holds us back from being happy. But we all have the choice of relinquishing the hold that our pasts have on us. It is a conscious choice that paradoxically does not require you to be strong, only to be courageous. The hardest thing I think for many people is to forgive. Not only those who have hurt us, but also ourselves, from our shortcomings, wasted opportunities and the myriad of mistakes we have each made. We do not live in a very forgiving nation. Judgmental, yes…. but forgiving, not so much! This is exemplified in the fact that 74 percent of Americans believe in the death penalty. We assert blame, tolerate victimization and act like entitled brats rather than forgiving those who have done wrong and moving on. The reason behind this is simple, the act of forgiving means relinquishing the past, it means letting go… something that most of us are incapable of. So, I think a plea of moderation is essential, don’t you? Yes. Sometimes, I wonder how it is that I can happily live in a world where there is so much evil and wrongdoing. So many unspeakable things occur in our world, and more often than not, there is nothing we can do to stop them. What we all need to do is adjust our perception of reality. You know how doctors can never guarantee you that you will come out of surgery 100%? That is because they are controlling your expectations. So many of us go through life with unrealistic expectations of love, relationships, friendships, work, family, etc. I know i’m still waiting for my own personal Noah Calhoun (The Notebook) to be hand delivered to my front door!! Unrealistic? Um duh. I blame all these stupid romantic comedies and Nicholas Sparks. What I’m starting to realize is that we shouldn’t want our lives to be like the movies, because it isn’t real. And I think it’s safe to say we would all much rather have something REAL. My point is, we need to lower our expectations on what we will get out of life, and by doing this we will learn to be content and satisfied with the things we have instead of always wishing we had something more. I’ve always told myself that I will probably never be fully satisfied in life because I want too much. There is a quote that goes something like, “girls always want what they can’t have.” In my case, I wan’t what I don’t have. I want everything. Getting everything is impossible. I’m only setting myself up for disappointment, dissatisfaction, discontent and longing. I’m doomed!! UNLESS, I can change the way I look at life. Easier said than done, obviously. Another issue in this book is marriage. I often tell my sister how I think marriage is a dying institution and that I can’t really see myself ever getting married. Whenever I tell my friends I don’t want to get married, they look at me like I am an alien from mars. Why though? If you ask people the reason they married their spouse I guarantee you 80% percent will say love. But thats a crock of shit. In fact, if you look at marriage in a sociological perspective you will see that in fact most people get married because of the way society influences them. People do it for security, shared values, companionship, religion, wanting to start a family, and yes, sometimes love. Most of the time though, people get married because it is the cultural norm (at least here in America), it’s what we are expected to do. It’s like we are all given a check list of milestones to reach before we die. Graduate high school. Go to college. Graduate college. Get a job. Get married. Start a family. But I am not going to get married simply because it is what society bloody well thinks I should do! When and If I get married, I want it to be because I have found someone that I truly love more than I love myself. Someone that makes me a better human being and helps me grow, and someone who brings light into my life. Often times we think that marriage will turn out like a fairy tale, but it does not. It’s not all roses and sunshine, in fact there is a lot of crap that comes a long with it. Heaps and heaps of stinky, smelly crap!! (um. ew.)

Here is a great quote about marriage that I found below:

“This is the tyranny of marriage: the vows that bind us allow us to become our worst selves. Thrown dishes, slammed doors, faces contorted like an infants — all part of the contract. No one tells us this. No one tells us that the only unconditional love in this world is between parent and child… but passion between a man and a woman finite. If it lasts among a thousand days, count yourself among the lucky… There [is] no loneliness like marriage. ” -Dani Shapiro, Picturing the Wreck

Interesting quote. I would be interested to hear from people who are married on whether they agree or disagree with this quote, because everybody’s marriage is different and some marriages are much happier than others.

The human mind is an intricately wound, dark yet beautiful enigmatic thing. A person can never really understand the inner workings of another’s mind. We can never fully know a person in their entirety, there is no way we can penetrate every layer of the human mind and expose ones true self. It’s impossible. It seems as though loneliness is an epidemic in this world. The ironic thing is that those who are lonely often complain about how lonely they are and yet take no steps to change. This is because so many people prefer loneliness to the vulnerability of closeness with another human being. WE are used to being afraid. Fear is the mother of all bitches. A close second is assumption, but i’ll save that speech for another day! Fear controls so many of us. A habit that must be broken.

“… come my friends,

Tis not too late to seek a newer world.

Push off, and sitting well in order smite

The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds

To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths

Of all the western stars, until I die.

It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:

It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,

And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.

Tho’ much is taken, much abides, and tho’

We are not now that strength which in old days

Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are,

One equal temper of heroic hearts,

Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”

–Alfred Lord Tennyson, Ulysses

A truly beautiful poem about the ups and downs of life. Re-read it a couple of times, let it sink in and I think it will really resonate with many of you.

“To be mortal is to bear the awful weight of time and fate.” No quote has ever been truer. There are so many things working against us in life, but we must strive to over come them. Time and fate are not on our sides and before you know it death will be lurking in the shadows waiting to snatch you away. So make the best of your time, and create a fate you can live with. And we must all take the hardships with stride and continue to march onward.

“There are many forms of grace — physical, intellectual, social, spiritual — each of them amazing in its own way. But to cope with inevitable loss, to face life in all its confusion and absurdity and still retain the capacity for joy, laughter, and a belief that our struggles have meaning — this is to prevail.”

In a life that is constantly trying to break you down, prevail. Rise above the loss, the pain, the loneliness, the fear and LIVE.

“After a bomb killed two dozen young people at a Tel Aviv disco a few years ago, Israeli youth refused to be cowed. They resumed a robust nightlife. Today, outside the scene of the bombing, beneath a stone memorial listing the names of the dead, is a single inscription: LO NAFSEEK LIRKOD. It means, “We won’t stop dancing.” — Gene Weingarten, The Washington Post Magazine

Words we should all live by. Through all the hurdles life throws our way, we should never lose sight of whats important. And we should never stop dancing.

Xo.

Taylor Jordan

Book No. 25 – Stories I Only Tell My Friends

31 Jan

“Stories I Only Tell My Friends” is basically Rob Lowe’s biography. He talks about his dream of becoming an actor and the steps he took to reach that goal. He talks about his growing fame and the isolation and loneliness that comes with it. He talks about his ladies man reputation, his alcoholism and going to rehab, and then meeting and marrying his wife Sheryl. I’ve been a fan of Rob Lowe since he was in the TV show called Brothers and Sisters, but he was in the business long before that TV show. He is probably most notably known for his role in The West Wing which won a ton of awards when it was airing. He is also in Parks & Rec. and Californication.

This is a picture of him in case you don’t know who he is.

I found his book really well written, insightful, informational and even comical. It’s really interesting to get to see what happens behind the scenes of an actors life. In his book, I got to see beyond the facade that is Rob Lowe. It is basically a tour of his life. It’s really cool how many chance encounters he has with other actors too. He got to meet the president, Sting, Janet Jackson and so much more. I guess thats how that whole industry works though. I remember being little and wanting to be an actress, I mean God knows I am dramatic enough for it! I used to practice crying on command with my friend Angela and we would have contests to see who could cry first. I would talk in different accents (sometimes, I still do this…), pretend I was an opera singer (ask my cousin brandon), and even act out a killing scene where I stab myself and then play dead on the kitchen floor and wait for my mom to notice me. (eventually, she got so tired of my little charades and began to ignore me completely!) Anyways, that dream was short lived! I just never really got into it, I guess. But I watch a lot of TV and read a lot, so I’m always interested in whats going on in that industry, which really seems like its own little world over there. But anyways, having read this book there are some important things I have taken away from it. One of which is that no matter how much success, power, and money you have, it will not necessarily make you happy. Rob struggled for much of his early life with having too much money, too much freedom. It got to the point where he didn’t really care about anything in life. He wasn’t grounded anymore and he had been cut off from all the fundamental things that we all need in life to be happy. Like family, a loving relationship, honesty, religion or spiritualism, and real interactions with real people you really care about you. I just read in my sociology book that the people who are most susceptible to suicide are those who are isolated or less interconnected than others. Also, white wealthy men are more likely to commit suicide because they have so much freedom that they don’t know what to do with it! Which is why so many famous people turn to drugs and alcohol and some even overdose. (Heath Ledger, Brittany Murphy, Chris Farley.. even Marilyn Monroe) It’s really sad to think that if someone had seen how much those people were struggling, if someone had reached out a hand to help, then maybe some of them would still be here today. In this book, Rob Lowe also touches on the idea of objectification. So many people look at famous people as things. He is so hot, she has the best body. Blah. Blah. We forget that they are real people, too. I mean yes, Jake Gyllenhaal is just about the hottest thing alive and omg did you see his cute little butt in Love and Other Drugs?? I mean come on, who wouldn’t objectify him. But I’m sure for a famous person, it is just about the worst feeling in the world. To know that people don’t really care about you, they only care about what you can offer or what you look like. So, Jake my love… I’m sorry if I made it seem like you were just another hot piece of ass! I’m sure you are so much more than that. Objectification goes on in our day to day lives as well though and honestly it does piss me off. Especially when guys objectify girls, which happens so frequently that I could explode. I have gotten on to many of my guy friends about objectifying girls. It is repulsive and I will not stand for it dammit!! Boys, there is so much more to me than my ass.. OKAY?!? Get it through your head. Shit.

Overall, I really loved this book. It kinda felt like a roller coaster ride, except for once the roller coaster wasn’t my own life but someone else’s. I am happy to say that Rob Lowe went to rehab and has been sober for over 20 years. He has been happily married for almost 25 years and he has two kids. I guess some people really can turn their lives around before it’s too late. Maybe there is some hope for the rest of us. HA!

Xo.

Taylor Jordan

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