Ever since I was a kid, I have had a small fantasy of running away.
Something about setting off on a grand adventure and hiding away from the “grown-ups” just ignited my imagination.
That being said, I was a “summer camp kid". I was lucky enough to spend a few weeks in June soaking up the sun and freedom that camp offered. While I joyfully made leather bookmarks and paddled my canoe, I was bewildered at the kids who moped the whole time because they just wanted to be home (AKA my husband haha). I was never the child who cried when they spent the night at a friend’s house and begged my Mom to pick me up at 3am.
I have always loved a change of scenery.
Eventually, I became an adult(ish), and in many ways, that desire to “run-away” remained.
So, for those of you who don't know me personally, it might shock you that the little adventurous girl grew up, and got married, at age 22.
Josh and I have been married for a year this Saturday, and have been together for nearly 7 years. If you do the very complex math, you will realize that means we have been together since I was on the latter half of 16.
I get it, most “high school sweetheart” relationships don't survive more than a few years, and lets be honest, most of them suck and shouldn't last more than a few months. So I understand why most people wonder how we have made it work. (side note: we met at the grocery store we worked at, not an actual high school, it was more Jim and Pam from The Office and less Haley and Nathan from One Tree Hill, but that is neither here nor there)
ANYWAY- I think I know one reason, other than our adorable rom-com style set-up and undying love for each other, as to why our relationship has been, and continues to be happy and successful.
We don't just love each other, we leave each other.
I’ve “left” Josh at least 20 times since we’ve been together.
I’ve left him to explore tropical islands, to hit the highway on cross-country road trips, I’ve left him while I travel internationally. I’ve left him for girl’s nights, college, sleepovers and weekends trips to the beach… you name it. I’ve been leaving Josh since we first met.
And since I have always been this way, upfront, and unapologetically, he embraces it. He expects it and he doesn’t ask me to change. Josh has never told me not to go, not to do something or that I should wait for him or couldn't go without him.
And here is the thing:
Josh leaves me too.
He might not be quite as keen on traveling without me, but he has still gone on several trips where I didn't tag along. And sometimes he retreats in different ways too. I try to embrace when he feels the need to run away to his man cave and play video games for the day.
See, we let each other leave, because the love we have for each other is greater than the temporary discomfort of missing the other person.
When you love someone, you want them to be fulfilled and happy, even if that means it doesn't include you. You can't expect the person you are with to constantly want to do the same things as you, or have the ALL of the same interests. But you can expect them to support you and you doing what you love, because they care about you.
See, Josh lets the little girl inside of me who enjoyed exploring and running away, live on. Just like I let the little boy inside of him who likes collecting and gaming and dabbling in hobbies, continue to exist.
And don't get me wrong, we do things together all of the time, and have overlapping interests. I mean we are married.. Duh. But if the other person can't, or doesn't want to do something. It's not the end of the world.
People really seem to like the advice “Don't marry the person you can live with, marry the person you can't live without”
And that's fine advice and all, but I think you should marry the person who let’s you be yourself, who builds you up, and who respects you enough to never hold you back.
I think you should marry the person you can leave, not only for the reasons I listed before, but even more so, because you will know how good it feels to come back home.
But anyway, Happy Anniversary Josh. Thanks for being my number one fan, favorite dancer, real life adventure husband, and home.