This question is the second prompt of the Time Travel Week in Kickstarting Creativity (aka January) and as I ponder my options I find myself thinking, who came up with this question? And then I realise it was me. (In case you are curious, yesterday’s question was inspired by a conversation with The Dude.)
I want to know Little Person will be happy, and healthy, and not constrained by her unique brand of being. I want my writing to be successful, but I don’t know what success looks like. I don’t know what success would cost me. And besides which, if I am the one who gets to define my success as a writer, then by that notion every day that I write, I am a success. Because every day I am trying. Some days I am very trying.
So really, I think I would like to guarantee that my marriage would always be strong. But that is also one of those things that you can’t guarantee. Because the thing about marriage is, it is a commitment to love a person, to stay committed to a person even when they annoy the living daylights out of you, even when everything in the world is tearing the two of you apart. It is choosing to grab the person’s hand in the middle of the storm and saying, I don’t care if this costs me everything, we are doing this together. And that’s the scary thing about marriage – it relies on both of you. You have to hold on to each other.
I think it’s a funny thing to want to guarantee, because in many ways, it’s something I can do something about. I can find ways to love The Dude, I can find ways to fall in love with The Dude. We can find space to remember our love, and to build our marriage. But the moment I take that love, and our marriage, for granted, is the moment it all starts to slip away.
So maybe I don’t want the guarantee of a strong marriage. Maybe I just want the guarantee of the strength to keep doing whatever is needed. To keep on keeping on.
Maybe I don’t want any guarantees, because that takes away the adventure. Just remind me of that the next time I get all upset because I don’t know what the future holds.