So, I've been married almost three years now. And this is seriously the hardest, most rewarding thing I've ever been through. I've heard all the extremely great marriage stories and the extremely horrible marriage stories, but I've never heard my story. Truth be told, I'm having a hard time with the adjustment, and I don't see it getting easier any time soon.
My husband is truly great. He's not the man that I prayed for because I didn't think that his kind existed. He doesn't pressure me to do anything. Has never asked me to change. Encourages me. Prays for me. Believes in me more than I believe in myself. And that 's what really makes this marriage thing hard for me. It's impossible for me to be an inconsiderate asshole to someone who only wants to love me with every thing that he has.
In no way am I saying that I am miserable and want a divorce. I am not saying that I want all this to come to an end. I'm saying that this thing did not come with instructions, and I have not fully come into grasp of this new life.
Unlike most people that I know, I got married when I was already established. I was already an RN, making good money. I already had my own vehicle in my name. I was already saved with a church home. I had endeavors in my maiden name. My apartment was already fully furnished. There was nothing that I needed. I was a boss. I had all my shit together. My finances were perfect. Everything was lined up for me. I wasn't lost. I didn't need guidance. I wasn't a damsel in distress. I didn't feel that I was incomplete and that the only thing that would make me whole was a husband. I was already whole. In addition to all of this, I enjoyed my own company. It didn't scare me being alone.
Growing up, while my peers were playing house, being mommy and daddy, I was their single and free well established accountant who was CEO of my firm. I wasn't the average chick who fantasized about a fairy tale wedding. I didn't have imaginary children in my head. I never felt that a husband was the missing piece in my life. I never felt that a husband had a place in my life.
Then, I got married. And it was all supposed to change in the blink of an eye. Immediately, I was supposed to leave my church where I was active and growing spiritually in and join his. I had to share my financial information which I held sacred. I had to be concerned with the well being and ins and outs of a grown man older than me. It was no longer ME ME ME. It became cook for US. Make sure my decisions benefitted US. If I was going to come home later than expected, check in and let him know that I was okay, instead of the usual of just doing me. I had to mold in ways I wasn't interested in molding in. For example, my introvertedness has to take a back seat a lot of the times. I'm not social. I have no desire to be. I'm not a partier. I have no interest in going to family functions. I rarely go to mine, which is not a problem. But because family is so important to my husband, I uncomfortably go to his family's events. Because it didn't take me long to realize that marriage is sacrifice. It's not all about me. If I care about my husband, I also care about what he cares about. Which a lot of times involves me caring about what I don't care about.
I miss me. Me before all of this. I miss the days where it didn't matter if I quit my job and became homeless because it was just me, and who cares? Now, I have to second and third think everything. Because I can't be selfish. I can't only think about me. Even though I'm perfectly cool with sleeping in my car all for the sake of seeing my dreams come true, it's not fair for me to put him in that situation.
I miss my church. I miss being on the boards I was on. I miss the after church conversations. I miss the brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles and grandmas and grandpas whom I adopted at my church.
I miss not having to be "on" all the time. If I didn't feel like cooking for three months, so what? Not that my husband makes me feel obligated AT ALL to have a hot meal more days than not, I feel it myself. What kind of selfish human being would I be to call myself a wife and have him in a drive through all the time? I miss the days where I could spend three days straight in front of my laptop, typing a book. Now, I feel the need to set it aside for a few hours to tend to him. Entertain him. See if there's somewhere he would like to go or something that he would like to do.
I miss the days where I spent days talking to no one, drifting off into a different atmosphere, zone, dimension with no explanations. The days where the only people I talked to were the characters in my head. The days where if I didn't want to brush my teeth and just be at my piano all day in my zone was no problem. Who cared? Who would know? But what kind of wife would I be to say "I do", then ignore him for days on end? Not take care of hygiene?
But the main thing I miss-- that burns a hole in my core-- is that I am literally no longer me. I am no longer who my birth certificate says I am. I no longer have MY NAME. My last name. My identifying factor. For twenty five years, I was Cha'Rita Jordan. Then, in a matter of seconds, that person was no more. Official paperwork told me to forget about that person. Forget about that 19 year old who walked into a car lot with a prayer and a penny and got a car in her name with no co-signer. Forget about that 18 year old woman who worked full time nights as a nurse's assistant while going to school full time to become an LPN. Never mind that twenty three year old woman who worked full time nights as an LPN and went to school full time in the day to become an RN. It doesn't matter that the people who I was closest to shared the same last name as me. It was time for me to no longer identify myself with them. It was time for me to link up with and share a name with strangers who have not been in the trenches with me.
Logically, a last name is irrelevant. It doesn't determine a relationship. Emotionally, it does.
Still, to this day, when someone calls me by NEW my last name, I cringe and think, "That's my mother in law. That's not me. I'm Mrs. Jordan." I don't mind the "Mrs." It's the not being called Jordan that literally leaves me gasping for air. Jordan is who I am. Jordan is me.
I. Miss. Me.