looking back: “between a marriage and a house”

Lately I’ve been comparing where we are today to where we were one year ago.

March of 2009 was an unbelievably challenging month for us. We were desperately trying to sell the house and figure a way out of our financial mess. We were stressed, scared, worried and lost. Charting a new path for our lives in the midst of utter chaos.

March of 2009 also happened to be, not surprisingly, one of the more active and emotionally-charged months on my blog Love in the Time of Foreclosure. Going back and reading what I wrote during this period in our lives is like discovering someone’s secret diary and reading their deepest, darkest, most private moments.

By the way, when I was a kid I was never very good about keeping a diary. I remember when I received my first diary as a gift. I was more excited about the lock and the understood secrecy (it CAME with a lock and key! Secrecy was EXPECTED!) than the opportunity to confide my deepest desires to an anonymous page. But let me be clear, I was more intrigued by the idea of expected secrecy than actually embracing it. Simply put: I missed the entire point.

After my first entry in my diary, I was so excited I ran downstairs and announced to my dad and stepmom that I wanted to read to them what I had written.

“Listen to what I wrote,” I began, so thrilled to have an audience.

“Dear Diary,” I continued… still totally missing the irony of the moment.

I don’t remember what I wrote exactly. But I do remember that I explained everything to my diary.

Such as who people were…

Darchelle is my friend who sells pretzel sticks at lunch.

or

Tommy is my little brother who never does what I tell him to do.

After I read my surely boring and mundane diary entry about the minutia of my day, Dad responded,

“You know you don’t have to explain everything to your diary. Your diary already knows all about your life.”

That hadn’t occurred to me. Not at all. After that, I have no memories of a diary. I was more of a letter writer. Always needing an audience for my writing. *Cough* Cough*

Anyway, where was I? Oh, right…. Love in the Time of Foreclosure. I guess my diary tangent offers explanation for why I was so willing to write about our darkest moments in such a public forum. It’s who I am.

And as I was saying… looking back does feel like I’m visiting someone else’s life. I think that’s a good thing. I think it means that I’ve moved beyond it. Let it go. I mean, the thrill I get in reading about those times is to think,

“I can’t believe we went through that! We’re in such a better place now.”

Between a Marriage and a House

One year ago this week I wrote the post “Between a Marriage and a House.” Here are some excerpts from that post:

“The single most powerful reason we’ve been able to keep this whole mess in perspective is because a year and a half ago we came very close to losing something much more valuable than a house: our marriage.”

“I will never forget the day it began. I’ll never forget the moment our marriage disappeared from beneath my feet and I was left without a place to stand. I’ll never forget what it felt like to look into my husband’s eyes and feel like I might actually lose my home. Our marriage was my home.”

“We were carried through this time by the support and love from our family, friends and community. Three days a week in counseling soon became two… then one… then once every other week. We worked through a lifetime of ‘junk.’ We discovered so much about each other and ourselves. We were there for ourselves as much as each other. We knew that if we really dug in and were vulnerable and peeled back every single possible layer that we would have the marriage we always wanted. What began as the darkest moment in my life turned into a huge possibility. An opportunity to create the marriage of our dreams.

The marriage of our dreams.

That’s what we have. We have never ever in our 11 years of being together gotten along so well. Been so happy and complete. So ‘on the same page.’ So grounded. So willing to talk about, confront and share truly anything.

I look back on that post. I remember writing it. I know we went through all of that. And we made it to the other side. Not only unscathed, but improved. Ready to be parents. Becoming parents.

On an island.

On March 10, 2009 when I was writing that post… had my future self come to visit me to tell me,

“Hey, it’s all going to work out. You’re not going to be able to keep the house or stay in L.A. But it’s okay. Because you’re living rent-free on a beautiful island, you and Bob have the marriage of your dreams and you’re five-months pregnant,”

I never would have believed it.

To read the entire post “Between a Marriage and a House” on Love in the Time of Foreclosure, click here.

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3 Responses

  1. Okay..I’m crying now..crying with happiness that is, because of your incredible life and what you and Bob have created together.Yes, there’s the baby, but beyond that you are learning about what’s important. This is a lesson many never learn.Somehow, I think the foreclosure was a gift in your hands.
    Oh, by the way, I love the way you write..I have NO memory of your diary.I don’t think it lasted too long, and thank God you decided to share your writing with the world and not some little book lost in a box in my crawl space.

    • Thanks, Mom! Yeah, the diary didn’t last long at all.

      And YES! We have learned many important lessons. Many.

  2. I just love this. Beautiful. I’m so happy you’re blogging again. Congratulations on the marriage of your dreams and the newest member of your family. I love reading about your adventures!

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