It Doesn’t Have to Be That Way

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In the early stages of growing a friendship with Eve, I was casually sharing some insights from my relationship.

“I don’t think I’ve ever heard of any couple that doesn’t quarrel,” Eve said.

It was one of the many highlights that has showed up in my relationship, turned marriage – an aspect that continues to enthuse me to this day.

I used to be very good at picking a fight and I spent years wondering why that was and if there was something inherently wrong with me. At the time, I dated a great guy, but the fights were a regular routine and it felt like I was the reason for it. Each day, there was a search for a certain kind of balance that failed to show up. What manifested instead was a never ending cycle of tense confrontations. Even on holidays, we found ways to stir things up and quarrel incessantly. Talk about red flags.

Those complicated years shadowed by conflicts, doubts and frustration have not been all bad and they were what I chose and needed to get to where I am now. There were plenty of great times too. Travels, meeting lots of wonderful people and migrating to a new country were things that my partner at the time guided me to dive into. That’s why we now maintain a cordial relationship and I think that, while moving on, we both found a treasured place in each other’s hearts; a place of non-judgement and care.

Although we have learned the lessons we needed to know and I can now share things with a positive outlook, it doesn’t mean that leaving behind a long-term relationship happened with smiles and handshakes. There were tears, painful confessions, bad words thrown around, fists clenched and arms folded. And I honour all of it. It just shows we were authentic in our quest to make things work, all the way to the end.

My convoluted experience in my past relationship was what taught me gratitude and how to recognise the gifts of what I have now. It also taught me that I create my life with every choice I make. There is nothing random, nothing left to chance. The better I understand what motivates my choices, the happier I can become.

I know it’s overrated, but I came to believe that the only thing that matters is knowing yourself. Not selfishly and not by excluding others. Know yourself so you can be yourself. Understand how you’ve knitted the complex web of experiences you’re having right now, and decide what is the greatest change that you would like to see happen. Then go for it, take the leap. The magic lies on the other side.

To say life is good doesn’t begin to capture how different everything feels now. The word “easy” minimises the experience as well. To mention that we don’t ever quarrel is just one piece of the puzzle that has mysteriously rearranged itself, morphing into a familiar shape that resurfaced only when I was ready to recognise it.

PS: I took this photo while on a coffee date with Eve, who has a family blog which you can check out here.

 

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