There is such romanticism about foreign countries, especially when you are single. Long before I met my husband, I dreamed of meeting a foreigner who would marry me and take me far away from my humdrum life in the States. I’ve always been an adventure-seeker. And that sounded like the adventure of a lifetime.
Looking back on it, what I really wanted was someone to shake up my views and my world. I wanted to be challenged culturally and individually. I wanted someone to rock my world. And I got it.
I’m not jetting off to Australia for months at a time (maybe when we retire?), but I am having quite the adventure. Husband has shaken up my views in so many ways. We have come from very opposite sides of the spectrum in various ways. And we tend to pull each other closer to the middle ground.
I think there is a tendency to be less flexible when you are at either extreme. Just take two people with two very different opinions. If they are both fully convinced of their opposing views, they will not likely change those views after a debate. But when someone is in the middle ground, they are hearing and understanding both views, finding a place of understanding between them. And that place can shift as understanding shifts.
In some ways, like housework, this means the house is not as clean as I grew up with, but more organized than what Husband is used to. In bigger ways, I am less stingy when it comes to helping someone out financially, while he is more careful with his spending than he used to be. We balance each other out.
This relationship has shaken up our stiff views. Being with him has challenged the presumptions I’ve always held. It has forced me to back up what I believe. And that is fantastic. It has helped me foster my individuality. That’s not to say my thought process has been torn to shreds, but now I know more about where I stand and why. And sometimes I’m firmer in my original viewpoint than before. (I can’t say I stay in the middle ground all the time, but I don’t think anyone should linger there with every opinion.)
My husband is a procrastinator, while I’m more of a planner. I used to be stuck on the idea of something working out perfectly and in the perfect time. Now, I realize it’s going to happen when it happens and there’s not a lot I can do about it. For instance, he tends to push it when it comes to putting gas in his truck. There have been times when we barely made it to the next gas station. It used to fill me with sheer panic. I would imagine the worst-case-scenario and convince myself it would happen that way. My heart would race and I would wonder why I even decided to step into that truck at all.
Though I still hate it when he does this, I have learned to breathe and ride with it. Worrying is not going to help the situation. And it almost always works out in the end, even if it doesn’t come with the best immediate circumstances. He is teaching me to live as dangerously as I dream about. Talk about keeping me genuine. A true adventure-seeker doesn’t cry when the gas runs out. Now, as for helping him with the procrastinating….I’m still working on that.
Real adventure is never what you expect it to be. After all, the reason it is an adventure is because of the risk and the unknown direction. It’s not predictable or it wouldn’t be an adventure. I may not be hanging out Down Under, but I’ve still got my adventure right here. And he continues to rock my world.