Over the years I have come across countless women. Women who have a dream or have goals, who want something for themselves or something bigger for their family. And then I hear them speak about limitations their husbands have placed on them. Rules and guidelines to ensure that their dreams don’t become too big that they lose sight of their priorities. And I hear the disappointment in their tone, the frustration, and the sadness.
Fifteen years ago, it was never a question of if I would work. It was ‘what did I want to do’. While I love and honor my job as a mother and as a wife and both come as first priority, I have a creative heart who needs to be making, creating, collaborating and launching. It’s just in me.
Jarett watched me begin a company the day after we brought Tanner home from the hospital 13 years ago. He cheered me on every step of the way.
I wanted to dive further into photography and he took everything we had at the time as two broke newlyweds and bought my first camera. And he couldn’t wait to see every photograph I developed from those expensive rolls of film.
He watched me juggle motherhood while building and running a professional photography company for a decade. He would tell everyone proudly what his wife did for a living.
When I told him I wanted to leave the photography industry to be home more, but I wanted to start a different business, he just smiled and said, “Awesome!”
Almost four years ago Jarett picked me up off the bathroom floor where I had broken down in a fit of tears and hysterics. He picked me up and brought me to our bed where he knelt beside me, waiting patiently as I tried to catch my breath. What we didn’t know at the time was that I had and would continue to have a complete and total nervous breakdown. The pressure of two full-time jobs that I willingly took on so that we could give him the opportunity to start his own business had broken me. My company began to slip away with less and less attention paid to it while I filled unreasonable expectations in the other. I had pushed myself past my limit. And I lost a bit of myself as I had become wrought with health issues and debilitating anxiety. So I walked. With his unfailing support, I walked.
On the road just one month ago, our entire lives packed into two cars and a U-Haul trailer, we began our 1600 mile journey to our new home in Tennessee. We had already decided that I would drive the Flex since his car had no A/C. It was also the only vehicle option to hitch the trailer to. He worried about it being too overwhelming for me and didn’t want me to be stressed the entire trip. I simply flashed him a sly smile.
And with every mile, he followed behind me, telling me when the trailer was swaying a little too much and to slow down, or checking to see if I was too tired to keep going, or if I needed to stop for gas and when we did stop, checking my tires and the car to ensure all was well. For 1600 miles he followed behind me with unfailing support. With no one able to fit in his car for conversation, he stayed wide awake ensuring that I was OK. For 1600 miles.
Marriage is hard. Our marriage is hard. Raising kids is hard. Life is hard. And going to bed angry at each other is sometimes the only option. And if there was ever a time that we were going to throw in the towel it probably would have been sometime in these past three years because running two businesses, raising five kids and everything in between? It’s. Hard.
But man, it is so good at the same time. And fifteen years with such a man is something that I know is the sweetest of blessings. A man who allows me the room to be who I am, who pushes me to take chances and roots me on in each of them. Even if it means having to pick me up off the bathroom floor in the times that I have stumbled. Fifteen years spent like that sounds pretty good to me.
Happy anniversary, my love. With every bit of me and more…