Love and marriage, love and marriage
They go together like a horse and carriage
My parents celebrate their 27th wedding anniversary today. It’s an accomplishment that make it ever clearer how special their relationship is. My parents truly love each other and I am ever thankful that I was able to watch their relationship as an example of everything I should hope for on my own path to marriage.
But sometimes, seeing such a wonderful and fulfilling relationship can be sad. It’s a jealous sadness, one that stems from the fear that I will never find something similar for myself. When I see the clear devotion they have for each other and the deep, abiding love that guides their actions, I question whether I will ever find the same. Or if, instead, I will forever be yearning for that fulfillment.
Some days I comfort myself, saying things like “you’ll meet him in grad school” or “everyone knows guys take longer to mature” but the reality is that I fear my future holds me, alone, devoted to my work.
A few years ago, one of the drama majors at my school performed in a school production of The How and the Why. In summary, the play tells the story of two females scientists as they reflect on their careers. There is a moment towards the end where it becomes apparent that the older woman has sacrificed a great to deal to ascend to the academic heights she has reached. She has eschewed love, a family, companionship. And in return she has achieved acclaim and awards.
Is it naive of me to want both? To want the love and the family and the acclaim and the awards? Is it silly of me to think that a truly loving relationship will empower me to stride even further along my professional path?
When I see my parents, I see an example of two people holding each other higher. Two people supporting and encouraging and embracing as they step forward into the future together.
I want this.
And I fear I might never have it.