Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Graduate Student Reflections on Love

So, the past three weeks, I've been crazily cramming for my general comprehensive exams.  So, two monstrous, four-hour closed book, tell us everything you know about Old Testament and then New Testament/ Intertestamental literature, exams.  Sure, I could have scheduled them later in the semester, but I needed them done.  DONE.  So, I planned my daddy's perfect birthday present, I would be done with these painful general comps.  

Somehow in planning what I needed, I forgot about my dear, sweet husband.  But Hubby stuck with me through the hours of me sitting at my desk studying . . . and sometimes me sitting at my desk trying to study and failing miserably . . . while I became less and less pleasant, compassionate, and able to help with anything around the apartment.  Then, he patiently quizzed me through all 35 of the outlines I had prepared to ensure that I was ready for those monstrous exams.

I have a very simple perspective on marriage: It is too damn hard to do it with the wrong person.

In fumbling over facebook today, I saw this article in a friend's post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/seth-adam-smith/real-love-is-a-choice_b_6039412.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000063

Then I got to thinking about the fact that love is a choice beyond our romantic relationships.

In the past few weeks I've come to realize in a whole new way that it takes a village to create a Ph.D.  There's no way that I could have made it through all of the stress, panic inducing self-doubt, and overwhelming anxiety without the people who have become my support-network.
While Hubby is the central hub for me, he can't be my only support.  It wouldn't be fair.  I have to find ways of recharging so that I can also love, support, and encourage him through his own mid-30s struggles.  My D&D group ensures that I have space to be silly, not think about smart things, and ensure that one night a week its just about being a normal person.  My Puppy promises me all the cuddles I can stand, especially when I'm stressed out; he makes me get up from my desk for daily walks, and sit on the couch for calming cuddles.  My Mommy is seriously on speed-dial for the pep talks, prayers, and reassurance that I'm not actually insane, I'm just a doctoral student.  Daddy & my Wanda have been my life-preserver so many times in so many ways that I have given up counting. When I am reminded of how so many people choose to love me, it blows me away.

Extending love is a choice.  Receiving love is another choice.  
Its not just in marriage.  Its in every relationship, every interaction.