Making it work

why him?

by lizzie & isaiah on April 16, 2011 · 17 comments

There was one time a year or so ago that I started a laundry list.

I felt out of it. You know those weeks (months) where you just aren’t sure that you’re in the right place, doing the right thing, with the right person? I had one of those. I wondered if I was too young to commit. I wondered if Isaiah was the end-all be-all of men. I wondered if I was ready.

I was reading a post on East Side Bride yesterday, “How Do I Know if He’s the One?” (My comment is pretty similar to what I’m going to tell you here, the shorthand version).

About a year ago, I started making a mental laundry list of everything I would have to “deal with” forever if I married Isaiah. I got one item in, literally, the first thing: “He never has a problem with me.” That was my first qualm. Really.

After that, I started feeling really silly about questioning anything about my best friend & partner. I wondered if I was going to be insatiable for my whole life. Which led me to my laundry list. It was not pretty, listing the reasons why Isaiah shouldn’t want to be with me. Fecking abundant, yo.

I know I swear I rarely cry. I really don’t. I just seem to tell you about the times I do…so, you know, it sounds like I’m a blubbering mess over here.

I cried. I had let this stupid thought slip into my mind that maybe I couldn’t be with anyone, let alone someone as bitchin’ly awesome and f*cking delightful as Isaiah. The thought of being without him overwhelmed me with sadness to a point I had never felt before. I was smacked in the face with a 2×4 of emotion.

I have never questioned since whether or not I wanted to be with Isaiah, whether or not he was “The One (Ahhhh).”

He is. He will be. He has been.

So when I read the post and started thinking about how I knew Isaiah was the one, my eyes welled up and I felt a remnant of that first wave all over again.

We might go through rough times, alone and together, but at the end of the day (and all throughout) if I have a spare moment, it belongs to him. I am eager to see him every day. I want to spend time with him above everything else. I still want him, if you know what I mean ::elbow elbow::.

I commit to him every day and I choose him over and over and over and over and over because I remember that I am lost without him. He’s my best friend and favorite person. He’s a strong partner and an excellent puppy father.

I loved getting some “Hell yeahs!” to our discussions about dissatisfaction and weirdness…and sometimes I need that. Sometimes I need a reminder to get the hell out of my own over-analyzing brain and just remember how good I’ve got it. That things couldn’t be better. And I’m signing up for that, the good waves and terrible waves, with him.

You dig?


snot bubbles

by lizzie & isaiah on April 9, 2011 · 16 comments

It started as an obnoxious buzz in my ear. That I wasn’t totally happy, that is.

I was worried that things were getting to be too much, that the major plates of my earth were shifting and unsettling and things were gearing up for unwelcome change.

I tried to talk to Isaiah. Instead, everything I said came out blamey and whiney and I didn’t like those conversations. I wasn’t even saying what I wanted to say. I didn’t know how I felt.

Thursday night our adorable puppy brought a present from the cat’s litterbox into our bed. Yes, a tootsie roll, a non-edible sausage, a turd…into our bed. The tiny crack of emotion I was feeling before burst into a mushroom cloud of a fight. I started out calmly talking. Isaiah got defensive. He called me negative, incapable of being happy…I was crushed.

I left the room for a few minutes to console myself with a cigarette and he followed me. We were both silent. Vinny lay at our feet concerned. I worried he thought we were fighting about him. In a way, we were.

We trudged inside and I collapsed on our bed. The bed that had remnant of litter and a faded off-white spot because of our too-cute-to-do-any-wrong puppy. I stared at Vinny in his eyes and tried to make him understand that I am not that patient of a human.

One stupid tear fell out from the corner of my eye and then another. I was sobbing that fugly cry where you can’t breathe and your head feels like it’s going to explode.

We talked. We made up. Vinny slept between us.

It turns out that feeling, if anyone wanted closure, was feeling unwanted and unimportant. I had family in town and Isaiah perked up when they got there, told all the stories he’s already told me and they laughed and gave his ego a nice boost and all of that. He had semi-flirted with the hostess at the restaurant who just thought he was the funniest guy she’d ever met. He has said before that he’s trying his best but there’s no time and blah blah but he will sacrifice what little free time he has to take care of the poop-eating puppy. In the middle of all of that, I didn’t feel like he was trying anymore with romance, Weight Watchers, job-hunting or just being creative.

When it came down to it, I felt like I exhausted him and others rejuvenated him.

I wanted to be that. The one he was excited about. I didn’t feel like I was.

The scary part was that I could see down the slippery slope that would continue if we didn’t make a change. It was dark and gloomy down there in the land of negativity and exhaustion and the cycle of making each other monsters.

I even asked through snot-bubbles and barely opened eyes, “Do you still want to be with me?”

It’s the first time in four years that I’ve ever asked that question. Maybe I should have brought it up sooner. There’s no point in hiding your feelings from your partner, however dim and hidden they are. Those are the ones that generally explode into that sniveling mess up there for me, at least.

I need to trust more. Trust Isaiah will be able to handle my abstract and poorly-described emotions. Trust he’ll be there to help me sort it all out. Trust that I’m his person.

How about you, did your dissatisfaction come anywhere near a close this week? (Those of you who said you were feeling that way).

Image: Photographer Viola Cangi could move mountains with her photos, I swear. Check through her Flickr stream here or see her work on PhotoDonuts.


the windy path to marriage

by lizzie & isaiah on February 21, 2011 · 25 comments

In less than a month, Isaiah and I will have been engaged for two years. Although we originally set a date for 11/11/11 in case we had won a free photography contest (they tend to want to give free photography away to couples who are actually already planning their weddings…go figure), we don’t actually have a date, because we don’t actually have a venue.

At this point, we’re on hold with planning until we can plan a trip up to Chicago to see all of the venues one last time in person before we sign a contract. Recently, a friend of mine said our wedding was going to have to be pretty amazing for all of this build-up we’re going through, but do people really think we’ve been planning for two years?


We have spent approximately 4 hours altogether so far planning this wedding. It’s not that it doesn’t matter or that we’re not eager to tie the knot, quite the opposite actually.

Lately, people have been coming out of the woodwork to offer unsolicited opinions and speculations as to why we’re not “ready” to get married. “Oh, he’s got cold feet?” “You’re not ready to give up your independence?” or, most offensively, “Trying to keep your cards open?” No.

This is the problem with the Wedding World and the stereotypes we’ve allowed ourselves to be constricted in. When a couple takes some time to get their lives together before they get married she’s clearly dragging an unready partner to the altar or he’s clearly trying to rope down a freebird female.

Some of it, I get. Being engaged for what will be three years is not our usual M.O. We’ve been known to be impulsive, rebellious and easily excitable.

Yet, we’re taking our time with this marriage thing.

For all of their speculations, no one can seem to understand why we’re taking it   t h i s  slow. Is it ridiculous, here in 2011, to want to have your proverbial ducks in a row? If we were to have rushed to the altar when we were ready to marry each other, our lives would have unnecessary obstacles: No health insurance, our finances wouldn’t be in order at all and we’d be just another married couple who got started too early and lived in a shoebox together for their first three years of marriage in the ghetto. It’s not all that much less depressing to be an engaged couple living in the ghetto, but you see what I mean.

To my rebellious roots, oddly enough, it feels like we’re being even more rebellious in taking it slow.

Couples have met, gotten engaged, split up or gotten married in the time that we have been engaged. We’re cool with our status right now, why does it seem like no one else is?

Let me be clear, I don’t, at all, believe like our path is right for everyone. There have been couples in my family who were engaged for a month or two and made it all the way ’til death did them part.

Relationships are complex. Geometrically intertwined and emotionally daunting at times. But that’s not what’s stopping us. The benefits of being on team don’t-force-a-square-life-situation-through-a-circle-rushed-marriage are that we have had time to have tougher discussions, people have gotten divorced around us and we’ve stayed together, not through the bonds of marriage, but because we choose to be with one another.

Sometimes writing and blogging can sound so projected and rigid. Sometimes I wish all of us could just get together for a cup of coffee. The real fact is that Isaiah and I are too laid back to get hung up on dates and what the world expects of us. If being engaged is like walking a path to the altar, Isaiah and I are stopping occasionally to wander (to a cheap motel room, I mean…), enjoy the walk and grab some G.D. flowers on the way.

This is what’s right for us. So cut us some effing slack, world. We have forever, what’s the rush?

Photo: “Paradigm Shift” by Jessica Snow – available for sale through the 20×200 project.


i trust you to trust me

by lizzie & isaiah on January 15, 2011 · 9 comments

salvador dali rhino trust

Dali and the Rhino via pinterest

Have you read the NY Times article – “Sustainable Love” – that was buzzing around last week and the week before? It’s interesting. The topic is quoted as “The Happy Marriage is a ‘Me’ Marriage.” It’s about how we need to experience self-growth for our relationships to remain happy and fulfilling.

I thought the article was an interesting look at the modern relationship, part of me felt uneasy while I read it and I couldn’t put my finger on why until now.

I mulled over a post about trust and how I feel we take care of each other so we don’t have to take as much caution in protecting ourselves and our dreams. But instead of being the profound thought I was hoping for, I wound up completely, irrationally upset and mumbling about trust like a babbling idiot. “Well of course you need individuality, BUT what about trust?! What about togetherness?! What about one family/love/dream?!”

Of course, I never could make sense of it all.

I will say that I am a fiercely independent woman. I swore against marriage. Thought it wouldn’t let me get where I wanted to go in life: The White House! Hopping around from country to country! Oh, the fantastic single life I was going to lead!

Our relationship has since been a trust fall. I have let certain pieces of too-many-dreams go for our collective future – and Isaiah has done the same. But we move forward together to our ever-morphing dream of the future.

It’s a goal Isaiah and I have forever: To take care of one another…so we don’t have to be selfish to make sure our hearts are protected.

Sometimes I feel as though humans don’t give each other enough credit. From the “I am #1″ mentality to this article, we seem to be creeping more and more into the idea of marriage that two people will continue on (usually) parallel lines toward the future….I suppose I pictured Isaiah’s and my timelines joined together a long time ago. When mine moves, his moves, just like that. When his moves, mine moves, just like that (you can rap it, it’s okay).

I also believe that you can’t be “half of a full circle together” and that it takes two whole people to make one relationship. But that’s getting back into that that ongoing ramble, isn’t it?

All I want to say:

Because I let go of myself enough to embrace trust, I feel free to be and better myself. So yes to individuality! Hooray independence! But – trust makes it easy to leap. We’re ready to fail and succeed on our individual ventures together.

How about you – trust/independence? How do you make the balance work?


if i agreed with you, we’d both be wrong

January 14, 2011

Our entire personalities changed, did you hear? Because of the slight tilt of the earth’s axis, all of that faith I put into astrology seems to have my world spinning (literally). I had kind of put all my eggs in the astrology basket. Damn. Of course, astrology means nothing to me but an interesting read [...]

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