There's something that I learned this weekend.
Since we've only been married for two years, I feel like I'm still learning a lot about marriage and all that it entails to spend the rest of eternity with one wonderful person.
But before I explain, let me give you a background on how I've been feeling lately.
It was a tough year. Not for our marriage, in fact I would say our marriage continued to grow stronger and better, but emotionally and personally, it was a tough year for Christian and I. There was so much uncertainty as to where we'd be going to medical school and there was a lot of chaos getting to Rochester. I've elaborated on this before so I won't go into it much, but I could tell that Christian especially was having a hard time with our situation.
What I didn't realize about what was happening was that behind the chaos of our busy and stressful year, was that I was feeling really sorry for myself, and I found that I wasn't very happy.
It was a really weird feeling for me, because I've always been a really happy person, and I bounced back quickly whenever I felt down. It didn't have anything to do with Christian, or our relationship, or even the situation I was in.
What it mostly amounted to was that I was unsure about a lot of things. I felt as though between rushing to finish my degree and following Christian on his difficult (and extremely long) journey through medical school, I was giving up who I wanted to be.
I have a lot of goals and future plans for myself, and eventually I want to do those things, and not just say that I wanted to.
It was hard for me to feel sure about Chin going to medical school at all, since honestly, that wasn't part of my plan or goals before I met Christian. And then when all of a sudden, when we finally got into medical school and moving back to Rochester for the next four years became a reality, I panicked. I thought of all the things I wouldn't be able to do instead of all the opportunities I had in front of me.
I spent a lot of time being angry, and a lot of tears were shed and tantrums had as we packed up everything we owned and left the only home that we had known as a married couple.
It was a strange feeling because of course I was happy for Christian, but at the same time I wanted to be able to make myself happy too.
I realized something this weekend, though.
Christian had his white coat ceremony, where he received his white coat (imagine that) that he'll wear throughout medical school and took the Hippocratic Oath. It was a really big deal for him, and both his parents, my parents, and my grandparents were able to attend and make the weekend even more special. We spent all day Friday at his ceremony, then showed Chin's parents around Rochester (including the George Eastman house and we even got a medical campus tour from Chin!). We ended the night at Mario's, where we ate ourselves sick (practically) and chatted for hours.
On Saturday we shopped around the Rochester Public Market and bought 50 pounds of corn and ate breakfast empanadas and got yelled at by some guy in a van that my mother-in-law yelled back at and I love her for it.
In the afternoon we rode bikes along the Erie Canal, had lunch at our favorite Greek restaurant, and begrudgingly said goodbye to the Pingrees who caught the 5 o'clock flight.
It might sound silly, but this weekend ended up changing me. It put my whole life into perspective.
Having our parents and grandparents together for a weekend to celebrate, to most sane people, would just sound like a really lovely weekend (which it was). But to me, it made me realize that I've been missing the point for a little while now.
I honestly felt like I got struck by lightning. Like all of a sudden I could see how good life has been to me, ESPECIALLY over this past year. Even though there was so much turmoil and uncertainty, we had finally made it to where we wanted to be and where we had dreamed of being for the past two years of our marriage.
There's that saying "I have arrived," which basically means that your life is complete or you're where you want to be. I felt like this weekend, Christian and I as a couple "arrived." I'm sure we'll both feel that way plenty more times in the future, in between all the ups and down that comes naturally through life. But it was the best feeling in the world.
I've never seen Christian so happy in the almost four years that I've known him now. To see his face this weekend, at a medical school where he already thrives and got to be with so many people that we're close to this weekend made me realize how happy I really am.
Yes, there are things in this life I won't be able to do. I think every one feels that way to some extent simply because we make choices, and there's always a different path we could have chosen instead.
But I realized this weekend how many things I'll be able to do in these next few years.
Moving back to Rochester will be a completely different experience than growing up there I feel like, and we have so many opportunities here.
Seeing Christian happy made me realize that there are more important things in life than the small selfish things that may have to be sacrificed to support someone who we care more about than worldly desires.
I'm determined to accomplish my goals, but maybe in a more round about and realistic way than I thought before. Yes, there are things I want to do for me, and I still think that that's important. But there are things that I want to do for us, and right now (and always), that's what's most important.
And as of right now, I'm not sure I've ever been so happy.