I have stopped telling strangers I’m getting my MFA in fiction writing.
“Your MFA in fiction writing?” they say, “What can you do with that?”
“Write books,” I tell them, “Maybe a novel?”
“A novel!” they say, “So you’re going to be famous?”
I kick the dirt and mumble, “Um, well, sure.”
When it comes to ambition, Jack and I are kindred spirits. I remember on our first date, sitting on a hill together in Saxapahaw, NC and drinking wine out of plastic cups, we told each other about our dreams. We each had a vision for how we wanted our lives to go. We told each other about our passions--music, writing, art. We ate mediterranean food, talked and talked. We found each other fascinating, electric. We were equally matched in our aspirations. We both wanted to be great. We liked this about each other.
They say that people are at their most attractive when they do something they love--something they’re good at. We’re our best selves when we live out our passions. Before we met, this was what Jack and I did, fiercely.
And now, I worry that our passions are bringing out the worst in us.
From the moment I could date women, I’d date them. I'd date them, and then the relationship would eventually burst into flames. Call it bad luck, call it immaturity, call it me being a bad romantic partner. However you say it, you’re probably not wrong and I own that.
Ex-partners have had an affect on me for a long time. After a relationship failed, I would be back on the market ASAP to find someone else. I never took time to process the loss or think about what I could do better. I was just interested in finding “the one” and I wouldn’t allow myself to waste any time. #TedMosby
When you find yourself silently rooting for your husband as he poops with the door open, or when you spend the whole day on the couch next to him without even looking over, or when you notice that the only things you text him are Miss J gifs and bank account information, you may one day look to your husband and ask, “What’s happened to us?”
At this point, you may summon vague images of your former self. That lithe, quick-witted person. That person whose clothes always fit them just right. You might remember sitting in the sun with your then-date-now-husband and talking for hours. You have forgotten what you said back then. All you can remember is what it felt like to be interesting. You want to feel that feeling again. You want to feel that feeling, but cannot summon the energy to say something clever. Your synapses are no longer firing in the way that makes you articulate things that are both heartfelt and electrifying. So you sit. And you fall asleep next to your husband at earlier and earlier intervals.
Annie & Jack
Love. Marriage. Teamwork. Art. Offsetting the patriarchal footprint. These are some of the things we're thinking about.