Getting married is a huge accomplishment, and I’m not just saying that because I got married to my wife last summer (please allow me this subtle flex, thank you.) I felt that I was meant to be with my wife from the literal moment we met, which was at a party, as she offered me a cocktail called a Pink Panty Dropper. Swoon. But even so, getting from Point A (tricking her into dating me) to Point B (tricking her into marrying me) was no easy task. So, I will give us credit for finding each other and sticking it out thus far in this crazy world. Not only is the event of the wedding itself a ton of stress, but finding your true love, and then nurturing that relationship through ups and downs and everything else life throws at you, is hard. It’s really hard, and a lot of times life drop kicks your relationship off a cliff, and things just don’t work out. Knowing that the odds were against us makes me even more grateful to have stuck things out with the girl I stumbled across at a party wearing a fanny pack full of taquitos.
But just because I married the love of my life doesn’t mean that everything else in my life is suddenly perfect.
Even more so, it doesn’t mean that all my flaws are airbrushed away. Loving someone else can teach you so many things: selflessness, kindness, and compromise, to name a few. But the thing is, you can find your happily ever after and still have to face your own bullshit. Our love may be a fairytale, but I’m no damsel, and I continue to be an imperfect person despite this ring on my finger and the love of an honest woman to keep me in line. No one wants to admit this part of the happily ever after story: the part where you’re still working on yourself.
I gained weight after the wedding and yet, I still dance naked with my wife while we get ready for a night out. I got wonky with my birth control and proceeded to break out all over my body, and my hormones still haven’t smoothed out. I’d rather have cheese and wine than cook for dinner after a long day. I’m still lazy and unorganized. My bedroom needs more than Marie Kondo; it needs a bulldozer and blowtorch. I consistently clutter our teeny tiny home with mess. I spend too much money shopping online, even though I also tend to grab one of my wife’s sweaters when I’m getting ready in the morning instead of my own. (Why did my wife marry me at all, you may ask? After writing this, I’m not sure.) The point of all this is that I am still a work in progress, and being married doesn’t change that part of myself. It makes me want to be a better person, to continue to strive and grow, but it doesn’t get rid of the mess that is me.
We can all get caught up in the filters of our lives. There’s the way we want it to be perceived by others, and then there’s the reality. Getting married and becoming a wife has, so far, changed my life for the better in many ways, but there’s no cure-all for all the dark sides of my personality. Just because I got married doesn’t mean that I started baking perfect cheesecakes while still, somehow, being stick thin and keeping the house spotless. When she slid that ring on my finger, my flaws didn’t melt away like magic. I am still very much in the direct middle of the tornado that is myself, and I learn more about me, good and bad, every single day. There were no personal issues I had pre-wedding that I didn’t also have post-wedding; I just gained someone who promised to love me through them. My wife’s love for me is boundless and transformative, and it allows me to be a mess and know that I can continue to receive that love from her, no matter what. That’s the most insanely freeing thing of all: knowing that I don’t have to be perfect for her to love me. That’s the hallmark of real, honest love; not the fake perfection, but the truth in the imperfection.
The less effort I spend on trying to appear flawless, the happier I am. Sometimes I have a glass of wine on Wednesday nights as I watch Gilmore Girls and cook dinner because it’s what makes me happy. I have no diet restrictions; I’m not cutting carbs or skipping dairy, and I didn’t make a single New Year’s resolution this winter. I come into work with no makeup on when I’m tired, and the other day I actually put my underwear on inside out because I was still half asleep as I was getting dressed. Does that mean I’m not interested in bettering myself? Absolutely not.
I like the struggle of acknowledging my own issues, fighting with them, and the glow I feel when I change some behavior of mine for the better. Maybe it means that I get in another workout in a week, and as a result, I feel calmer and more focused. Maybe it just means getting up early enough in the morning to wash my hair and not have to use dry shampoo before work. Whatever it is, however small, it means that I’m acknowledging that the journey that is me as a person is filled with potholes and missed turns. The roadmap of who I am is anything but smooth, ring on my finger or no. But that makes for a way more interesting ride. Fairytales are never perfect, after all. There’s a lot that happens behind the scenes after that glass slipper fits.
Maybe instead of riding off with my wife in the picture-perfect, white horse-drawn carriage, we’re holding hands and acknowledging that we need to call a Lyft because we’re too tipsy to drive home. Maybe that’s the fairytale right there.
This was originally posted on gaycinderella’s Medium page and is reposted with permission.