A look at the week that was and a little insight into the #bloglife, sharing things I just can’t share anywhere else!
What’s on my mind this week…
This day, four years ago, I was getting ready for my wedding day. It was unbelievably stressful and the anxiety was intense! The build-up to the day was crazy, if you’ve ever planned a wedding, you’ll know, it pushes you to the brink. But, like all truly good things, when the moment comes, all of that stuff washes away and you have an incredible time. The wedding day itself happens so quickly. You spend months, maybe even years, planning this one incredible day and it goes by in the blink of an eye. For me, it wasn’t until we got home from our honeymoon it really sunk in I was married.
Before you get married, all you hear are people who are or have been married say, “Marriage is hard work.” You see the memes, you hear the jokes and you think, ‘What the heck are they talking about? That sounds ominous and terrifying. We’ve been together for ages, we’re happy, that’s why we’re getting married! How much can really change with the signing of a bit of paper and one very fancy day?’ It’s taken me four years to wrap my head around it because marriage really is hard work.
It isn’t hard work in the sense you’re slogging it out day-to-day, fighting battles, keeping things from crumbling, constantly compromising etc. To me, part of the hard work lays in the permanency of it. Let me explain that better. You get married with the intention of spending the rest of your life with that person. Well, when that person is being a dick, forever can feel like a long time.
Also, we’re all constantly learning, growing and changing. When you’re with someone for a long time, those changes can be hard. For some, a dealbreaker. This is where the longevity of marriage comes into it, unlike a boyfriend or girlfriend it isn’t quite as simple to say, “This isn’t working for me anymore, I’m out.” You’re married, you made a commitment to this person and you love them very much, so you gotta work through it together and find a way to adapt.
We’re always shown these ‘perfect’ relationship in movies, books and on social media. They’re misleading because you start to get this idea in your mind of what a marriage is, even though you’ve never been in one before. Then, when you get married, you realise it’s something different. Not bad different, just, different. In movies, it’s bold, romantic acts and passionate hours of love-making. On social media, it’s declarations of love, adorable selfies and date nights. In reality, it’s helping each other through stressful situations, sharing problems, trying to find time to keep the house clean and eating take-out on the couch in your pyjamas (a.k.a my dream night).
After speaking to a lot of people we know who are or have been married, I’ve realised everyone’s marriage is different. There’s no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to marriage, there’s no ‘ideal’ marriage either because I don’t believe there’s any such thing as a ‘perfect’ marriage. How can there possibly be, when everybody’s idea of perfection is different? The best kind of marriage we can aspire to is one that makes us and the person we love happy.
Matt and I have known each other for a long time and been together for a big chunk of each other’s lives. It’s taken us a while to find our marriage groove but it feels like we’re really figuring out what works for us. Marriage comes with a unique pressure, there’s a lot of underlying societal things that eat at you like the traditional roles of ‘husband and wife’ and this thing where people only share the good times, not the tough ones. Like I said, we find our relationship works best for us when we don’t even think about the ‘husband and wife’ marriage stuff and just be each other’s best friend every single day.
Probably the most important thing I’ve learned about our marriage is how important it is to be flexible. There’s an old saying, something like, ‘The bamboo that bends is stronger than the oak that resists.’ For me, that really sums up an important aspect to our marriage. The deep trust, love and respect we have for each other hasn’t come from winning fights or making sure the other person stays exactly the same as the day they were when we got married, it’s come from the change we’ve gone through together. It’s come from the hard times and the good times and I know we’re stronger together for leaning into all of them, rather than breaking under the pressure of trying to resist.
So, with all of that in mind, I just want to remind people that there is never a ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to marriage or anything else in life. Before I had one, I had an idea of what I thought a marriage should be and it turns out mine is totally different to that ideal and, honestly, it’s much, much better. For me, true love has become about who I can be imperfect with.
It breaks my heart knowing there are people in Australia who love each other and aren’t legally allowed to marry. Love is love. With all my heart and soul I hope the vote changes this and give us another step on the path to equality. We’ve got a long way to go and it’s an essential step forward. I always try to write posts like this one with gender-neutral pronouns so everyone can relate, not just those that fit a ‘norm’. Equality for all – let’s keep fighting for what should already be.
What I learned this week
This is an odd one…. You see, I’ve tried to give my cat treats because I love her and want to spoil her so she’ll love me more. I’ve tried organic beef, roast chicken, a little bit of organic yoghurt, heck, even fish! Each time, she turns her nose up at it. It seemed, up until recently, that the only thing she likes is dry cat biscuits. Well, a couple of nights ago we found her with her little face jammed in a glass of milo, necking it down like it was going out of fashion. So, weirdly, my cat only likes two things: dry cat biscuits and milo. (Note: I don’t support her milo addiction and recognise the clear health issues it may cause haha)
News and updates
We’ve had a lot of local work on still. I’ve been doing a lot of freelance travel writing and Matt has been putting together quite a few videos! That said, we’re excited to be jetting back over to Vietnam next week. Yep, we’re flying to Hanoi for a press trip for the week and will be putting together some great content. You can expect a super-fun Vietnam vlog episode (YAY!) as well as loads of guides about Halong Bay, Da Nang and Hoi An and some really gorgeous photos and videos too. As always, you can cyber-stalk us on various social media platforms.
Watch one of our YouTube videos!
You can visit our channel, if you feel like it, by clicking here. No pressure, mate – do what ya feel!
Phoebe Lee is a travel writer and award-winning blogger with a love for storytelling. Phoebe creates practical, fun and engaging written content designed to inspire and energise travel-lovers and dreamers. Follow her and Matt’s adventures at home and around the world, right here on Little Grey Box and through Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.