Today is our 5 year wedding anniversary.

I once saw on interview with an elderly couple who had been married something like 60 years. When asked what the trick to their success was, the wife responded that “You have to remember that some decades will be better than others.” It’s interesting to think about someday comparing decades. And it’s refreshing to hear someone admit that things are not always great, and they are not always easy.

Five years ago when we were newlyweds, people were always so excited to learn of our marriage. They commonly asked loaded questions like “It’s so wonderful and exciting, isn’t it!?” Sometimes it just made me want to cry. That was perhaps the hardest year we’ve ever endured during our 11 years together. We got married when I was one year into a two year MA program. Many days started at 8:00 am for me (teaching) and ended at 9:00 pm (taking classes). Sim worked up to three jobs at once to help us make ends meet. He did everything from make pizzas, to manage shipping and receiving operations, to trim trees, to grind bars of metal, to install swimming pools, to provide security to a medical marijuana store, to dig ditches in the blazing southern California sun. He then started working in RF engineering throughout the greater Los Angeles area, which meant starting work between 9-11 pm each night. It’s nearly impossible to gather data during the day in a large city (due to many variables), so technicians would work at night and engineers during the day. During that first year it wasn’t uncommon to only see each other in passing in the condo hallway around 10 pm.

It was also during this time that we said goodbye to our first dog and the love of our life, Missy, on August 11, 2005. It was the worst day of our lives. For months we would both wake up in tears without Missy there at our side. It was also during this year that we welcomed two new loves into our lives: Charli and Buster. And along with potty training (a difficult feat for condo dwellers), there was obedience training as we tried to stop them from gnawing on our new furniture, digging in the flower pots, and chewing the carpet. And when I say “them”, I mean “Charli”. Because Buster is a golden retriever, and thus, was born fully trained. And Charli is a harebrained beagle who fully believes that the world is her oyster.

So there were lots of ups and downs. Some of these hardships were just a fact of life. But many were a direct result of my decision to earn an MA. So while I feel like we’ve already put in the time, so to speak, part of me worries about the future. We are now looking down the barrel of a 4 year PhD program. I know that’s a dark analogy, but there’s definitely an ominous side to graduate school. So it is with both excitement and trepidation that we begin this new chapter. One thing is for sure though: I wouldn’t want to do it with anyone else. 🙂


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