What is the first thought that emerges when you think about marriage? Let’s define this. Marriage involves two people trying to navigate life together. Communicating each other’s needs above their own, giving comfort after family issues that arise, preparing meals for each other, taking long walks, raising children, taking ballroom dance classes, and the list goes on. Marriage may seem like dating to some. There are no rules for a perfect or nearly perfect marriage.

The moment you grab each other’s hands — starting from the pulpit to the deathbed — you are wed. I choose the description of “navigating marriage” because we don’t have a clue where you end up through the marriage journey. You may have an idea of goals and passions you want to bring into marriage relative to your spouse, as a result, you end up supporting each other in their endeavors. Support may look different to some, but overall seeking the interests of your spouse and choosing to make his or her goal a reality. Communicating these passions helps to fulfill the richness of marriage just like a good friend supports his or her friend athletically, emotionally, or artistically across all spectrums. Our taste in marriage changes shape as we walk through it. So, let’s take a walk.

Marriage is the best commitment you can make. There is a support system always cheering you on to better things. Even if you don’t feel that way now, just listen and change your perspective of what marriage could be. I have made mistakes that include only thinking about myself and not giving time and space to how my spouse is feeling. Examples — how our emotions arise in conversation, how we include each other in our passions, comfort each other when we are depressed. Do you want to keep reading? Are you interested in marriage stories?

I can not put all stories together in one tight little bow. However, from the time you wake up to the time you go to bed, there will be a story. Four years of stories. One of the best stories we could ever be apart of is taking one year to live abroad in South Korea. A year teaching English across the hall from my spouse and traveling to different Asian countries with time off from school. Not only did I see my spouse in a traveler’s mindset, but I saw her day to day coming alive teaching kids from kindergarten to sixth grade from across the hall teaching as well. I would recommend living abroad married or unmarried. Life back home is more simple once you have done the hard things together. I would say it was a beautiful year of being grateful we have the opportunity to learn about each other in a foreign setting. We spent all the major holidays, just us two as expats. To have an understanding, the family will be waiting at the year’s end. This temporary residence just for us and our experience gave a new encouraging perspective to be fully present.

Now, I look forward to new adventures however they are presented. I seek a deep love that makes life meaningful. I commit because commitment is worth it. Marriage has taught me this. I am encouraged by other perspectives and what marriage has taught others.

Exploring the possibilities of the scientific method are needed to bring about change. As an environmental scientist, I explore nature in depth.

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