This week I’m going back to one of my personal favorites, Death by Marriage?. I created this artwork during a pivotal moment of clarity; one that probably changed my whole mindset about committing to marriage.
I often hear married couples talk about how as soon as they became married their spouses tried to change them. I believe however, that what inevitably changes you is marriage itself, not the other person (unless that person was not right for you to begin with...but that’s a whole other story).
When I was young, as most young girls, I dreamt of this idea of finding the perfect handsome man, falling deeply in love, getting married and spending the rest of our lives together. Why we teach our children this fantasy I will never understand. Knock it off Disney!
As I became older and experienced real life, observed others coming together, growing apart, and everything in between, I ultimately came to the belief that when two people commit to marriage it is inevitable that they lose some part of who they are individually. Perhaps some people never even get a chance to discover who they might have been on their own to begin with.
With marriage the freedom of choice in many ways diminishes; everything now becomes a compromise. You are no longer responsible for your own happiness but also that of someone else.
This is not to say that the idea of marriage doesn’t have its beauty. Having someone to share your life with, to be your best friend, to teach you things, and to love you unconditionally seems amazing. It is for most of us the thing that makes our lives meaningful.
When I created this art piece it wasn’t necessarily to say that when you get married your life is over (although some marriages do seem to do that to people), but it was more to propose the idea that you have to love that person so much that you are willing to let go of your individual identity to a certain extent to build a strong, happy and healthy life together. For those of us who are very strong-willed this is not something comes easy for us. Keep in mind this is simply my opinion and based on my personal experiences and observations, so take it for what it’s worth!
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When I was invited to attend my good friend’s wedding in Boise, Idaho I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. So off I went on my new adventure and I must say I was pleasantly surprised by this little far off land.
One of the highlights of the trip was floating down the Boise River. The water was cool, crisp, and crystal clear. And although it was close to one hundred degrees, the dry air combined with a cool breeze along the river proved to be exceptionally pleasant. The river carried us softly and in some places swiftly, winding it’s way through trees and mountains with a few tiny drops along the way. If you ever make it to Boise you must float; it’s absolutely magical!
For some reason I pictured the downtown area somewhat like an old country western movie. To my surprise, the main part of town is full of modern restaurants, bars and breweries. The streets are impeccably clean, and everything looks fresh and new. On Saturday they have a Farmer’s Market that takes up four full city blocks where you can peruse local art, shop for jewelry, handmade soaps, flowers and of course all of the veggies and fruits that you can imagine. Surprisingly I didn’t see many potatoes!
The wedding itself was simple and beautiful. The ceremony was outside in a pavilion where unusual desert-like flower trees draped down to hug the alter. The bride and groom shared their elegantly written vows amongst their closest family and friends. We witnessed a beautiful marriage that I’m sure will last a lifetime.
Of course the most entertaining and ridiculous part of the trip happened right at the end. After several hours of celebrating, my friend (we’ll call her Tammy) had a giant urge to eat late night food. Now Tammy has a habit of eating late night food whenever we go out so I can’t say that I was surprised. However the thing about Boise is that it’s not really a late-night-food kind of town. As she vigorously searched through Yelp to find the very limited selection of open restaurants, we settled on taking a Uber to Del Taco, open twenty-four hours (or so we thought).
We were dropped off to realize that only the drive-thru was open! Luckily one of the workers was outside having a cigarette and witnessed our dilemma. With very little pleading, our favorite Del Taco employee graciously offered to serve us through the drive-thru window. While we did receive some witty comments and stares from the other patrons, we went home happy with our giant chicken chipotle burritos and of course, fries!
Thank you Boise, Idaho for all of your beauty and kindness. You are a gem!
Ahhh, how we look forward to the 4th of July holiday! Every year we get excited for beach life, barbecues, picnics, pool parties, and of course, fireworks! We put on our most patriotic reds, whites and blues and celebrate all of the beautiful things that we love about our country.
As I laid at the pool on the 4th of July and stared at the American flag hanging from the lifeguard chair, I thought about how lucky I am to be a woman born in this time, in America, and I thought about all of the freedom I have that so many others do not simply based on their circumstance. Here we women can pursue education to the highest extent, we can speak our minds, we can go into any line of work, we can own homes, we can marry whomever we want, and we can raise children on our own; we have opportunities that simply aren’t available everywhere. And while prejudice still exists and we have a long, long (and I mean LONG) way to go, I can’t help but think that sometimes we focus too much on all of the things wrong with our country instead of all of the things that are right about it.
In a nation of our size and stature, built on a foundation of all of these different cultures mixed together we are bound to have challenges. Sometimes those who’ve come from generations past of Americans feel that they have a certain entitlement to this country over newcomers. Sometimes those who come in from other countries bring in their own biases based on their accustomed lifestyle and culture. It takes time for people to adjust, learn from each other and accept each others' differences.
Ultimately it seems that everyone is here for the same reason; to give their families a good life with opportunities that they may not have elsewhere. Just remember that there is plenty to go around if we help each other instead of hold each other back. We are stronger together always. So this week I ask you to be a good human, be open to those who are different from you, and appreciate all that you have in this moment. Happy belated Independence Day folks!
ART INSPIRED BY LIFE