Written with love, by Karley Kiker
I’ve mentioned to you guys before that I started writing letters to my husband at age 14, which means that I was dreaming about marriage for almost 10 years before it actually happened. Once Taylor proposed those dreams only intensified. Yes, we planned a “Hitched in a Hurry” wedding in just 4.5 months...but that doesn’t mean I skipped over creating a Pinterest board, trying on dresses, picking up items for our first home together, or any of those other pre-wedding activities that are particularly dream inducing.
One thing I didn’t dream about is what would happen to all of the other dreams I held close to my heart as a single girl. Like maybe becoming a professor one day (my plans included having a lounge area at the back of my room, complete with couches and a coffee bar). Moving to France long-term and continuing to work on my language skills. Hosting or appearing on a television show (judge me if you will). Putting down roots in a community. The list goes on.
My husband, of course, came into our marriage with a different set of dreams. For starters, he wanted to buy a German Shepherd (and actually put down a deposit for a puppy at one point). He had planned to travel the world via World Race before settling into a job. He wanted to get certified to solo-skydive. The thought of committing to living in a city (or even a state) long-term freaked him out. And still does.
So what happens when, after the dream of marriage is fulfilled, it feels as though other dreams that were birthed during a time of singleness are put on hold, or worse…dying? France is nowhere near the top of Taylor’s “countries I’d like to live in” list. I still don’t know if World Race is something I feel personally called to. Something (and somebody) has got to give in these scenarios, but when it’s your dream that’s on the chopping block, feelings of hurt, resentment, and defensiveness are bound to follow.
This is where Taylor and I are continuing to learn that it’s absolutely essential for us to grasp the concept of “dying to self”—see this post on selfishness and this advice from my parents for further details. We’re both committed to remembering that our marriage doesn’t revolve around just one of us. As individuals, do we want our deepest desires and wildest dreams to be fulfilled? Absolutely. But our joint dream of doing life together forever takes precedence, and that requires (frequent) compromise from both of us.
Final thoughts: I absolutely love living in our cozy little beach house in South Carolina, so it’s tempting for me to start feeling anxious-bordering-on-upset whenever Taylor mentions how much he loves the idea of living in Hawaii one day. But—from experience—squashing his dream and diving into a defense of my own isn’t going to do anything in the way of making him feel loved, understood, and/or supported. It’s also a guaranteed way to make him think twice before daring to dream out loud with me again, and I don’t ever want to miss out on the chance to hear his heart.
Cheers to the messy journey of learning how to dream together, and to all the wonderful things that come to life when we do!