Six Months into Marriage — And the Ingredient to Transformation I Always Forget

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Last week was six months since Garrett and I have been married. Six months. In some ways, it seems like we were just in Aruba. In others—especially after a long winter—it feels like it was years ago.

The first question people ask when they see us is, “How’s it feel to be married.” And I always joke, “Not that different.”

I mean, we’ve lived together for over six years, we own a home and a dog together, and we’ve known each other for over 11 years. So, of course it’s not that different to be married.

And yet it is different. At least in some ways. There’s something different about being married—even if just in the way we conceptualize the relationship. It’s a new container—one with stronger social, legal, and financial implications. And it changes the relationship, however subtly.

But it also doesn’t feel that different because it feels like I’ve known Garrett forever. Like we had known each other in another life.

Since a young age, Garrett knew he was going to college in Boston. He just knew it. Which was strange—not just because he had never been to Boston, but because his entire family had gone to the exact same school in Philadelphia for generations. He just knew he had to be in Boston. There was something for him there.

And all throughout college, I was the traveler. I was never going to end up in Boston. I spent summers in Italy, six months in San Francisco. I was always trying to get back to San Francisco. And then something happened. I moved to Boston and felt deeper in love with it than I’d ever been with any place. It was right under my nose the whole time. And now, I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else in the world.

And so I was back in Boston. And Garrett again wanted to leave. His plan was to do residency in Chicago or Seattle. But somehow he matched with the Boston VA. And there it was—we were both in Boston. And decided to live together with a friend.

That was right before I got sick. I got sick on June 29. If Garrett took a residency elsewhere, he would have started work on July 1. And it’s possible we never would have been together.

I think about that—all of the crazy things that had to happen for us to be together. I could say the same for why I live in the home I do now. Or why I do this work. Or how we ended up adopting Roscoe. Or even how I came to working with my exact therapist.

Truth be told, I can’t imagine there’s a better therapist for me than the one I have. Or a better home for me at this exact time in my life than the one I have. Or a better (and more similar) dog for me than Roscoe. Or even a better job than the one I have.

I’m doing the exact work I want to do in the world. I spend my days doing the exact thing that is most important to me. Sherri is the exact—and only—person I’d trust with such high-level access to the work to help me daily. Garrett is the exact person I want to be with. My home is the exact home I want to live in. Roscoe is the exact dog I want. And my therapist and entire support team is the exact team I can imagine.

I mean—down to crazy little things. Like how my therapist is a psychoanalyst who helps me unpack my work, is fascinated with David Lynch, and loves supporting local artists. Or how Roscoe has a similar body type to me and almost the exact same anxieties and personality patterns. Or how this home is the most beautiful home I’ve ever seen with a bathtub in the middle of the living room.

It feels like I was destined to live this life. Which is crazy to say because just seven years ago, I didn’t feel like I was living a life that was me. And I had no way to get there. I felt trapped. I couldn’t possibly figure out how to transform my life.

I have stories upon stories of the synchronicities and magic that led me from one thing to another to this moment right here.

But the part of the stories I always leave out—or forget to credit myself with—is the courage. The courage it took to confess my feelings to Garrett. The courage it took to be with him. The courage it took to leave my well-paid PR job. The courage it took to start a business with no idea of what it is. The courage it took to decide to buy a home in this crazy market before we had any idea if we could afford it. The courage it took to hire a team and greatly increase my business expenses. The courage it took to walk into a stranger’s office and tell him about my life.

These stories are littered with acts of courage. Big and small. Acts of courage to step deeper into my subjectivity.

When I was living in San Francisco years ago, I used to say that I had this idea that anyone could have anything they wanted. All they needed was three things:

  1. To know who they are and what they really want with clarity
  2. To have the courage to work really hard for it and be persistent
  3. To feel they deserve it

With those three, anything is possible. And I stand by that today. I’m amazed as I reflect here about my six months of marriage and the life that I’m living now that just a few years ago I didn’t feel this way daily. I lived a life that didn’t fit me at all. And I shamed and blamed myself because of it.

Know who you are. Know what you want. Have courage to go after it, even if you hear “no” 100 times. And know that you deserve it.

That’s it. You will be shocked at where life takes you in just a few years.

You’ll wake up, and you’ll be home.

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