The human heart was—and remains—a mystery to me. But I’m learning. I have to. —Anthony Bourdain


Yesterday, in my daily Buzzfeed scan, I came across this article, of Sara Bareilles helping two couples propose (found here). It, quite honestly brought me to a few tears. While I’m not a fan of huge, public proposals, and this may be most public of all (it is a music video after all), these looked heartfelt, and the song is one I liked immediately after hearing it. The guy that proposed to his girlfriend made Post-It dioramas! The girl proposing to hers, included family and loved ones, and signs that reminded me of the scene in Love Actually, where a guy declares his love for the woman of his dreams, which is actually his best friend’s wife (see here).

I feel really happy for these couples who know they’ve found the person they will spend the rest of their lives with, and the excitement and enthusiasm they have for the beginning of something. A marriage. Which to me, is  the Everest of choice. Something that you will question every single day of the rest of your life, and will have to make moving forward.

My parents are 32 years married today. They are celebrating a marriage that works, of two people complementing each other with their differences, and choosing to stay together every single day, even when it’s difficult, frustrating, joyful, or tragic. They’ve lost almost all their parents (with my Mom only having her mom left), an only sibling (my dad’s), and both their homes in fires. They’ve survived raising three (sometimes difficult) children, putting up a home, careers, pets and relative presence that have impacted their lives together.

They chose each other, and still do, every day.

It’s a normal marriage, they do not write each other love letters, or hold hands through errands, or do anything particularly romantic. They like to do different things. My mom likes to go out, explore the world, run around doing all the things on her list (that she forgets if it’s not written down somewhere), while my dad likes to stay put, carry about his mental to-dos.

My mother is a social butterfly, randomly asking people on the street questions, while I have friends I’ve had for decades who can count on one hand the conversations they’ve had with my father.

I could go on and on about how they differ, but on one thing they are alike, and that is the decision they make each day to spend their lives together. And that, is remarkable in this world, that is full of uncertainty and when it is easier to give up and move on, staying is romantic in itself.

That is to say, it is also alright to choose to leave, to quit, to move on, when you know, in your heart, that this is not the choice for you. When you feel hollow, when you’re being hurt consciously, whether it’s physically, mentally, or emotionally. When other people are being hurt.

My point is (if it isn’t apparent by the what, 10 times I’ve used the word) is the choice.

My parents are together today, and have been together for 32 years, because they made one, and continue to make it every waking hour to stay together.

And that, is for them, both a mixture of luck, hard work, and love for each other.

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