Iím feeling a little more alive, but not totally awake. Last week, I started taking melatonin, and that helped somewhat. I even had some hours over the weekend that felt like ďrealĒ sleep. By that, I mean the kind of sleep where you wake up and you feel like you got something out of it.

Although, either Friday or Saturday night I had a dream with a gigantic mad max looking warrior guy who forced me to a fight to the death at a fair. We faced each other in a ring, and I killed him, sliced him up with a sword.

Then, a period of time passed, he came back, forced me to fight again, and the same thing happened. He came back a third time, and challenged me, again, but this time, he gave me 24 hour notice.

Each time, I went through the heart-pounding terror, desperation, and horror that anyone would have in such a situation. During the 24 hours leading up to my third time facing him, I was also in disbelief that twice before, I thought Iíd killed him, and twice he came back.

I woke up before the third time I had to face him, but I spent 24 hours pleading to everyone I saw, trying to get myself out of it. Of course, no one really listened or cared.

For some reason, that dream stuck out more to me than the others.

Anyway, Friday night I watched the royal wedding. The ceremony was really beautiful. They did such a lovely job with everything.

I have thought some more about the marriage stuff. Iíve read Elizabeth Gilbertís book on marriage twice, and thatís because she was speaking from the same position. She married young. That marriage was short and disastrous, and when faced with her second marriage, she had some serious reservations.

Before that publication, she wrote a different book on marriage, 500 pages, and that book went into the trash. I almost feel like I need to write two full books on my thoughts on marriage, myself, before I can ever be fully on board with the idea.

But, maybe thatís not the point.

Marriages donít consist of one individual that has an accessory known as a spouse. It consists of two complete, and whole, individuals. That means itís not all about how comfortable I am with the idea. Itís about how comfortable we are. Thatís the thing about relationships, isnít it? They can help a person have faith when it is wavering, be braver, when faced with fear, and be supported when support is needed. They can do the opposite to you, too.

A few days ago, a lovely person, whom I personally respect and admire, posted her own thoughts about my situation. The main idea that I took away from her post was about the power of choice. We can make stronger unions now, than ever before, because we can choose our unions.

There is something magical about that; choosing and being chosen. Elizabeth Gilbert also touches on that theme in her book. She does an informal survey of her friends and when faced with the question, ďWhy do you want to get married?Ē Some of them responded with, ďI want to feel chosen.Ē

Oh, and Iíve thought about that passage a lot, too.

Today, I was thinking about that and Iím finally starting to ďgetĒ the whole idea, because honestly, before today, I couldnít quite understand it. I didnít even know what feeling ďchosenĒ meant or what it might look like.

Then, I realized, making a choice means taking the question is off the table. It takes away so many of the ďmaybeísĒ that can haunt a relationship. It takes away the burden of uncertainty.

Yes, life is uncertain, you canít predict or stop everything that could potentially happen to you, but there are times when you can take the feeling of uncertainty away by making a choice.

When life gets totally insane and out of hand, what is more reassuring than the certainty of a mate?

My brother and I are strange characters. This is why weíre both having a problem with commitment. Physically and emotionally isolated and abandoned as children, we turned into adults that are awkward with emotional intimacy, are baffled by the ďevery dayĒ of relationships, and canít ever seem to feel ďsettledĒ nor even be comfortable with the notion.

Itís lucky, that as people age, we tend to want to be more settled, so weíre naturally heading that direction, anyway. However, that doesnít mean that I donít want to move.

Iíve been living in Philadelphia around 8 years, so itís getting to be the longest that Iíve lived in any state. I am comfortable here, I donít deny that, but Iím also feeling some of my old restlessness coming back. Iím feeling restless with my job, my house, my neighborhood, and my city.

In these past 8 years, I learned to scuba dive, sky dive, hike, backpack, snowboard and rock climb. Iíve traveled on my own and with others. Iíve re-tiled and re-painted my house on my own and with others. Meanwhile, I got a black belt in karate, started yoga teacher training, and am learning to salsa. If thatís not the sign of a restless individual, I donít know what is.

One could also argue that all my activities indicate that I can cope with my restlessness. I can deal with this without selling my house, and going to another country.

Adam is not against moving. The problem is, he canít. Heís in a phd program, and phd programs arenít that flexible. You canít just leave, and pick up somewhere else.

Thatís one very practical reason that I hesitate to get too involved, but isnít there always something?

Maybe one person wants kids and the other is done with kids, or there are conflicts with career goals, or in-law expectations. The list goes on and on. Yes, thereís always sacrifice, but look at the benefits.

Committing to the relationship now means that, when his phd does pay off, I get to benefit, as well. There are universities all over the world, and if heís hired by one, suddenly the visa complications might not be so complex, and I donít have to scramble to find work or a place to live.

Earlier today, I had a chat with a college and current friend of mine. She got married back in October, to a man that she lived with for about five years beforehand, I think. They were each otherís first everything, neither of them had any relationship experience before they got together. They endured and figured stuff out as they went along. Today, when I asked her how things were going. She confided that things were bad between them, and she wondered if the whole thing wasnít a mistake.

When itís someone elseís relationship, itís easy for me to be objective, and think, ďSheís just feeling discouraged, right now, because theyĎre going through a rough patch, but itíll probably get better.Ē

Although, I really canít say, because I donít know whatís going on between them. She didnít want to get into the details, she said that it would make her too emotional, and I understood. I told her that I was available to be an ear anytime, and she thanked me.

That also colored todayís thoughts about marriage. It made me glad that Adam and I have worked on our relationship issues before taking the leap. Unless something drastic happens, I donít see either of us questioning our choice six months after walking down the aisle.

When you start getting your hands dirty with the work of your relationship, thatís when you hash out what the terms and expectations. Thatís when, sometimes, you run into a deal breaker. It might not even be something that either of you can help, but it could also be the thing that both of you consider to be too much of a sacrifice.

Choosing a mate is serious business. There arenít many more choices a person could make that would be weightier in a personís life. Those of us who have been in and out of bad marriages know all about the negative consequences of choosing the wrong mate.

I would love to learn about the positive consequences of choosing the right mate.

The other thing that has bothered me a lot, over the years, is the divorce rate in this country. We all know that the average hovers around 50%. Elizabeth Gilbert addresses this, as well, and looks a little bit closer at the statistics. Meaning, she figures out just who is more likely to get divorced.

Basically, the people that are throwing off the average are those people who got married before the age of 25. If you got married before you were 25, your marriageís chances of survival arenít 50%. Itís more like 25%. The lower the marriage age goes, the higher the divorce rate goes.

So, Iíll fess up, I was one of the people who threw off the average for everybody else. I got married too young, and not surprisingly, made a really bad choice, and ended up divorced.

It only makes sense, though, when you think about it. If you had to guess who was making a wiser decision, the 22 year old or the 35 year old, I think most people would guess the 35 year old.

Sorry, I was working on this last night, and never finished it. I'm just going to post what I have.

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Tuesday, May. 03, 2011 at 7:19 AM