April 13, 2012

This Life Is Ours

The first year we were married, we ate rice, beans and salsa to get by.

And had three dollar pasta nights. A one dollar box of pasta, so we could splurge on the two dollar bottle of sauce. Date nights consisted of sitting in Barnes & Noble for hours, and dreaming over our one shared bottle of Nantucket Nectars what our life might one day look like.

There is no doubt about it, we did not choose the easiest road.

I was thinking this morning, that if I had taken one of those law firm offers nearly six years ago….I guess right about now I’d be a pretty high ranking associate. Maybe on the partnership track. I would have a closet full of power suits and more sensible shoes than I’d know what to do with. Closed toed. Nothing controversial. And yes, there would probably be a lot more Louis Vuitton in my life. We would have some fabulous apartment on the Upper East Side, with views of the Park and local to the most exclusive private pre-K program in the City. So that our one day future children would have the best start in life. We would have season passes to the Met and someone else’s art on our walls. And every year we would throw the best rooftop clambake the firm had ever seen.

It would be a fine life. But it would not be ours.

The road that we have taken is paved in determination. It is broken in the places where we have stumbled, and it rises in the times that we have stood. Arms stretched out, it reaches for the horizon. Pointing the way ever onward, to kind of life you only get when you reside in the unknown. When you face every ledge with a willingness, and a belief in the possibility, to leap. Sometimes a tentative step forward. Eyes closed, the wind knocked out of you. Sometimes a full on sprint. But whatever it has been, it is the road that we have built. Together. Ours is not a life that everyone will understand. That everyone will get. But that’s why it’s ours.

And I’ll tell you this.

There isn’t an easy street out there that could ever take the place of that.

  1. sharon elizabeth

    Years from now when you look back on your blog – this is the post that you’ll love the most!

  2. Christy

    I love this post. Thank you for it because I definitely needed to hear this today! Lately I’ve been comparing our current life (and the struggles of our first year in full-time business) to all my friend’s back home with their nice jobs, cars, homes, children… and I think of what we lack that they have (see above). But I forget to think of what we have that others don’t. Most importantly: day in & day out TOGETHER. Time. Each other. Our life. Thanks for the reminder… <3

  3. Emilia Jane

    YES! Thank you Mary. Thank you a thousand times over.

  4. rich

    "It would be a fine life. But it would not be ours. " – priceless quote. seriously amazingly written blogpost!

  5. Heidi Leigh

    You and your writing brings me such joy. I just thought you should know. Here’s to this unordinary life!

  6. Heidi

    Ours is not a life that everyone will understand. That everyone will get. But that’s why it’s ours. – WOW I love this and you guys! So inspiring!

  7. ashley barnettt

    And when people call us crazy or say that we won’t make it, we’ll just smile bigger and be more proud when we do :)

  8. Lacy

    I love this…and I love you guys! I am truly thankful…and feel so blessed to not only know you …but to call you friends… Incredible would be an understatement. :) *hugs*

  9. Shannon

    I love this. Great food for thought on a Friday.

    Also your future children will have the best start in life, because they have parents who are passionate about the life they live. :)

  10. Alicia White

    Goodness, you don’t even know how much I needed to hear this right now! I love this post (and ya’ll) !

  11. molly

    amazing. just amazing.

  12. Alison

    My husband and I just had this conversation as we each chase our dreams- two different dreams, but together in the pursuit. We look at them very differently- His is look what I haven’t done yet, mine is holy cow, look how far I have come. We are learning to compliment each others way of looking at the chase. Many people think we are nuts, but I wouldn’t change a moment of the madness for anything. It is our story, our life, our passion and our legacy to our children who are just as involved in this chase as we are. Thank you both (and cooper) for sharing your chase!

  13. Jennelle

    I love this! This morning I ran into one of my friends from my law class that I haven’t seen in a couple years. He has two little kids now. When we were in law school, the MOST IMPORTANT thing was getting that offer to that big hittin’ firm for $60K+ a year. Funny how your perspective changes over time. He complimented my blog and we talked about how fast his kids were growing up. That big job offer seems so insignificant now. It’s so much more important to find what makes you happy regardless of the pay. The rest will work itself out in the end.

  14. katie s

    you guys are awesome, thanks for sharing

  15. Lauren Wakefield

    I love that picture. So perfect. I hope Gary and I can build a life that is truly ours. So far we’re doing our best. And you guys are a great example to follow…

  16. Gabby / En Route Photography

    Beautiful post and I love this pic and that all 3 of u are on it! :D HAPPY WEEKEND DEAR!

  17. Caitlin

    I love this, so beautifully written. I sometimes have a little ache for the what-could-have-been’s or what-we-should-be’s. A nasty habit. Thanks for the reminder that the what-we-have-now’s are more us than anything else.

  18. Kris Rae Orlowski

    Mary, this is such a perfect perspective on life! And, I LOVE the family portrait. With Justin’s reflection just hanging in the corner, this is a PERFECT representation of your family dynamic.

  19. Jen Jar

    I love your life! Because I can see that it makes you happy…and that’s all that matters <3

  20. ZipporahK

    Beautiful post! Alot of times I do feel like I chose the harder route but I know in the end I will be so thankful for it because it is a part of my story, my journey

  21. Anastasia

    I think this is one of my most favourite posts of yours, ever! Parts of it can be printed out, framed and hanged on the wall as a reminder of what’s important. You guys are such an inspiration (will never stop repeating myself!), and I am in love with your writing Mary xxx

  22. Bethany Ann

    So wonderfully written! It is interesting to look back on what could have been and realize that what you have is so much better. :) Happy weekend!

  23. Jennifer Bacchiocchi

    Beautifully written, Mary. There is nothing more beautiful than living the life that is meant for you!

  24. Ely

    This warms my heart :)

  25. Josh & Kylie

    How cute guys. Summarises life as a dog owner in one frame :)

  26. ajira

    So true! I think that’s something that can be difficult to understand from the outside… that even when you’re in the struggle phase, the process is still worth it because it’s yours. It’s authentic and real and true. It’s love.

  27. Sarah Wamuhiu

    Thank you for the reminder that these dreams are worth fighting for. My hubby and I are trying to build a photography business from scratch in Kenya and have a move to the States in a year so we are also preparing for rebuilding the business there. Some days it truly is hard but its amazing to do something we love and do it together…and I can’t wait for the day I can give my little boy my Nikon D70 (my first DSLR :) as his first camera (he already knows where the shutter release button is at 1 1/2!)

  28. Sarah Wamuhiu

    Thank you for the reminder that these dreams are worth fighting for. My hubby and I are trying to build a photography business from scratch in Kenya and have a move to the States in a year so we are also preparing for rebuilding the business there. Some days it truly is hard but its amazing to do something we love and do it together…and I can’t wait for the day I can give my little boy my Nikon D70 (my first DSLR :) as his first camera (he already knows where the shutter release button is at 1 1/2!)

  29. katie

    i love this. i love you. thanks for being amazing inspiration!

  30. Anastasia

    I can’t find the words strong enough to express what I feel about this post and the pictures. These images are overflowing with love and light and all things beautiful about life.

  31. Sophie

    I agree with Sharon, and I think this post deserves to be printed, framed, and hung on your wall. Seriously, this one’s a keeper. :)

  32. Shannon Rosan

    SO LOVE THIS :)

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