On Palm Sunday, the squad chose to venture further than ever since purchasing the scooters. This adventure was particularly unusual because it was our most spontaneous; we very rarely head out in the world unprepared. We are usually armed with our basic needs so that we are pretty much guaranteed to be ok no matter what. But Gionni answered my need to see and do by responding, "let's feed your curiosity." What originated as a quick trip to the bakery and around the barrio became the perfect bookend to the past several weeks of pushing our limits and negotiating frictional challenges. The beginning of the journey was expectantly the most level, the road was easy to glide on but as we kept going further and higher up the mountain the conditions changed drastically, smooth was replaced by rocky dusty roads with inclines and dips so slippery and fast that I lost my balance not once but twice.
The experience mirrored how relationship building has been thus far for us, initially more smooth, more symmetrical, more exciting as we discovered our similarities, and we have plenty. However, as we deepen our marriage we are also uncovering some differences that could be perceived as issues or more positively and powerfully as challenges, depending on what perspective either of us chooses to feed. Riding up and down this mountain revealed, at least to me, that even at times of diversion we could support, push, and lean on each other. There were points on the ride going up where my adrenaline was pumping so hard at the thrill of the unknown; the desire to reach higher mainly fueled my momentum.
Oftentimes I was alone in that desire, Gionni checking in with me along the way to see if I was secure and silently thinking we should stop and reverse, but my optimism encouraging him to push past his own anxiety and aversion to the ambiguity. Being unsure of what lies ahead was very unnerving for him, as our father and husband, not knowing where we were heading while leading the way was a very vulnerable position to be in. There were times along the way too where I wondered if we could or should go further but there was an inner beckoning to continue and push past our boundaries. We finally hit a point where Gionni stated that it was time to turn around. And I agreed; he was right, we had gone far enough.
“As we continue through life together we will undoubtedly encounter peaks and dips along the way. There will be times when we need a bold “yes”, “let’s go”, “let’s do this” go-getter. Other times we will need a slow, steady, and methodical “that's enough”, “stop right here” voice of practicality.We are each other’s coaches, captains, and cheerleaders.”
Coming down was much easier for him but far more treacherous for me, already knowing what to expect frightened me, and I lost my handle and landed on the side of the road. Luckily, we created a system of communication to signal him that I needed him. My first fall was the most rupturing but he secured our son and himself and then came to help me. Falling initially made me insecure, I wanted to be perfect, wiping out proved that I wasn't but I was determined to proceed on this journey. I didn't want to burden Gionni but I also needed to know that he would come to my aid in times of fear, doubt, and trouble which he demonstrated a couple more times when he had to come back for me. Eventually we made it home with a phone full of amazing pics and a dozen bumps, scrapes, and scratches. Two days later and I’m still nursing my swollen banged up body. But my biggest takeaway was creating this visual, a real life metaphor that proves that we can successfully work together when confronted with our own personal mountains.
As we continue through life together we will undoubtedly encounter peaks and dips along the way. There will be times when we need a bold “yes”, “let’s go”, “let’s do this” go-getter. Other times we will need a slow, steady, and methodical “that's enough”, “stop right here” voice of practicality. We are each other’s coaches, captains, and cheerleaders. Trusting each other to be who we are when we need to be is pivotal. This mountain ride will serve as a metaphor for me. As partners we will not always be in agreement, there will times where we cross each other or trigger each other inadvertently. Nevertheless our differences (views, experiences, responses, nuances) are what makes us interesting and complimentary. It's what makes this journey with him and our son so fulfilling; watching each other shift into and engage other parts of ourselves is the epitome of sharing and growing together. And the next time we are faced with a mountain we will already have this awareness and these tools at our disposal.
What encourages you to push your boundaries? Share your triumphs with us!
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