When I was younger I always imagined that by 25, I would be married. Once I turned 18, then 21, there was no way that by 25 I was going to be ready to be someones wife. As it turned out, the young daydreaming me know more than the 20-something me. At twenty-five years old, I walked down the isle becoming Mrs. Taylor, and we are now celebrating the fourth year of our marriage, and I could not imagine my life without my Anthony.
Growing up, I saw marriage as a step that everyone takes in life; You go to school, you get a job, you get married, you have kids, and then they repeat the cycle. The older I got, the more complicated those simple ideas became. I saw that not every relationship was a healthy one, I saw people that I loved being hurt by the people that they had entered into these families with. I began to lose faith in the idea of having a "good life" with a "good partner", of having a "good job" and "good kids". It all seemed too fake.
In my late teens came a time when I wasn't sure if I ever would want to settle down. I had so many dreams that I wanted to fulfill, so many places I wanted to see. I couldn't trust someone else to help me reach my goals, I could only imagine them wanting to hold me down.
As time passed, I began to examine my heart and soul. I found that although I had the freedom that I yearned for, I was not truly satisfied with what I was producing in my life. I felt at this time my output was greasy fast food versus a field of grain. I was taking joy in the instant satisfactions of life, not thinking much of my future, or of satisfying my most complicated desires. As long as I kept the lowest levels of happiness going, then I was happy -enough. I didn't understand that there were deeper levels of happiness that could be reached. I was missing the happiness that could last past a night out, the happiness that could not only satisfy my journal pages and photo books, but a type of happiness that could satisfy my soul.
At this time in my life, I had family members battling great diseases, and friends going through true trials in their lives. Although I was fine, the people around me were suffering. It was during these months that I realized how important faith and family were to me. My heart ached for those that I loved, yet I felt there was little that I could do to support them. Luckily, I had a family that overlooked all of their past mistakes and judgments towards each other, and bonded together to express their love and their faith.
I grew so strong in such a short amount of time because I had those that I loved the most supporting each other. I felt the greatest love, joy, and freedom that I had ever felt before. I learned that, for me, the top of the peek was best reached with an open heart and a faithful spirit. The joys in my life were no longer fancy clothes, weekend trips, or important titles, something in me had shifted and the things that began to matter most were how much love I felt, and how well I was able to share that love with others. I wasn't perfect, I still had my weaknesses, but what had changed the most is that I now had a true desire to better my life, not just for myself, but for others. I was able to appreciate my personal strengths, but most importantly I was also able to accept my weaknesses and allow other to step into my life and help raise me over obstacles that I could not overcome alone.
Throughout this change, I discovered why a married life would be my vocation. Although it is not the answer for everyone, and it is certainly not the only way to experience love, it holds a special meaning to me in it's place in my chosen religion. For me, marriage would be a sacramental way of living my faith, expressing my love, and contributing to my community, plus I had seen that in my darkest hour FAMILY is what helped me overcome. With this now set in my mind, the fly-by-night fellas had to bounce. Heck, the fly-by-night Jayka had to move on over and make way for the Jayka that would one day be a special man's wife.
Things began to fall into place much quicker than I had ever expected. Before I knew it, I fallen into deep liking with a man I didn't really know, and over a few months, the like turned into love, and he proved himself to be a true man in every important way. He had a free spirit with a faith based mind and heart. He was well balanced with fun and realism. He had dreams that spanned the Chicago's night sky and the talent to accomplish those dreams, yet he held such humility in his heart. I respected him so much for all that he was and all that he was not, and I knew that he was the one that I would be able to lean on when I was weak.
My husband was placed in my life as a true blessing. Together I knew that we would be able to accomplish our dreams. I found the special partner that would lift me up when I was down, that I could both teach and learn from. He is the perfect coating around my heart, and I feel that we make each others lives so much more enjoyable. Not a day goes by that I am not inspired to be a better person because of him.
My goals of living my faith, expressing my love, and contributing to my community are always being lived because I have chosen a partner that supports me, and has committed to sharing our love and gifts with others. This is why I choose to wear a ring, and why I don't have to pretend for anyone. Our union is true and our love will be everlasting as long as we stay committed to our hearts.
Happy Fourth Year of Marriage, Babe!
I would never want to go at this world without you by my side.
Est. August 11th, 2007