For the past six to eight weeks I have dreaded every Monday. It’s not so much that I hate my job, I just know that the week is going to take a level of energy that I can’t sustain much longer. In all honesty, I was waiting for my first year as an associate to be like this, but apparently it’s the second that kills you. Each Monday morning I walk in to work, sometimes after being there over the weekend, and watch as the new week unfolds, amazed that we could all return to the scene of the crime as if nothing happened and everything is hunky-dory.
This scene-of-the-crime motif seems to be haunting me lately. I don’t know if it’s a cosmic hint to get things right the first time, or a way in which to get me to come to terms with some sort of past harm or wrong, but I’ve been revisiting places that I used to frequent or at least visited along the way. For example, last week I found myself in the city where I lived during my first year of law school and, coincidentally, the first year I was dating The Mister. It’s weird how random stops in suburbia will make you recall memories outstanding. But they do. I was forced to put old songs on my iPod and travel through these areas, memories of a time I thought was so difficult, but was sadly much simpler.
The most glaring example of this, however, is yet to come. This weekend, The Mister and I are traveling to Niagara Falls for our first anniversary. I was not a fan of this destination. I have had strong negative feelings for Niagara Falls since I was 13. In a one year span, I visited Niagara Falls twice. Once was on the Eighth Grade Class Trip where, I consumed alcohol for the first time and passed out standing up in a souvenir shop in Niagara, almost missing the bus back home. More importantly though, I remembered that trip because it stood out as a time where I felt out of place. I burnt my tongue on Tim Hortons coffee (which I always find to be too hot) and it just started the trip off on a bad note. Before you know it, people were fighting and I was breaking into the mini bar with two popular girls who, the next day, would soon forget my existence in their fun the night before.
Then, not even a year after this, Mom and Dad decide to make a good ol’ family trip to Niagara Falls. Why they chose that for that year, I’ll never know. It’s something only my parents would do. Nevertheless, there we were in Niagara when I was in the midst of puberty and on the edge of a deep depression–for which I was being improperly medicated. Let’s just say that I was miserable at the best times. In fact, when I told Mom about our selected destination she was quick to bring up what a miserable trip that was. And she did not mince words when telling me that it was the fault of my “attitude” that made it so miserable. That is, of course, in addition to the really crappy motel we stayed in.
So for the past few days, when The Mister would try to peg down details about our trip–when are we leaving, where are we staying, etc–I was noticeably cold. I refused to stay anywhere cheap, without telling him the underlying reason for my refusal. This caused a great fuss in The House which was only remedied by me caving to a less than four-star hotel.
Now I sit here, in the midst of another game-changing time in my life, wondering if Niagara is truly cursed for me. I tried my damnedest to go somewhere else. In fact, I just wanted to relax somewhere other than here. But, The Mister, knowing none of my woes in Niagara, pushed the trip because he’s never been. I tried to tell him it’s a really beautiful natural wonder surrounded by the worst crap imaginable. That didn’t detour him. I decided not to bring up the bad memories because it’s just easier that way, I guess.
I wonder whether I’ll play the self-destructing devil in my own play of follies, making this weekend miserable because I can or whether I’ll try and remedy the woes I’ve experienced at the Falls. I’d like to say that I’ll focus on the latter, but I know myself all too well to see that as anything more than a definite maybe.
Part of being married, I’ve come to find, is learning to make yourself whole in the places you were not able to on your own. We all have our rivets in our lives which we, by ourselves, are unable to repair. But maybe, with the help of another person in the right place at the right time, we can work on those. The hope for this wholeness is what keeps me optimistic about marriage. The knowledge of the faults we have yet to work on is what keeps me realistic.
But I know if I can do it with anyone, I can do it with The Mister.
And if not, I’ll just find a barrel and make the trip really memorable.