Friday, October 17, 2014

After the Wedding: How the Boas Are Growing Together

The Boas got married on May 26, 2012, 2.5 wonderful years ago in early morning ceremony followed by a brunch reception. We were 22 and had just barely finished our college degrees. Though I had read over and over on the internet how I should wait until we were at least 25 if I wanted to have a chance at a successful married, I thought our age was no biggie!

My parents got married at 20 (Married for 27yrs), my grandparents at 18 (Married for 56 years), so I felt like getting married at 22 was no big deal. We got married 2 days after finishing our last college final and moved from Puerto Rico to Cincinnati together to start our first out-of-college jobs. At that point we had been dating for 5 years, had done the long distance thing for a while, lived through his parents separation and through my godfather’s passing. I thought we were ready; we knew each other well and had seen each other through some tough situations.

We spent the first 6 months of our marriage semi-long distance. He was working in consulting at the time, so he would fly out on Monday morning and be back home in time for dinner on Thursday night. Every weekend was a celebration; we really cherished our time together.  We went from living together our last year in college to having only a couple days a week. It was the first time in years was we didn’t see each other every day and we both gained a lot of independence as a result. While I spent every night home alone reading through the library, Tomas discovered a interest in going out and making new friends. Even with this new found independence, I really glad that we got to experience all of our adults “firsts: together – our first paycheck, buying our first car, buying our first house, adopting our first dog etc. It brought us closer together and we definitively bonded over these shared experiences.

The day we bought our first car!

I always heard people say don’t get married in your 20’s because you change so much during that time and my argument always was that people change their whole lives not just in your 20’s. But looking back there is some wisdom in that statement.
Right after our first anniversary Mr. Boa found a position locally and for the first time in our married life we were both living under the same roof 24/7. With this new situation came the most adjustment, we had both adopted our own habits and practices in the year apart that we know had to learn to deal with. It was like learning to live together all over again but now after having experienced the "real world" by ourselves. Most issues were mostly silly mundane things like how we walked the dog (I keep him tight on the leash, they hubby gives it free reign) but others were slightly bigger issues.
Our Yorkie-Poo, Gnocchi as a baby (He's now 2 yrs old and lots bigger!)
We had only known each other in the context of being overachieving undergrad students and in that lies one of our challenges. Turns out being college students was shielding our true nature. I really am an introvert, just as I did in college; there is nothing I enjoy more than a weekend snuggled in with a good book and a House of Cards marathon. Tomas on the other hand I recently discovered is not an introvert! Although he never showed any interest in partying in college ( He just REALLY wanted good grades so he spent all his free time studying), he’s really into meeting new people in this city and going out to experience the what Cincinnati has to offer. How do you spend your time together when each other HATES what the others interests are?
I'm really NOT into beer but Mr. Boa loves dark craft beers. So for his 25th Bday, we visited North High Brewing in Columbus so he could brew his own! The talented Lil Boa (My lil siss/MOH) created the awesome label putting his face on a quarter. 25 Birthday - Quarter.. get it?
We've learned to explore more of our interests outside of our relationship and to be intentional about finding things for us to enjoy together, in the process of which we have found some new hobbies. We've really enjoy traveling (We’ll have visited 9 states and 12 countries by the end of this year!) and LOVE working on the house; we refinished a dining room table and painted every single room of the house when we moved in. Mr. Boa has discovered that buying tickets makes me commit to going to social events so rather than popping by a bar after work, he buys tickets to the tons of craft beer or festivals in the city. I also need some quiet time to be able to function, so we've agreed that one of the days in a weekend we get to stay home and do nothing J Obviously this is a tiny issue compared to some of the challenges we will face in the future, but it was a great example of how our personal discovery has affected our relationship.

In Chichen Itza this past May celebrating our 2 year anniversary

Looking back, I can see where people were coming from when they said to wait to get married but I’m soooo glad we didn't listen. Although we've experienced some growing pains as we discovered who we were in this “grown-up world”, we also experienced so much joy. The past 2 years have been filled with so much laughter and love, the memories we've created I will cherish always.. We've grown both as a couple and as individuals; we've acknowledge our soft spots and have worked to fortify our marriage. It makes me happy to know that neither of one takes our relationship for granted. We understand that it must be nurtured and fed and doing so makes us both extremely happy since we know we are building something that will last forever. I’m so thankful that I found my partner so early in life, we get the chance to experience so much of life at each other’s side and we got a few years head start on building our marriage. We are just barely starting our journey.