an oldie, but still one of my faves.
Can I talk about this guy for a minute? Just for a minute, I promise. To be quite honest with you, three-quarters of the time this guy drives me bat-shit crazy, and we both, in fact, routinely make sadistic jokes about desiring to push the other down the stairs or inflict other mild injuries that won't necessarily mortally wound but will definitely cause discomfort, but despite that, we love each other like crazy. I think finally, after three years of marriage, we're both feeling very secure in that fact.
Lately I have felt this profound sense of gratitude for being given the gift of this relationship and its influence in my life. I remember having a conversation with my mom once, really early on in my relationship with Matthew, and I was telling her about what a go-getter he is, how driven and determined and assertive he is. She was super happy for me and my happiness, of course, but I remember her bringing it to my attention that often the things we love about our sigO in the beginning are the very same personality traits that wind up driving us nuts later on, or manifesting themselves in different ways that aren't as attractive. And I think that has been so true for both me and Matthew. Determined and assertive can also feel like stubborn and abrasive, at times... things like that. But I am learning to accept the good with the not-so-good, and love this man I married for all the things that make up who he is, even the parts I'm not as fond of. I'm sure he could write an entire book on my not-so-good traits, as well, so touché.
Anyway, that was two whole paragraphs just to get warmed up and say what I really want to say. I felt compelled to tell it here because not everyone has a Matthew in their life, and I wanted to share some of the lessons this guy has taught me.
From day one of meeting him, I have been blown away by his sheer tenacity (as evidenced in our love story and his persistence in the beginning there). Nevermind that he's a good-looking guy who may or may not possess a Super Power of melting people's brains with his eyes, but besides that, he simply does the hard or uncomfortable things that most people won't, like sometimes simply asking for what he wants or needs. Not accepting the current standard or rules. Expecting better from people.
I think the number one thing I've learned from Matthew can be summed up in a phrase I've heard him say multiple times over the last four years of knowing him: "if you don't ask, you don't get." I think so often we all live with this crippling fear of rejection... maybe it's a pride thing, or maybe it's just a lack of confidence thing. But too often we are afraid to reach out, to negotiate, to ask for a discount, to invite a prominent person in your profession out to lunch, and so on. I can't tell you how many times I've witnessed this guy simply asking for something I would have been way too chicken to ask for, and then he gets it. So much of the time! He has saved us literally thousands of dollars on things like furniture or car repairs or vet visits or prescriptions, because he'll ask if there are discounts available to people like students or he'll search online for coupons or otherwise just take extra steps that "normal" people (such as myself) are too lazy to take, and then we pay extra for it. Another example! Back when he started law school, he found a guy on LinkedIn that was a part of the same fraternity in a different state back in college, graduated from his same law school, and is now a partner in a local law firm, and Matthew just cold-called the guy and asked him out to lunch. He made a good connection and friend he now sees all the time. Things like that. The list goes on and on of these things I've seen Matthew do, but the bottom line is it's just a little extra effort that most people wouldn't make, and most importantly, he doesn't let fear of failure or rejection paralyze his life. The worst someone can say to you when you ask them for a favor is "no." And really, how bad is that? The reward usually always outweighs the potential risk. A little at a time, Matthew's no-apologies approach to pursuing goals is rubbing off on me, though I like to think I bring fine feminine sensibilities and more empathy to the table, which makes us a good team. ;)
Bottom line: ask for what you need! Whether that's from your significant other (I need more words of affirmation! I need more foreplay! I need marriage counseling! ha), from your cable provider (Matthew actually got our monthly bill down from over $100 to $40 once?!), your car mechanic, your wedding vendors, your boss, your friend, and the list goes on! It's not always about money, I hope I'm making that clear. It's just about not being ashamed or timid when it comes to creating your own life. If you don't ask, you don't get. A good thing to remember. :)