I believe there are two kinds of people in the world. Those who learn from the wisdom of others and those who do not.
I believe in wisdom. My husband, Jesse, does not. He will happily find his own way. Our different approaches to life have resulted in all kinds of conflict. I prefer to do what experts say and come up with a plan. Jesse is more interested trial and error than doing what some stranger says will work.
Jesse had gone to work. I was in the kitchen, fixing myself a cup of coffee, when I looked over at the stove. It reminded me of a Drew Barrymore quote I read in a magazine years ago. She said she was the type of person who had to touch the stove for herself to see that it was hot. I had related to Drew in every way but that one. She was actually going to burn herself, just to learn something? Couldn’t she trust the warnings of others who had already been down that road?
Suddenly, I made the connection that my husband was exactly this way. Despite my being seven years older, he isn’t interested in any of the wisdom I’ve gained. He doesn’t want to learn from my mistakes. He doesn’t want to learn from any of the books or articles I’ve read. If something seems impossible, he wants the opportunity to try. If it takes him a lifetime to learn some small lesson, he is happy that he had the opportunity to try. Jesse thinks that he can do anything. He can restore a house than others might tear down. He can make it home on E or navigate an icy road that others would fearfully approach or avoid altogether.
Since I met Jesse five years ago, my life certainly became more adventurous. I find myself in situations I never would have considered living my safe life as a school teacher. Jesse was playing music on the street. I was reading books that included any number of steps to follow in order to live my dreams. I didn’t think I could quit my job, afford a house, travel during a school year or even have a child–all things I’ve done following Jesse’s more daring way.
My moment in the kitchen made me realize that my difference with Jesse would never be resolved. He has his own way to be in the world. I started to imagine how our ways might come together in harmony, rather than collide. I started to think of how much greater our lives would be if we could strike a delicate balance between wisdom and discovery.
I believe we are perfect together because of our difference.
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