Over the past few months I’ve found myself reading biographies on people that lived well before modern times. One of the things that struck me as particularly interesting was the way writers went about gathering information on their subjects. There were no TV interviews to watch, no documents left behind on the internet, and no living relatives to interview. The best way to learn about the subjects was through the letters they left behind.
Because fame is right around the corner for me and biographies on my life will be in great demand 100 years from now, I thought that leaving behind a trail of letters (digital though they may be) sounded like a great idea. In my opinion, letters are the most illuminating form of communication we have and the idea of experimenting with that was too intriguing to pass over. My younger sister, Lauren, will be participating in an ongoing letter share with me. Where it goes and what we learn about one another I have no idea. Follow along and find out with us.
How goes it? Are you having fun in Florida with your family? From the pictures you’ve sent me and the couple of texts we’ve exchanged it looks like a great time. Hopefully everyone was able to enjoy the time together.
I’ve been thinking about your question ever since I read your letter a week ago. When did I know Deana was the one? There isn’t a specific moment that comes to mind that I can point to and say “that’s when”. It was more coming to the realization over time that I wasn’t afraid of her leaving me or things falling apart. In past relationships I was always waiting and wondering when the dramatic finish was coming. Maybe it was self sabotage but I like to think I was just perceptive enough to read between the lines. I knew I could be 100 percent Douglas around her just like I’ve always been with our family. Stupid jokes, annoying noises, mood swings by the minute, endless farting and talking through burps, and all of the other little intricacies that make me who I am. I realize I’m more than just annoyance, but those are the types of things you have to look for when you’re picking a spouse. When the other person is at their most annoying is it something you can deal with or is it something you know will wear you down given enough time. Somehow Deana has the patience for me and that made me feel comfortable enough to love her without holding back. FYI, that was some Gram Janet advice right there so I won’t pretend I was smart enough to think of that on my own. I’m just smart enough to listen. And now that I think of it, Gram and Pap should have been relationship gurus since they both gave us key advice for finding someone.
Do I wish we would have met earlier? Sure, I’d like to add more time with her but I wouldn’t have been the same guy she met at 29 (I think) that I was at 22 or 25. I didn’t know how to love the way you need to love when you’re in a relationship. I’ve never had issues with just simply loving someone the way I love you or someone in our family. It’s unconditional and no matter how good, great, or annoying we are to each other if we’re pissed off we just need to wait 30 minutes and try it again. It doesn’t work that way with a spouse. You can’t always piss them off and then go “Oh well. She’ll forgive me and we’ll get on with things again in a bit”. You have to think about how your words, actions, and willingness to understand their POV affects them. I had to learn that it’s not about making my point heard, but giving someone else a chance to be heard. You don’t have to agree…just say I hear what you’re saying and I understand, please try to understand my position just the same. People feel what they feel and it’s never right or wrong. There’s a book I read about learning to love others (and maybe yourself too) that helped a ton. I can’t remember what it was called, but I’ll dig it out and let you know if you want.
How did having kids change the dynamic of your relationship. I’m always worried it’s going to make it more difficult and from what I hear you can’t return kids to the baby factory if they’re causing problems. I need time for myself to be good for anybody else and I worry I won’t get as much as I need. I guess it’s just another part of life I’ll learn to navigate.
You better have some good advice!