In the past, I’ve described the roles my husband, Gregg, and I take in our relationship as rollercoasters and anchors.
In many ways, I’m the rollercoaster in our relationship –in terms of my personality, my emotions fluctuate between soaring joy and terrible despair, covering everything in between. I have heightened experience of different emotions whereas Gregg is far more steady and anchor-like with his highest level of praise often being ‘that’s not bad’.
I also think that I’m far more up for rollercoastering in life when it comes to the future – often coming up with crazy and out-there plans for things I want us to do together. If we acted on every thought I’ve had, we’d have walked the month long Compostella pilgrimage through Spain, have got matching tattoos, moved to Italy and Australia, travelled for months through India… Yes, these dreams often come to nothing, but I feel I fuel the twists and turn of our future far more than he.
I was surprised to realise, however, that my dreaming can often leave me unable to act in the present and that my husband is a reality rollercoaster. Bear with me…
We had some friends visiting us from China – they stayed in Brighton for two days, exploring the city during the day and exploring further afield with us by night. One evening we took them into Lewes for dinner and were going to take them to the countryside while it was still light. The meal took longer than anticipated and by the time we’d finished, it was close to 7:30 and daylight was fading fast. I wanted to be close to home, perhaps coming back to Brighton instead of venturing into the fast-invisible wilderness. But Gregg pushed for going somewhere different in the opposite direction from Brighton.
I felt myself wanting to anchor to what I knew – the beach at Brighton, the closeness of home. I didn’t want to experience the unexpected twist of my evening if I was honest with myself…but everyone else was in favour of Gregg’s choice and so we got into the car, me a little reluctant, to drive to the secluded beach.
Oh my goodness, I am so glad I followed Gregg’s lead and didn’t resist this experience because it was so magical.
The sun blushing pink as it disappeared below the horizon, the soft inky black water, the moon shine illuminating our dip, the empty expanse of the sea…I felt truly free and giddy, high on life. It was such a beautiful moment that I will remember for years to come.
With our friends we ran into the water and had 10 minutes of laughter, were tossed around by the waves, revelled in this magic, the magic I would have never experienced without following Gregg on this rollercoaster ride.
It was this experience that made me see that the label of ‘anchor’ I give to Gregg is not the whole picture. He’s so much more than that. Where I steer the course of our future, he lives fully in the present and doesn’t resist the twists and turns that come his way like I so often do.
So yes, we are rollercoasters and anchors but in a different way than I had ever appreciated before.