For Cottage Hill

Last summer I interned for one of my favorite magazines, Cottage Hill. It was such an incredible experience and I saw my first published piece printed in the Grace issue of their magazine. I also was able to write a few pieces for their blog, this being one of them...

Click here to read the entire article.

What was so exciting for me about this particular piece is that I was able to produce the entire thing. With other pieces, I was given an assignment to write about, and that's all I did (write). With this piece I was able to create the topic, and from there, find the people I wanted to bring this piece to life. These last few years I have let photography take over my entire life which I have loved, but it's caused the majority of my writing dreams to be pushed to the side. It was so refreshing for me to not take the photos for this piece and instead find someone who I felt could represent my vision, and then trust them entirely with the photos. This allowed me to focus on the writing. It was also great because I chose my friend Corina to photograph this piece for me, and she not only provided beautiful photographs, but quite honestly  she took photographs that were better than what I would have taken had I done them myself. There's something about slowing down and focusing on only one thing that allows you to blossom. I like to do everything, but by only doing the writing, this piece turned into more that what I could have ever imaged. Thank you, Cottage Hill, for letting me work with you last summer! And thank you, Corina, for taking such beautiful photographs and being such a great friend :) 

Perhaps church is right here / confessions of a pastor's kid.

Life, lately, has been oh so busy. At the end of a long work day, I find myself exhausted, with barely enough energy to get myself home, say hello to my husband and dogs and hop into bed. By the weekend, I hermit myself away, utilizing my two days as productively as I can, which for an introvert means quietness, alone time, time to be creative, to dissect through a week’s worth of interactions and thoughts that didn’t get properly sorted and stored. Time to recharge.

I miss sitting in my office. This room sits at the very edge of our home and was possibly built as an extension years after this house was first built. The sunlight glistens through the lace curtains, and when the heat is turned on, I melt in warm bliss. My thoughts can melt out of me, and my clothes begin to peel off, layers which I often find restricting. Layers which disallow me to jump as high as I want or move my body effortlessly as if it were in a pool of water. This space has become a sanctuary for me and my thoughts.

Sunday, the day of rest, the day of detox. The day some gather in buildings to pray and meditate and others hide under covers, recovering from last night. 

So many Sundays were spent at church when I was a kid. From 8 am, when my mom would begin worship practice, to 1 or 2 pm, when my dedicated father would finally be done greeting every last request of people seeking guidance from their pastor. I would find myself getting lost in pews, usually in the balcony, hiding away wherever I could. I’d listen to the music or try to make my dad laugh while he was speaking on stage. One day I snuck into the crawl space that runs underneath of the stage and up past the pews. Eventually, I learned that a homeless person had been living there. I’m not sure where he moved to next. 

I remember a lot of people knowing my name but rarely knowing (or often forgetting) their names. They knew my parents, and so they somehow knew me, thus feeling they shared something with me. As soon as the Sunday service was over, I’d run into my mom’s tiny office and lock the door. It was a little section behind the stage that had a washroom, my mom’s office, a music room and a props room. There was also a door I could go through that would lead to the baptismal tank–but you never wanted to go through that door when you were sneaking out of the service, trying to find something to do. If you did, you’d find yourself staring at the faces of hundreds who would be wondering why the pastor’s daughter was standing alone in an empty baptismal tank. Usually, I’d stay in my mom’s office, and sometimes I’d sneak into the props room and get lost amongst the colors, flags, fabrics and costumes. It is here I felt free. Free to just be me. To let my imagination create something out of nothing. And I think it is often here where I felt closest to God. Just Him and I doing our own thing together, where no one had to be of witness. Where we could be ourselves and be honest with one another and make jokes together and sometimes cry together but mostly, understand one another. 

Nowadays, in a different country from where I went to church as a kid, I don't always know if I fit in while standing in the pews. Maybe we all feel this way? I feel stuck, watched and slightly terrified of someone knowing my name. I hear the pastor speak and I watch his young children and wonder if they are listening to the words or waiting for their dad to finish work. I see them dance to the music and I see my sister and me at three and six years old dancing. I remember lifting my hands into the air. I remember playing guitar on stage. I remember playing Solitaire on my dad’s computer. I remember eating the leftover communion bread and drinking the tiny cups of grape juice after the service was over. I remember making borscht soup in the kitchen for church potlucks. I remember the fireplace in my dad’s office. I remember dunking my head into a tub of oatmeal, trying to retrieve some object, during a youth event, where later I’d get a prize. I remember drawing or writing poems on the tithing envelopes that didn't get used. I remember holding my mom’s soft hand while listening to dad talk, her presence making me slightly more comfortable about sitting in the front row. I remember she’d get up at the end of the service to play the piano, and I would try my hardest to make her laugh, anything to break the ordinary. And it would work. I’d make a face or a silly smile, and once we’d make eye contact, she’d lift her head away from the microphone and look up into the sky laughing. And it is here I’d feel God again. Here, looking up into the sky together, laughing. Sometimes I’d get my dad so tongue tied with his words that he’d finally have to stop during the middle of the service and say, I’m sorry, my daughter is making funny faces at me, and I can’t stop laughing. People in the audience would laugh and I would be mortified that I had been made known, but mostly, I'd be proud that I had created laughter amongst still bodies. Again, anything to break the ordinary. Anything that said, hey, it's okay to be weird here

I’ve never understood people who don’t think God has a sense of humor. That’s the only God I’ve ever known. Someone filled with abundant love but who also doesn’t take life too seriously when the hymns are sung out of tune and the people show up wearing flip-flops and shorts. Oh, and of course, someone who really likes to laugh. I suppose that is the man I married. I suppose that man is also my father. 

But it is here in my tiny office, with white walls and terrible peach trimming around the windows, that I find my solitude again. My Sunday. My day of rest. My day where I can detangle thoughts and empty myself enough to make space for God. 

I suppose it’s just like those Sunday’s when I’d lock myself in my mom’s office. Hidden and safe. Alone and free to be me. Without judgment. Left to my imagination and with stacks and stacks of books.  A place quiet enough to hear what the air is saying and feel how the dust particles are dancing amongst the sun.

you are not my president.

yesterday the air was sad
not even the shower could wash away my tears
the faces at work were of shock
white bodies expressing anger
black bodies staring down at the floor
silent.
and i knew, 
this is something different. this is something i cannot fully feel in my
white skin and my white privilege
but this is something i know is wrong.
yesterday we hid in our cubicles
but the tears were not hidden there
because when i’d pass you in hall our eyes were bloodshot red.
yesterday the air was sad.
the feeling in the pit of your stomach when you’ve regretfully had to say goodbye to someone you love.

today the air feels heavy
i open my eyes trying to escape the nightmares i’ve had for the past two nights since you were elected.
i open my eyes hoping to escape into reality
but the air, oh it feels so heavy.
this is not a dream we can wake up from.
oxygen floats down my throat and into my lungs but it feels like sludge.
my stomach won’t stop hurting
i have not lost hope
but i wasn’t quite ready to fight,
and i’m realizing now that for these next four years i’m going to have to fight
and not even in my sleep will i be able to rest.
today the air feels heavy.
but i know it’s not new. 
the color of my skin allowed me to fight when i felt like it, a privilege, many have not had.
it’s a wake up call
and i’m sorry it took so long
but now there’s no denying how heavy this air feels.

i still haven’t called you my president. 
it wasn’t a protest or a hashtag it was simply that the moment they announced you as president-elect i thought,
that’s strange, because he is not my president
nor will you ever be.
i will call you by first and last name, but that’s it.
and really, you should feel honored,
because it’s more than you can call my friends and i.
you call us by the color of our skin or by whom we love or worship.
black. gay. muslim. mexican. pig. slob. rapist. criminal.
you use those words interchangeably, 
as if they are the same thing.
they are not the same thing they will never be the same thing! and now,

now the air feels angry.
you are not my president. 
you are not my leader.
you’re going to wake up in the white house for four years but that doesn’t change who you are.
you can waltz in your glory and try and make america great again
but then you are going to leave.
and the people who represent you, us,
we are going to keep fighting and we aren’t ever going to leave or stop or give up.
as feminist jane flax says,
“political action and change require and call upon many human capacities including empathy, anger, and disgust.”
i share with you, donald, disgust, but what we do not share together is anger or empathy.
it is love and empathy and anger and disgust that will fuel us
to stop your crooked heart. 
you will not change us. we will change you.

claim what you want but
my god is not your god. 
my god tears down walls and invites people in.
in fact, he moves a mountain if he has to, simply so we can be together.
he does not divide
he does not shut out.
my god believes love is love.
my god was never white.
and as much as my god has called me to pray,
he has also called me to act.
and so i will pray at night through my nightmares. 
i will pray when the sky is dark and i cannot sleep.
i will pray out loud even when it’s hard to breathe,
and you can be sure that in the morning,
i will act.

to jupiter and back.

you’re just my husband, and i don’t mean that you’re just my husband, but that to me, 
it doesn’t matter so much if you sing nostalgic songs or take mystical photos or fold steel upon itself to make knives (i mean yes, i love these things about you, of course, i do), but to me i love you because

you’re just my husband.
and being just my husband also means
you’re my weird human, silly human, playful human, serious human, diligent human, my do life on a day to day basis human. 
my normal human.

you’re the human whose strange spots matched my strange spots and whose lows met my lows and highs met my highs.

you’re not some on again off again, you’re my forever human. but on the off days, being with you is better than anything i have ever known before. and on the on days, being with you is like,
okay, is this even real?

i don’t know all the lyrics and i don’t all the songs and you never told me you were in a band when we first met and thank you for not telling me you were in a band when we first met because to me, you became,

just my best friend. just this (yes, obviously dreamy) guy whom i could have conversations with that went as deep as the lowest ocean floor and when i found out about our nerdy jupiter obsession, well, next our conversations went as high as there and back (and again and again).

to me, 
i don’t so much care about what they see because,
to me,
i see the very core of you.

the center of the earth is where you and i meet. 
my center. your center. the shared center we have found within each other because before things felt a little lopsided,
and not that things can’t be lopsided and maybe we’re still a little lopsided together, but
we can roll to the other side if we need to, together,

because to me,
you’re just my husband.

you’re more than the just and more than the my and more than the husband.

but to me, 
i get the just and my and husband 

and to me, 
that’s just perfect.
that’s just more than enough, you know.

I made it!

I did it; I made it! I made it out of the 27 Club, you know, the infamous age 27 when a lot of people die, and a lot of us superstitious people (read: me) try not to let it consume us.

Twenty-seven, though, has always been one of my favorite numbers, and so I was super excited to turn twenty-seven last year, but today, today on my last day of being twenty-seven, I was afraid I might die. And though I cut someone off pretty badly in traffic tonight (he cut me off first), here I am, 10:44 pm and I'm still alive. I’m not entirely surprised, although as a child I never imagined myself getting to this age (only because it was too far away to comprehend). I didn’t think of myself as dead but rather non-existent, and dead and non-existent are not the same things. I’m glad I’m neither of those, frankly. 

Honestly, I learned a lot this year. Of course, it was also the best year. Ofmyentirelife. Seriously. The most exciting being that I married the man of my dreams, and tonight as I was looking at him in the movie theater, I couldn’t stop thinking to myself how lucky I am. I also graduated from university, a ten-years-in-the-making-degree. It was wonderful and life changing and hard and eye opening and I am so grateful for all of my profs and peers at school (now this sounds like an acceptance speech). I also moved to my dream city, Seattle, and I can truthfully say that this is the first place I have ever lived that instantly feels like home (city number 8).

I always write these super long blog posts whenever I turn a new age, but these past few days have been so busy and tomorrow I’ll be busy, too. Normally I get a bit upset if I don’t have time to write on my actual day of birth, but right now, it doesn’t matter so much because I am just… happy. 

For so long, life was a struggle. I don’t entirely know why. I had a great childhood and my teenage years were, well, typical rebellious teenage years. My early twenties were fun but also very dramatic and suddenly, during this age of twenty-seven, I finally felt like me. It’s like I was dropped into my own skin and had an “ah-hah!” moment, here I am, world!

Largely, I think getting married help. Marriage is not the answer to your life’s problems, but as a complete introvert, and someone who has dreamed of getting married my entire life, I had learned to be a chameleon. In my awkward and shy and quiet self, the best way I have found to relate to people is to be a mirror of them. If they are quiet, I am quiet. If they are loud and outgoing, I will be loud(er) and (more) outgoing. I find it’s the best way to get them to feel comfortable, thus making me feel comfortable, too. My theory is that if they see the parts they like of themselves reflected back to them through me, they’ll find familiarity and comfort and then we’ll get along with little confrontation. I suppose I have always been a people pleaser, and good lord, this was always the case when I was dating. I was a chameleon with all of my exes, being who they wanted me to be, and it was beyond exhausting, even when I didn’t realize I was doing it. I suppressed myself for so long to try and make them happy that it quite literally made me sick and sent me to the hospital. But none of that matters anymore because now I just feel like me. I’ve found my human, the one who makes me the best version of myself. The one who I don’t have to be a chameleon with, but the one who is also similar to me. Ying and yang. Peanut butter and jelly, you know. That’s who we are.

But mostly, not having to be a chameleon to anyone anymore has allowed me to focus on me again. I know that sounds selfish, but helping me has helped me help others. By figuring out myself and who my core identity is, it has allowed me to be a full version of myself, and when I’m full, I am more open and available to others, to those who need me the most. It’s a win-win, for everyone.

And so while there are most definitely twenty-seven things I learned about myself this past year (and usually this is the format of my “birthday posts”), I guess the only real important one to discuss is that I simply learned how to be me, and be okay with me. 

I have so many thoughts on aging, so many thoughts I want to write about more. Tomorrow I will be twenty-eight, and I know that is still young, but it is not young-young, ya know. For so long I thought I was going to be this prodigy child that forever changed the world, and I couldn’t imagine myself ever getting old, no. I was going to remain this child superstar, but I don’t suppose I did anything monumental. I mean yes, I think I did a lot of amazing small things, and small things add to big things. I am beyond grateful for every opportunity I’ve had and where my life has brought me, but I think as a prodigy child I also thought I could somehow skip getting old and simply be a child forever. So it’s weird to me, that I am as old as I am now. And it’s weird to me, that I still exist in my own skin and I’m still the same me as I was when I was only ten. It’s weird to me that eventually, I’ll be in my thirties, forties, fifties and gosh, sixties, and I'll be laughing at my twenty-seven/eight-year-old self. Eventually, I’ll be 101 because I am determined to live to be at least 101. 

The past few months I’ve been doing a lot of self-help identity work, and it is this next birthday approaching (uh oh, only 59 minutes left) where I’ve realized that a lot of my identity went into being young. Once again, the child prodigy. You can do anything you put your heart to! You can change the world! It is YOU and YOUR generation that will do xyz! And I hope it’s still true, but I am learning that I defined myself by that, by being young. And so I’ve had to do a lot of “de-younging” my identity to realize that I am still a valuable and worthy human being just because I’m not as young as I use to be. And I can turn thirty and have a new career if I want. I can turn forty and have a new hobby. I can turn fifty and climb a mountain for the first time. And so on and so on and so on. My age, and aging, will not define who I am.

I have no idea what this next year will bring, but I’m relieved I don’t have to think about the 27 Club anymore. I spend a lot of time thinking, so maybe for year 28, I’ll spend more time doing. Yes, that is precisely what I will do. 

Twenty-eight, here’s to doing you.

Just a little snap so I always remember what I looked like at 27 and what my writing setup was like, and proof I made it past the 27 Club. It's July 30th, 2016 at 11:31pm, so only 29 minutes left now.

Just a little snap so I always remember what I looked like at 27 and what my writing setup was like, and proof I made it past the 27 Club. It's July 30th, 2016 at 11:31pm, so only 29 minutes left now.

Why I stopped trying to change the world.

When I was five or six years old, I vowed to myself that I would change the world. I had just finished reading a book with my family that explained the political situation in North Korea. As young as I was, I knew the situation wasn’t good, and it was then and there that I knew my life’s mission: I was going to change the world. 

Fast forward to high school where I was wearing a sneaker with a high heel shoe, a jump rope as a belt and a tutu over my jeans. I looked like a complete weirdo but it was the activist in me standing against conformity and what the cool kids did. I organized social justice meet ups during school lunch hour and as soon as I had my own job, I began sponsoring a child overseas. A few years after high school I went to university and began a degree in Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice at the University of British Columbia. At the same time, I was working as a photographer and turned many of my school essays into photo projects that focused on everything from eating disorders, to abortion, to stolen Indigenous land. For a time, I worked as a photographer for UNICEFto help raise awareness on issues in the DRC in Africa . I vowed to myself that I wouldn’t ever stop the fight for justice and human rights consumed me.

Like any fire that isn’t properly stoked, I, too, burnt out. I was doing everything I could possibly do to change the entire world but I wasn’t seeing any immediate change. I would open up Twitter and once again, my timeline would be filled with countless more stories of pain and injustice. I’d see friends on Facebook arguing over the presidential campaign and whether or not we should have gender neutral bathrooms. It was overwhelming, exhausting, and made me feel hopeless. I became angry.

The thing is, anger can actually be a good thing because anger can motivate and inspire change. The problem with the anger I had was that I only allowed it to focus on the negativity, fear, and hopelessness I was feeling, instead of actually doing something to create change. One can be angry, but one must also live with hope. Filled with fear and hopelessness, I realized I needed to change my approach, and this is when I quit trying to change the world. 

Instead, I focused on creating change locally. By focusing on local issues, suddenly I was no longer only promoting change, but I could act on it, too. Issues that once seemed big, daunting and impossible to fix suddenly became small, relatable and achievable issues to fix. I didn’t need to argue with people on Facebook anymore, I could get a group together locally and act on the change. I didn’t have to save the entire world, something I will never be able to do, but I could create change in my neighborhood. This is where hope began to blossom. 

Hope starts small, but like anger, it spreads like wildfire. I’m reminded of all the times I’ve had a bad day, and how someone’s simple act of kindness has completely changed my day around. Now, whenever I’m out and about and feeling blue, I tell myself to change my attitude, because if I can smile and represent hope to one person, that person can smile and represent hope to another person.

Changing the world starts locally. It starts in your relationships, in your homes, in your neighborhoods, and in your cities. There are so many things you can be doing locally that, while they might seem small, will influence the rest of the world. Read the newspapers. Volunteer. Help a stranger out. Join a local community garden. Listen to people. Ask people how you can help. Join your friends at their meetups for topics surrounding LGBTQ+ issues, racial issues, religious issues or class issues. Dream big, but start small and start with something tangible, promoting change one step at a time. If we all create change locally, together we will be changing the world. 

How Project 333 has made me comfortable in my own skin.

It has been almost two months since I started Project 333, which means I have one month left! When I first started this project, I thought it would be impossible to stick to only wearing 33 items, but it has actually gone by fast. The biggest positive to this project has been how much I have learned about myself and my attitude (along with society’s attitude) towards clothing. 

I had to cheat a bit. I chose my 33 items based on Seattle’s generally moderate climate, but I forgot that it does get hot enough for shorts in the summer, and I also went on some trips I wasn't planning for at the time. I ended up pulling two pairs of shorts out and a pair of flip-flops and sneakers; however, it worked out well as I was able to put away two pairs of pants and a pair of boots I haven't needed during these hot months. I have switched a few items around, but I think I still only have 33 items in my wardrobe. Here’s what I’ve learned so far:

1. I still don’t wear half of my 33 items. I pretty much rotate around the same few items.

2. I don’t miss my old clothes AT ALL. One day when I went to cheat, I put on an outfit that wasn't a part of my 33 items, looked in the mirror and thought, meh, I like my 33 items better. I changed my outfit back into something apart of Project 333 and packed the old outfit back away.

3. My self-esteem has gone up for a few reasons:

- I have curated my closet so much that now whenever I get dressed, I am putting on an outfit I absolutely love and feel great about myself in. I no longer feel obligated to wear something I only sort of like or feel good in. My next step is to donate a ton of stuff (or have a come-raid-my-closet-sale here in Seattle).

- I was holding onto a lot of items out of guilt. One day I’ll fit this again, or, this shirt isn’t my style anymore but it’s so nice, and maybe one day I will feel like this person again. Turns out I’ve grown out of that person, completely. By curating my closet down to only 33 items, I feel like I’ve freed myself from a lot of expectations and false identities I put on myself. I feel much more comfortable in my skin and how my body looks, and I also feel like I know who I am, and what makes me me. I don’t have to change who I am and how I feel to pull off a certain outfit. Instead, all of my outfits represent who I am and how I feel, allowing me to continue being me. 

4. Trends matter less to me. By owning fewer items, it has forced me to be okay with what I wear, despite trends. I may not have all the newest trends anymore, but suddenly I don’t need those trends to feel good about myself. I think a lot of my identity came from staying up to date with the current trends, even if I didn’t like the current trend. Now, I feel like how I dress is so much more of a personal expression as to who I am, as opposed to looking cool. I wear what I feel. I don’t wear what society tries to make me feel. When I see other people wearing a really cool trend, I think, that looks great, but it won’t change who I am, and I’m happy with who I am.

5. I have so much more time! Seriously, so much more time. I didn’t realize how much time I spent getting dressed each morning, but when you have fewer options, getting dressed is much easier. You have no choice but to just put something on, even if it doesn’t seem like what you want to wear that day. That being said, because my 33 items have been so curated, once I put on an outfit, I remember how much I love it and I feel great in it anyway.

6. I kind of like having a uniform... And while I still have lots of variety in my wardrobe, I like that I have my “thing.” This is what I wear, over and over and over again, because this is what I like and this is who I am. The end.

7. It’s made me realize what I actually need, as opposed to what I want. For example, I chose three cardigans that are all the same style except for the print. I only wear one of them (because the others don’t match with anything). Instead, I could get rid of the extra two cardigans and buy a neutral sweater that I could wear with literally everything in my closet, allowing my outfits to go way further. 

8. Basic is best. I’ve always been into colorful clothes and have avoided wearing black as much as I can, but having a basic black dress has changed my life (seriously). I can wear this dress to any outing and always feel great in it. This dress looks amazing with a pair of sneakers, or I can dress it up. No matter how I wear it, I always feel good in it because it’s so classic. It feels timeless, which I’m into more than trends. 

9. Lastly, I don’t feel like I’m trying. So often I’d go to some event and I felt like I had to try so hard to dress right and fit into whatever scene it was. Now, I just wear what I feel like wearing, and what represents me. 

Overall, this project has allowed me to feel comfortable in my own skin and be free to be me.

6 things 6 months of marriage has taught me.

It's a day shy of our six month wedding anniversary and oh my, does time ever fly. We're getting way better at this marriage thing, and each day I can honestly say I wake up more in love with him and more excited for a lifetime together. But, I will say, there have been difficult moments. Here are six things I've learned through six months of marriage.

1. Marriage shows you your selfishness. 

    I never thought of myself as a selfish person, in fact, pardon me for saying this but I always thought I was a very selfLESS person. But no, marriage has shown me how selfish I am, which is actually a really great thing, because selfishness is a horrible trait to have. Marriage is not about you, it’s about the person you’re married to.

2. Marriage is really fun.

    Obviously, duh, but I had some fears about the whole marriage thing, and the stats aren’t great. So far, every one of my fears has been proven wrong. Marriage is fun for a million and a half reasons, and more. So much of marriage is how you react to one another. You can choose to respond in frustration when you are really tired, or you can choose to respond in laughter and silliness when you’re really tired. 

3. Find your “thing” together.

    Life happens really quickly, and it’s been so healthy for us to find our “thing” together. Now we have certain days where we do certain things, and they are something that, each week, we look forward to. For example, Sunday afternoon sushi dates, or evening walks in the park. Being able to share our traditions together, and make new ones, allows us to reconnect, no matter how busy the week has been. 

4. Protect your marriage.

    If you don’t protect your marriage, it’s easy to let things come in the way of it, and I’m not talking about the big things (like cheating or affairs), I’m talking about the little things. The little things where you don’t realize at first how detrimental something may be. Whether it’s comparing your marriage to other people’s marriages in a negative way, or keeping white lies from one another, or showing contempt to one another, these are all things that can cause great damage over time. So protect your marriage. Get rid of anything toxic, including toxic thoughts.

5. Marriage is like surfing.

    I’ve only ever surfed once and it was really, really hard, so perhaps this is a bad analogy, but marriage is like surfing in that marriage comes in waves. There are hard times, there are happy times, there are boring times, there are exciting times, there are all of the times that are going to happen in life and that therefore happen in your marriage. You just have to ride it out. Ride out the hard times, whether it’s something you’re dealing with, your spouse is dealing with, or you’re dealing with together. Ride the waves. Things get better. 

6. Marriage is about embracing one another’s differences. 

    I remember one day telling my husband that I wanted him to make the bed a certain way. It was probably after I had told him that I liked the kitchen a certain way, the living room a certain way, the bathroom a certain way, and the car parked a certain way. Instead of being annoyed at me, he replied, in all of his gentleness, “ya know, I think you’re more type A, but I’m more type LMNOP.” Recognizing our differences as a good thing, and embracing the other person’s differences, has only strengthened our marriage (and allowed me to have a lot more fun, too).