When we first started dating (in high school) we were young and passionate about Art and Skateboarding. My wife was in the state’s best schools for art, I was a sponsored skateboarder touring the county. It was easy getting behind what the other was passionate about.
Early in our marriage, we somewhat shelved those passions to be “really good at being married” – whatever that means. I stopped skating, she didn’t do much in the way of art projects. It only took a few years before we were miserable from not doing what we loved, though it was totally by accident.
My wife started working with another artist, got inspired and then started taking welding classes. I was bumped because I was “losing” my time with her. After sulking a bit, she sweetly encouraged me to take a photography class. I had done darkroom photography back in school, but not as an adult. Two classes in, they asked me to lead a class and mentor inner-city kids in a drop-in youth center. That kicked off a crazy, wonderful side career of 15 yrs plus.
We learned that we are not a married couple as much as we are two individuals who have chosen to share our life with another. We celebrate our partner’s passions and encourage them to the best of our ability.
We’ve changed over the years, but open communication has been key.
As far as finding room (time), my wife is a full-time artist and is fulfilled with each new project. But, when it just feels like “work”, she drops everything and spends time in the extensive gardens she’s built. I try to get out each Saturday morning (weather permitting) and visit one of our local skateparks and ride with the local kids.