Before HutchStew We Were Just Ordinary People
I’ve talked about John Legend’s song “Ordinary People” numerous times. The song is so relatable, and it pulls you in from the first line. “Girl I’m in love with you, this ain’t the honeymoon, we’re passed the infatuation phase.” After that first line, I’m shouting very emotionally while driving. (Admit it you do that too!) Anthony and I are in a really great space in our relationship, but before we became HutchStew we were just ordinary people.
We had our first date November 2010. We stumbled through that date and then proceeded to stumble through the next 2.5 years. To say the first 2.5 years were terrible is truly an understatement. One of us was immature and the other one was merely imitating relationships they’d witnessed by watching fragmented people. Trust me that combo was an impossible environment for a healthy relationship to bloom. Through those 2.5 years we were ordinary people, and we didn’t know which way to go. The second verse of the song says, “I hang up, you call. We rise and we fall. And we feel like just walking away. As our love advances we take second chances. Though it’s not a fantasy I still want you to stay.
Confession, I was the one that was imitating fragmented people. My parents never married one another. Although I know how to give and receive love because of my mother, growing up I didn’t have any positive marriages around me. To add fuel to the fire Anthony was my first relationship, and because I was in my late 20s with no experience I used familiar relationships as my guide. But I quickly realized my “guides” we’re fragmented therefore I was destined to fail. I’d hang up, he’d call and then I’d walk away (countless times). It definitely wasn’t a fantasy (more like a nightmare), but these two ordinary people kept at it.
Confession #2, Anthony was the immature one, but probably not in the way you think. He’s truly a southern gentlemen. He says yes ma’am, no sir, please and thank you. He holds open doors and pulls out chairs. He had a job at the time we started being ordinary people, but he lacked the maturity to see what the future held. Immature not to realize his full potential. Immature to not realize that sometimes nice guys finish FIRST! Immature not to comprehend that he could have it all and not have to continue to take it slow.
So, when did two ordinary people get their act together and start the transformation into HutchStew? Honestly, I don’t know! I remember one day we were no longer stumbling through life, but we slowly started to hold hands and take steps forward together. But just as the song says, “sometimes it was heaven sent. Then we’d head back to hell again, we’d kiss and make up on the way.”
The funniest thing is through all those trips back and forth to heaven and hell there was never a doubt that one day we’d get it together. And maybe that notion is what held us together when neither of us were equipped to do it ourselves. We were two ordinary people that had love for each other, but had no clue how to create love together. I always say love is a space created by two people. Well back then we created a space, but it was never love. We had tons of love for one another, but we couldn’t manage to manifest it to happen together. Until both of us were on the same page we rose and fell and continued to walk away.
Although we hadn’t created that pure space of love somehow marriage came to the table. Since we still weren’t equipped we decided to go to counseling to figure things out before a ring was purchased. Those sessions were gritty, suffocating, honest, untrue (yeah both), finger pointing, reflective and for me pointless (at least that’s how I felt at the time). I ended the sessions because we weren’t getting anywhere (So I thought).
And as I hold this pen in my hand writing these words…it JUST hit me! After the smoke cleared from counseling we “turned the corner”. We still weren’t ready to build a space of love, but instead a space to grow. We had grown over those 2.5 years but not together. The catalyst for the growth was communication. If we learned nothing else from the sessions we learned how to be better communicators. With the foundation of communication set we were two people creating a space of love. At that point, I felt differently and it was an amazing feeling. From then on, our relationship had a different identity and we started to shed the title of being ordinary people. We bonded and started to operate as a team. We learned to lean on one another and figure things out together. There were missteps along the way but by then we were equipped with how to handle tough situations without running away.
So, people see the pictures and posts and say HutchStew is relationship goals. HutchStew is the privileged cousin that naturally “gets it”. Honestly, HutchStew shouldn’t be relationship goals. Those goals should be reserved for the ordinary people that are “right in the thick of love, at times they get sick of love and seem like they argue every day”. More couples should respect and appreciate their struggle!
I’m grateful for our time as ordinary people, but I’m so blessed that we have elevated to HutchStew. Because the problem with ordinary people is they don’t know which way to go!