A few weeks ago I was invited to write a post about marriage for #TheHereYear. The Here Year is a project/mission of Aidan Donnelley Rowley and Lindsey Mead, a 12-month long look at presence. Each month they select a different theme and riff on it and invite others to do so as well. It’s been fascinating to watch the posts, so many different stories and unique takes on being here, from an unflinching introspection on social media use, to touching on a subject they haven’t written about publicly, to stripping away everything but the truth.

I was excited to participate, but as I mentioned in an earlier post, what I thought was, turned out not to have been at all—a bit like walking away from handing in a paper feeling like you aced it and having it come back with, “I really expected more of you. C-” in angry red pen. I scrapped the idea of writing and quietly licked my wounds. Lindsey and Aidan were incredibly gracious and told me not to worry, which of course just made me feel more steeped in failure.

I stayed offline, ignoring the reader, eschewing the negativity that Facebook often stirs in me, and only gave Twitter half-hearted glances. My fists unclenched, my chest felt less pressure, and I began doing things to help me regain my emotional footing, which means I cleaned and purged the house like a first-time mom in the last leg of her third trimester. Before I knew it I was at the keyboard and the post was coming.

I’m so proud to have it on the Here Year, this post on marriage 3 days before our 11th anniversary. It’s honest and hopeful, which I think are two very important elements for marriage.

You can read it here or here.