Yes, we have no Y names either….
This, my 2nd last post in the A-Z Challenge is going to be about YIN YANG. (and it’s never Yin AND Yang, by the way, as the words are supposed to flow into each other)
This may sound like a really off base post for a genealogical blogger, but follow me here (and keep in mind this is just my humble opinion).
I have heard people refer to their better half as their “YIN to my YANG”. I have to say that this is how I feel about my own husband.
In Chinese philosophy, it describes how opposite or contrary forces are actually complementary, interconnected and interdependent in the natural world, and how they give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another. Many tangible dualities (such as light and dark, fire and water, expanding and contracting) are thought of as physical manifestations of the duality symbolized by yin yang. (Wikipedia)
In the many years I’ve been doing genealogy, it’s amazed me how many times I’ve come across couples in my research who were “destined” to be together. They started life in completely opposite ends of the earth and ended up together despite incredible odds. World Wars, ill health, family disputes, religion…..NOTHING kept them apart.
These couples had something in common that made them inseparable- LOVE.
The symbol above describes how opposites can attract and, in fact, thrive and NEED each other. They work together.
In my own case, I am a first generation Canadian, of Italian descent. Raised by immigrants to have a better life in a new country. I grew up raised as a Catholic (although not very strictly), and was expected to be very good in school. A born academic anyway, I was what you would call a “browner” which is not a very nice way of saying I was a keen student. I still am! I speak 3 languages. I make a terrible teacher because I just want to learn and I have no patience to teach. Since I was the eldest of 3 girls, we had no real sports in our household as my father was a hard working carpenter and not at all interested in hockey, skiing or any sports whatsoever. I didn’t try skiing until I was 27. I didn’t learn how to swim until I was 9. We had a cottage. We always went to the cottage. I spent all my summers at the cottage.
In my husband’s case, he was raised a Protestant of English, Irish and Scottish backgrounds. His Scottish grandmother and Irish grandfather were huge influences in his life (whereas mine lived on the other side of the world). My husband is what you would call a Jock. He LOVES sports. He’s raced motorcycles (dirt bikes) since he was 13. He’s raced all over the world. He’s an expert skier and has competed in the Canadian Masters. He loves all water sports and played hockey and lacrosse all his life. He STILL plays hockey twice a week. He works out. He struggled in school but then came into his own later in life and is now very successful. He’s a competitor. Thrill junkie. Other than his 1st job, he’s never had a salary paying job in his life. He’s been 100% commission in every career he’s ever had and his entrepreneur in him has made him very successful. He has no fear. He grew up as a 4th generation cottager. He always had a cottage. He spent all his summers at the cottage.
I remember watching him before we met. I thought he was so cool. Completely out of my league. When we first went out, the ONE THING WE HAD IN COMMON WAS THE COTTAGE. So that’s what we talked about. It’s a way of life. Some hate it. We love it.
It’s been 37 years since that first date. We have been married for 32. Complete opposites DO attract and I’m a firm believer that certain people are meant to be together. That their differences are meant to HELP each other out to be better people. To be better parents. To get through life easier. Now that I look back on us and other couples I’ve researched, I see a pattern.
In my work, I’ve found couples who, against ALL odds, MADE it! When it was completely taboo to marry outside your faith and they did anyway. When it was dangerous to travel, they did anyway just to be with someone. When ships were being torpedoed in the oceans, they travelled to be with the one they loved (some took their children with them) When they knew that being together was not going to be easy and that they would most likely be alone in the world, except for each other, they went for it anyway. When the colour of your skin was a prerequisite for who you could marry and they lived together or married anyway. When men lived with and supported women who were strong and fierce and didn’t care what others thought in an age where women were chattel. Is this love?
Thank God we live in an age where we don’t have as many barriers. Yes, there are cases where opposites attract- for awhile- and then fall apart. Too many differences. Too hard. I don’t think these are YIN YANG couples. I truly believe that there are people meant to be together. Maybe it’s not even about THEM. Maybe they’re meant to be together for historical purposes, to be the parents of someone not yet born, or to create an invention or law or medicine. Who knows?
Being different and yet compatible. Fate. Meant to be. Soul mates. Better halves. Whatever you wish to call it. YIN YANG.