Learning to embrace imperfection after 10 years with my husband

A columnist celebrates a decade with her own 'Kintsugi Kid'

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by Alliah Czarielle |

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My favorite band, Fall Out Boy, has a song titled “The Kintsugi Kid (Ten Years).” Now that I think of it, my husband, Jared, and I celebrate 10 years together this April. In my eyes, he’s the “OG” Kintsugi Kid.

Jared once wrote an article for Rappler, an independent news website based here in the Philippines, titled “Beauty in imperfection: How kintsugi can help PWDs,” referring to people with disabilities. In it, he talks about the Japanese art of kintsugi.

In kintsugi, broken pieces of ceramic are mended with melted gold, creating an even more beautiful and valuable piece than the original. It’s an extension of the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi, which values simplicity, imperfection, and acceptance of transitory moments.

Kintsugi, and the wabi-sabi movement to which it belongs, serve as reminders to appreciate beauty in imperfection. It’s a fitting metaphor for people with disabilities or chronic illnesses who may think they aren’t quite good enough for a world that constantly demands perfection from everyone.

This concept teaches us that embracing our imperfections can lead to a deeper sense of self-acceptance and appreciation for the journey we’re on.

I’d like to quote some lyrics from the “Kintsugi Kid” that relate to the life Jared and I have built together so far.

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‘I’m pretty sure as far as humans go/ I am a hard, hard pill to swallow’

Jared strongly relates to this sentiment. As someone with hemophilia, he believes he may not be the ideal partner for everyone. During his teenage years, dating presented considerable obstacles for him.

I don’t believe there’s anything extraordinary about me that enabled me to cope with life alongside someone who is chronically ill. Rather, my own challenges with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and bipolar II disorder have given me a deeper understanding and empathy for his experiences.

‘So roll the highlights’

In 10 years of being together, Jared and I have certainly had our fair share of highs and lows. We met by way of a rather happy accident, and grew up together. Through first jobs, a foray into entrepreneurship, our daughter’s birth, and seeing our little family grow and thrive, we’ve definitely seen many highs.

We’ve also faced numerous challenges together as we navigate life’s uncertainties, such as defining our goals, values, and spirituality, learning independence, and attempting to master financial management.

Throughout our journey, we’ve experienced both victories and setbacks. There were times when Jared’s physical health was tested by his hemophilia and seizures, and moments when I grappled with mental health challenges. What I’ve realized is that life doesn’t follow a straight path; rather, it’s a rhythmic dance with waves. Embracing this unpredictability is key to flourishing.

‘I spent 10 years, 10 years in a bit of chemical haze’

For me, this lyric is all about growing up and losing the blinders of youth. Jared and I are both idealists. Though we may be cynical at times about how we view society and the world, we still choose to have hope for humanity.

In our decade together, we’ve shed some of our former idealism and learned to operate in the realm of reality. We’ve learned that it may not always be possible to attain the best state of health because of some very real constraints (the low availability of factor products here in the Philippines, for example), or to be one’s best self all the time. What matters is that we show up anyway.

As we celebrate a decade together, I’m reminded of the beauty in our imperfections — the cracks that we’ve lovingly filled with gold, creating a stronger, more resilient bond. Here’s to the next 10 years of embracing the journey, riding the waves, and finding beauty in life’s imperfections.

Note: Hemophilia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Hemophilia News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.


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