Hi Internet World,
It’s been 4 years and I thought it was time for an update.
I started a blog my Junior year of college as an outlet and reason to write. I blogged because I was struggling with relationship OCD, on top of figuring out who I wanted to be in the world, being a HSP (highly sensitive person) and having general anxiety. My mental health was floundering.
I wrote about my struggles, my relationship with Trevor, and graduating college. I also tried to be Carrie Bradshaw- which was an awful mistake, because really? She wasn’t that great of a person. Even a fictional one.
In the 4 years since I wrote about my first job, a lot has happened. I tried out a few different roles in my field and now know what I don’t want to do. I’m currently at a great organization where I feel appreciated and challenged and I’m happy. Will I go back to grad school someday? Maybe. It’s a story that’s yet to be told.
More closely related to my blog….
Trevor and I got engaged in February of 2017 and married in September on a beautiful hilltop in Northern Michigan.
Our wedding was an emotional and wonderful day. It went very fast, as everyone says it does, but I was able to keep myself mindful and centered throughout the day. I stopped, I meditated, I prayed, I paused. I drank in the emotionally charged moments: sitting in the garden by myself in the sunshine, both of my parents walking me down the aisle, and hearing Trevor’s self-written vows.
Our first 9 months of marriage have been good to us. I prepared myself for the worst- but it’s been easier than I thought it would be. I think a lot of that has to do with dating for 6 years first. I won’t say there haven’t been hard days, or weeks… because believe me, there have been. There’s been times when the “day to day” stuff bogs us down or I forget to take my anxiety medication. I am so grateful that Trevor has a patient, loving soul that can love me, cracks and all. We strive to be partners in life- and I’m so grateful he’s my sidekick. We “get” each other in so many ways… as I said in my vows: “my teammate, confidante, lover, and friend.”
We currently live in an apartment in our home town and are saving up to buy a house. We have no plans for babies anytime soon- right now, we look forward to growing together and traveling the world.
Most days, I can’t believe I’ve been an “adult” for 4 years… it’s so different than what I ever thought it would be. The real world has full time jobs, bills, cleaning that never ends, laundry, meal prepping, appointments to be made… and we don’t even have kids yet!
I struggle with balancing working, co-running a household (even one as small as our apartment), and finding time for my passions- specifically acting. I’ve always loved theatre, but was in the middle of a 6 year break when I started this blog. I can’t believe I stopped for that long, and honestly I’m not surprised I had a identity crisis. I stopped cold-turkey then struggled when I expected my relationship to replace that joy. No one but you is responsible for your happiness.
Something I’ve learned these past few years is that there’s a lot of unexpected grief in adulthood.
I grieve for the loss of childhood. I grieve for the lives I never get to live. I grieve for the loves that never were. It hurts- to realize that you’re mortal. It’s sad, to realize that you’ll never experience something again.
This past year especially held great joy- and great loss.
I lost my two remaining grandparents, one in July and the other in December.
In a way, I lost my best friend over the past few years. A woman I thought I’d get to grow into a crazy old lady with. Our friendship, which I held so dear, has all but disappeared due to distance and choices and it breaks my heart.
In preparation for marriage I grieved my single life, my maiden name, my lost identity. My lovely husband is a feminist, so there’s no need for submission or “obeying.” I’m still stubbornly and proudly “me.” ….But that doesn’t mean that it’s abnormal to grieve these things. It’s not unnoticed by me that while new chapters open, some close as well. I’m so joyful for the journeys I get to take with Trevor. I’m proud of my accomplishments in my career and grateful for the friendships I’ve gained from my hobbies.
As I prepared to write this, I looked at the data from Hugs & the Suburbs… and it surprisingly still gets views! The numbers are, admittedly, low, but I was shocked to see any traffic after such time. When I’ve come across other blogs that have puttered out, I’ve often wondered where the person is now. What are they doing? How have they changed?
I wrote this to let you know that your “happily ever after” may not look like you imagined it- but that doesn’t mean it’s not good! This is real life, after all, not Disney. I told you all in the beginning that I don’t believe in soulmates and while that’s still mostly true in the traditional sense of the word….
I think if you treat love as a verb, take responsibility for your own happiness, and have a little bit of luck- I think you can get pretty darn close.
Photo credit: Imogen Works Photography
Photo credit for above wedding pictures: Dan Stewart Photography
Are you struggling with anxiety, depression, or another mental health problem? You’re not alone. Feel free to message me anytime or talk to a trusted friend, parent, or mentor. Living with mental illness is incredibly difficult- but there are things that can help. Talk therapy, medication, exercise, meditation… I can’t recommend examining your options enough!