4 Years Later

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. 

wedding pic 1

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. 

wedding picture 3

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. 

engagement picture

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!

 

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I’m a grown up now. Kind of.

So… I realize it’s now June, and therefore a few months since I’ve posted anything that I wrote myself and didn’t drag out of my male contributor… Whose last post’s poll only got ONE response by the way. I’m looking at you. All of you. Because I know more than one person read it and I’m pretty sure that one person who responded was my BOYFRIEND who did it out of pity and not because he wants to know how to tell if a guy is a douchebag.

I’ve been crazy busy on the one hand, which isn’t much of an excuse because we all have. Graduating, moving back home, getting a job and an internship, and getting ready for (real) life. I’ve also just had really unfortunate timing. Words always come to me when I’m in inconvenient places. Like meijer. or in the shower. Then by the time I get to my laptop I’m either too tired or have forgotten the eloquent prose (ha) that so beautifully came to me.

I guess you’re just going to have to settle for the non-prose version.

I feel like I’m on a roller coaster ride of emotions- some days I am SO happy with my life: college graduate, job with awesome kiddos, awesome boyfriend who I’ll probably get engaged to within the next 2 years (PRESSURE. haha, I can’t help it… I’m in the wedding  business now with my internship- it’s hard not to start planning my own! Sorry T! I love you!), said mentioned wedding internship, back home where it just feels oh so right to be right now, loving family who accepts and supports me no matter what, etc. I am a very lucky girl. Other days I have a complete meltdown because I’m worried I made a big mistake in my career path and should’ve just gone to school to be a lawyer or nurse or something. First world problems, I realize, when you take a step back and look at it. How are you guys dealing with graduation (for those of you who have graduated)?

There was a point right after I found out I got my internship though when I got especially worried- worried that something would go very very wrong soon. Why? Because it usually has. To round up the pity party, there has been many occasions in my life growing up where things would seem to be awesome for 5 seconds until they weren’t. Super cute guy likes you? Jk he has a girlfriend. Wow, these girls are awesome and seem to get me… JK they talk about you behind your back and secretly hate you. It’s your senior year and theatre is your life and you’ve worked your butt off for four years so you think you finally have a shot at a non-chorus role in the school musical? HA. Don’t even get me started.

I came up with this theory in high school: Out of the three things I wanted/needed most in life- best friends, involvement in something I feel passionate about (whether a school play, job, or something else), and a positive relationship with a boy, I could only ever have two, at most. The two years between my junior year of high school and my freshman year of college I swiveled between the three at a sickening pace. I would say that I am the closest right now that I have ever been, and I am so grateful and thankful for that.

I am also thankful that I have got a hold on my rOCD (you can read more about what that is here: http://relationshipocd.com, if you guys want I can do a whole blog post about my experience with rOCD sometime) and am now able to see T for what he is- a wonderful, wonderful man. I am so glad you guys got to go on that journey, at least a little bit, with me and I can stand here today and say I made it. Not every day is a good day, but thanks to positive/realistic thinking, and the journey that I took to get here I can say that the bad days are few and far in between. I have confronted my demons and relationship fears, something we all have to do at some point. I have realized that a boyfriend is a person, and therefore a human, like myself, and not perfect. I have realigned my expectations for what I NEED a boyfriend/future husband to be and not what I WANT him to be and I am so excited for my future with T. 🙂

I realize this post probably wasn’t very interesting, so I will try to work on something better for the near future, but at least you have an update now. A big thanks to all of you: for reading hugs & the suburbs and for your encouraging words. Stay tuned for the future. 🙂

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