Choosing to Stay

Once upon a time I was going to marry myself an English man, and we were going to move to the English countryside for two years so that I could legitimately have an accent. Afterwards we would return to the states and have lots of money and babies and cars and houses and I would be famous and he would be perfectly successful and all the stars would align in our names on our anniversary. And of course, we would live happily every after like all the best love stories.

Maybe a little later in life my “Once Upon a Time” turned into small town life with a smart-hardworking man who I would struggle with and fight with for most of our lives but we would attempt to build a happy foundation for our kids just to watch it all fall apart from his alcoholism and my PTSD/Anxiety.

There were lots of in between stories, but these were the two that really defined my opinion of relationships when I was younger. Shortly after the latter scenario, I decided that I would not have a “Once Upon a Time” and would instead proceed to have lots of “once” moments.

So, I found a boy, informed him that this was nothing serious and we proceeded to use each other for our needs for a few months.

Fast-forward six years later and somehow this boy has not only made his way into my heart but he has become an irreplaceable staple in my life. I married that boy and we grew into adults together and created one heck of a beautiful child. We have an amazing life, amazing jobs, a roof over our heads, the best of friends and family by our side. Some days I feel as if we could conquer anything. We really are a walking success story.

But it hasn’t been without struggles. On paper of course things look perfect, but just like every other couple in the world, we argue over stupid things and have both had to make decisions to stay.

You see, when they say opposites attract, they were clearly speaking of Justin and I. I am little miss artistic. I sing, I yell, I’m obnoxious and emotional and I love to make messes and have fun and not worry about the tiny things in life (only panic over the big things I could never control) and Justin is Mr. Logical. He is intelligent, quick thinking, organized, and ambitious. A lot of people don’t know but he is also incredibly silly and spends a lot of time just goofing off and being a typical male.

This huge difference in our personalities has caused more arguments than I care to admit. I am a “big picture” person and he is an “what about all the steps it took to get there” person. I am a “procrastinate/get it done quickly” person whereas he has to analyze each step and ensure the task gets done as efficiently as possible.

Which in many cases this works very well for us!

However, my wonderful emotional female brain likes to get upset at some of the more obvious points of his personality: logical people aren’t often the most romantic and and an engineer will most likely have a hard time putting his feelings into words.

It’s in the moments when I know he is struggling (he is much more physical in his expressions where as I will talk to you for an hour about how much I love you…lol) that I have to remind myself of all the things he does that really show me he cares. I remind myself of every moment that man has been there for me in the past six years and has not only helped me to become a better person but has grown as a person himself. I cannot express how excited I am to see where this world takes our family and I know so long as were together we can conquer everything.

Love and marriage is completely about choice. Choosing to love that person unconditionally. Choosing to go to bed and wake up with them everyday. Choosing them over everyone else always. Choosing to make your marriage work instead of walking away.

That’s not to say I don’t want to strangle him most days… But in the end I guess I just choose not to. 🙂

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Snowglobes and Heroines

I saw a post today in which it claimed that a college professor made a comment that really got me thinking about myself in general, and honestly just reading it put me in the best mood that I’ve been in for a while:

“You all have a little bit of ‘I want to save the world’ in you. That’s why you’re here, in college. I want you to know that it’s okay if you only save one person; and it’s okay if that person is you.”

I’m not sure how I can express what this statement means to me, but I’m going to try.

I feel at times that I’ve spent half my life inside this weird snow-globe staring out at the rest of world dying to be a part of it and make a difference in it, and the other half of it was spent on the outside analyzing and trying to make sense of everything that happened inside.

If there is one thing my therapist and I agree on it’s that I analyze every aspect of myself and I spend so much time breaking apart my behaviors trying to figure out who it is that I am and why it is that I do the things I do. I’m sure it’s to the point of obsession at times. I could spend hours justifying my actions to anyone that will listen.

But I think what people don’t realize is that in all of this I am trying desperately to save myself from that snow-globe. I work incredibly hard everyday to distance myself from everything and to lead as normal of a life as I possibly can. I will never be normal, I try to accept that. I will never be everyone’s cup of tea (though most people, once they ACTUALLY get to know me can’t deny my charm :P). But sometimes my brain goes right back to that snow-globe and gets trapped inside all over again.

I have often expressed a desire to help others, either with music or words, advice or just being a helping hand. It’s funny how heavy that desire is, and how little I have actually acted on it. I think part of my reasoning is that I just feel that it’s nearly impossible to help anyone else until I am able to help myself. I know this, and yet for some reason I feel like I’ll never be fully healed until I CAN help someone else.

But maybe it’s okay that I’m still trying to save myself. Maybe it’s okay that I’ve gotten myself this far and that I’ve made incredible strides. Maybe it’s okay to be where I am in life. The reality of the situation is that I am not in that snow-globe anymore. In fact I think I might be as far from as I possibly can be. And with each passing year, each passing happy moment, each accomplishment I am distancing my brain from it as well.

That doesn’t mean I won’t stop trying. I think I’ll be obsessed with rescuing myself well into my old age. It’s what happens when you turn in circles looking for someone, anyone to come to your rescue and in the end you realize you just have to do it yourself.

That’s not to say I did it by myself. I didn’t. I just had to be the catalyst. In the end I surrounded myself with amazing people and turned what were beginning to be toxic relationships into healthy ones by setting boundaries.

If you had told 16 year old me that I would be here today I would probably have laughed at you. I honestly don’t think I believed I would live past 21. And then I did, and I really didn’t know what to do with myself. In fact, I’m pretty sure I remember turning 22 and for an entire day just feeling so strange and separate from the world. I had made it. But at the same time I was so lost. Where do you go from there?

At 26 I am now so much healthier than I ever used to be but I am not cured. Lately I’ve been feeling vulnerable about coming to terms with the fact that I will never be “normal”. I will never be your cookie-cutter housewife/mother/friend/person. It’s a gift and a curse at the same time, especially for someone who wanted so desperately to be just like everyone else.

But in the end, I don’t want to be like everyone else. Everyone else can’t say that they dug themselves out from six feet under and lived to the tell the tale. Not everyone can say that they had the strength to save themselves. In the end I guess I don’t need to be everyone, because I can be me, and maybe, just maybe that’s enough.