Tuesday, July 19, 2011

What I Have Learned

Today marks a mere eleven days until my sister gets married. She will walk down the aisle as a single woman and come back holding the hand of her new husband. Watching her go through these past few weeks leading up to the moment that family start arriving and all you can do is wait, has got me thinking about the last sixteen months of my life.

That's right people -- I have been somebody's wife for a smidge more than sixteen months. It is strange to think that I have not always wore a wedding band with pride, that I wasn't always his wife. 

I have learned so many things about who I was before and the person I have become in a few short months.

I have learned lots of good things about myself; I have become a really good cook. I'm an incredible baker. I have learned how to make J laugh. I have learned how to love unconditionally. I have learned to look at the brighter side of a situation.

I learned that I was selfish...I was so sure that I was already living for us and our relationship before we took the plunge and said "I do". I have learned that wasn't necessarily the case.
I was selfish. I hate to say that about myself because I like to think I wasn't. I was -- big time. I think I realized that about myself about a month into our marriage. I can't remember what the exact moment was or what was going on but I remember stopping in my tracks because at that moment I wasn't concerned with us, I was concerned with how whatever it was would effect me. It wasn't something conscious, it was there, underneath it all. I had no idea.

It was during that moment that I adjusted my way of thinking. I had to figure out how to put aside the 'all-about-me' mentality. It needed to be about what was best for us and our future as well as our present. We had to learn from our past -- both in our relationship to that point and past relationships. 

I think a lot of my selfishness was bred. I was raised to be thoughtful and courteous and caring. I have found that I dated a lot of guys, some of whom taught me about my own strength and others who expected me to be a different person. Sometimes it was for their family, sometimes it was for their friends and still, other times it was for the guy I was with and what he expected from a significant other.
When the last big relationship I had before J ended, I promised myself I wouldn't compromise the person I am or my values and I certainly wouldn't change. If someone didn't love me for exactly who I am, well that was just tough and I would move on. I held on to that pretty tightly. I didn't want to lose myself again in the person I was with - even if it meant losing that person.

I held fast to me -- I learned quickly that I tend to be slightly offensive. OOPS! Where other guys and their friends have told me it was me being a b!tch, J explained that some people just weren't use to my way of thinking or how outspoken I was. Well that made more sense. I wasn't going to change - just wear a different proverbial hat, if you will, when interacting with certain people.
I use to hate to admit that I did that -- wore different faces for different people. But in reality, you have to, for the most part. You act differently with your co-workers, friends and family. That's just the way it is -- then within those groups you have a different 'hat' for different circles.

I have always, and still, struggle with that. We are all so encouraged to be the person we are, yet we are expected to act a certain way based on the climate. I struggle -- I have an opinion on pretty much everything but I am not necessarily diplomatic in the way I present it. I feel like honesty really is the best policy on all things. I have learned to better convey ideas, especially if they are contrasting to the originator's idea.

I have learned that I need affection all the time. I really like hugs and I am not afraid to tell my friends and family that I love them. I do love them -- my friends have become an extension of my family. My family consists of the most important people in my life.

I have learned that I want to be accepted and loved. I know most people feel that way - but I use to try to convince myself that I didn't care. There has been an incident recently-ish that I have found myself a target of sorts. I am really unsure how it all came about or why I had been singled out but it was really hurtful. It happened and I have moved on -- my big thing is WHY. That's all I want to know. I had a similar situation happen in college. I thought this girl was my best friend. We lived together for three years and there aren't many pictures I have from college that she is not in. This still hurts me because I came home one day from visiting my parents and she had just moved out. No note, no notice, nothing. She hasn't spoken to me since. That was like 4 years ago -- she has since gotten married, I have gotten married. I have emailed her and tried to talk to her on facebook but I have never gotten a response. I just don't know what happened -- all of a sudden she was gone.

Wow -- sometimes writing it down, helps so much. I was feeling all misty and teary at the beginning of this post, trying to figure out what was weighing on my heart. Apparently a lot of stuff that I needed to say out loud.

I can't believe my sister is getting married in a few short days -- July 30th. I am so ecstatic for her and  Douggles -- yeah I call him that (sounds like snuggles haha). I am just thrilled beyond belief for them and slightly envious of their upcoming honeymoon. *Sigh* How I would love to go on our honeymoon again!

Have you had an light-bulb-on-moments recently?


Nicole said...

It's true, you learn a lot about you and the person you marry and how you react with them in that first year. And don't worry, my roommate did a similar thing to me in college too...

Syndal said...

I feel like you wrote this post for me! Seriously-you are not the only one experiencing these exact things.
my college roommate and i lived together for 2 years after college, and she moved out and got married and stopped speaking to me too. I still feel bad that she won't be a part of my wedding next year. The 'Whys' are the most difficult. It's so hard to let go. But the most important thing, is that you have people who deserve your love and friendship and won't just abandon you for no reason. those are the people that you truly deserve.

Café Moka said...

Great post. Thanks for sharing!

ty said...

This was such a great post. It's good to go back and see how you've changed and grown :) lovelovelove.

Kristen said...

great post! thank you for being so honest. it's crazy the things you learn about yourself and what changes you go through after being married and realize you need to think for 2 and not for just yourself.

Faith said...

i have them all the time ... i think it is so healthy to sometimes just sit down and think it all through ... especially when you know something isn't right but you just can't quite put your finger on it ...

it is crazy in just a few short months you can learn so much. the last months have def. been lots of learning but i think that is what time does.

awesome post!

Sam W. said...

marriage really does teach you so much about yourself. congrats to your sis :)

Scientific Housewife said...

Great lessons to learn, and always take advice from those that have been married for different amounts of time, as every couple has something different to share :)

asj said...

this post definitely hits close to home for me! it's amazing how different things are when you make decisions for two instead of just for yourself... I can only imagine how much things will change even further when we have kids... aahh when did we grow up?!