Monday, January 30, 2012

Four Months

Dearest Husband,

We're coming up on four months of marriage, which feels both surreal and completely normal. I can't really remember details about life before marriage, but I can't seem to stop thinking about how different things are inside of marriage. I'm constantly struggling to find my nail down exactly how I'm figure out how to stop the ride so I can just shake my head clear of everything and figure out where I am.

There's so many things that factor into where I'm at right now that I never the fact that my job has kept us apart for almost more weeks than we've been together since we got married. Like the fact that I'm mostly traveling back to my old hometown, my old office, my old old life. Like the fact that even if there had been an opportunity to get settled in Virginia, I still wouldn't feel grounded because we're going to be uprooted again in just a few months.
I didn't consider these things. I didn't plan for these things. And so, I feel like I'm on a roller coaster...that is located on a boat...that is floating on VERY angry and rough seas. A just admitting that makes tears spring to my eyes and a lump stick in my throat.

But not entirely because I'm scared and confused and stretched and exhausted.

In fact, it's mostly because I wouldn't trade any of these circumstances or feelings. Because I'm finally with you. We're finally together (though, admittedly, not as much as I had hoped or would want). We're married and it is rocking my world in so many ways. Good ways. But as with any big change or transition, I struggle to find my figure out where I fit in based on what's happening to and around me. But now I don't have to do that alone...our marriage is a solid place for me to ground myself when I find instability taking over, stress rising, and fear looming.

Today you texted me while I was at work in Atlanta and you were at home in Virginia and you asked "Do you think I could get in to an Ivy League grad school?"
And I didn't even hesitate to say "Absolutely". I didn't hesitate because I know you can do anything. You're my superman. Oh and also you have an incredible resume, you're smart and driven and you work hard and if you set a goal, you reach it. And you went to West Point. That can't hurt.

The thing about that text is that it reminded me that we're in a season of life right now that we won't always be in. You encourage me to focus on today, yet you help me keep my eyes forward. I love how you dream. I love how you take me out of the place I'm bogged down and gently remind me "this is today...tomorrow will be different...and we're doing this together". I love how you plan and how you take my hand and lead me in your dreams for our future. I love that I get to be beside you. I wonder if or when that feeling will wear off and I hope desperately that it never does. I hope I never forget how hard it is to be away from you and how much I treasure being with you. How sitting with you can make the worst day melt away. How safe and content I feel when I'm with you. It sometimes overwhelms me how much I cling to much I rely on you to make my world stop swaying, if even for a few minutes. You are the calm to my storm...and it makes me wonder how I ever survived without you.

Being married to you has been beautiful and wonderful and terrifying...the terrifying part about it is seeing how ugly I can be...the most beautiful part is how you love me in my ugliness...the wonderful part is how marriage is giving me such clear glimpses of God's love and the relationship He desires with us. I just want you to know that four months of marriage has more than confirmed what I saw in three years of dating...that you are an INCREDIBLE man. You are selfless and humble, you are kind and generous, you are a servant to me and others, you are slow to anger, you are steadfast, you are strong, you are seeking the Lord, you are a leader and a hard worker...I respect you more every day that I spend with you. You make me want to be a better wife, a better friend, a better servant...I'm so proud to be your wife.

That's what four months of marriage has done to me. Reduced me to an emotional mess yet made me more stable and sure than I've ever been. I can't wait for the months to come, dearest.

I love you, always.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Clever trick

One of the best parts about living in a new city (yet still on the East Coast) is that people want to come visit us. I realize it is probably 80% "free place to stay" and 20% spend time with us, but I'm ok with those numbers. The revolving door of guests, both friends and family, have made the transition to life away from the home I've always known really delightful. The visits are spaced out just enough that we don't get tired of having people here but not long enough that we feel really lonely and the fact that it's been hard to make friends here sinks in. I've come to really enjoy the revolving door into our home. It's helpful that our place is just big enough to have guests, but small enough that cleaning in preparation for the arrival of those guests doesn't take more than an hour or so. Maybe two if I wash the floors. But I don't wash the floors. If my mom is reading this, I do wash the floors. Weekly.

Also, having regular guests absolutely ensures that the house is deep cleaned at least once a month. I feel pretty good about that. Who can fault me for not wanting to dust the bookshelves "just because"? I need a REASON. And a good reason is "people will actually walk past these bookshelves and maybe even look at them...worst case scenario, they'll pick up a few they better not be engulfed by a cloud of dust" It's my only compelling reason. We can only hope for a kid with allergies so I'm forced to keep the house regularly dusted as time goes on. And so we can get a labradoodle.

This weekend some of my girlfriends come into town. I will clean the house and bake banana muffins and get excited about showing them around a city that I still get hopelessly lost in. GPS, you are worthless in DC. We'll hit all the touristy spots, go to museums, eat overpriced but delicious food, stay up too late and probably laugh a LOT. I can't wait...I really miss my girlfriends. Plus, this is just a clever trick to reel them in. They come to DC, I show them a good time, play the excellent host, and they are therefore tricked into visiting each city we move to from now on. Suckers. At this rate, I won't actually have to make new friends; I can just rely on steady stream of visits from my old friends. As you can see, this plan is flawless.

Friday, January 6, 2012

And so it begins...

It was inevitable that I started writing again at some point. I like to think that now I'm a little older and wiser and more disciplined, thus able to maintain writing in an engaging and interesting fashion...but those same thoughts will ring true any amount of years from now, at any present point looking into the past, so I don't trust them.

You see, we're moving. Possibly overseas. Probably far away. And while I really don't know what this next season holds, I do feel a great responsibility to document it, not only for my benefit, but for anyone else who might wonder "what's their life like?"...and mostly so I don't have to respond to every email, facebook message, and phone call with the same rote response. "We're good. It's a big adjustment. We're settling in." And, if we're overseas "the food is weird. Send peanut butter".

I feel like I should be more apprehensive about such a potentially big move, but I don't. Mostly because I know the military will send a moving company to do all of the packing and whatnot, so I just have to stay out of the way (my speciality). But also because it seems so far away. In reality, we'll probably be moving in six months, which makes it hard to embrace life here in DC...but at the same time I can't really image life other than the one we've made here. I love our little home. I love our routine.

I am excited about what comes next. I'm sure the panic will set in at some point and I'll have a breakdown (and if you're lucky, it will be chronicled on this blog!), but for now, I'm excited. And I can't imagine having it any other way.

The military only makes up 1% of the entire US population. One percent. That's tiny. I didn't believe it when I heard it. But it's true, and knowing that makes me feel so grateful to be a  part of this crazy world and to have the opportunity to experience life in different cities and countries. I never thought I'd say this, but I feel blessed to have this experience and get a taste of this life. And I'm so proud to be a part of it...a small part, yes. But still a part.

Remind me I said that when I'm having my breakdown.