Photo Credit: Staff Photographer – Louisiana Tech University
I made a decision while listening to Grace Bonney’s podcast that I needed to share more about my “real life” here with you guys. Let me be clear up front. I never sugarcoat things or create a false sense of happiness here on the blog. I do, however, tend to share mainly the positive sides of life. I do this primarily because I want this to be a space of positivity and joy. I never, ever want this to be a place that someone leaves feeling discouraged or sad. This does not mean, however, that I don’t face struggles in life. It doesn’t mean that my life is problem-free or that I live in a land of candy canes and rainbows. And unicorns…there should definitely be unicorns. Instead, I just tend to focus on the positive, both as a way of maintaining an upbeat vibe here and as a way of controlling my own outlook on life.
However, I realized after listening to this podcast, that I want to be more “real.” I never want someone to leave this site feeling like I don’t have real-life problems or that their life is so much more screwed up than mine. Yes, I do have a fantastic life overall, but I also battle certain issues daily and have to deal with the crap life throws our way….I just don’t tend to talk about it.
In an effort to show the real-life side of things, I thought I’d talk a little bit about something I’ve been struggling with for the past few months. Matthew wraps up nursing school this week (!!), and if I were being completely honest with everyone, I’d say that it scares the hell out of me. His graduation marks a drastic change in his career (Remember, he’s worked at the family business since we’ve met.), and this equals a complete and total change of our daily routine and way of life.
Overall, I wouldn’t say that I’m afraid of change. I get so excited about progression towards equality and learning things to make our lives more efficient and safe. I think it’s important to evolve and grow, both as individuals and as a society. I get downright excited about my own personal development. However, thinking about putting my daily life in a blender scares me quite a bit.
I like spontaneity, but I like routines. I like knowing what to expect, and I don’t like surprises. Unless you’re surprising me with a cupcake that I didn’t know was coming. That’s always a good idea. Do not, however, tell me that you have a surprise for me and then not give it to me immediately. The anxiety that it causes is unreal. Don’t let me see you whispering or find out that you’re texting about a surprise birthday present either. There’s a chance that I’ll mark you off of my friends list before I even receive that mystery gift. I don’t like anticipation, and I don’t like being caught off guard. Maybe this is a control or insecurity issue. I’m not sure. I am certain, though, that not knowing what to expect makes me wildly uncomfortable and nervous.
This is Matthew strapping Mom into a forklift cage to take her up to the warehouse loft.
I think this is where my fear of Matthew graduating comes from. For the past two years, we’ve had a routine. It was a routine of working and/or studying most of the time, but we adjusted to that. I know what to expect. Within the next few weeks, that will all change. Will he work 12 hours shifts? Will his off days be weekdays? Will I have to adjust my work schedule to match his? I don’t have the answer to any of these questions at this time. I literally don’t have a clue what our new routine will become, and I don’t know how to prepare for it.
Even though I’ve been immensely nervous about what the next few months will hold, I am incredibly proud of Matthew for his accomplishment, and I know that we’ll adjust as needed. I’m so proud that he was able to go back for another degree in a field that he had very little experience in, all while continuing to work as much as humanly possible and still be a great, supportive husband. He still took out the trash, cooked most of the dinners, and saved an ample amount of time for me. He did all of this while not cracking from the pressure. I know without a shadow of a doubt that me doing the same things would have led to multiple tear-filled breakdowns. I admire his courage and strength as he juggled being a new husband among all of his other responsibilities. Thank you, Matthew, for being strong and courageous and supportive through this process. You did an amazing job.
I say all of this without disregarding the struggles that we had along the way. We didn’t adjust to nursing school without having to realize and learn many things about our marriage. Matthew started nursing school just a month and a half after we were married, so we were (and are) still learning about what we needed from and how to live alongside each other. This didn’t come without a few tears and screaming matches. (Ok, those were both from me.) We both had to learn how to be married while also learning how he would succeed in nursing school. Matthew had to learn what he needed to survive while also learning what I needed from him. I had to learn how to get what I needed from Matthew amidst his school and work requirements, while also learning how I needed to support him in these endeavors. It took some time, but we finally hit our stride. Now, we’re embarking upon a time where we have to find a new groove, and I’m afraid of that.
Will we have the ups and downs that we had in the beginning while adjusting to a new routine? Will we struggle through the process of finding a new normal? Or will the adjustment come and go effortlessly? I honestly don’t know. I do know that I’ve likely worried about it much more than necessary. I do know that we’ll figure it out as the time comes. I also know that it’s been a struggle for me, but that deep down, I am excited to see what the future holds. I am excited for Matthew to open new doors and experience a new industry. I’m excited to see what he does next and where this new career will take us. I am also excited to share with you both my excitement and insecurities. This is real life, and that means a series of ups and downs. Wins and loss. Pain and pleasure. We’re in this fight together.
Here’s to new beginnings and overcoming fear. Here’s to a bright future ahead and celebrating both the failures and accomplishments. And here’s to my commitment to share both with you. Thank you for following along and letting me share my journey in this space. It truly means the world to me.