I Didn't Realize

Life, man. It gets to ya. I wanted to write about life lately because when I first started writing, I wanted to use this space as a way to remember life, since I don't have a Facebook. It's been a joy to look back at my archives and re-read my thoughts and just be so blessed by them so here I am today.

I looked at the calendar today. December 10th. 15 days until Christmas. Life is whizzing by.

I hate that time goes by so fast around the holidays. This year, my fear is that I'll be too busy to truly enjoy the holidays. I'm trying my best, but I always desire to the drink this holiday season to the last drop, and if I'm too busy, I'll only be able to finish half the cup.

There are some things I didn't realize about this season of life until I was knee deep in the middle of it. 

I didn't realize this semester would do everything it could to try to  crush my spirit- and sometimes, it would succeed. 

I didn't realize professors and mentor teachers could be so mean. I walked into their classroom an able, excited young adult and they made me feel like I was back in the 2nd grade again, pig-tailed and confused about multiplication. They made me question whether I wanted to be a teacher. Whether I could do it. I never realized my tuition would pay the salaries of such mean people and how mad that would make me. 

I didn't realize I would feel so alone. With this semester being discouraging, working way too much and never seeing my husband due to crazy work schedules and life, with little to no time for a social life and feeling like the responsibility to make plans is on me, I feel like I've been isolated since September.

All semester, I haven't had to right words to try to explain the emptiness I feel lately. All of my college-aged friends aren't married, and all my married friends are far from college days, so people can only understand one side of the burden or the other. Can I be honest? That freaking sucks. 

I didn't realize I would walk through September, October, November and December and feel so many different burdens- be a good student, be a good friend, be a good wife, have enough time for everyone who needs you, don't talk about your problems too much..it's worn me down and quite frankly as of the end of this week, I would like a glass of wine, a whole lot of grace and a bed in which to hibernate until March. 

I didn't realize the the first year of marriage is SO hard. Maybe I'm the only one but it's proving to be much more difficult than I thought. Dating is over, we aren't wedding planning- we're just doing life- real life- together. But only on the days we have off together. I barely see my husband during the week and I never thought I'd be in an empty apartment alone so much during our first year. 

I didn't realize marriage required me to be so selfless. I didn't realize it required so many sacrifices. I didn't realize that it require dying to my desire every damn day. I didn't realize that if you don't work on your marriage 24/7, it crumbles before your eyes and so do you, as you lay in bed, a crumbly, teary mess.  

I didn't realize the pressure of constantly having my crap together for everyone in my life. When I start to have a meltdown, it affects the entire dynamic of the people in my life and I feel like I have to keep it together for everyone. But sometimes, a girl just wants to lose her mind in the middle of the afternoon in a Target- and that should be okay, okay? 

I didn't realize not making my spiritual health a priority would cause a chasm in my life. We haven't been to church and I can't remember the last time I had a conversation over coffee with someone about their spiritual life- something I enjoy immensely. 

It's easy to look around and feel overwhelmed, and be like, "What the heck, life?" 

But there are some other things I didn't realize would happen either. 

I didn't realize I would have the best professor ever this semester. The first day, she scared and stressed me out. But by the 5th week, I wanted her to be my mom (no offense, Mom). My teaching team struggled with our lesson plans and classroom management. We walked out, teary-eyed, the first few weeks.

But one day, my teacher pulled me aside, looked me in the eye and told me "You're going to be a fantastic teacher." Wow, cue the water works. My eyes filled with tears as she took the broken pieces of this semester and my confidence, and pieced them back together with her kindness. She told me that she saw me as a leader, a talented educator who could go far, someone who truly respected and loved the students and made them want to learn. She gave me a hug and told me to keep working hard because I could really go places. 

I didn't realize I would have friends step up and be there for me. Fun fact: I hate getting close to people. I don't like opening up, I don't like inviting them over, I don't like sharing private information. I never have. So I have my family and my best friends- and that's it. And I've always been okay with that.

But I didn't realize it's not healthy to box people out when they want to be there for you. I didn't realize I would totally change. I've had classmates and people I barely know from church and blogging friends surround me and be there for me and it's been the craziest, most wonderful blessing to have people who selflessly serve me by offering help with school projects, to run errands for me, people who allow plans to be cancelled so I can see my husband I haven't seen all week, who pray for my marriage and my sanity, who surprise me with little encouraging gifts and notes- I've been blessed by them. They are changing my heart. 

I didn't realize I would spend Thursday afternoons cracking up in an elementary school classroom with my friends from semesters past, who know how to cheer me up, give me a pep talk and make me laugh until my eyes water.  I didn't realize I would spend Saturday mornings, brunching with people I met on a blind date in October, who listen to my heart like they've known me my entire life. I didn't realize I would spend every Thursday evening, in the home of someone I just met, having people pray for me, encourage me and care for me. 

I didn't realize my husband could be such a wonderful man. I didn't realize I would watch him grow up and become one of the hardest working people I know. I didn't realize he would become mature and wise. I didn't realize that even if I don't feel butterflies every day, I can still fall in love with this man more and more every single minute. I didn't realize that I would mature and grow so much as a person because marriage does that to a person. I didn't realize I could put someone else before me so much. I didn't realize we could both rise to the challenge of marriage and be kinda awesome at it. 

So this post is half rant, half "hey, life ain't so bad" and that's just where I'm at.
his season of life has been borderline miserable and wonderful- with little in between.
"Even in the middle of my stress, I forget how big I'm blessed. "