Sunday, October 18, 2015

I Don't Know About You, but I'm Feeling...26

I turned 26 the other day and it feels...weird. It really doesn't seem like it was that long ago that I was going to my friend's high school graduation parties, or studying my life away in the library in college, or moving in with Joe for the first time before we got married. But, here I am, 26 years old.

I know that 26 really isn't a very significant birthday in the grand scheme of things (16, 21, 30, 40, etc... are much more thrilling), but it feels significant to me. This is the first time I feel like a real adult. I'm married. I've been in the working world for over 2 year. I have a job, a career even! Joe and I are talking about house hunting and adding babies to our little family, and it just doesn't seem like it's possible that I'm at this point in my life. It's refreshing. I spent so many years in school, making friends and breaking friends, dating around, making mistakes and being irresponsible. And here, here I am, 26 years old feeling like I have some part of my life somewhat figured out and it's equal parts shocking and amazing. I  know I'll never have it all figured out, and that given the fact that my brain loves to constantly be thinking, I'll never feel totally satisfied, but right now I feel more at ease with life than I have before.

I read this article from HelloGiggles about all the feels that turning 26 can bring (I love think pieces and personal essays fyi), and like many articles, while I don't 100% relate to every single word, it did completely resonate with me and my own feelings. These two snippets stuck out the most to me:

"That’s kind of just how growing up works. Some friendships strengthen, others fade away. Sometimes you experience shifts, changes, or epiphanies in your political opinions, religion, or worldview, and that makes it hard for some friends or family members to relate to you. You may be the same person at your core, but wearing different clothing or changing hobbies can make a perceptible shift in your social sphere."

"I can’t be all things to all people, and that’s ok. I can respect people whether or not we’re friends, and I shouldn’t let it completely break my spirit when I’m passed over for an interview, or a friendship starts to fade into oblivion. Sometimes endings can make room for beautiful new beginnings."

 I struggle so much with holding on to the past, and being afraid of change (my own and others), that it can make it hard to not constantly be worried about how other people are seeing me. But now I feel like I'm coming to an age where I can embrace the changes, the beginnings, and the ending and still stay true to myself. I feel like I'm ready to take that leap and BE CONTENT with myself and my life.

As I look ahead to what 26 might look like for me, I hope that it's a year filled with self discovery and self improvement. I'd love to settle into my and Joe's first house, and maybe even add a baby Katie or baby Joe to the mix along the way. But I suppose the best thing about birthday's is that they usher in a new year of the unexpected, and for once I can't wait for that. Here's to 26 and what it may bring!

Friday, October 16, 2015

On Living an Anxious Life

Remember when I said I was going to start blogging ally he time again? Remember when that was almost TWO months ago? LOL. But here I am in the Philadelphia Airport waiting for my next flight trying to put my jumbled thoughts down. EDIT: it's now two weeks after that and I am STILL attempting to write.

One of the reasons I like to write as a way to get express my feelings is because I'm really not that great at verbalizing things. I can barely get light hearted jokes from my brain to my mouth without A. laughing uncontrollably before I get to he punchline or B. forgetting exactly where I was supposed to be going with it. I'd rather say nothing than spill everything. Living inside your own head, or inside the virtual walls of the interwebs can be so much better than having to talk things out.

My anxiety works a lot like a roller coaster. I can feel it slowly building up. It starts before it actually starts with grumblings of what's to come - slowly but surely making its way through my body, and then suddenly at the top. I know that drop is coming and I try to talk myself down, but you're already there and there's nowhere else to go. Then it's a whirlwind of massive highs and deep lows, sometimes one right after the other. When it finally winds down it's a peaceful, almost calm feeling of wow that was crazy, but I'm so glad I made it back...then wait for it to repeat.

I always shy away from trying to explain these feelings to anyone for fear that they won't care; they'll think I'm "crazy", that I just need to get it together; most importantly, I know it's hard to understand. Outward I maintain a fairly normal demeanor and try not to let it show when I'm feeling the extremes. It can be hard though, and it can feel lonely. I don't want to bother anyone or be a burden, or a downer. There's also the thought that I really have nothing to be anxious, or depressed about. I'm close with my family, I have good few friends I can trust, my husband is great, my job has turned around and become fulfilling. I have money, food and a roof over my head. So what could I possibly have going on that would make me feel this way?

I've always stopped just short of going to talk to someone and getting medication to help control it. I always have this fear about ALL medication (even allergy pills) that it will alter me in someway. The only medication I've ever gone on is birth control, and that caused issues in of itself. Is it smart? Maybe not. But I have so many skewed views of how anxiety, depression and mental illness are perceived by people, especially the people I find myself surrounded by on a constant basis. I've read a lot of think pieces on depression, anxiety and mental health lately. The discussion has creeped from the hushed backlogs of highbrow publications to the front page of Buzzfeed, and with each thing I read I realize I'm not alone, but that there's still a long way to go to make it all seem "normal".

I must give my husband credit where credit is due. He's come to know that I have these peaks and valleys and that it's just a part of me. He does his best to not get upset when I shutdown, and is good at chalking some of my more emotional moments up to my reality rather than dismissing it.

So where exactly am I going with this? I'm not sure. I guess I just had the urge to put this out into the world. I don't want to be afraid anymore. I don't want to keep feeling like the way that I feel is wrong. This is normal, my normal. And while I don't always have anxiety, and sometimes I can carry on a blissful life, I know that it's always looming - and that's ok. Just like the good, the bad is a part of me and that's just fine.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


Has it really been almost 8 months since I last posted anything? It doesn't seem possible, but I guess "time flies"!

So, why the need to write up another post that people may or may not read after a long time of radio silence? I'm a writer by nature. I write press releases and marketing materials for a living. I write freelance blog posts and articles as another means of creativity (and a little extra cash) in addition to all the writing I do at work. I write long, sometimes too gushy and complicated, messages in greeting cards to friends and family whenever I have the chance. Basically, writing is just what I do, and have always done. I've kept diaries, and then blogs as the internet became more of a "thing" as I was a teenager, for as long as I can remember. I've probably had close to a dozen different blogs in different formats, some that I've dutifully kept up with , and others that I've created and abandoned. I use writing, in its many forms, as a means of getting my thoughts and ideas out because verbal communication really isn't my thing. I've found myself needing my own outlet again lately, and decided it was time to knock the proverbial dust off of "For Better or for Worse".

What exactly will these new posts look like? I'm not sure yet! I have so much going on in my head that I want to write about that it may turn into a hodge-podge of things. Obviously, when I started 3 (THREE?!) years ago when Joe and I first got engaged it was to kind of chronicle our time planning our wedding, and in theory was going to be a way to blog about married life after. As we have been married for a year and a half (again, a YEAR AND A HALF?!), there will of course be some musings of being a married couple and what's going on in our lives together. But, I'll also probably talk some about friends, career, getting healthy, feelings, and everything that falls in between.

Will anyone read this? I don't know, and I don't really care. Some people keep blogs as a means of making living, some keep blogs for readership, and some just use them as a means of getting the things out that swim around in their minds. That's kind of where I'm at right now. So maybe this will pop up in someones feed to read, or maybe no one will see it. Maybe I'll share it sometime, and maybe I'll keep it a secret.

Regardless of who reads or doesn't read, I'm going to start sharing my thoughts, feelings and experiences once again! Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

10 months - already (almost)!

I thought about blogging after 1 month. Then again a couple of months after that. At 6 months I thought to myself "I should really get something written for 6 months of marriage". And now, here we are, almost at 10 (TEN) full months of wedded bliss (cliche to say, I know) and I can't believe that a full year of marriage will be here before we know it! I remember thinking to myself this time last year just how quickly our wedding day would come. My birthday, then the holidays, and then just about 2 months until we would walk down the aisle. And now I'm sitting here, thinking the same thing, except about being married to Joe for one full year. (Maybe one of my "resolutions" for 2015 will be to blog more?)

It's been an eventful 10 months to say the least, with a lot of growing personally, professionally and coupley (I made that last word up - whatever). I don't know how to describe how it feels to be months into our marriage, because there isn't one word, or even two, to describe it.

Right after the wedding I felt really depressed. Not about being married, not one bit! But, that everything was over. Friends stopped checking in as much, there were no more weekends spent with my mom and my grandma planning everything and running errands, my dream wedding dress was worn and quickly retired, there was no more hoopla, no more "excitement". I found out this is legitimately called the Post-Wedding Blues and many brides really go through it post-wedding. Not because they aren't happy, but because a wedding has so much build-up and everything is hyper-sensationalized, and then over in one blink. That was over after a month or two. However, my wedding dress is still hanging out in our bedroom outside of our closet door and occasionally I wish I could wear it all over again!

Both Joe and I also got new jobs, and with these new jobs came new hours, travel, better pay, benefits, vacation time and all that fun stuff. I wouldn't say we didn't have "grown-up" jobs before, but our new positions definitely have us feeling a lot more financially stable and like we are both on great career paths now! Joe was gone for his job a lot at the beginning, and I spent many weeks at home by myself - but it's all good. We did the semi-long distance thing when I was in college so we survived. He's been home for the last couple of months, but will start traveling a bit again here in a couple of weeks. It shouldn't be too bad this time around though! I've also gotten to do some travel for my job - in the first couple of month at my job I got to go to San Diego and Kelowna, British Columbia in Canada! It's been a little bit of an adjustment. Our previous schedules were a lot more flexible, but I'd say the trade-off has been more than worth it.

As for our own relationship, I definitely notice a change, but can't quite put my finger on it. We were together for 4 years before getting married and had lived together for a few months before making it official, so I like to think we knew the ins and outs of one another. But, something is definitely different, but a good different. I feel like I love even more and put even more thought and care into my actions that affect Joe and our marriage. Dating is a commitment, but marriage is a whole different ball game. It's been so great to see how our relationship has evolved over the last 5+ years, and in the first months of being married!

I really just can't believe that a year of marriage is creeping up on us in just a couple of months! It really does fly by and I'm just going along taking it all in and enjoying every second of this crazy new life!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Things I Learned While Being Engaged

It's now a whole month after the wedding and I really can't believe how quickly everything went by, and how fast our first month of marriage has gone. You spend so much time planning the wedding. And within 24 hours (more like 14), it's all over and done with and you're married! Now that I'm no longer engaged and have had some time to think about the whole process, there are some things I wish I would have known before it all. Luckily, I now have two girls in my office getting ready for their own weddings and who have been coming to me for advice (kind of scary!) so they get to know about the things I wish I would have!
  1. Your budget will go out the window (at some point, in some way).
    When we first sat down with my mom to talk budget we settled on a modest number we thought would be doable. However, there are SO MANY factors that go into your planning and budget that you don't even think of. Yes, you may have a price point in mind for your dress, but the alterations you need to get it perfectly tailored to you and looking great add more. That great venue that has all of the decorations on-hand? Yeah, those might not be actually included in your rental. You have to learn to roll with the punches. There are definitely ways we could have trimmed down, and did trim down our overall budget (a "smaller" guest list, closer honeymoon, choosing a more reasonable bakery), but the end dollar signs are a little more than we anticipated. I know this does not apply to everyone (and kudos to you if you stayed perfectly on, or even under, budget).
  2. Everyone has their own ideas for your big day - just listen.
    I'm 3,000% sure that whenever anyone gets engaged they get a million suggestions from a million people about everything from the wedding date to your centerpieces. When we first got engaged I had no clue what I wanted and was happy to listen to everyone's input. After a few months and as we started planning I would get so annoyed when someone would trump my ideas or give crazy suggestions. As we got further into the process I learned to just smile and nod and take most things with a grain of salt. I'm pretty sure no one offering up their opinion on your big day has the intention to hurt you or make you mad, really everyone is genuinely excited for you, so just listening and keeping yourself from rolling your eyes is the key to keeping sane.
  3. You can't make everyone happy - and you have to accept that.
    You will run into people who are not happy with your choices. This can be in everything from your chosen wedding date, to how much or little they are involved in everything. As much as you want the wedding and reception to just be about you and your husband to be, planning a wedding really does take an army whether you want it to or not. People will feel left out. People will feel overwhelmed. People will hate your ideas. BREATHE. Making someone happy will sometimes mean making someone else upset - even if that someone is you. COMPROMISE. In the last week or two before the wedding I had the epiphany that - hey this day is about Joe and I. As much as I wanted to make every single family member, wedding party attendant, vendor, etc... 150% happy, I couldn't. It's not possible. But, what did make me happy, and hopefully everyone else, was focusing on what it was about - and that's Joe and I getting married and starting our life together! If someone isn't happy about that, well then there's no helping them. 
  4. Be oblivious on the day of the wedding - seriously.
    This might sound weird, but in absolutely, positively, no way, shape, or form let anyone ask you anything. We were lucky to have an amazing wedding day-of coordinator that, not only took all responsibility off of me, but also my family and the wedding party. She was the contact person on the wedding day for all of the vendors, and absolutely anyone that had questions, concerns, or anything else were told to go to her. It was nice after all of the stresses of wedding planning to be blissfully oblivious. So, I didn't know that the florist was rude to the church coordinator, that the last two tables at the reception didn't get macaroni and cheese or mashed potatoes because the caterer ran out, or any other miniscule issue that came up. I got ready with my best friends, walked down the aisle to my future husband, made memories with my family, and had an amazing reception with the people closest to us, no worries or unnecessary stress - and that's how it should be!
  5. The day goes so much faster than you could ever imagine - try to stop every once and awhile to take it all in.I had heard from so many people that your wedding day goes by so fast, and even that didn't prepare for just how quickly the biggest day of your life unfolds! It all kind of feels like a blur to me. One minute my bridesmaids and I were getting our hair and make-up done, and the next we were on the way to the church. We thought we'd have so much time between arriving at the church to when the ceremony got started, but between getting everyone in their dresses, making final adjustments, and walking over it felt like 5 minutes. The ceremony flies by, mostly because you are so focused on A. not tripping in your dress, B. trying not to cry because everyone else is, C. wishing that the moment you are finally Mr. and Mrs.would get there so you can be married! And the reception is just something else. We had SO MUCH fun! But, you have all of the special firsts and dances that you have to do, and then so much mingling! I felt like I talked for hours and there were still people I never even got to say a peep to! 
  6. With that said - take time to have alone time - even if it is just a moment or two!
    I was glad that there were a few minutes of alone time, both just myself and with Joe as well. I had a moment alone when the ceremony was starting where I was in a back corner (so no one would catch a glimpse before I went down the aisle) where I got to breathe and really think about what was about to happen. During the ceremony there was a moment where Joe and I had to go off alone, it was precisely 45 seconds, but that kind of let us breathe in the middle and say hi to each other! After the ceremony the wedding party went up into the church balcony. As everyone was going back downstairs to start pictures Joe and I hung back so we could hug and kiss and have a quiet moment together. Even though our wedding day went so fast, I remember those special times where we could just be alone for a second to breathe, regroup and get moving again.
I'm sure as time goes on I will think of more things, but those six things stick out the most. I'm obviously no expert, but being one of the first to get married out of my circle will hopefully let me help some of my engaged and someday engaged friends.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

18 Days

18 Days. Just 18 days until the wedding. We're now in the teens in the countdown and it just doesn't seem possible! It doesn't seem like it was too long ago that we were anticipating hitting the one year mark, and then getting to 365 days seemed like the big day was right there. Now we're 18 days away - less than 3 weeks! There's been equal parts happiness and stress along the way, but I think we're finally at the point where it's simply pulling everything together and setting the plans for the actual wedding day!

As our wedding day gets closer, I think every night Joe and I climb into bed we just lay there and talk about how we can't wait to be married. We'll say "this time in X amount of days we'll be married", and then laugh at how pathetic and sappy we sound. Joe keeps jokingly asking me if I'm going to tell him how excited I am every night until we're married, and then tell him how excited I am to BE married.

It really is a weird mix of emotions right now. Sometimes I get really nervous and scared. Other times I catch myself smiling and feeling giddy for no reason. Overall I'm just excited. I'm excited that Joe and I will finally be married. I'm excited to see what the future has in store for both of us. I'm excited to buy a house and start a family. I'm excited that all of the craziness that is being engaged will finally culminate with our wedding. I'm excited that I can finally look at a calendar and see the present day and the wedding day on the same page.

We freaked out when the countdown got under 100. We got excited when we hit the 2 month mark. And now, a few days over 2 weeks, it's just all really surreal. Everything's coming together, the finishing touches are being added, and the finish line is in sight! Now we're looking ahead to March 1st instead of just planning for it. It can't come soon enough!