What Normal Feels Like

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Something hit me at work today: I’m not afraid of my job.

I’ve spent most of my life being afraid of ordinary things. I hated giving people hugs as a kid, and I never wanted to say hello to acquaintances at church. Calling people on the phone scared me. Swallowing pills scared me. When I learned to drive, I was afraid of turning left. Studying for tests scared me – not the test itself, but studying for it. Having a boyfriend scared me, thinking about marriage scared me, and getting engaged scared me so badly that I almost didn’t do it.

Now my job is to ask people – really capable, interesting people – about their passions. My job is also to form paragraphs beginning with a hook and ending with a call to action. I am not afraid of those things.

My Junior year of college I spent a semester studying at Oxford University in England. While I was there I attended lectures that blew my mind, entered libraries that were hundreds of years old, and wrote poetry for homework. I also learned something about myself: I don’t particularly enjoy solo adventures.

I don’t particularly enjoy solo adventures.

All those hours alone in grand, silent buildings made me terribly lonely. This was a startling discovery because until that point I had considered myself an introvert who needed her “alone time.” I decided I could never do research for a living because I needed to work with people.

Fast forward to the present, and I’m participating in something I didn’t know existed. I do research, but it’s in-person research. Instead of taking notes in a library, I ask questions face to face, and I’m usually accompanied by a more experienced salesperson, so there’s not as much pressure.

Not being afraid is kind of weird. The same thing is happening with my marriage. I’m not nervous about our relationship; instead, being with my husband makes me happy, confident, and secure. Of course working full-time is an adjustment, and I’ve been exhausted a lot the past few weeks. Nevertheless, large parts of my life are beginning to feel … normal.

I like the feeling of normalcy, especially when I was expecting a scary transition. It’s nice to know I can be calm about the two most prominent features of my life, work and family. In fact, it feels a little like a miracle.

I’m realizing that I can’t always predict what will scare me and what won’t. The best I can do is accept each event with the emotions that accompany it and do my best to remember that God is involved. He knew I would be afraid of getting married. He knew I wouldn’t be afraid of this job. He let me go through both with my good in mind.

I still get nervous about ordinary things like waking up early or asking my boss a question over the phone. I’m thrilled, though, by the blessings that have begun to feel commonplace. Thank you for helping me enjoy them.

Love,

The Reluctant Bride

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7 Things I Love About Love

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Daniel Swanson Photography

More specifically, these are seven things I love about being married to my husband.

1. A bigger family

I’m not just talking about the mini family we created when we got married. I’m talking about the addition of parents, grandparents, and siblings we didn’t have before. I love introducing him into my family circle, and I love how easily his family has included me in their love.

2. Waking up

Actually, I hate waking up, especially now that I’m adjusting to a new work schedule. 6AM has been feeling pretty miserable lately. The only happy part is a sleepy somebody to hug me when my alarm goes off and even staggar out of bed with me to make my lunch. On the weekends, I love snuggling up to him and falling asleep again.

3. Driving

The car is where he previews the latest songs recorded in our basement. It’s where we hold hands and talk about life. It’s where we sing at the top of our lungs and where I ooh and ahh over cloud formations while he mocks me. It’s our ticket to adventures: road trips to Kansas, weekends in Woodland Park, day trips to Fort Collins. It’s also where we had our first conversation, after I ran up to him asking for a ride to an audition.

4. Physical affection

When we were dating, the whole concept of purity really stressed me out. I always worried about how much affection was too much. Now I kiss him in public and don’t feel the slightest bit guilty about it.

5. Forever

I can’t tell you how wonderful it feels to know I’ll be hanging out with this guy permanently.

6. My ring

If I may be girly for a moment, I’ve had this ring nine months now, and I still love turning my hand so I can watch it sparkle.

7. Movies

My love of movies borders on obsession. My mom likes to tell the story of when I was four months old, and she took me to the theater with her thinking I would nap. Instead, my little eyes were glued to the screen. It’s been like that ever since. I thank my lucky stars that I found a mate who shares my affinity for spending whole days on the couch living through story after story. The only difference is that he sometimes falls asleep during movies, and I never do.

This list could be a lot longer because almost everything in my life improves with sharing, but for now I’ll end by saying I’m thankful for a God who invented the concept of relationship and for a man who waited long enough to get to the happy part. Here’s to forever.

Love,

The Reluctant Bride

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Daniel Swanson Photography