“Finding myself” always seemed like a no brainer. I know who I am, what I like, and what I want. My want career wise, was to be an elementary school teacher. Knowing who I am now, this want has drastically changed, because it is no longer something I like. It has been hard for me to voice this to my husband, let alone my family; simply for the feel of disappointing them.
My loved ones know how I have always dreamed of teaching, but sometime during my first year of college I realized that teaching is not for me. I don’t have the passion or drive for it, and now I am in a state of panic. I never had a backup plan per se, I had one goal and I thought I would reach it. Overtime my drive to teach children began to dim more and more until it diminished thoroughly. Finding myself is now a lot harder than I had imagined. I no longer know what to do as a career and the thought of that makes me feel a sense of panic. The bright side is, there is two options for every obstacle in our lives. One option is we could complain and whine about the particular obstacle in our path and self-wallow about how tough our life is. Or, we can take this obstacle and realize it is there for a reason. In one of my college classes, we were required to watch “The Last Lecture”, and it has still stuck with me. The man who gave this lecture, Randy, had become terminally ill with pancreatic cancer. That alone would make some people question “why me” and spend the last bits of their lives questioning how this could happen to them. But instead, Randy took his situation and shared it with the world and let it be known, he was okay with this. My favorite quote from the lecture is this, “the brick walls are there for a reason. The brick wall are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people”. So, even though this is a transitional time in my life, instead of panicking I need to take this time to realize what it is I want. Sure there is a brick wall in my path, but it is there because it led to a path I no longer need to travel down. I know I am destined for great things, I just don’t know what exactly the great things are. But that’s the thing, being young this is the prime time to find ourselves. You do not need to know exactly what you want, but whatever you do you need to have your full heart into it. I know God put this brick wall here for a reason and even though I haven’t been clued in on it yet, I know with great trust it will happen when He is ready. So, I will continue my journey in finding myself and I will take this with great stride. I want to be happy and passionate about what I am doing and that is what I will continue to search for.
This Memorial's Day has been very memorable for me. Last year, James was still deployed at this time so I made him a cute little video to brighten up his day. My family and I all said thank you and that we missed him and it turned out very sweet and he loved it (I unfortunately have the video on my old laptop)!
I am so thankful to actually have James home this year. You can never brace yourself for how much a deployment is going to take a toll on you. I heard from a few people how great I was handling this deployment and how I seemed so strong, but honestly during it I would experience several anxiety attacks, which was not normal for me. I cannot imagine losing my James, because he is seriously my world. I have never been so close and happy with another person and I count my blessings everyday. I think my next post will cover how to 'survive' a deployment. In the meantime, scroll down for some photos and a last tidbit from yours truly.
Details: sweater from my wonderful mom, jeans from Charlotte Russe, and boots from Target
These boots have walked in other countries, worn by dear husband as he serves our country. It takes a strong man, or woman, to leave their families and face the unknown. These worn out boots represent long days and endless courage. I'm so thankful my husband has his boots back on American soil. Today is a day to remember those courageous souls that gave it all. God bless our troops and remember the fallen. Have a blessed Memorial Day, ya'll.
So, as this semester comes to an end, I have accumulated quite a few favorite songs to get me through the day. School is a stressful time, but music has a way of loosening you up and making you feel happy! Also, I love to jam out while cleaning house, which ends up me cleaning and singing my heart out. Below, I will list as well as link the music that has driven my school semester and will drive my summer to greatness! Also, if you click the song titles it will take you to the YouTube video.
I met my husband when I was 17 years old. I was not pursuing a boyfriend or love interest, it just sort of happened. Just like the Army just sort of took him away from me for 9 months. James and I had “dated” for two months before his deployment. I use the term dated loosely, because we were always with my family and only saw each other a total of four times before I had to say goodbye. Through the handful of care packages sent, 1,000’s of texts sent back and forth, and late night skypes we prevailed the deployment: together. But, that is a whole other story!
When he returned from his deployment, the plan was for him to stay in Texas so we could start our future together. I was going through my first semester of college and he was going through jobs just to get by. We found out this last deployment had made him eligible to go to college for free and he already had a year in before this last deployment. I made the executive decision to have him go back to school, for this would help in the long run. So, there we were again getting ready to be a part for another length of time. One day, it dawned on me, I cannot go through this again; I won’t let distance separate us anymore. With that, I enrolled into the university and he proposed to me on Christmas.
We quickly realized we could save a lot of money if I was an instate student, so therefore we had a very rushed, quick wedding. Before you start thinking we married just for that, you are wrong! We already planned to get married soon (he already had a ring) this just rushed us in the way we did not have a big wedding with everyone there. We had a justice of the peace marry us in Utah, the only family attending was his parents. This was not the wedding I had imagined, my own parents weren't able to be there. But even then, knowing I was marrying my best friend eased my worries.
I became a bride at the tender age of 18 years old. Our relationship had already gone through so much, but it could never have prepared me for marriage. Being married is completely different from being in a relationship. You make decisions together, you no longer have to search for happiness and love, and you get to share your life with the person who means the most to you. Being young has probably made me more vulnerable to difficulties, so through what I have learned thus far, I hope I can share some lessons with you. First, you both need to establish your position within your religion. I was baptized in a Catholic church, but I attended Methodist church for the majority of my existence. My husband has been LDS (Mormon) all of his life. Even with a different religious background, we still had the same foundation, our love for Jesus. I believe being on the same page religious wise, truly strengthens your relationship. Religion gives the establishment of expected morals and values one should uphold. Establishing this from the beginning of your relationship will give you the certainty that you and your partner share the same future goals, like how you will raise a family.
Another huge feat to overcome is patience. Not having experience cohabiting before, I had to learn to be patient in every aspect. In the same sense, he had to learn to be patient with my (occasional) stubbornness and lack of understanding in certain areas. But that’s just it, we are both learning together and have gained patience every day. Not getting stressed over little things is easier said than done. In the moment, whatever you are stressed about may feel impossible to overcome. Allowing each other the space to “cool off” and reevaluate the situation will make sure you both get your thoughts aligned.
“Don’t you think you are too young?” “How do you know he’s the one?” “Getting married is like leaving the party early!”
Don’t you love these common assumptions? 60% of young marriages end in failure, no worries I am well aware of the risk I took. Getting married, to me, was about sharing my life with him. I knew from the moment we met I wanted to spend forever with him. For me, being married is waking up to your best friend every single morning. It is being yourself completely and holding nothing back. Marriage is the most fun, exhilarating, scary, and rewarding thing two humans can partake in. I knew he was the one when we met, why prolong sharing our futures together? Sure, not everyone is going to understand this and I don’t expect you too. My decisions I make are just that: mine. Living is all about taking chances, learning from things, and growing as a person. I am fortunate enough where I get to share my life experiences, the good and the bad, with my husband. Getting married is like leaving the party early, only you are going home with your best friend, changing into comfy clothes and watching Netflix. If that is a bad thing, then I don’t know what good is!
I am not going to call myself an expert on marriage, because in the end who is? No one can tell you your marriage is perfect or imperfect, because they are not the ones in it. Marriage is difficult no matter what age you are, it is how you handle the difficulties that makes it a strong marriage. I am still learning and growing every single day, but that is the great part about it. I hope what you take from this is this: Marriage is a beautiful thing. Once you find your other half, you will know. Marriage is not something you can be completely prepared for. If you set too high of expectations for it, you won’t allow yourself the small, simple successes within your marriage.
Thank you for stopping by The Strattons blog! This is where I share snippets of my life as a new mom to be, beauty + fashion lover, and overall lover of life's tender mercies!