Quick update: married & pregnant.
1. when you marry your opposite who you have a handful of philosophies and interests in common (like 3) then life is a challenge in being more open.
2. marriage is hard work even if you love someone so much that it makes you cry when you watch a romantic movie and one lover dies (obviously because you could never imagine living without your partner)
3. hard work does not mean planning more date nights or being more romantic. it means compromising when you don't want to. it means sticking around when someone is mad and says something hurtful. it means talking through those communication fumbles and being on the same team when you'd rather root for the other. it means being firm on the things that are important and letting go on the things that really are just more of social constructs.
4. mad respect for moms. pregnancy is a beast and i've never had my body betray me in every imaginable way. our maker designed us to start living a life of flexibility, compassion, understanding, and sacrifice before the child even enters into our post-utero world. i feel more prepared for child birth, long waking hours, sleeplessness, being uncomfortable, diaper rashes, and many other unmentionables (not that i have a problem but my mother would say it's unladylike to talk about bowel movements).
5. i can get rid of stuff. this has been the hardest thing but recently, i find myself throwing away things i have stored for years: clothes, decorations, gift wrapping, items i "might" use one day, etc. i'm finally making room for my husband and my child by shedding some of me - the unused and cluttered parts of me to make room for an even better version of myself.
6. i look around at my unkempt house and it hits me why keeping a clean house is so important now that i'm becoming a mother. this is the environment which i will raise another human being. is it okay to forget the chores every now and then? to me, yes. BUT the environment is so much mentally healthier when everything is in its place. [our bedroom is awful right now].
7. being controlling has worked for me in the past [safety and anxiety relief] but it doesn't work when you are married. learning to trust the man in my life has been the hardest thing but i'm convinced he is the only person who could help me with this issue. still a work in progress and i'm sure we have a lot more learning to do once the baby comes.
8. i will only recommend marriage to those who want a difficult life. to those who are willing to see what they are made of and to really learn about sacrifice, compromise, and commitment. In the world of choosing a mate by swiping left or right based on a person's looks and interests - i think we are losing touch with what we are pursuing. it's not a hot date or even a companion - but a commitment.
In college when i was single, I could easily spend time with 5 different guys in 2 weeks. men were dispensable. I had a boyfriend for 3 years but the commitment was an issue for each of us - we just weren't 100% about marriage. Not until I met Bryce did i learn what commitment meant. He sticks to his word and 99% of the time never goes back on it unless i make him be flexible. I change my mind often. i'm a feeling person. so if i don't feel like doing something - even if i have promised, i go with my feeling. there is some personal history, logic, and reason behind this - but it does not make a marriage.
some days i "feel" like i hate Bryce because he won't listen to me or do what i ask. he says things where i end up feeling upset. in that moment i think, "i'm done." and guess what, my personal history says that i would be done. it's my little safeguard for my heart. when it starts to feel stomped on - i just remove myself, my feelings, and my brain. "out of sight, out of mind." Bryce never let me do this and i will be a better person because of this. i truly adore him but i've developed some unhealthy patterns to protect myself from users/abusers. again, that does not make for a healthy, happy, or lasting marriage.
9. having my own interests is important. i have always waited around for a guy and got into whatever he did. dang, that's boring. there's only so much you can do with another person and then it just comes down to watching a ton of tv together.
10. pregnancy has a way of taking away all of your interests because your body can't keep up. i was super excited about doing theater again, even small parts, but now it's almost out of the question. but at least i have found something i am excited to explore again: theater and tennis. i'm hoping to do crafting, writing, or pursuing a side project in the next couple of years if possible. i also want to spend time in the wild with my family and take my son outdoors. my dad intentionally took us camping, hiking, and exploring and i hope to do that with my son. Bryce is more of a builder/maker/strategist so i expect him to teach those skills.
overall, i am intrigued with this part of my life and just saying "I do" instead of... "well, let me think about it, analyze it, and see if there is a statistically significant chance this might work." Sometimes jumping in and making that commitment to a path has its own set of rewards.