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What They Taught Me – Part 3

Hello!

Two weeks ago I started this mini series. This will be the last post in the installment, and you can find parts one and two below:

  1. What They Taught Me – Part 1

  2. What They Taught Me – Part 2

And here is part three, with a little introduction to start it off of why I wanted to talk about “what they taught me” in the first place:

Introduction

For most of my life, I thought there was something wrong with me. Ever since I was a child I remember not wanting to go on sleepovers at friend’s houses, having what I now know were panic attacks when my mom made plans for someone to come over that I didn’t want to have to entertain, and getting insane stomachaches most mornings before school as the anxiety about having to leave the house built. Other quirks developed, too – crazy calorie counting in junior high that grew into eating issues in college, a guttural need to be in a relationship at all times, mild OCD centered around even numbers and cleanliness, and an obsession with exercise. I accredited all of this to various classifications over the years – introversion, social anxiety, and a phobia of being alone. In other words, I thought I was a nut. Now that I’m a little older and wiser (at the ripe age of 26), I strongly believe it boils down to one simple truth: I like to be at home.

Growing up, I was encouraged to get out and try things. Meet new people. Expand my horizons. You know, in other words get out of my parent’s house. I tried this. I really did. All throughout junior high and high school I immersed myself in extracurricular activities, mainly competitive dance. I was always busy. I went away to college (leaving my family three hours away), joined a sorority, got a job, made the dance program, and studied abroad in Italy. After college, I bounced around to a few different jobs and got my own place as quickly as possible. Things never felt “right” in my head. I was always a little bit uncomfortable and was left wondering what I was doing with my life and if I would inevitably feel anxious until I died. I had spent so long trying to do things the way I thought I should, and here I was, a “successful” adult with a good job, my own home, and from the outside looking in, a full social life, but inside I was losing my mind.

Over the last year and a half a lot has changed for me. I met my now husband, got married to him, and with his help, had a total perspective shift on how I am living my life. He has helped me to realize that I am a homebody, that is okay, and most of my anxious thoughts center around that. I have been pushing myself really hard to be someone I am not, and when I take a step back and realize that I simply like to be at home, things start to slowly shift into place.

This is my realization that I do not want to cultivate a career outside of my home and that I am most comfortable working by myself, listening to music, drinking coffee, typing, and wearing my husband’s huge pajama pants and Patagonia sweatshirt. It is my explanation for preferring to host my girlfriends here for dinner, wine, and The Bachelor, opposed to going out to the bar. It is my own acceptance of the way my brain works. And overall, it is the sharing of my experience with you to help you see that sometimes all the pushing and striving in the world cannot change the way you feel and the best place to be is right where you already are.

What They Taught Me – My Husband

I am deserving of love, and I need a lot of forgiveness.

I don’t even know where to start with this one. I’m going to keep it simple and to the point though, because I could gush about Chris for hours, and I feel like I do that enough already. 😉

I still don’t always believe I am worthy of love. This definitely has a lot to do with my past relationships, but also my relationship with myself. I’m not the best at noticing my good qualities, so when someone else does it’s hard for me to believe them. Chris has taught me over and over, day after day that he loves me. That even when I think I am being a nightmare, he loves me. That even when I whine and complain at him to fill my water cup when he just asked me if I needed anything from the kitchen and I said no, he loves me. That when I’m having a hard day and need some extra reassurance, he loves me. That he isn’t embarrassed of me when I dance in the grocery store. That he understands my past and works with me on it. That’s what love is – an all-encompassing feeling that your person is all in for you.

On the other hand, he has also shown me how very wrong I can be (in the kindest way). Once you’re married, you learn so quickly that you’re not always right. In fact, you usually aren’t. I think it is one of the kindest things another person can do for us to point out our flaws in a constructive way and help us to overcome them, because they love us and want us to be free of our demons. When I’m annoyed that he’s calling me out on something I don’t want to admit to myself, I try to remember that this is going to serve me better in the long run than continuing to litter my mind with thoughts of gossip and slander. He’s a good man – even when he drives me nuts.

#Anxiety #Husband #Lessons #Love

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