Anyways, I'm feeling Mulanish today because, well- Mulan was constantly comparing herself to a standard she couldn't nor would she ever meet. She wasn't a dainty, fragile flower in need of care and protection and to many that deemed her unworthy of affection. So then she becomes a crossdressing soldier to protect her father and bring honor to her family and so on and so forth.
In college I was totally comfortable being myself. I loved who I was and others loved me for never changing who I was to suit a situation. Then I became a teacher. Teaching requires that. I cannot be my normal self around students. I have to be someone professional, in control, and safe to them. Now, don't get me wrong I throw zingers with the best of them and love making my kiddos laugh; but I can't completely be myself. Then I met Josh and I smack my forehead; I must be dreaming! Here is a man who adores me and I didn't have to do anything to earn it! I keep teaching, thought I had great friends, principal doesn't like me, get engaged, lose my job, get married, get another much better awesomer job and at some point something changed. It's like a I had a moment of reckoning where I realized that I don't do things like everyone else- I don't see things like everyone else does and I felt bad for it. I felt unworthy- like this 'twenty-something and self sufficient' title came with expectations I don't meet; and I began trying to play catch up. I kept trying to earn that one accolade, complete that one project, snap that one picture, see that second line on the test, 'pin' that awesome thing that would prove to the world I'm as 'cool' as other twenty-somethings with their own homes and marriages and children. I feel like because my diamond's not as big, my bank account's not as big, my body size is as big and bigger, my home isn't as clean and pristine, my hair isn't as perfectly styled, my clothes aren't as trendy.... that I'm not as- well AS WHAT?!?!?! What is this STUPID standard I've been trying to hold myself to?????? I have channeled my OCD tendencies into this so much and I don't even know what all my stress is for and don't even know who I am!!!!!!!!
I remember my first year out of college living on my own I was in the mall one day and saw this stereotypical suburban twenty-something couple with their infant playing with the other twenty somethings and their infants and could feel my chest tighten. Argh the mediocrity! I swore I would never be like that- life was meant to be lived and these people were merely surviving. Now here I am all in a tizzy because I'm trying to shove my big 'ol unique, Miss-gotta-do-things-the-hard-way, meant for something different self into a suburban twenty-something mold that I just. don't. fit. in. Have you ever been there? It sucks!!! You feel Mulanish- like you're not worthy, but you don't know where the hoo-ha you fit in so you try and try and try and look like a big 'ol ogre next to all the dainty Southern Belles who need forklifts to keep their rocks in place on their dainty little left fingers. Sorry if you're one of those- I am a little bitter; can't lie.
So here I am. 5 days short of my very first wedding anniversary. My sweet ring doesn't require a forklift, but boy is she a sparkler and God I love my man for picking it out just for me. And if I could take back every time I've made a snide remark about the way it looks compared to bigger rings, the Lord knows I would. I've made my precious husband feel like it's not me and that I don't like it. I've been mad at God for a while because I can't be a twenty-something with an infant thanks to rebellious hormones and messed up lady parts. I hate my reflection but can't seem to make myself understand that carbs=no good for me. I've lost who I am. (Hello? Andie?? Where are you? WHO are you??) I've realized today, though, that everything I have bucked against and shoved aside in striving for pefection is exactly who I am and exactly what I want. I've just been trying to shove my little ring with the rest of my not so little self into a mold God did not make for me.
A little over a year ago when I made this blog, I named it "Living Simply, Loving Deeply" because that's what I wanted my life to be about. And boy have I jacked that up. :) It's okay though because making a mistake is the most wonderful way to learn! Don't believe me? How many times have you made a wrong turn and been mad at the time but then later found yourself grateful because you became more familiar with an area or ended up needing to find that road anyway? Or maybe you put too much flower in your biscuit mix but didn't realize it until they came out hard as grenades? (Just me? okay... bad example). This summer I've got to get some serious junk out of my trunk. Physically, emotionally, spiritually, and domestically (have you SEEN the clutter in our bonus room? No- because you would call Hoarders). I'm going to get back to living simply, loving who I am, and showing my husband the deep love I hold for him. I'm not perfect and primpy and thank GOD for that. It's too hard and too expensive. Some of those things I do desire- children, a finished, clutter free home, a new vehicle, a larger salary- they will come. In God's time. When I'm ready.
So if you come over to my house and there's cat hair on the couch; just know I enjoy saving furry lives. If my hair is pulled up into a weirdo messy bun when we hang out know that I put my quality time with you above the reputation of my good looks. If my waistline doesn't shrink to the size of my ankle know it's because I enjoy eating good food with good people. And if you look at my home, my clothes, my social media, my car, my wedding rings, or any part of my life and think in the back of your mind "Ugh. She's so not going to make the cover of Cosmo" or "Ugh, the Kardashians would never walk on a sidewalk next to her", then I thank you. That is the LAST place true beauty is found and if you ask me, I'm absolutely oozing with it.
I love my life. Even when I don't like it; I. LOVE. my. life.