With September right around the corner, we’re coming up on the one year mark at our little home and lately I find myself looking around and feeling extreme gratitude for place. For our apartment. For the soft carpet under my feet and the breeze that blows in the windows. For neighbors that say hi as you walk by and my pup’s face in the window welcoming me home. For Riley’s Red Wagon Book Swap on the corner and concerts in the park. All of it. Grateful.
One of the reasons for this gratitude is that this place is deeply connected to my journey toward reclaiming myself.
There’s a strange thing that happens when you get married – or really when you enter into any new and significant relationship – you loose yourself for a while. You become so consumed by the newness, the excitement, the other person, that you neglect to do things that are essential to who you’ve been all these years. It’s not a bad thing. Actually, it’s pretty normal. There’s a lot to learn when you get married. You’re learning about each other. You’re learning what life looks like with another person. You’re figuring out your rhythm and settling into new roles. It takes time and energy. But once you get used to that newness, it’s equally as important to reclaim what makes you, you.
After getting married I had to adjust to so many new responsibilities. From working full time, to running a household. To gas bills and grocery bills. To the responsibility of caring for a husband (and being cared for by a husband). To cleaning up. Messing up. Saying sorry. Starting over. Hosting. Planning. And wife-ing. All while still remembering to be a good daughter, sister, and friend.
It’s exhilarating and wonderfully overwhelming, all at the same time. And after two years of adjustment, I realized that in my hyper-focus on this new relationship and lifestyle, I’d forgotten so much of what I loved before marriage.
Don’t get me wrong – I love everything about my new role. I love caring for Kent and figuring out how to be a family. I love spoiling him with baked goods and working hard to help provide for our family. I love learning his quirks and allowing him to see my own, feeling so loved in the process. But I’m still the same girl I was before becoming his wife. The same girl who loves getting lost in a good book and needs alone time with a blank page and a pen. Who craves good conversation with a girlfriend over coffee and handwritten notes, just because.
When we moved to our place on Corona Avenue almost one year ago, I felt relief for so many reasons. A new season. A fresh start.
A reclaiming was underway.
I’m setting my priorities straight because in order to be the best wife, I have to be the best me. That might mean setting aside time to read on a Saturday or browse through the cards section at my favorite boutique on 2nd street. But whatever it is, I do it with complete confidence that God created me with intention. He designed me to love the things I love, to be filled by the things that fill me, to need quiet time and quality time in equal amounts.
I may have a new title, but that doesn’t take away from who I am.
It expands it.
Whether you’re married or not, you might need a reminder of who you are. You might need to start your own reclaiming. So let’s make room together. We’ll clean up, blow the dust of the shelves, pull the curtains back, and in one fell swoop, claim gratitude for this life – our expanding roles and all.