Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Looking Ahead and Above

I haven’t written a blog post in a very long time.  First, I didn’t want to write inconsistently, so I wanted to make sure that if I started to write, that I would continue to write strong and interesting posts in a timely manner.  With that being said, honestly my head was just not in it.  Since April, my life has changed in so many exciting ways.  I got engaged to the love of my life, with which has led me to explore a whole new world of pretty planning.  Then, I closed one chapter of my life and started another at a new job in a totally different environment.   I began teaching yoga four days a week, often subbing for other teachers whenever I could.  And lastly, I started eating meat and consequently dropped 9 pounds. (More on that later)

I didn’t know where to begin.  My life began to follow an unchartered path and it was (and still is) just as scary as it is exciting.  The other day I actually used the word scary (among other more positive ones) to describe to Matt all the feelings I was having regarding our wedding.   He looked at me sideways and said, “Now that’s a word I would not use to describe my feelings toward our wedding.”  At first I was shocked.  I mean this is such a huge decision we are making, a lifelong choice, a true and soulful commitment—how could you not be just a little bit scared?  So, then I had to examine what it was that I really meant by scared.  Was I scared that I made the wrong choice?  Not one bit.  I knew in my heart when I was in Kenya, calling Matt on a satellite phone, that he was someone very special.  I was sitting on the ground, with my back against a large African tree while Matt sat on the curb outside his NJ bank.  We didn’t need to say anything of substance; it was just the excitement in his voice that let me know he really cared. 

So if I know I am making the right decision what am I scared about?  I could say that I feel too young, but that wouldn’t be entirely true.  Ever since I was a little girl, my mother has told me to not get married young.  “Don’t date until you’re 30!” she would say; although I threw that advice out the window in high school.  My father focused on my sports and academics.  My mother focused on my emotional strength, my interests and talents.  Together they raised me to be independent and confident.  As a consequence, I was not brought up with visions of me as a bride, and neither of my parents ever spoke to me about the fantasies they had about their little girl getting married.  It was not really talked about.  I’m at fault too; on my end I couldn’t ever picture my own wedding because how could you envision a wedding if you had no idea who you would be meeting at the end of the aisle?

But despite not exactly being encouraged to think about getting married, when the time came I knew my parents would want no one else but Matt to marry me.  Perhaps the timing was earlier than they expected, but no one has since asked me the question, “Are you ready?” so I take that as a sign of their confidence in me.  Personally, I was definitely taken by surprise and was in shock for a number of days. 

Yet that is the beauty in our love story.  It’s always been about the unexpected, going with my gut, my heart, and trusting it will steer me right.  Without going into detail, there are a lot of people who would have never guessed Matt and I would go out together ever.  Then, they were more shocked when we saw each other on more than one occasion during the first week.  Weeks later, no one could have seen it coming—that I would be writing him letters from across the world, hoping he would be writing me back.  But that’s the way we are.  We know what we want, what we like, and we just do it. 

And with that I found myself deeply in love and engaged at 24.  So again I ask, why am I even a little bit scared? 

The answer came to me eventually.  Really it’s something I’ve known all along, but didn’t want to admit.  The scary feeling comes from none other than a pesky little insecurity deep inside me.  It stems from a fear—ideas and feelings I have had about my own vision of my success.  Have I accomplished enough?  Am I still interesting and exciting?  Have I lived up to my potential?  It goes on.  This fear interferes with my drive to write blog posts, gets in the way of me deciding on a career, and in other small ways just creeps up on me.  Essentially I’ve had to take a good hard look at myself and see that despite all the beauty and love in my life, I still allow one single question to stand in my way.  Am I good enough?

After coming to that realization, I actually became relieved.  This is something I had control over.  Fear can be overcome.  I could change the way that I feel, and I had the ability to harness confidence and greatness.  Granted, it will be a question I will probably ask myself over and over and over again for the rest of my life.  But lucky for me, I will have a new husband who loves me and will always remind me that despite my fears, I am—and always will be—awesome.

Now if only a wedding could be planned that easily…