Wednesday, March 7, 2012

One Shot.

Since getting married, I have kind of forgotten that I run a blog. Needless to say, a LOT has been happening...some wonderful and amazing, some that absolutely sucks. I am kind of struggling in the processing of a lot of life right now, so I figure that I'll do a little soul exploration today and a little bit of slapping myself in the face. If neither of which sounds appealing to you, I hope you skip my post. Consider yourself warned.

I feel as though I have aged about 10 years since getting married. This is both a great thing and a very inconvenient thing. Honestly, I love where I am with God and with Justin right now. Have I loved what it took to get us here? Not so much. We have been through hell and back, and have gone through some things that I think newlyweds should never have to face in their first year of marriage. But I am so proud of my husband. He is a leader, he loves Jesus, and he has shown me he loved me so often and so well that I am so confident of what we have. I have learned that we can face anything together and I am just so very proud of him and of us.

I have also learned what kind of friend I want to be to others. It has come to my attention that I have been a sucky friend to a lot of people. One of my great friends went through an awful time in her life when her mom passed away a couple of years ago. I texted a little in the beginning, but I let it slip from my mind and I forgot. I had all of these excuses, but in reality I didn't know what to do so I did nothing. Which now I realize is completely inexcusable and horrible. I have asked forgiveness for that and we have mended ways, but I don't think we will ever be that close again due to my selfishness and lack of compassion.

I realize that there is nothing that anyone can say in dark times that make sadness or anger disappear. However, Justin and I have been shown kindness by the most unexpected people and it has meant the world to me. I have had friends that haven't really said much, and I have no expectation of anyone to fill my needs. But I want to be the one making an impact on the struggling friend, not the one that the friend has to tell herself "Oh, Caty means well, she doesn't know what to do, etc." I am tired of that.

Unfortunately, all of these realizations come with a price. I have lost a lot of my filter. Where I would usually avoid conflict, I don't really care anymore and will say what I mean. This is very inconvenient when I get upset at someone. I normally formulate what I want to say then weigh out whether or not it is worth it, but lately my words have just become verbal diarrhea. Gross but accurate. I also have lost a lot of patience. I used to enjoy a lot of goofy stuff and sit through a lot of superficial conversations. But people like this are quite honestly wearing me out.

Don't get me wrong, I love having fun. I love stupid jokes. I love laughing. But I can't tolerate constant complaining anymore. I can be super negative and have been guilty of complaining a lot, but get this: PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD HAVE IT WORSE THAT I DO. People are dying of cancer, are starving, are experiencing a hopeless existence. What possible right do I have to gripe about someone being rude to me at work, or my husband working late, or my favorite show getting cancelled, or whatever? Complaints like this hit me in the gut now a lot of times, because I wish I could just shake people and tell them that I'd love to be in their shoes. I love clothes and fashion, but after about 5 minutes of OMGing the latest trends, I feel nauseous.

Maybe it's just a phase, but I've realized that this life is a vapor. We only get ONE shot at it. Do I want to waste my life away focusing on facebook, petty conflicts with others, clothes, music, or whatever else? Or do I want to make meaningful relationships that change and grow me, making a difference in the world?

A lot of people could read this post and call me a hypocrite. Well, surprise. I am. So are you. We all are! We are human, therefore we have sin. Just like Paul says, "what I want to do I don't do, and what I don't want to do, I do." (major paraphrase) All of these things are ideal. Will I fall short? Absolutely. Will I screw up daily? I can guarantee it. But the point is that I don't want to settle for my level of mediocrity. I want to wake up each morning with a desire to be better. There are days lately where my "better" is going through a day without taking someone's head off, or making sure I put that card in the mail, or doing a photoshoot to help someone else smile when I'm fighting tears the whole time. But I'm tired of being judged by what people think I am when I know what my heart says. I used to get so frustrated in college when people would tell me I was too much, or not enough, or just sell me short because I didn't put my heart on the line on a daily basis. I have tried for years to focus on the approval of others, campaigning for myself, trying to convince people that I'm good enough to be a girlfriend, a friend, a sister, a daughter. But if you don't see that, then I'm over the campaign. I think if we all look inward, we would agree that the charade is exhausting. So here is my new disclaimer on life: if you are trying to be someone's friend because you feel like you should, or that they need a friend, or whatever, I promise you that you are doing them an injustice. If you are going to love someone, then put your heart and soul into it. I have learned, unfortunately bc I suck at this, that it is worse to claim to be a good friend and fail, than to follow your heart and just try to love people. I want to be a good friend. I want to love people genuinely. I'm working on it.

Grace doesn't just come from God, it comes from others. I hope that some of you have grace in your heart to understand where I am coming from and to take it as such, but if you don't, then....well, nothing, I guess. I hope that any reader takes more positive than negative from this post, and can understand that growing is painful but a necessary process. One that I am smack dab in the middle of.

If this seems like a rant, it's not. I just have so much in my brain that I need an outlet and I type faster than I write. And I think Justin deserves the chance for someone else to be my outlet. :)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Photography...Hobby, Passion, Career?

I've had the blessing of getting a new lens for our camera recently, as well as the opportunity to take a class. I've really enjoyed playing with different types of shots as well as photoshop techniques. My nieces were super sweet and let me take pictures of them on Monday. They turned out lovely. :)

I have told Justin that I would love an opportunity to do photography for a mission trip, preferably overseas. I don't know exactly how to make that happen...but if anyone in the bloggerverse has an idea, let me know!

Expect to see CatyDear Photography's website and blog up soon. Merry Christmas everyone!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Pre New Year's Resolutions

I've been thinking a lot lately about goals. How easily they are set, and how easily they are broken. I stopped making resolutions years ago because I never kept them. This year, however, I've changed my mind.

Justin is a goal setting machine right now. He is working out, eating right, and losing weight like crazy. It inspires me, and has made me think a lot about where I can improve myself. I think it is so important to keep being who you are and continue doing what you feel passionate about after marriage. I've allowed myself of 5 months of comatose, now it's time to get back in business. So, here are the things I'm thinking about that will help me be a better "me":

1. Fitness- I so dropped the ball on this one, when I could have really been in crazy good shape. I want to start running again, and eating right, and at least tone up. I need to stop worrying about the pounds and start making myself feel better.

2. Education- Right now I have 15 hours of graduate studies. I quit mid year last year because it was just too much. Now, I'm starting to crave the adult time, if I'm being honest. I'm going to start looking at money and try to take a class or two this summer to finish up my degree.

3. Art- Even though I've never been super artist, I enjoy doing creative things. Lately that has been taking pictures. I really want to pursue this and learn about all the different facets of photography. If anything comes of it, great. If not, it's fun.

4. Friends- I need to reconnect with my friends. I have been a major loser (see previous post) and I'd like to remedy that.

Those are my current thoughts. Enjoy.

What's in a friend?

As obvious by my lack of blog posts, the past 4-5 months have been so crazy busy. Married in June, school started in just feels like I haven't had time for anything. Unfortunately, not having time has combined with this extreme desire to be anti-social. Maybe it's a newlywed thing, but any desire that I have to leave Mansfield, let alone the house, just doesn't exist. Which sucks, because most of the people I spent time with don't live in Mansfield. So I have had 2 choices: a) be a jerk and tell everyone to come to me, or b) not see my friends. Unfortunately I've chosen B by default. And it's starting to bite me in the butt.

I'm not sure if I am just a normal newlywed or a bad friend. It hasn't started to bother me until lately, when I see my friends all hanging out with each other and realizing that I'm starting to fade away. People are starting to know in advance that I probably won't come. I feel bad, but at the same time the thought of driving in city traffic during the week makes me want to cringe. Am I a horrible person??? I want my friendships to stay intact, but I also have to redefine what these look like now that I am married. For instance, some things that I would have spilled my guts about have to remain private. Why? Because it's not just my business's both mine and Justin's. I have to be careful how much I share, because I can't compromise the confidentiality between husband and wife.

Justin seems to be untouched by the anti-social bug. He still hangs out with his guy friends, goes places, etc. I don't want to be creeper wife that doesn't have her own life, so I need to get my butt in gear! Any tips on how to break this lack of desire to put on jeans and walk out the door???

Monday, November 7, 2011

Stronger than Yesterday

Britney Spears sure had the right idea when she wrote that song. Even though it's about not needing a man, the premise sure seems nice: "I'm stronger than yesterday, now it's nothing but my way, my loneliness ain't killing me no more..." This attitude encompasses who I thought I was when I was single. I had to rely on God and on myself; I constantly lived in a "suck it up" mentality, giving off the heir that I didn't care what people thought, and that I could take on the world.
Lately, I've felt anything but strong. I used to think it's because now I finally have someone I can open myself up to, and that my emotions are making up for lost time. But defeat just seems to come so easily. I've become pretty pessimistic--not getting my hopes up because I can't handle disappointment.
With all of the craziness of me passing out last week and doctors trying to figure out what is wrong, I've run the emotional gamut. I've done my best to trust in God, to surrender my worries to Him, but I fear that I've failed somehow. I'm left with a ball of nerves, a disappointment in myself, and a longing to be stronger. I think about Kelley McElreath, how she looked cancer in the face and used every ounce of her journey as an opportunity to provide hope to cancer victims. I see my dad, how his job beats him up daily but he comes home with a smile on his face. I want to BE those people. Not a weeping puddle of self pity and anxiety.
How does one come to this point? What can I do to be stronger? I am afraid to pray for strength, because in my experience God gives you opportunities to be strong...and I really don't want yet another test of my strength.
Any advice? I think that Justin deserves a wife that can stand on her own two feet. Just saying.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Dear Little Dearing

Disclaimer: I am not pregnant. This is something that has just been on my heart a lot.

Dear Baby Dearing,

Right now, in this very moment, I want you to know something.

You. Are. SO. Loved.

As of today, you are only a distant thought. I have no idea when you will come to exist. I don't know if you will be a girl or a boy. I have no idea if you will look like me or like your dad. But I want you to know that I think about you all the time.

I wonder what kinds of things you will enjoy. Will you be a book nerd like me? A sports freak like your dad? I wonder if we will share a pint of ice cream or bake cookies together. I bet that you will be a better cook than me by oh, about age 6. I wonder about your personality. WIll you be chill, or high maintenance? Sorry, but your gene pool does have a SLIGHT bit of spaz in there. Fight it. ;) I hope that you are secure enough in yourself to be silly. Otherwise, you have a long road of your parents embarrassing you by dancing through the aisle of Target or randomly breaking out in song.

I also think about your heart. I hope that you are kind. In my mind, you are the person who is not only a great friend, but someone who shows compassion to others that need it. I hope that you come home from school and ask me how we can help that boy/girl who doesn't have any winter clothes. I also pray for your salvation. I pray that you get to know who Jesus is, that you realize how much He loves you, and that you love Him back. I pray you are a leader, not a follower. I pray that you set a good example, but that you are non judgmental.

I don't know your name, but I want you to know that right now, in this moment, your dad and I love you more than we even understand. Someday, and I don't know when, we will come face to face for the first time.

I can't wait. :)


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Wow. Hello, dusty old blog. I have not written anything in months. Well, to fill you in, I've been busy getting married, honeymooning in Antigua, training a new puppy, starting school, and dealing with school craziness. The icing on the cake has been living under the same roof with my amazing husband. He is my biggest fan, and vice versa. Love him.

So, I'm not going to make this long, but I would like to pose a question to my followers, if you are still listening. Earlier in the year I was having crazy panic attacks. I was an emotional wreck. I finally listened to some friends and decided to try some mild anti anxiety pills. Well, after the wedding and into the summer I was doing great. Even right before school, I wasn't stressing. My prescription ran out and I didn't refill it because it is so expensive, and I thought that maybe it was all wedding stuff.

Now, two weeks into school, I feel like I'm on the verge of crying all of the time, I feel defeated at the end of the day for no reason, and I am just having a hard time. Do you think it is just first of school blues, or should I refill the billion dollar bottle?