A year out of college, young, married , and trying to figure out how being a grown up works. For all of you out there who wrestle with growing up, or who married young, you spunky married women, and adventurous souls – I hope this resonates with you.
Since being shoved across the threshold of “Grownupdom,” I have begun to appreciate holidays more. I have always appreciated Thanksgiving and Christmas for all the good eats, presents, traditions, and multiple days off of school. But now as a “grown-up” there are a few more holidays added to the mix, and sometimes you even get paid not to come to work on them! That helps redeem the fact that I no longer get summers off. =(
Growing up is a tough business. As a kid growing up is a wide-eyed fantasy that sparkles with perfection and ideals, but you don’t realize that behind all the pixie dust is a lot of hard work, responsibility, lessons that have to be learned, boring days in the office, and the two biggest villains of them all no more spring break or summer vacation and taxes.
Sometimes I really don’t want to grow up. Sometimes I just want to sit on the couch and eat cereal while I watch Batman and Spiderman save the world or that guy on This Old House build something awesome with really nifty gadgets (yes, I really did watch that show as a kid).
One of my most recent struggles with growing up has been realizing that short term missions isn’t really on the table. I can’t take 3 or 4 weeks of my summer to go spread the Gospel and disciple teenagers. Furthermore, I am married now. I can’t just go globetrotting and leave Will in the lurch; so even if the possibility was on the table to get up and go; this stunning ring on my finger and the stud who gave it to me complicate things as well.
Seems ironic doesn’t it? We pine over being an independent grown-up all through our school days and then when we get here we find out that we aren’t so independent after all. But you know what- that’s ok!
Something I learned over the long weekend is that growing up does NOT mean you NEVER act like a kid again. And being independent does NOT exclude you from hitching your wagon to someone else’s.
Will and I spent our long weekend camping at Rough River Dam State Resort Park. I challenge you to go camping and not still feel like a fascinated kiddo. The outdoors are SO BIG! There are so many things to see! So many trails to explore! And when the marshmallows get broken out around a crackling fire, I know that you’ll have your little poker in there trying to make your gooey, sweet, messy marshmallow just perfect. And I know you’ll probably eat more than you think you should because it’s so good!
At some point, out there in the woods with the siblings, getting eaten alive by bugs, having a good time even though the fish weren’t biting, joking around, and dreaming big- I took another step into Grownupdom. Here’s my epiphany:
If being with Will means growing up then I am ok with growing up. It really doesn’t matter where I am. If I am there with Will then it is home. It can be in the little honeymooner-sized house we rent, a hotel room, the farm, or a tent out in the middle of nowhere. If I can hold his hand and sleep next to him then that is where I am supposed to be. We are a team. We tackle growing up together. He cooks over the super hot campfire that I don’t want to get that close too, and I bring him something to drink. He picks ticks off of my back, and I pick ticks off of his. Lol. He finds a good place to pitch the tent, and I keep it all in order. He blazes the trail, and I follow him anywhere he goes with granola in my pockets ready for the adventures to follow.
That is the way it is supposed to be. I am supposed to submit to him, respect him, follow him. And he is supposed to lead me, shelter me, and cherish me. I know that is terribly anti-feminist of me to say, but as the girl who refused to let her husband carry the food pack on our hike this weekend, I can say something like that without compromising my own strength and independence. In fact, it is possible to live like that and still be a strong independent female. I wouldn’t have married Will if he wasn’t a great enough man that I could let down my walls and depend on him. Likewise, I wouldn’t have married Will if he wasn’t a strong enough and respectful enough man to handle my streak of independence, stubbornness, and size complex (I think I am much bigger and stronger than I am…).
It is possible to grow up but still be youthful. It is also possible to be independent and be submissive.
Going camping again this weekend if the weather holds up; so stay tuned for more epiphanies and tasty recipes =)