Marriage & Recovery

There was a time in my life when I wholeheartedly believed that finding “the one” would fix everything. That my prince charming would sweep me off my feet and make every insecurity and addiction disappear. Over the years I realized the naivety of this belief, yet there was still a part of me that believed, or maybe hoped, that having a ring on my finger would make every other struggle in my life vanish.

I’m here to say that this is 100% not the case.

I’d learned well before meeting Ryan that being in a relationship would never fix my problems. No man would ever come along and miraculously make my trauma disappear. However, there were, and always will be, men who try to convince women that they are indeed the answer to all of their issues. It’s these men who reinforce codependency and lead their partners even deeper into the pits.

One of the reasons I fell in love with Ryan to begin with was because he never tried to be my cure-all. He’s supported and encouraged me from the beginning, but has never pretended to be able to “fix” me. Instead, he has loved me through relapses, grief, insecurities, depression, anxiety & nightmares. To explain a bit more, this is part of the little speech that I gave at our reception:

“I’d never ever been the one to make the first move, or say those three little words first, but I did. He was different, he is different. He is my knight in shining armor, but not because he saved me. But because for the last three years he has challenged me to save myself and continues to be my support and my best friend… The point is, he is not like anyone I’ve ever known, and I cannot believe that I’m lucky enough to call him my husband.”

It’s been difficult for me figuring out this whole “wife” thing. I have the same, if not more, unconditional love and support from my husband, but I’ve been struggling. I think I’m trying too hard to identify who I am as a “wife.” I’m still me. I’m still the same woman who is learning to love herself, despite not necessarily liking what she sees in the mirror. I’m still the same woman who has claimed victory over some of her most aggressive demons. I’m still the same woman who is madly in love with Ryan Norton, and who is working so freaking hard, every day, to be a better human.

So here’s to marriage not fixing all of our problems, but to being able to celebrate the victories, big and little, with your permanent roommate. đź‘«

NN


New Year, New Story

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It’s a New Year; in fact, I can’t believe it’s already five days into 2016.

Normally this is where I, and everyone else in the world, would reflect on backthe previous year, but too much of my life has revolved around the past. For me, 2016 will be a year of no looking back –  just moving forward. It’s okay to glance in the rear-view mirror sometimes… but nothing good happens when you can’t take your eyes off of the places you have already been.

The focus of my 2016 will be bettering myself so that I can selflessly love those around me.

Some of my resolutions include:
-To be & eat  healthier so that I have more energy to focus on the things and people that actually deserve my attention.
-Complete 200 hours of community service.
-Hike mountains and trails across Arizona (checklist to come).
-Apply to Graduate School (and hopefully decide what I want to do when I grow up).
-Place in the 2D in a local barrel race,,, my horse and our career is more of a priority for me this year than ever before.
-Go somewhere I have never been.
-Find a “home” church and attend regularly.

More than anything, I need to focus on all that I’m blessed with instead of focusing on the negative. This year, I have a new position at work that I will continue to excel in. I have some amazing, genuine friends. I am actively involved with the Crisis Text Line and the National Eating Disorders Association – two organizations that literally save lives every day. I am in a healthy, wonderful relationship with an incredible man. I have a faithful and prayerful family who I can always rely on.

I am so blessed, even on the darkest days.

There is so much that I want to do this year, so many expectations and hopes and dreams. But, unlike every other year of my life – I’m not going to beat myself up when I don’t perfectly stick to all of my resolutions or meet the goals I’ve set for myself. I know I’m going to fail, but I will continually remind myself that every set back is a set up for a come back.

So, whether 2016 means  a “New You” or consists of finding the real you. Remember that the past is the past, but your future is an adventure just waiting to happen – and guess what? It doesn’t care about what happened yesterday.

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Happy New Year!

-N.O.

Where’s my Tardis?

AT_-travelquote_4On days like today I wish I was backpacking through Europe, or exploring New Zealand, or literally anywhere else in the world but here. I feel so useless, sitting at a desk, while there is so much out there to see and do and live. I want to make a difference, and I can’t do that until I figure out where I’m meant to be, and who I’m meant to be.

Okay y’all, get ready for a Doctor Who reference. Don’t worry, if you’re not a proud nerd like myself – I’ll explain.
I want to be the real-life Rose Tyler, I so wish I was her.

The Doctor's TARDIS <3

The Doctor’s TARDIS ❤

If you’re not familiar with Rose Tyler – she is The Doctor’s first companion. The Doctor is a Time Lord; he travels through time & space, saving the Universe again and again. The Doctor’s space ship is called the TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension In Space), and it’s disguised as a 1950’s police call box. After Rose meets the Doctor by accident, she helps him save the Earth. Then he invites her to go with him – anywhere and everywhere in the Universe. She leaves everything behind to go adventure… and adventure and adventure. How incredible would that be, to just be able to take off and leave everything behind. No responsibilities, no bills, no drama – just adventuring (of course my cat & dog would have to tag along too). While, obviously, I can’t time travel or explore other worlds or save the Earth – I am still waiting for my Doctor to pop up, sweep me off my feet and take me on adventures.

I don’t think anyone can be completely comfortable with their position in life until they’ve been able to explore the world, at least some of it. I know that I am where I’m supposed to be right now – but not for long. There’s too much to see and experience to be stuck in one place for the rest of my life.

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So, friends – let’s adventure.

-N.O.