6 Months and Counting

This coming Sunday, Freddy and I will be marking our 6th month of marriage by teaching small group at our church, catching our Sunday service after, and meeting up with friends at a Whitecaps baseball game. Freddy thinks celebrating “month-marker anniversaries” is foolish, so I’ve arranged the game as the perfect “unassuming” way to make the day a little special for us.

Truth is? 6 months is a big deal to me. It is not a big deal in the sense that I didn’t think we would make it this long or I can’t believe how quickly time has gone. A) We’ve made a life commitment that we intent to keep until death do us part and B) we are painfully aware of how much faster life becomes the older we get. That being said, 6 months is significant to me because… (don’t judge here)… I think it’s taken us this long to find our groove.

When Freddy first added his words to this blog, I felt a little slighted. Although he did take the time to explain that he didn’t really feel like he was floating belly up during the first 6 weeks of our marriage, he implied that married life was comparatively as jolting as the Meijer fish plunged into new and frigid waters. Ouch!

Yet despite my best efforts to be as honest as I can be about the ups and downs of newlywed life, my husband was the one to cut right to the punchline while I found myself dancing around it. The first six weeks were hard. And when the first six weeks turned into the first three months and then the first five months, I kept thinking to myself: “This is amazing, but when does it stop being so hard?”

Please keep this in mind: Living together is a challenge. It’s a brilliant, exciting challenge but it’s a challenge all the same.

I had a friend tell me that when she and her man moved in together, it took them 5 months to stop the petty arguments and find a peace with their new living situation. When 5 months came and went, I cried. I nearly sobbed. I broke down in a grandiose and childish way, citing everything that wasn’t going according to my perfect plan for my marriage to my bewildered and frustrated husband. He wasn’t thrilled about our current state either but you wouldn’t find him crying about it.

You see, we couldn’t have guessed that transitioning in work would put such a strain on this perfect image we were trying to create. We couldn’t have guessed that the very image we deemed perfect was actually flawed from the start because it required a plan, our plan, and the world’s willingness to play by our rules. (Okay, so we probably could have figured out that last one, but there was a lot going on to distract us and aren’t we entitled to that? Ha. So much to learn…)

In the many conversations that followed my dramatic fallout, we talked about things like: expectations for us as individuals and expectations for us as a couple, scheduling time for each other – the necessity of intimate time, the benefits of “sharing space” together while working on our individual tasks, and the need for alone time. We talked about career goals, work demands, and healthy hours to spend at our jobs. We admitted to one another that some days we needed to fake it until we made it (ex. when bringing the stresses of our days home with us and suddenly being asked to give each other our best, we needed to slap on that smile and deliver). We talked about the malleability of husband/wife roles with regard to different periods of life. We covered A LOT of ground.

Here is a cliff notes version of one those discussion that led to my biggest “light bulb” moments:

Work demands started taking up more and more of our schedules on both sides, making me desperate for Freddy’s attention every minute that I had him in front of me. I not only wanted him to be focused when I had my time with him but I wanted every free minute of his time. Yipes! Okay, I can see how that looks when I write it out now, but I promise you that when you are in the midst of feeling disconnected and alone, you think that it’s the only solution!

During one of our conversations, I offered up that I knew he needed more personal time and more friend time. In that same breath, I was also explaining that I felt I couldn’t afford giving it to him. I felt hurt if he asked to go golfing on our one free day and I thought that it was my job to fight for our time together.

Are you ready? Queue the light bulb:

My role as Freddy’s partner might involve putting my own needs on the back burner – essentially volunteering for last place when things get hectic.

I agreed to step back. And I asked for a lot of help and consideration from him when I got needy. Time passed and Freddy started to find more time outside of work. He started having more time with friends. And I started feeling less neglected. In fact, the more I let go – the closer I felt to my husband. And the more time we actually had with each other. Or maybe it was just more quality time of the time we had. Whatever. The point is, I had to change the way I was looking at it all. I cited “our relationship” as the reason for my neediness but what I was really saying was “Me! Me! Me!.”

When I started to view our time apart as a way to honor my husband, it became so much easier! And now we’re a week away from our 6 month-marker and we have this new level of peace, understanding, and tolerance. We also have a new level of intimacy. And instead of focusing my thoughts on “Does this get easier?,” I’m enjoying my time with Freddy. He’s fun. And funny. And incredibly sexy. And caring and attentive. I just needed to stop pulling him so close to me so I could see the bigger picture for our marriage.

Happy 6 months! 🙂

To Thank My Beautiful Mother

I am amazed at the difference a few months can make. I feel like 2010 has been and continues to be the fastest year of my life so far and one of the most pertinent to my personal growth.

I just woke up from a nap and I feel really grateful for the opportunity to catch up on sleep. This week has absolutely kicked my butt and handed it to me. Some of the activities that I lent my energy to this week were chosen (such as going out after work to catch up with friends, getting some time in at the driving range, spending time with my roommate) while others were necessary (such as filling in for one of my co-workers during my third week on the job with little instruction, introducing new changes to the way we process purchase orders, meeting with salesmen to locate and predict shipment times for parts, communicating with vendors), but in total, they were exhausting (albeit fun/exciting)!

Exhaustion now holds a very different connotation than exhaustion then. During my internship experiences (then), I was constantly exhausted. I resented work for holding me back from excitement and for stealing all of my energy; I couldn’t comprehend how anyone could log so many hours in one place and not loathe it as I did. Luckily, I made a huge effort in my last internship to be positive despite feeling stifled. I didn’t want people to know because I didn’t want to bring them down. I wanted everyone to think that I was happy and could hang in during the toughest weeks. It wasn’t easy. But it was all I had.

Now, I still feel held back (concert, travel, or outdoor opportunities have come my way since accepting this job of which I would love to have been a part), but it’s no longer stifling. I think the change in interpretation has to do with several things and has definitely been influenced by my attitude adjustment, but I think that it’s glaringly obvious that accounting did not match up with my personality or desires in any of the key ways a career must. I learned a lot during my internships with public accounting and I carry some of the structure and ways of analyzing situations with me into my new position, but in total – it just didn’t fit.

I think that was a huge drain on me during college. I wanted so badly to discover my calling (and hadn’t yet read “Just Do Something” by Kevin DeYoung). I couldn’t see past school or the roles that were held in high esteem for Grand Valley graduates with accounting degrees. I thought I was trapped and it felt hopeless. My senior year (with one left to go), I can still vividly picture it, I broke down in my little two-person condo with my boyfriend at the time bawling at the thought of being stuck in accounting for the rest of my life. He tried to assure me that it would be okay or that I could change my major if I felt stuck, as he had done himself, but I couldn’t see it. I knew I needed to graduate and I thought that graduating with accounting meant that I was going to be a public accountant. I never could’ve predicted being a production coordinator. Life has a funny way of opening your eyes and allowing you to grow in ways you hadn’t imagined.

So I went in to work today to create the necessary documents to send out some parts. I delivered them to Fedex. When I got home, I napped. I’m not angry that I couldn’t go to the Blueberry Festival with my friends (disappointed, yes – but it doesn’t set the tone of my day). I’m not mad that I wasted hours of my weekend at work and sleeping because they weren’t wasted. I’m glad the parts got out the door and I’m so grateful for caught up sleep. And I’m in no way feeling resentful.


I think that it can be difficult for people who have just met me to accept me where I am. I am an idealist when it comes to personal growth and I’m always striving to live in a more positive direction these days. But that wasn’t always the case. I spent too much time being complacent, being afraid, being angry or rude, sad and even depressed. I focused on negatives or neutrals. There’s a disconnect that exists between the two and someone who meets me now doesn’t understand that; they don’t understand how it can be very difficult to match my idealist words with my very humanly flawed actions.

And so it has been the occasion recently in the past year that people meet me and jump right on board with my quest for personal growth. I think they think they discovered a light in me that perhaps they want to share or watch develop or think is more developed than it is. It’s happened more than once now that a person has come into my life, jumped in with my progress, and ended up expecting more of me than I could give, pushing me further than I want to be pushed, and completely misjudged my situation. The thing about personal growth, it’s entirely personal. It cannot be guided with a hand from behind or led with a hand in front. It can’t even be faced arm-in-arm.

Don’t take my things and make them yours. It’s like any relationship, if you spend too much time with the other person you begin to lose sight of yourself. The saddest thing is that I thought I had learned the warnings signs, but I hadn’t. When I saw my words being picked and chosen to form this ideal image of me, I wasn’t firm enough in voicing the most important things:

  • I need to take things at my own pace.
  • I am in the midst of a growing period.
  • That growing period began in the most painful period of life that I have experienced.
  • That growing period continues; I am not there yet.
  • The pain has subsided, it has not been erased and it is still very real.

I hope that had I voiced these things with clarity in communication, I wouldn’t be in the same position as I am with these people. Their judgements and ease of communicating disappointment are mind-blowing to me. You don’t know what it’s like to be me. If I have learned anything about people, it is that we experience the same things differently. You voice your opinions and you don’t know their damaging nature or irrelevance or ignorance. You’ve no right to speak so freely about things you know little of.

Sometimes, I am convinced that my mom is the only person who understands what I have experienced and accomplished in the past year. I know this because when I try to tell her, she doesn’t respond with a similar story of her own, but she cries because she understands that she cannot understand. And I think that is the most comfort anyone can give me. Accept that you do not know and celebrate my joys with me but do not judge what you cannot know.

For that, I would like to thank my beautiful mother.

I'm not afraid of some Country Thunder.

Be spontaneous. Take a leap of faith. Go after what you want. Don’t be influenced by others. Speak your mind. Open up. Smile. Laugh. Make the best of the situation. Feel excitement!

Be employed. Hope. Take action. Don’t sit back. Be proactive. Have confidence. Meet the challenges of each day.

Remember who you are, what you stand for, who you want to become. Embrace truth and honesty. Grow. Show kindness. Be patient. Encourage those around you.

I bought a ticket to Country Thunder on a whim. I interviewed this morning; they told me they’d draw up some paperwork and hopefully get me in on Monday. The last big hoorah before I could potentially start employment. And I almost didn’t. I almost let worry keep me from doing what I want to do. I almost kept myself from it with the thought that it might create waves. But I didn’t. I am going to go spend time with friends, listen to AMAZING music, and embrace the adventure! Why wouldn’t I?

Can we say that I’ve grown? Because I have.

I also have the pleasure of bringing along with me a great friend who has agreed to this adventure despite her hatred for camping, “princess” status, and dislike of anything dirty. I think this will be good for the both of us.

Miranda Lambert. Sugarland. Gloriana. Eric Church. Craig Morgan… EXCITEMENT MUCH?!

You should know that I love my life. And to my friend who inspired me to move first and watch the pieces fall into place later, I thank you. I don’t know how you got through to the inner-adventurer in me, but you did in a big way! I’m very grateful.

Oh – in other news, I have the best friends ever. Founders on Monday night – girl sits by herself for 45 minutes at a table next to us. Finally, one of my friends goes over to her and invites her to join. She was so grateful and so fun to have around. This is why I have the best friends ever. They’re caring. And they fully subscribe to my belief that your next best friend is only a handshake away. It made me proud.

I bought a ball cap today.

Change is good.

Comfortable Skin.


This weekend flew by and lasted a lifetime all the same.

I took my first solo flight. I flew from Detroit Metro to Denver International Airport and I must say, traveling is very me. I finished reading The Happiness Project this weekend, and in honor of Gretchen’s “Be Gretchen” mantra, I made a list of things  that fall under the “Be Megan” title. Traveling is most certainly one of them. So is wearing scarves and flats, collecting coffee mugs and interesting rings, going for walks, long car rides, reading, writing, trying different foods, smiling, meeting new people, not trying to be sexy, music of all shapes and sizes, intuition, letting my emotions lead me, laughing, drinking dark beer, the wind messing up my hair – and traveling. Did I say traveling? 🙂 Things that are other people but not me are: killing bugs, anything medical, water sports (wait – is rafting a water sport? because I love that!), politics, rollercoasters, clubbing, and choosing restaurants.

I realized this weekend that my inability to choose a restaurant stems from my desire to try new foods. I rarely go into a dinner-date with a preconceived notion regarding the plate that will be placed before me. And I genuinely like it that way. I like finding something from what I’m presented rather than pre-deciding on a flavor. It might seem silly, but this came as a revelation to me. I can now say that it’s a trait I like about myself and I’m not going to try to change it.

I finished The Happiness Project but also began and finished Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to God’s Will by Kevin DeYoung. Reading that was like turning a light on. Did he write that just for me?

I went to Denver, Colorado this weekend to visit a friend. The thing is, we went to high school together. We ran in the same group. But we rarely called one another. We didn’t hang out one-on-one. And yet I felt as though we’d have some things in common as of late. And that perhaps she would enjoy some company. So I called. And I booked a flight. And I went.

Hands down? … Best decision I’ve made in a while. In the past, I would’ve been nervous about flying out to spend the weekend with someone who I hadn’t considered to be my close friend. What would she think about me asking? What if we didn’t get along as well as I’d hoped? What if after all this time we really don’t have that much in common? What if? What if? What if…


Looking back at this weekend, nervous didn’t even have an opportunity to cross my mind. Not when I stepped on the plane. Not when I met up with her and we chatted the entire car ride back to her house. Not when we went to Boulder in the pouring rain to walk around for a place for dinner, not when I met her friends, or rafted through white waters, or hiked on a mountain trail, or rode passenger up the side of a mountain as she drove, or walked through Red Rocks Park, or ate lunch together, or watched movies, or shared music tastes, or talked through heavier topics, or planned our next trip, or flew home.

What I did feel was excited. Charged. Inspired. Adventurous. Happy. Glad that I’d made the decision to just go with it. Bettered. Overwhelmed by the beauty of Colorado. Humbled by the whole experience. Grateful. Appreciative of my friend’s attitude/her ability to host/her personality/life stories/faith/insight/friendship. Connected. Thrilled. Elated. Fortunate. Thankful. Impressed by everyone’s ability to roll with the punches provided by the inclement weather. Encouraged by the positive moods around me.

I had an amazing time. And to think I would’ve missed out on such an opportunity if I hadn’t allowed myself to unfold and live in the now/act spontaneously/embrace the unknown.

I’m already brainstorming our next trip together. Exploring Michigan’s finer offerings. Letting her in on some of the things I’ve come to appreciate in our mutual home state. And I’m looking forward to keeping in touch. To keeping up with what we’ve set in motion.

In 2010, I’ve come to remember so much about myself that I had forgotten somewhere along the way. I’ve learned and I’ve grown. Remembered and modified. I’m happy. I’m happy with where I am and where I could be in the future. It’s open-ended. Not to say that I don’t have things I need to work on or fears I still want to overcome. But I know that I can face them. And I know what I should work to change and what I don’t want to change. And if I haven’t considered it yet, I know how to consider it. It’s not that Colorado changed me. But it made it very apparent to me that I have changed. And I’d like to think it’s for the better.

“Blessed” Brett Dennen (performed at Red Rocks Amphitheatre)

Love loud. Don't Lose loud.

So many thoughts. Race. Through my mind. At this very. Moment. I’m having a difficult time. Piecing. Them. Together. Bear with me.

I am inspired. And inspiring?

I’ve been told lately that I have become some sort of inspiration for – (get this…) – spontaneity in others’ lives. Me, the child who spent years of her youth wrapped up in her mother’s long skirts, who wouldn’t spend the night at friends’ houses because she liked to be at home, who was afraid to take risks or put herself out there. I’m inspiring others.

The Lord really does work in mysterious ways.

So, I think it’s appropriate to say thank you for inspiring me so that I might pay.it.forward. Today it feels like there is no greater gift than bringing others through something you have had to be brought through yourself. And I’m still working. Still finding inspiration. Still challenging myself. I’m inspired. And, it would appear also, inspiring.

I leave for Colorado today. My first solo flight. Meeting up with friends. Acting spontaneously. Living in the now. Embracing the unknown. My skin is tingling with anticipation.

I have lived my life by rules. Golden rules. Posted rules. Unwritten rules. I have begun to make my own. To break my own too.

Future, you excite me but I’d like to pay you no mind until your arrival. I have much better things to do today.

I haven’t packed yet. I leave in 3 hours for the aeropuerto.

  • Listen to this song: http://www.myspace.com/matesofstate – The ReArranger.
    • It caught my ear yesterday in a dressing room. And I wish I would’ve learned this lesson earlier in life. To just let things go. To shake them off. To STOP MAKING MOUNTAINS OUT OF MOLE HILLS. I’ve caused many a problem in my life by over analyzing things. It’s a shame.  Love loud – I’m tired of losing loud.