Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Marriage 101: Expectations VS. Reality

Today is my four month wedding anniversary and these four months have been quite the experience. It has been a complete roller coaster of emotions and I can say for sure that it hasn't been at all what I expected. I got married at a pretty young age for a girl of our generation. I met my husband when I was sixteen, we got engaged when I was seventeen and now I am twenty and married. So I was fairly young but it was completely my choice and it was something I fought everyone for. I felt it was right and till now I have no regrets. My family of course was terrified for me because they thought I was young and stupid like most girls my age at the time. But I was very mature for my age and I knew what I was doing.
Either way, once everyone knew I was getting married the wise, mature and experienced advice from various family friends started rolling in and I listened attentively, trying to capture key points like being patient and communicating how I'm feeling to my husband. The advice was all great but in the end talk is cheap if you can't put it into action. It was really difficult for me in the beginning to transition from being an independant woman who worked and went to school full time to sharing my entire life with another person. The first month was the worst. No one told me what to expect. It was so hard to adjust from leaving my family to moving in with someone who had spent the past few years on the other side of the globe, far away from me. People always pointed out that we were in our honeymoon phase of the marriage and that our love is blossoming into something beautiful. All lies of course. The only person who really let me have it was a close family friend who said that after nine years of marriage with her husband she is finally in her honeymoon phase. She said the first year is always the worst because you are living with a new person and you are just starting to see all their little habits and quirks. 
She was absolutely right! I had spent the past four years with my husband in a long distance relationship and I thought I knew who he was. I knew nothing and I learned that you really don't know a person until you live with them under the same roof. I learned how he eats, what time he goes to bed, how much salt he puts on his food, his obsession with cleanliness, and worst of all his addiction to smoking cigarettes. So many little things that sparked arguments every day and I began to think my relationship was unhealthy and that we argue and fight too much. I even began to hate myself for being such a downer all the time but I just couldn't understand how something so strong could just fall apart in such little time. 
But I was patient and he was too and every day we argue less and less and his annoying little quirks kind of make me laugh now, and things that would bug me don't bother me as much because I've learned that that's who he is and I am no better to think I am capable of changing him. We can both be stubborn sometimes but we're learning to compromise. I stopped demanding and he started understanding me better. I can't say we've reached that perfect understanding yet but we're getting there and I love him no matter what and I know he loves me too. I know it's cliché but really without love what keeps people together. No matter how angry I get or how hurt or upset I like to click open our wedding pictures and it reminds me of how much I love him and that I married the right guy. We've got a life ahead of us and it would be boring if we didn't hit some bumps sometimes.

PS: Just remember guys, the first year is the hardest so don't set your expectations so high because reality can hit you hard!

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

The Angst of Anxiety

Anxiety sucks! I know what you're thinking "way to state the obvious Jenan", but seriously anxiety, stress, worrying and panic attacks keep my brain in constant motion. I sleep with my hands clenched like I'm about to enter a boxing ring and I wake up with the world on my shoulders. It seems endless because even when something so little comes up that no normal person would even think twice about, my head just overworks itself with worry and I overthink it until it becomes a big problem in my life. I went through phases where even the weather brought me so much stress and anxiety that I would have panic attacks if it rained a bit. I've improved since then but thats mostly because my brain simply has no more room to worry about the weather because its too preoccupied with stressing about school, work, home and my new marriage (I recently got married for the first time and I have so much to talk about, but we'll leave that for another day). To me, having anxiety just means that everything in my life is overwhelming and when problems get solved I feel instant relief until a new problem takes over my brain and the cycle returns. I think the worst part really is just that the people around me don't understand how my head works. Even when I try to explain that I hate surprises and that I need to know everything and that I need to be in control of certain situations, it comes off like I'm overbearing and OCD. Really whats happening is that I'm simply freaking out about failing or things not turning out right. Its hard for me to delegate and share responsibility and when I do I am terrified of what could happen. My husband has a hard time grasping my anxiety. He is the complete opposite of me in terms of worrying. He is very relaxed and almost nothing bothers him or stresses him out. The poor guy tries to tell me to relax or to give me solutions when really wish I could do is explain exactly what I am feeling when I am stressed about something. 
What's funny is that I'm even nervous about posting this because I feel like it's not a good subject to start my blog with. I guess all I'm hoping is that someone reads this and knows exactly what I'm feeling and can relate to some of the things I go through on a regular basis and from that to keep posting about relatable (less whiny) things in the future. If at least one person can relate it would make me feel less insane because most of my friend and family don't understand why I get worked up about things and their suggestions are not easy to just apply to my life. Its a lot more complicated than that. 
One thing that I find helps sometimes is just finding an outlet to let it all out. For me my outlet is driving on a long open road, music on, windows open and just breathing in all the fresh air. I wouldn't say it helps me clear my head because nothing can do that, but it definitely makes me happy.

PS: If anyone actually does read this let me know if you can relate! :)