It’s so easy to take your significant other for granted. After some time together, the heart eyes that you had in the beginning of a relationship go away. Now you can see who they really are—their flaws, imperfections, and all the annoying things they do. I am extremely guilty of this. Everyone knows I love my husband, but I have noticed that I complain more than I compliment.
Lately I have been so wrapped up in the routine of life that I haven’t stopped to see... him. All that I seem to notice are how the dishes aren’t done or the laundry isn’t folded. I can only focus on my daily responsibilities that seem to keep piling up. Unfortunately, my relationship has taken a backseat to everything else.
For spring break, my husband and I took a trip that brought back feelings that I had in the beginning of our relationship. There were no distractions... no work, no chores, no responsibilities. And for the first time in months I saw the funny, handsome, attentive man that I fell in love with. We laughed, talked, played, and genuinely enjoyed spending time together like we used to. Now I see why it is so important for couples to have alone time. I realized that we stopped dating each other for a while... We stopped connecting. Sure we have sex, but we didn’t take the time to truly communicate and appreciate each other’s presence. From now on, we will make an extra effort to break away from our routines sometimes and focus solely on each other.
I am the definition of an introvert.
I like spending time alone, I'm not a fan of talking on the phone, and one of the best feelings in the world is when plans get canceled. Because of this, it's hard for me to make friends and even harder to keep them. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a bad friend; it just takes a special kind of person to understand me. I'm sure I'm not the only introvert on the planet, so here are a few tips that people can follow if they have an introverted friend like me.
1. Don't be easily offended.
Us introverts are not the friends that you can call at the last minute for a night out. We need time to prepare our minds for a night of constant socializing. So please don't be offended if we decline your impromptu social invitations. We're not being rude, we just know that going out when we don't feel like it will result in both of us having a bad time. On the other hand, we are always available for a night in! (We'll even bring the wine).
2. We don't like to bother you.
We probably don't call people very often because we don't want to be bothersome. Of course we'll call to check on you after a tragic event or if we have some news to share, but calling just to talk can get awkward. Introverts overthink everything... what if they're busy? She's working and in school, she won't have time to talk... I don't really have much to say so I won't waste their time. To avoid the awkwardness, we tend to keep phone calls to a minimum. Feel free to text at all times and call whenever you need to. We will always make time for a vent session!
3. Less communication doesn't mean you're cut off.
This is where I struggle in my friendships. As we get older, we become busier. Most adults have to juggle school, work, relationships, kids, exercising, and the list goes on. Sometimes, I get so caught up in my own life and months pass before I realize I haven't heard from my friends. It's nothing personal, trust me!
From my experience, introverts make great friends. We just don't enjoy socializing that much, which is unfortunately the root of most friendships. Other than that, we are loyal, great listeners, and fun when we're around those we love. Don't count out your introverted friends... we love you, we just won't call you to tell you that.
One day I was talking to my mom about life, marriage, and other things and she said something that really got me thinking... She said, “did you ever imagine that all of this would happen to you? That’s why people shouldn’t kill themselves… you never know what’s in the future.” I thought about that for a second… my life has been crazy for the past couple of years.
When I thought about the future, all I saw was a black hole. People would ask where I saw myself in 5 years and I saw nothing. At all…
Around December 2015, my life really started to shift gears. I got my Master’s Degree finally! I thought those two years would never end. I started my career as an elementary teacher (my first adult job). Although it was extremely stressful and I made a lot of mistakes, I lived to see another school year lol. To top it all off, I got engaged and married to the love of my life in June 2016. If someone would have told me a few years ago that I would be this blessed, I would’ve laughed in their face! There was a point in my life when I was so depressed and broken. When I thought about the future, all I saw was a black hole. People would ask where I saw myself in 5 years and I saw nothing at all. This was the lowest point of my life.
I would say 2013 and 2014 were my rock bottom years. I never mentioned this to anyone, but there were times when I thought about how great it would be to just not wake up anymore.* To not have to wake up and realize that I was a failure… A new graduate with a mountain of debt, a slightly above minimum wage job, a car that barely worked, and I was living at my parent’s house again. So I used to believe that disappearing off the face of the earth was a lot better than facing that reality each day.
One day, I got fed up. I stopped sulking, put on my big girl panties and slowly started to build a future for myself.
But for some reason, I always woke up. Every. Single. Day. Clearly God had a purpose for me, right? One day, I got fed up. I stopped sulking, put on my big girl panties and slowly started to build a future for myself. I went back to school, bought a car, moved out of my high school bedroom, got a promotion at work, and things started going up from there. I didn’t realize it but I was sowing the seeds for a very fruitful future.
The point of this story is to never give up on yourself. Your future may seem like a giant cave of never-ending darkness, but it won’t always be that way. Sometimes when we are going through something, it seems like there is no way out. I promise you, better days will come. It won’t be easy or quick, but it’s worth it. I encourage you to put on your big girl (or boy) pants and decide to better yourself one step at a time. Just like my mom told me, you should never let go because you have no idea what life has in store for you. It may be even better than you could ever imagine. Just like Dr. Seuss said, "Today is your day. Your mountain is waiting so get on your way!"
*Just to be clear, I would NEVER commit suicide! If you are at a point where you are seriously considering this, please talk to someone immediately!
Whitney is currently an exhausted teacher, a loving daughter, an annoying little sister, and a devoted wife. :-)