It's quiet in our tiny household tonight as I sit with the comforting light of my laptop -- as I have so many nights before. It has only been three months since I slipped comfortably into a new normal and sometimes, the new normal still startles me.
To explain marriage is quite dumbfounding because all I can ever describe it as is just how I read it from the editorial page of a worn out Candy Magazine I've had as a "tweener": it's like putting on a pair of jeans in a fitting room and you instantly know that you're going to buy it. Marriage fits in just like an old shoe yet it's so dramatically new that having to infuse the two thoughts together can be overwhelming at times.
Ever since I got married, people have been asking me so much about it. Questions that were once about having a boyfriend was now centered on what it was like to be married. Others who are still shocked to note that I actually had a boyfriend and the "quickness" of my marriage (no baby bump here!) seem to ask me questions a mile a minute. The questions aren't surprising actually but my candidness about them is. You see I am an oversharer (as you can tell, there are ten years worth of oversharing on this website alone) but with this part of my life-- I remain just like a cocoon, hidden and without intention of going out just yet. I believe God has the perfect timing for our story but until then, I could never describe how God miraculously crafted our love story other than the fact that He is good.
What's amazing to me though is the fact that people barely ask me about the other areas of my life since I changed my last name (actually hyphenated my last name, I refuse to have my married name take over my dad's name, nope, not ever). You see, yes, I am a married woman but I am still as tenacious as I have ever been.
It took me three months to solidify what I already know -- I am an independent woman who have worked so hard to take care of myself all these years and having a partner doesn't change any of that. I am still as ambitious as I ever was (even more so now, as if to tell people that marriage should never slow you down) but I must admit that in the past three months, I try to be more mindful of that ambition.
Life doesn't revolve around work anymore and somehow, after years of trying to be taught this, I have learned to develop a thick skin for the workplace. Now that doesn't mean that I don't work with all my heart because I do but I try to detach myself from it and realize that people have interests of their own and some are ruthless and do anything to achieve their own personal goals. That's really just the way the world works so I've learned to deal with it.
I am trying hard not to lose the best parts of myself in the rat race but the growth and the steep learning curve can take its toll. My temper needs to be dealt with because it is on an unnatural high since I switched from PR to Accounts earlier this year and it needs to be tamed. God's sweet grace is really all that is keeping me sane on some days.
Bravery also seeps through in different forms -- bravery doesn't mean sticking out a knife. Sometimes, it is a simple as going to work everyday, rolling up your sleeves, and facing whatever needs to be faced. Sometimes they are overly ambitious workmates, piling bills, or even the monstrosity of having to face your own decisions.
Without meaning to sound like a cliche, I am learning more and more that life rarely turns out to be the way you've planned it in your head. For the most part, I have tried to make it the way I've always thought of in my head but the life that I have now, with all its exciting parts, is what God wills for me to have at this point and so I surrender.
Surrendering at different life stages can mean different things. At this point, surrendering is really just letting God take over in a way that I haven't fully experienced before. It's setting aside things I have learned over the years, unlearning them in order to give way to ideals that I haven't even entertained before.
It's about relearning my own definition of success, failure, and life in general. It's realizing that God is the one who ultimately plies our path and in slowly letting go of notions of how life should be, we come across the gift of contentment. We thank God in the midst of deadlines, bill payments, and not so sweet workmates. We learn to thank God for the little messes in our lives and we no longer wait for life to be perfect to offer sweet praise. In fact, it's the little victories that are celebrated the most -- getting up in the morning when all you want to do is run away, letting love win when an argument wants to take over, and most importantly, believing that there are better days ahead even when life has given you a series of bad ones.
It's knowing and believing that every season has a purpose and while as human beings, it is only normal to crave for the days past and the days ahead, we realize that what we truly possess is today so we learn to let go and believe that today is enough, this moment is enough, and then that is when we try again.
And that is when we win.