The last three months have been a little bit of a roller coaster ride for me. In my last post, I shared about the rebirth of LiveLifeWell, so naturally, it only feels right to update you all on what I’ve been doing while I’ve been away and reflect on how I’ve grown during the last couple of months. Before last week, the last time I published a blog post was more than 30 days ago. Although July 13th marked my official departure from the blogging world, if I’m honest with myself and you, I had been pretty inconsistent with writing for the 3 months prior to that and, even before the inconstancy set in, my content began to suffer because my mind was literally ALL over the place. I’ve revamped my blog a little bit to make it into a space that I love and am excited to commit to again.
I’ve always been a proponent of GROWing through what you go through, so I think it’s important that we always spend some time reflecting on what prompts those major awakenings in our lives. While I was away dealing with all of the things I was dealing with, I had one of those awakenings (which I’ll share about in detail next week). Of course, it’s only fitting that I spend some time looking back on everything that’s been making my life so beautifully hectic for the last 3 months not only to gain perspective, but also to give you all an update:
- Reconnecting with my husband: After spending 9 months in France, my husband returned home in June. Although I usually travel with my husband and spend basketball season living wherever he is playing, this year, I decided to stay home to complete the internship hours that I needed to finish my master’s degree (more on that to come). 9 months is a long time. Seriously, while it doesn’t sound too awful, it DRAGS when you’re away from the person that makes you feel like you. While the time apart actually kind of strengthened our marriage (in a “you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone” kind of way), it took a major toll on us as individuals. We were both lonely. We both dealt with numerous bouts of sadness. We both resented each other a little bit for not being physically “there” when we needed each other the most. This summer, I needed to spend some time reconnecting with my husband and showing him how much I appreciate having him home. I needed to spend time being intimate with him (inside and out of the bedroom) and I spent the majority of my free time doing just that.
- Completing my master’s degree: Now, I’ve just explained that the 9 months I spent physically separated from my husband were some of the hardest months of my life. The only reason that we spent time apart was so that I could complete my Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy, so during the last 3 months, I have made it my personal mission to ensure that I completed every last one of my internship hours so that when he leaves for the upcoming basketball season, I can go with him. Most of the time that I would have usually spent creating content for LiveLifeWell has been spent working. My internship involved providing counseling services for individuals and couples, as well as leading and assisting with groups for developmentally disabled adults and their families. I gained some invaluable experience and, for the month part, really enjoyed working in the field. Now that my internship hours are complete, I have successfully finished my master’s degree and can’t wait to get my diploma in the mail (because, obviously, it’s not real until you can post it on Instagram).
- Learning how to balance working and being a wife: I started working last August shortly after my husband left for France. Up until June, I had no idea what being a working wife felt like. With my husband away, I could focus all of my attention and energy on my internship. Let me be the first to say to all you full time working wives and working mamas, you ladies are superheroes! It’s one thing to spend hours working with clients and come home to solitude and something totally different to come home to someone who actually wants to interact with you. At first, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that it was extremely draining. I was ecstatic to have my husband home, but I did not have the first idea about how to balance working and being a wife. Usually, my husband and his needs have come first during our marriage, but what I do requires me to be truly present with people for hours on end and I realized that on somedays, when I came home, I just didn’t have much left to give him. As I said earlier, spending quality time with my husband was one of my major priorities this summer, so I had no choice but to find some sort of balance. For me, that began by asking for help. My husband took over many of the things that I felt were my responsibility so that when I came home from work, I didn’t have to worry about laundry or tidying up or even, on some nights, cooking dinner. His assistance allowed me to spend the time I would have spent preoccupied by other things WITH him instead of doing thing FOR him. The second thing that I learned was to treat my days off as days off. I committed to not checking my work email or preparing for sessions on days that I didn’t have to go into the office so that I could focus on being present with my husband and being a wife.
- Figuring out what I wanted to do AFTER I finished my master’s degree: I’ve been in graduate school longer than I’ve been married. At times, it honestly felt like I would NEVER finish and I found myself wondering why I started in the first place. During the last 3 months, I realized that the end was finally drawing near and I spent a lot of time soul searching about what to do next. While it was difficult to establish balance between working and being a wife, now that I (kind of) have, I can’t imagine not having some sort of job. Working gave me a sense of purpose and doing something that I genuinely enjoy made it all the better. Unfortunately, when I picked the field that I would get my master’s in, I did not necessarily consider that my husband and I might be traveling all over the world and lack the stability for me to actually have a traditional counseling career. I’ve been doing some soul searching and looking into a variety of online jobs that I can do from anywhere in the world and am leaning towards applying for a tele-teaching position. While I think that I will enjoy teaching, I also really want to actually use the master’s degree that I worked so hard to earn. I absolutely love working with couples and have decided to continue working with them, although not in a counseling capacity. I will offer online courses for premarital and pre-engagement couples, couples looking to improve their communication, and couples looking to determine how to manage their finances.
- Continuing to grow my podcast: Back in February, my mom and I launched a weekly podcast that we co-host together called The Duo. It’s funny, because while I feel like I haven’t shared anything or created content in so long, I’ve still been doing both of those things, just using a different medium. Although I needed to take a break from LiveLifeWell to focus on everything else that I had going on, I did not take a break from the podcast and focused on continuing to release new episode and grow our audience. I also spent a lot of time thinking about how The Duo and LiveLifeWell can support one another as brands so that they will both continue to flourish.
- Focusing on my physical health: In the last post that I published before my month-long break from blogging, I shared candidly about my journey towards body positivity. Part of that journey has involved finding workouts that I actually enjoy, not because they’ll make me skinnier, but because they’ll make me both mentally and physically stronger. I’ve been spending a lot of time working out and, right now, Orange Theory and Barre3 both have my heart. I love that during an Orange Theory class I get my heart pumping and burn a ton of calories. In Barre3, on the other hand, I love that I can literally feel myself getting stronger and more disciplined. One top of working out, during the last few months, I’ve spent more time than usual actually paying attention to what I’m putting in my mouth. I love all kinds of foods and struggle with healthy eating, so when it comes to eating right, I’m a work in progress, but it’s something that I’ve definitely tried to embrace and learn more about.
- Working on developing spiritually: Part of the reason that the last few months have been so draining for me is because I’ve been struggling with a lot of anxiety. For my husband and I, the summer is usually a season of uncertainty, and uncertainty and I are not a good match. I needed to find a calm in my chaos and after searching high and low, I realized that, for me, that calm has to be faith in God. I have a lot of things that I need to work on personally, but the two biggest (and arguably most important) things are trust and patience. I know that if I can improve in those areas, my anxiety will lessen and I’ll be a happier person overall. I go to counseling regularly and while it has helped, believing in something bigger than me helps even more. Recently, I’ve been spending more time that I ever have focusing on developing spiritually and creating and maintaining a relationship with God. I won’t share too much about what this has looked like for me here because I actually already wrote a post totally dedicated to this topic that I’ll be releasing next week, but what I will say is that it has involved a lot of studying, praying, and learning to be open to signs from above.
I feel like after every summer, I say that I’ve changed and I’m usually telling the truth. I always say that I’m not the same person that I was a few months back and that I’ve grown. While I always mature, over the last few months, I’ve matured more than I ever have before in such a short period. From the things that I witnessed and dealt with during my internship to recognizing that I need God more than I need anything else, this summer, I haven’t just changed, I’ve transformed. The most beautiful thing is that I know my transformation is far from over…