When I graduated from grad school, I convinced myself, like most people in the helping professions, that I would go out and change the world. I chopped my hair off and moved home to Michigan where, bright-eyed, I walked into my first day as a new therapist. I applied to over 50 jobs before moving back home, where I accepted a job from the one and only company that took a chance on a new graduate like me. Being fresh in the field, I was motivated to work, learn, and discover my purpose through my new career. I dreamed about being able to help everyone. But less than a year in, I quit my first job– a decision that I now see as transformative in my own personal growth.
Today is my husband David’s 27th birthday! I talk about him enough on here that I think it’s pretty obvious he is an important part of my life. To commemorate his arrival to his late-20s, I decided to share 27 life lessons I learned from David for his 27th birthday.
The year is already halfway over! How is that possible?! June flew by, probably because I’ve been so busy with The Light Owl. Over 2,700 people checked out the site, and The Light Owl got over 4,600 page views! That is miles above what I was hoping to achieve in my first month as a blogger. The only thing I can say is THANK YOU! Thank you to everyone who shared, commented, and supported my little passion project and made it such a success!
David and I finally got to take our backpacking trip up to the Porcupine Mountains in the UP of Michigan this past weekend. We had been planning that trip for over a year! We had been slowly collecting gear and were preparing to hike for our first wedding anniversary in September until David broke his foot. Sadly, we had to let go of our expectations of being able to hike and we made the decision to put our trip off for nine months. It gave us plenty of time to plan our trip, but not much could have prepared us for what we encountered in the wilderness!
If you haven’t heard, there have been a lot of bear attacks recently. Oddly enough, it wasn’t grizzly bears that were attacking humans. Instead, the gentler giant, black bears, have been wreaking havoc. This is apparently pretty uncommon for black bears. Of course, black bears inhabit the Porcupine Mountain Wilderness State Park where we were planning to hike.
I told David that I was hesitant to hike given the recent bear attacks, so we prepared ahead of time. We bought bear bells and bear repellent, which gave me some peace of mind. But when you’re in the wild, anything can happen.
And that it did.
It’s official: wedding season is in full swing! Last weekend, I spent Saturday at a bridal shower and Sunday at a wedding. Weddings are very emotional for me because I can’t help but think back to David’s and my wedding and reflect on our relationship. I cry at every wedding I attend. I can’t help it!
David and I got married in the fall of 2015, so we are still technically newlyweds. Did you know that couples are considered newlyweds for up to FOUR YEARS after they’re married? That seems a little long to me, but then again David and I have been together since 2009. We recently celebrated our 8-year dating anniversary back in April!
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Our relationship has changed a lot over the years. We met the summer after I graduated high school but didn’t start dating until two years later. We went through a lot of “firsts” together. Today, our relationship is stronger than ever. I love wedding season because it gives me a chance to reflect on how far we’ve come.
Speaking of David, he is writing with me today!
Amanda: I wish you all could see the silliness that is already happening over here in our living room! Maybe we should have done this in a video format.
David: No thanks. It’s a little soon for a video of me.
Amanda: David and I have gotten a lot of comments over the years about how we are a “model couple,” but it hasn’t always been that way. Our relationship has taken a lot (I mean A LOT) of hard work to get us to the point we are at. Today David and I are going to talk about the six most important lessons we have learned to have a rock-solid relationship.
Happy Monday! Lately, every day of the week has felt like Monday for me. I’ve been sapped of energy and motivation and in turn, I’ve noticed that I have been lacking confidence. I know I’m not alone in this. A few of my friends have also been talking about how they’re also doubting their abilities and, as a result, are doubting themselves.
Normally for me, a weekend is just what I need to give my brain a break from the self-doubt, but every once in a while, Monday comes along and I’m already questioning myself. Am I doing enough? Am I cut out for this? Lately I’ve been noticing that I answer those questions with self-defeating conclusions.
Today’s post is a little different because I was given the honorary Blogger Recognition Award! This is not only my first award, but also a HUGE surprise because I had no idea my little blog could impact someone enough to think about me! Thank you so much to Natalie at Sacred Perennial for nominating me. It means the world that you thought of me.
As a recipient of this award, I have a few rules to follow:
Thank the blogger who nominated me and provide a link to their blog.
Write a post to show the award.
Write a brief story of how my blog started.
Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
Select 15 other bloggers that I want to pass this award onto.
Comment on each of the 15 blogs to let them know that I have nominated them and provide them the link to this post.
Confession: I have struggled with anxiety my whole life. I remember going to my doctor as a little girl and having him tell me that I was a “worry wart.” Back then, anxiety wasn’t talked about as much. Over the years, I’ve found lots of ways to try to cope with it. Some ways were admittedly not good for me. I looked for ways to control my life that ultimately made my anxiety worse. I’d take on projects that I thought would be a good distraction from my mind only to have it filled with more stress. I demanded perfection of myself in hopes that I’d find peace. Although some of those things worked in the short-term, I never found what I was looking for: freedom from any sort of stress.
I know now that pursuing a perfect life is not only a worthless search, it can lead to a dangerous spiral of self-criticalness and apathy. I am now (thankfully!) at a point in my life where I can take things in stride and not let my anxiety consume me. In more recent times, I found anxiety relief in an unexpected place: getting a dog.