5.01.2013

Free love

Door County, Wisconsin
The summer he proposed.

While starting this blog, packing for Australia, and attempting to be "fashionable" while traveling (just for fun), I began by delving into reading beautiful blogs of other ladies my age who seemed perfectly manicured, had perfect hair, great style, and taste. I had drowned myself in the world of Pinterest the previous year while planning my wedding, and at times found myself drained from spending so much time (that I did not have to spare) comparing myself to others. It snowballed into some anxiety at the time, since I was working full-time and desperately wished I had more time to spend on myself, my home, and my husband. I realized, thankfully pretty quickly, that comparison is the thief of joy. I reflected for a moment, took a good look at my own "hippie" self, and honestly just laughed. What was I doing to myself? I loved my life and who I had become and what it took to get myself here. I was truly happy, why on earth was I working to convince myself otherwise?

It was during my transition from Florida to Australia, that I realized a few things about myself. I am proud of the fact that I have never dyed my hair. In fact, I've spent most of my 20s rolling around with wet hair as a hair style, even cutting my own hair at times if I needed a haircut. I have never had a manicure, but I had a pedicure once and hated it. While visiting the great state of Wisconsin for the first time (where my husband hails from) during December, I shocked both myself and his mother that at 24 years of age, I didn't have one pair of socks to my name. I had only ever subscribed to flip flops or bare feet as a way of life. I  realized I've owned the same 3 pairs of jeans for the last 7 years, and the most money I've spent ever on one item of clothing was my wedding dress. I didn't own a cell phone until I was in the Peace Corps (at 22 years of age, GASP!) and have never owned (and didn't miss) a television until I lived with my husband. I can count on one hand how many items I've baked in an oven. Give me a frying pan and single camp stove burner any day and you will get some awesome tacos or eggs. 

While traveling around like a vagabond these last 10 years, I have completely missed out on becoming domesticated. I spent my time in rural Ghana fending off marriage proposals in the tro-tro (bus) by reciting all the household chores I could not do. And I honestly could not do them. I laughed then at the horror in their eyes as they took back their proposal of marriage, I wasn't a suitable wife. 

Well now I find myself a wife, and thank God I didn't have to qualify to become one. I've always boycotted the gender role idea of women being the sole cooker/cleaner and have never found "women in the kitchen" jokes funny. I have learned, however, that sharing household responsibilities is part of being a good roommate. 

Needless to say, the "domestic" part of my resume is seriously lacking. I find myself emailing my mother in desperation every holiday on what to cook and how and what temperature and how long. My husband sees me struggle and still loves me. I can't help but swell up with tears when I think of my husband's love for me. To quote a line from my vows I read from a wrinkled sweaty piece of paper on our wedding day last summer, "your love makes me feel free". I choked up when I read it that day in the park, and whenever I watch our wedding video, that line sends me reeling into tears. Good tears. It is proof I've found my soulmate, and the best kind of love. Come tacos for dinner every night, wet hair, socks, or bare feet.

I have a love that makes me feel so free. 

Taken last summer after we said I do 
in front of all our family, friends, 
and a field of flowers in Door County.
photo by Heidi Lee Photography