My marriage has changed me. Or so I thought.

For the first year of marriage, I was happy as could be with being married. But I felt like I changed so much that it almost bothered me.

It’s been just over three years and I can see these changes for what they really are. I accept them. I thank Heavenly Father every day for Zach because of them. I am thrilled about them.

Because I’ve come to understand that most of what seemed to change about me didn’t actually change. Instead, marriage has brought out who I’ve really been all along.

As confident as I am most of the time, I don’t like people to not like me. And that has caused me to, in the past, second guess who I am.

You see, I live in a world of self-created rules. “Oh my gosh, you have so many random extreme rules, Ham! I don’t know how Zach does it!”

That’s something my brother has said to me on more than one occasion. It’s true. I do. I have random rules, like I treat holidays like the Sabbath and don’t believe in going to the store. That’s another random rule that was recently brought up when mom needed me to drive her to Walgreens on Thanksgiving and said she seriously debated before asking me because she knew a lecture would ensue.

I create these rules. I share them with the people around me. And more often than not, they backfire. Either I break them myself or one rule doesn’t add up to another, etc. I just create rules as I go in my own little world.

I don’t necessarily expect other people to live by them, but they sure do get people in a huff. However, I am who I am and I never learn. I share these rules openly and willingly and I have for as long as I can remember. And I’ve been criticized for them for as long as I can remember.

I’ve been called the morality police by some (ahem…an uncle of mine) and too rebellious by others (hello every Mormon boy I was ever interested in before Zach). I don’t have a place. I don’t know where I belong and I never have. I’ve always just been me. Just Sharlee.

There have always been parts of me that I make no apologies for. But the part of me that honestly will never be able to make everyone happy. Will never be able to agree with everyone? Well, that’s the part of me that I’ve always had the hardest time with.

 To be continued