{Part One}{Part Two}

“Birds chirping! Sun shining! People smiling!” That’s a quasi line from a Friends episode when someone asks Phoebe how her day was. She was lovestruck and the world around her was brighter.

This has truly happened to me. But it happened more slowly than one might think. Or maybe it just took me too long to realize it. Either way, I’ve become one of those, “It’s such a beautiful day!” people. All.the.time.

I wasn’t a pessimistic or cynical person. I can honestly say that I’ve never been that. But I wasn’t a “those mountains are beautiful” person. I thought maybe I was missing something in my wiring that other people had. I just could not relate to that.

I was never a nature person. I wasn’t one for scenic pictures or drives. I’d rather be on the town admiring building and touristy trinkets from a Saturday Market. And I still usually would. But now you can’t get me away from pictures of nature….land, sea, animals, you name it. I will “ooooh” and “aaah” and “I want to see that in person” over any picture that I see.

Every single time we get in the car to go somewhere I’m commenting on the sunrise, sunset, skyline, clouds, colors, mountains, farmland, etc.

I have been reflecting on this for a while. What caused this change? Zach’s dream job is to someday be a photographer for National Geographic. This is true. And he does have an eye for things, but he’s honestly not constantly saying, “Look at that beautiful rose!” He’s just not that type. He will comment when something’s pretty but it’s nothing profound.

So why the change then? The only thing I can think is that since I’ve found rest, I’ve been able to stop and appreciate more. It’s true. My mind doesn’t run as much (oh, it still runs like crazy but not as much) and so it has room to stop and smell the roses, so to speak.

This isn’t just true for the aesthetically pleasing. It’s true in general. I’ve said before on this blog that I’ve always been a pretty grateful person, but as these changes have taken place I notice that I’m even more grateful than ever before. I am grateful for my challenges, my trails, and my pleasantries of day-to-day life along with bigger successes. There is gratitude to be found in every area of our lives and I believe and live that now more than I ever have before.

My marriage has changed me.

Thank you for reading this series. These posts have literally been sitting in the drafts folder for months. It took me a while to get the words the way that I wanted to. I was hesitant to write these for two reasons: First, I loved my single life. I learned a lot. I was very independent before I got married and still consider myself very independent. I didn’t want these to be interpreted as a “he completed me” posts. I hope that I adequately described that my marriage was a safe place for me. Why I needed that I’ll never fully understand, but I do know that I’m grateful for it regardless. Secondly, the belief that the little girl me is the closest thing to my natural spirit is a very heartfelt belief of mine and has been for a very long time. It is near and dear to me and I didn’t want that belief trampled on or mocked (even if it wasn’t agreed with). It’s something that means a lot to me. I wanted to share and I’m so grateful for the kindness here. Thank you!