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Look What I Found: rambles from feminism to marriage

I found myself a little too tired to get up from my computer one night this week and decided I should probably look into what the hundred+ drafts sitting unpublished on the blog really were. I found some great pictures from our stop in Key West last spring (how did I forget about those!), a few less than ideal outfit posts that I never thought were good enough to publish, and SO many fragments of posts I started and never finished. Some of them I meant to get back to, others required a bit more thinking, and many of them I can’t even remember writing.

And so today we have “from the cutting room floor” in blog post form (with pictures from the past two months that didn’t make it on the blog either). I desperately wanted to edit some of the posts, add some things, change others…but I left them in the state I drafted them sometime in the past few years (introductory italics added today):

 

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A few months after we moved to Cincinnati from Utah a year and a half ago



Dear Diary (I don’t actually start any journal entry off like that)

September 20, 2013
Life in Ohio is great. We really do like it here. The ward is awesome, the people are kind, and we finally have an apartment that fits all of our stuff. Ben loves his job (thank goodness for that) and it turns out Cincinnati is much more like New England than the flat barren wasteland I imagined the midwest to be. There are so many trees and everything is so green. We’re actually less than 20 minute from Kentucky and occasionally (although mostly just to annoy Ben) I pretend that we live in the south.

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I remember being excited to write this post. I never got more than the initial thought down – but maybe I spared you from a long inarticulate ramble, who knows. 

I’m a feminist if:

feminism means that you believe men and women are equally important, equally valuable. Because they are.

But if being a feminist means you believe men and women are the same, then I will never be one.

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From what was to be a post entitled “Getting Married was the Best Thing I Did Before Turning 23”
 
Have you seen the articles floating around online about things to do before you turn 23 other than getting married? There are plenty of things you can do with your early twenties other than get married, many of them worthwhile (many of them not).Fact: Everything I’ve done in my early twenties has been better because I did it married.

Being married didn’t stop me from spending weeks competing in NYC in college, keeping up great relationships with my girl friends, or getting a degree (almost). 

Being married has introduced me to a new world of loving, trusting, and serving. Its helped me be less selfish, more confident, and _____. Marriage gave me a new best friend, an additional set of friends, and a long term perspective on life that effects the way I treat myself, my goals, and other people.

Getting married young isn’t for everyone, and I am not trying to tell you to up and get married, or if that you aren’t married by 23 I think you should be. What I am saying is that for me (a girl who thought I’d get married a little before thirty), spending the first few years of my twenties as someone’s wife has been fantastic.

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I don’t know where I was going with this one, but I’m grateful for the reminder to add more moments of quiet and reflection to my life: 


In the quiet I know things that are sometimes hard to remember in the everyday noise. In the stillness I remember, and pray that it takes longer to forget.

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I think I was going to launch into the wonderful mothers I’d made friends with in Cincy (and goodness, do those women deserve a post of their own). Also, Condalleezza Rice’s memoirs is a fantastic read: 

On our way home from D.C. we finished listening to Condalleezza Rice’s memoirs and it got me thinking (about affirmative action, racism, and the need for more strong women republicans, among other things). She often talked about the prominent role of mentors in her development.

As I approach this new stage of life, I am becoming ever more grateful for the role models of motherhood I have. Of course, I have an amazing mother. She was raised by an amazing mother, and I was lucky to have my dad’s angelic mother live with us for ten years in New Hampshire. I learned a lot about motherhood before I even realized I’d grow up one day.

 

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Years later, this is still very true. 


In the end, and in the beginning and middle, people are what matter.

I love my people.

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I think about this every few months: 


I love seeing friends share pictures of their wedding from years ago on social media. Its the usual caption about it being their favorite day that makes me think. Was our wedding my very favorite day?

Until that point, undoubtedly yes. Being surrounded by all (well, almost all) of my very favorite people, being sealed to Ben forever, eating delicious food, and dancing into the night? I wish I could have a wedding every year. Or at least every five.
After our wedding we headed to Key Largo for a wonderful week. Right now we’re in Florida for the first time since our honeymoon. We’re not at a beautiful private resort and we’re not splurging on $100 meals, but that’s not all that’s different. We’ve been married for two and a half years. We’ve grown up a bit, separately, and together.  We took our first international trip, we’re staying with dear friends before they head to England for a PhD, and we’re more comfortable in our own skin.
I don’t think I can pick a single day since our wedding that I’ve enjoyed more, that has all the elements of family, friends, food, God, significance, and love that our day holds. But, overall, life is better now than it was on our wedding day and I have every intention of making sure the best day(s) of our life is in the future, not the past.

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Pictures from top to bottom:
An evening with Linc when he was two months // six week pictures //  Linc at two months // a few extras from our shoot for Target // an afternoon in New Hampshire with Grandma at six weeks //  Ben & babywearing when Linc was 7 weeks
Hope you’re having a wonderful Thursday! 

5 Comments

  1. Loved the format of today's post! All the posts are so thoughtful. And I like that they're unfinished — there's always more than can be said about moving, marriage, motherhood — so a perfectly polished post about each topic would be quite a challenge! ~Madeline

    1. so well said Madeline! I especially feel that way about motherhood …once I think I have something figured out enough to write it down, Linc goes ahead and switches everything up on me 🙂

  2. Anonymous says:

    Elisabeth! This is so sweet. I do enjoy the format! Its a lovely little conglomeration. I do love the bit on feminism too. It is clear but still not condemning of anyone's more, perhaps, radical beliefs. Tactful. Did get you ever complete your college degree? If so, what was it in? Utah to Ohio is far!!

    1. Thanks! It was fun to go through so many posts I'd almost entirely forgotten about 🙂 That one on feminism was always meant to be a much longer post…but each time i'd think about trying, anything more than that lacked the clarity and tact you mentioned 😉

      When I left BYU in 2013 I switched my degree from International Relations to Political Science – most of my economics work got counted as political science – they worked with me so the only classes I'd still need to complete with two introductory courses that could be done online. I've finished the classes and while there is still some paperwork to be done to get a physical diploma, it is great to be done (online classes after you feel like you've already graduated are rough!)

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