Things I’m Afraid to Tell You

July 26, 2012

I like to keep things light and fresh on this little blog you see here on your computer screen. I like to talk about pretty things and what’s going on in our house and fun projects I’m doing or my blogging friends are doing. But sometimes it feels so disingenuous to talk about pretty nothingness when important things are going on in real life. That’s why I love the Things I’m Afraid to Tell You series. This series was started by Jess Constable, accidentally, with this post. Fellow bloggers loved her honesty so much they came together to write about the things they’re afraid to tell, in the perfect-land of the blogosphere. Jess writes more about the movement here. Even the Huffington Post and Oprah took notice. And that, folks, is a pretty big deal. 

So, I’ve wondered about writing my own list. What would I write? I tried a list format and it didn’t feel right, so I just started writing…

I love my husband. We’re still in newlywed years (I think almost three years still counts!) Our first few years of marriage have been hard, buying a house, job changes, grad school, being away from my family, etc. I worry that we’ve missed out on some elusive happy-go-lucky-all-you-need-is-love newlywed years. I wanted to see the world through rose-colored glasses as a newlywed and that didn’t happen. In fact, it was the opposite. (Actually, maybe I did for the first three months, then when we bought a house and got a dog, the glasses came off haha. I love our house and love our dog so much.) I worry that we didn’t do something right.

Are we where we’re supposed to be? Is this the right place to live? The right area of the city? Are we pursuing the right careers? Are we loving each other well? Are we loving our friends well?

My husband, Allen, is in grad school, I work at a non, profit. Allen paused grad school to start a great job in January. By April, he knew the job wasn’t for him and he quit. He wanted to finish grad school. I wanted him to finish grad school. But it was hard. It was really, really hard. I felt like everything we did was screwed up – like we couldn’t do anything right. I took a little spring break from the blog. I called it “family happenings” – but I was devastated that our life didn’t look like I wanted it to look. 

(Comic relief, sort of: I felt like this.)

Then I worry that life is only going to get harder. That we will look back with hindsight and realize that these actually were carefree years, compared to what we’ll be facing in the future. That means that life is going to get harder. And that is scary.

Have you read this NY Times article on making friends in real life? It really struck a nerve with me, as it did many people. Making friends in real life, post college is hard. Especially here, I think. Atlanta is a big city with an individualistic culture, as far as I can tell. For two years, I lived 45 minutes away from a dear friend. I couldn’t see her as often as I would have liked. We have grown apart. It happens. My very best friend lives four hours away. It happens. My family lives four hours away. It happens. The number of good friends we have in close proximity, I could count on one hand. It happens. 

But, the truth is that I have a wonderful husband who loves me. And I love him dearly. We have great family and dear friends around us. The rest will fall into place. But I suppose I’ll never stop wondering. Are we doing it right?

Copyright Whitney Curtis 2010-2013

12 thoughts on “Things I’m Afraid to Tell You

  1. bebba

    I think you’re right on track. When you stop wondering if you’re doing things right, then you’re doing it wrong. When you become complacent,  everything spirals downward, but always be true to yourself.

  2. Paige Hewlett

    I completely understand where you are coming from – the husband and I got married a little over a year ago, and have since spent about 5 months together, between his training and deployment. We are about to bring baby girl into this world (and couldn’t be happier about it) but I sometimes wonder if we are going to miss out on any great “us” stories and experiences.  I feel like we have “grown up” too quickly – or that we are missing out on the fun things that people in their mid-twenties are doing, but I’ve come to realize a few things. 1. There is no right way – and I feel blessed that we are able to have children and have the life that we do, even if it is unconventional, and 2. No matter what you see in the lives of those around you, often, many are facing the same or similar struggles – it is part of growing up! (I think) Anyway, sorry for the long letter of a comment, but I know that you can get through it, and you and your husband are going to be better for the struggles, and likely appreciate them as the years go on.

  3. Supal

    This was so genuine and sweet. Keep in mind that it won’t get harder, it will get easier. In the Indian culture we have this belief that every person goes through a [single] moment in their life where everything is just hard. I went through that recently and now things are changing. And this time it’s for you. But, it gets better. And be thankful that it happened at a young age. I don’t know anything about being married, but what you have is real and genuine and you’re able to work with one another and that’s a good thing. Keep up the communication and I’m sure it will all fall into place. All you need is love at the end of the day. 

  4. Joy Uyeno

    This is so great, Whit. I feel the same, especially about the friends part now that I’ve moved again.  But I think that when you’re with the right person, and when that person is your family, then it’s so much easier to handle whatever comes your way. We always think things should go in this linear path, but that’s almost never the case. You’re brilliant and beautiful and loved!

  5. Claire Richards

    Although I’m unmarried (nor have I read this book!), I love love love Tim Keller and his beliefs on things. This is the book he and his wife came out with recently…

    I’ve heard good things about it! And I’ve read a few other of his books, all of which provide incredible insight into numerous ‘life questions’. 

    Also, one thing he said has always stuck with me: “Worry is not believing God will get it right, and bitterness is believing God got it wrong.”

  6. Kirbey Broome

    I wonder these same things to myself all of the time. I probably spend more time worrying if we’re “doing it right” more than I do enjoying life! I appreciate your honesty, as it can be easy to think fabulous bloggers live in a dreamy world of amazing DIY’s, pretty outfits, and special dinners and recipes.. (none of which I ever feel like I have time for!!) As it seems to me though, if your life is reflected on your blog, you and your hubs seem to be having a lot of fun and making a lot of great memories! (whichmust be “doing it right”:)

  7. Adina | Gluten Free Travelette

    I can totally relate to your worries about all the struggle and “are we doing this right” feelings as a newlywed – when things are “supposed to be” so happy and fancy free. After getting engaged we moved to a new state, started new jobs, got a pup, and my husband went back to school while continuing to work full time. In our less than 2 years of being married it’s been hard – and I constantly wonder if there’s anything we can do to make it less hard. My wise husband keeps encouraging me to just accept the current state of things as opposed to continuing to agonize over it. My other method of dealing is to always have a vacation planned on the horizon – something to look foward to and give us a break from the often hard realities of our lives right now.

  8. Clare {C Squared W}

    I feel like this all the time! Life is confusing and I feel like you never know if you are doing things right or not. Everyone is different and everyone does things differently, but I think you and your husband seem like you are doing things right! I think life is always hard and never perfect… but I think you just have to follow your heart and go with what seems right, even if it is the harder decision.  We have lived so far from family and close friends for a while now, it is tricky.  And that article was so interesting.  I am glad you finally wrote this post :)  Thanks for sharing with us! 

  9. Beth

    I think it’s easy to let the stress of the everyday really rule your life. I think it’s safe to say that many of us fail to stop and think about how most of these issues will all work out with time. I’ve recently dealt with a the ocean of change that comes when a small company is acquired by a corporate giant. It’s made me want to pull my hair our despite knowing I’ll be basking in the glow of vacation bliss in just a week. The fact that you can air these frustrations means that you’re cognizant of the knowledge that all will be well. This is such a great concept because I think we focus too often on the perfection of life (whether it be through Pinterest or our favorite design blogs), and fail to acknowledge that sometimes that isn’t what life is, and some of us just need a pick-me-up from a strong community. 
    I also understand that meeting people in Atlanta can be daunting. I’ve lived here forever and find that many people I meet come and go. However, there seem to be so many outlets offering you the means. The culture is definitely quite unique. 

  10. Rebecca Contreras

    I just started reading your blog (tonight, actually).  I HAD to comment because this post resonated with me sooooo much.  I’m on my third year of marriage (at 28), I am originally from Atlanta and live in Texas, and I feel so very similar to what you are saying.  It’s hard being away from family, especially when you are newly married and beginning your own family.  I don’t know about you, but  I miss my mom and my sister so much.  I miss my dearest girlfriend from college (in Atlanta, so 14 hours away from me).  And despite how much I love my life and my husband, I am sometimes, like whoa?  How could I miss my family so much.  Rose colored glasses, they are!  It gets better.  But who knew it would be so challenging? :)  Love your blog! I can’t wait to read more.

  11. whitney

    Thank you, Rebecca! It is so comforting to know that I’m not the only one – I know that in my head but sometimes you get caught up in the difficulty of it all. Thank you for sharing your struggle! I miss my mom and sister like crazy too! I didn’t know it would be so hard to live in a different city as them. Hopefully we’ll all move back to the same city eventually. So glad you stopped by to share :)


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