Category Courtship

12 posts

Starting Out Of Order

Sometimes I feel strange because all of the major life events happened to me before the normal life stuff. I graduated at 15, which I thought was cool at the time. I find myself now, questioning whether or not I was actually ready then. A lot of the outside-of-school skills most people learn in high school, I didn’t learn until after I was married. I don’t feel like I earned graduating that early, which might have something to do with finding out I graduated after getting home from a trip and expecting I had to catch up on math before that was even an option. It was welcome and as far as transcripts are concerned, I graduated with over 30 credits, but deep down inside, I don’t trust it. I don’t trust the education I gave myself because I feel so ill-equipped in real life, with people, and jobs, and not homemaking.
If I grew into the adult I was raised to be, I’d probably be pregnant or have a child by now, I’d be cooking meals and taking care of spawn or becoming a planet and looking at homeschool curricula. I would feel perfectly capable, maybe.
But I’m not that person.
I’m a geek who doesn’t get math jokes unless they involve pie – I don’t know what the Mandelbrot set is, but I like the song. I didn’t have an actual or good job experience until after I was married, when I was 18 (the one job I had in high school lasted a month, but it had nothing to do with me).
I’ve slowly been realizing that all the bad things I was told happen to marriages where women have jobs that involve being outside the 4 walls of their home haven’t happened, and are mostly lies.
At 21, sometimes it feels weird to have crossed all the major check points and still feel woefully inadequate, inexperienced, and ill-equipped.  But maybe everyone feels that way if they’re doing the things they like doing?
Everything I’ve done, I’ve been learning as I go – and I have no formal training or anything, I read a lot of blogs from people who’ve been there, I research things I’m unsure or curious about, and I spend a lot of time doing. Which explains a lot of my failed attempts at successful etsy business-ing, but also my successes as data entry specialist and now web administrator for local non profits (child of the internet, ftw).
When I remind myself how far I’ve come and the things I do, I can sometimes remember to be confident. But the struggles I face in my brain just doing simple things and relating – I second guess myself too much, I over think and spend hours inside my head replaying events and hoping I didn’t sound stupid or boring or anything, sometimes I’m almost frozen with insecurities and I never used to be.
But I love the things I do, and I love the opportunities and the friends and experiences and everything that’s so new and exciting that’s happened over just the last 5 months. I love that I get to work with non profits doing things I’ve been acquiring skills for (unwittingly) since high school, I love I get to make videos and that people like to see them, I love that I get to play new games and try new things every Thursday, and I love that I’m actually part of a community.
So maybe it’s normal, when you’re flooded with things that you like doing and opportunities to make money and get help and feedback from people while doing them, to feel insecure. Maybe it’s normal to feel ill-equipped because things are moving faster than you imagined. Maybe it’s normal to be a little scared and dizzy. Maybe that’s all okay.

Hopechest tips

It’s sort of a cultural thing with homeschool girls to start preparing for marriage by building a hopechest. As old fashioned as it sounds it’s actually incredibly useful to have after you’re married. Quite a few friends of mine have been working on theirs for years, I didn’t start mine until I was in a serious relationship –  I didn’t see the use for it until that point. There are advantages to both waiting and starting one before you have a boyfriend. The advantage of starting one early is you’ll have more time to accumulate things you might need or would like to have around that aren’t necessarily practical (or you could save up for small appliances). However, what I liked about waiting was that I could talk with my boyfriend about it (as far as colors and decorations etc go) and then what was in my hopechest was a mix of styles and things that we both appreciated. For example, we wanted to decorate our kitchen with a coffee theme and have red be a central color – so I’d get little coffee towels and things when they were on sale and if he found something with that scheme he could contribute as well ( :D). This made putting together my hopechest more enjoyable for me personally, but I’m just weird like that.
Anyway, I know there are alot of girls out there working on hopechests, so I thought I’d throw out some tips from some of the things I’ve learned:
1.  You will be way ahead if you have a complete kitchen already put away in your hopechest (including small appliances). Kitchen items, even just baking sheets can be really pricey, and it’s nice if you don’t have to deal with stocking a kitchen while you’re moving into your place. Also, having multiple  mixing bowls is a great idea.
—- As a side note, finding a good set of dishtowels (for drying) will save you a headache (and from picking fuzz off your dishes) if you have a place without a dishwasher.
2. Having a nice set of blankets/sheets/linens is also a great thing to have put away (and also pricey otherwise). This is something really fun to pick out together, but also fun to pick out yourself.
3. Irons and Ironing boards are good ideas. I don’t iron much, but living in an apartment without an iron/ironing board makes you appreciate them…and saves money at the coin-op dryer. Clothes will get wrinkled, so I’m throwing irons in here as something I totally didn’t even think about.
4. If you like sewing or plan on doing some sewing, picking up a nice sewing machine when it’s on sale will save you a good bit of money, and you’ll also be able to start practicing. I bought mine  for $50 on Black Friday a year or two ago, and it’s been fantastic.  It’s also faster than hand stitching.
5. Decorations – If you already know what you/& your boyfriend want to do decorating wise keep an eye out for decorations or put some on your wishlist. I wanted to do a retro style dining area, so my grandparents gave me some retro coke items for christmas. Garage sales are good places to pick up random decorative items as well, and sometimes you can find some really great stuff on sale if  you look for it.
6. Keep in mind you can put whatever you don’t have on a registry, but you might not get everything you put on there. Back up plans are good, as well as already having  the essentials.