While recently editing some photos, I stopped to admire this one of my husband. I love that I can see the flex of his muscles in his arms and legs. I love that even for a man who rarely works out (!!!) he is still so strong and it makes me proud to be his wife.
When I was in high school I was a tomboy. I played rugby and I held the women's back squat record of lifting 300 pounds. These were all things I found much pride in but not everyone felt that way. I never dated anyone and I never got asked to a high school dance. People--my friends--would tell me that I was too strong and tough and that guys would be intimidated by it.
My lack of attention from boys made me feel insecure about myself. I was too much of a tomboy. I wasn't thin enough. Not pretty enough. Too shy. My lack of a dating life felt like a reflection of who I was...never enough.
Little did I know that down the road my marriage would prove all of these things wrong.
I have a very strong and masculine husband. He is not intimidated by my strength. Instead he encourages it. It is in his masculinity that has allowed me to be more feminine. I no longer have to prove myself or find my worth in my achievements. Instead I have been able to settle in being loved for who I am. At the same time I can continue to embrace my own physical strength and independence because it is not a threat to him.
If I could go back in time and tell my teenage self all of this, I would tell her to stay true to who she is. It was in what I thought were insecurities that proved to be my greatest strengths. I no longer have to prove myself but instead am rooted in being true to who I really am.
My husband and my marriage have shown me that all those questions and doubts about myself would only surface to become a more beautiful understanding of who I am as a person, as a wife to my husband, and the purpose that has been set before me in this world.
As I wrote this, I was reminded I have touched on this subject before. If you would like, you can read my Letter to My Teenage Self. It was a reminder I needed today to continue to be true and confident to who I am even when it feels like the rest of the world doesn't understand.