We’re MOVING!

Pee in the Beans was created after one of the greatest adventures of my life. After two insane trips to Malawi, Africa, my entire world had changed and I was borderline terrified.

I wanted to share stories of traveling in Africa and details of my crazy love affair (with my now husband), and write down my experiences in this new, grown up world. In the years since Pee in the Beans came into existence, I’ve had many adventures, many stories, and many growing pains and I’ve come to realize that my life, my experiences, and my blogging are broader than my original WordPress intentions.

So, while Pee in the Beans will continue to exist so that we can all revisit our favorite stories, I’ll be moving to a brand new, shiny blog.

Politely Wild will encompass so much more than the tid bits I’ve been able to share here. The title itself is a true reflection of me – a girl caught between adulthood and adventure, manners and mayhem – and I can’t wait to share it with all of you!

Each post, comment, follow, and blogosphere friend on Pee in the Beans has helped me build my new blogging brand, and I hope every single one of you visits Politely Wild soon! Actually, you should just click on it right now!

http://politelywild.weebly.com

Advertisement

One Year Later

I innocently put Otis Redding on my Spotify tonight so I could slow dance with myself while cooking dinner. And now that the pot of quinoa is on simmer and I’m listening to the lyrics, I’m sobbing as I sway back and forth.

Slow dancing always makes me think of Mr. Rathroy. Even if he’s in the next room, a good slow dance song makes me physically miss him. The way his giant hand covers mine, the way I can turn off my brain and just follow him back and forth. Mr. Rathroy is a good dancer, and he chose to dance with me, forever.

First Dance Photo

Somehow, when I was 16, I walked into a summer school class and became the luckiest girl in the world. It didn’t matter that for 10 years I ran away, pushed him away, followed him to Africa, lost myself, found myself, and confused myself – he never lost faith in the possibility of me. He hugged me tightly every chance I let him. And when I finally stopped being afraid of what would happen if I didn’t let go, he really delivered.

Mr. Rathroy married me one year ago. Among a forest fire, a flood of tears, and a hundred of the people that we love most in the world – we finally made the forever that we had both always hoped for (though he hoped for it a little more obviously while I took a slightly more convoluted approach).

In this past year, I’ve learned a lot about myself and a lot about my husband. I’ve learned new ways to communicate, the art of patience, the beauty of silence, the importance of sharing responsibility, and the necessity for vulnerability. Every day I become more comfortable with the person that I am and more appreciative of the balance that Mr. Rathroy brings to my life. He is gentle where I am harsh. He is hilarious where I am high strung. He is reserved where I am extroverted. He is Wu Tang where I am Otis Redding.

He is so much more than I thought a person could be and he has made marriage way more awesome than I ever could have imagined. We’ve gotten the, “So how is married life?” question a lot in the past year and we’ve never come up with a very good answer. “It’s good. It feels totally normal,” we reply after looking at each other and shrugging. It doesn’t make for great conversation, but it’s the truth. I’ve never felt more comfortable, more at peace, or more excited about my daily life than I do with Mr. Rathroy. That’s not to say that I don’t have meltdowns about hating my body or confusion over my career or a deep hatred for weekly laundry and meal planning. It just means that I get to work through all of those things with my incredibly supportive, crack-a-joke-about-it husband.

One full year later, we are going strong on our wedding vows, and I couldn’t be more blissful about the “totally normal” married life we lead.

Wedding Ceremony

———-

Today, I choose you to be my husband
I accept you as you are
And offer myself in return

I promise to stand by your side
In sickness and in health
In joy and in sorrow
Through conflict and tranquility

I vow to support you in a lifelong pursuit of happiness
Both as an individual and in marriage
Knowing that through our union
We can accomplish more than we could alone

I promise to always make you a priority
And to love you as my partner
And my best friend, without reservation
All the days of my life

———-

Happy Anniversary, my love.

Sunset Wedding

The Adult Hangover

I woke up this morning with what I’ve decided is the new version of a hangover. My daily, obnoxious alarm rang out at 5:30 a.m. and was promptly snoozed…3 times. Somehow, the glue fairy must have snuck into our room during the night and securely fastened me to the bed. I could not peel myself off that mattress with all my might. And whatever mumbled, post-awakened conversation I had with Mr. Rathroy has been wiped from my memory. Did the dog get fed this morning? I’m still not sure. I feel fairly certain that I showered with my eyes closed and don’t think for a second that I bothered to wash my hair today. I was simultaneously starving and averse to food – coffee was the only thing I wanted – and putting on shoes was torture. Did heels seriously always hurt this bad?! I dragged my ass to an office that was completely empty and proceeded to march through my day. I’m an adult now – with a career and a house and a dog and a hangover. Only problem is, there was no alcohol involved.

As I creep toward 30, so does my social media feed. My entire network is making the transition into real adulthood. Not the adulthood that I panicked about when I turned 20 because my teens were officially over, and not the adulthood I stared at blankly when I graduated college (because really, does college prepare you for adulthood at all? Personally, I was at my most immature in college…). We all seem to be slowly absorbing and experiencing individual things that cumulatively make us grown ups – one wedding or baby’s first birthday at a time, and suddenly we’re slammed with the realization that we’re now the adults that some of us swore we’d never be.

Last night, rather than earning a hangover with booze and dancing and poor decisions about late night taco bell, I was at a work event. I mingled and scanned the silent auction and walked like 7 miles around the venue in heels. I even presented an award to someone on stage. It was a seriously grown up evening. But after a 13 hour day and not nearly enough sleep, I fear there’s not enough coffee in the world to pull me through this adult hangover.

Everyone talks about how much harder it is to deal with hangovers as you get older. I’ll admit that I’ve had some bad ones in my day. You know, the kind where you lay on the couch half dead all day trying to force down some ice water and pizza without gagging? And they have, admittedly, gotten worse as I get older. The open bar at the last wedding we attended almost killed me. But this…this exhausted, dehydration induced non-functioning adult hangover is maddening. Where are the funny stories or ridiculous pictures or confidence that you’re just enjoying life while you can? You know what picture I took last night? This one right after presenting an award to a wonderful colleague in my field.

Tree Hero Awards

And as lovely as that photo is and for how great the work event was, doesn’t it just make the 22 year-old inside cringe a little? I mean, if I’m going to be nonfunctional for an entire day, I’d at least like to have earned it with Jameson.

But, I guess I’ll eventually have to accept that I can’t stop adulthood from rushing toward me. And truthfully, I’ve been enjoying it more than I thought I would. There’s brunch and meaningful careers and silly spouse humor (mostly because Mr. Rathroy brings it to the table) and, if you’re lucky, disposable income so you can do things like go to Patagonia.

Patagonia

So while I’m not particularly overjoyed that working too hard gives me a hangover now, I can’t complain about working hard on something I love. Let’s be honest, I can’t complain about any of this at all.

IMG_1265

Powers and Passions

Well, this was unexpected. In the span of 48 hours, I applied for, interviewed, and was offered a job. And even though I went into the interview thinking the job wouldn’t be for me, I was severely torn when I got the offer.

The process had been a whirlwind and they expressed such excitement over my application that the situation immediately escalated in my mind. I began to imagine my future with the company – full of pencil skirts, hand shakes and promotions in the heart of downtown. Truly, the opposite of my current path – full of muddy boots, low paychecks, and uncertainties. Wallowing on the floor of our living room, trying to decide between the two jobs, I watched my life divide into two possibilities in front of me.

After hours of conversations, pro-con lists, and even tears, I finally circled back around to the basics – the job that I was currently being offered was not what I wanted. Imagination and potential aside, the reality of the situation lent itself to a very easy decision. So when I got the call with an updated offer, I felt prepared. What I had not prepared for was a conference call with the position’s supervisor and the Executive Director of the organization selling me on the imagination and potential in this job. These two, successful, leading women called me to very earnestly persuade me to join them in a path filled with opportunity (and pencil skirts and promotions).

And I lost it.

Which direction should I choose? Where should I be steering my career? What if an opportunity like this never comes again? I circled through the exact same conversations, the same “what ifs” and the same wallowing. And then my mind exploded. I’ve spent my career educating and inspiring youth to become future environmental leaders. Was it time for me to realize that maybe I was one of them? Maybe this was my chance to kick “saving the world” up a notch and lead an organization into the next generation of environmental battlefields. But, instead of using my passion for education and direct interaction, I would be using my personality powers and morphing into a professional event organizer, fundraiser, and shmoozer. And holy hell would I be good at it. Almost everyone I talked to mentioned how perfectly suited I would be for that role – how naturally those things come to me. There was no question that I would excel at it, so was I just afraid to take the plunge?

I’m certainly no stranger to fear, and I have no problem calling it by name. I was very much afraid – of change, of failure, of making the wrong decision. But what I feared more than anything else on the list was turning away from my passion.

An amazing friend, who was also the first person to hire me out of college and catapulted me into the world of environmental education, talked through every step with me. We analyzed the nuances, the possibilities, the feelings and then we discovered it. It was the difference between my powers and my passions.

I possess certain personality traits – my boss qualities if you will – that make me really good at things this job was asking for. But those powers are innate and while I’ve chosen to own them, I didn’t really ask for them. What I have asked for, and what I strive every day for, is to make the world a better place by igniting a love of nature in others. My passions drive me to ignore salary ranges and promotion potential for the promise of watching a person realize for the first time that they are part of something so much bigger than themselves. My passions have caused me to chase ducks and hug trees and work weekends and suffer from farmer’s tans. They’re the entire reason that I work at all (I mean, aside from bills and stuff, but you get the idea). The path I’ve chosen is the only reason I have any faith left in humanity – if I can make them feel why it’s worth saving, maybe they’ll help me save it.

Chasing Ducks

So, while I’m still young, while I have Mr. Rathroy to support me (in my decisions and our finances), and while I succumb to tears when I consider diverting from this path I’ve chosen, I’m going to push forward. I can always fall back on my personality powers, but not pursuing my passions for as long as possible is a choice I would forever regret. Maybe one day I’ll have the opportunity to combine them both and save the world single handedly. Until then, I’ll be out chasing ducks and hugging trees and watching other people light up when they do it too.

Loving Trees