October 27, 2014

An Unexpected Wedding Blitz


Wedding wedding wedding weddings.

Weddings are on my mind.

Can I tell you why?

At the start of October, I was the "unofficiant" at my cousin's wedding. I had the immense honour of performing the ceremony (but not signing the paperwork) for a delightful relative and her equally fantastic groom. The whole weekend was wonderful. I loved celebrating with family. I even made my parents dance! (an unprecendented event.)

Then I turned Thanksgiving into a five-day Vancouver getaway, thanks to the wedding of a dear, decade-long friend. I was her attendant, and I had many tears of joy and remembering as I spent time with her, ventured around the city by myself, caught up with friends I haven't seen in years, and reflected on the last decade of my life.

Come February, my roommate will be getting married. She will have a classy, gorgeous affair with a dance party that will likely be one of the highlights of my year. She has a brilliant eye for design, and is full of ideas for making this day beautiful and perfectly suited to their personalities.

And also, in a little over two months, I myself will be tying the knot.  

(Clarification - the engagement is not two months in total...it's twice that length! I've been wearing a ring since the end of August.)

This is a surreal reality that terrifies and thrills me.

It was thrilling when it was just an idea we were tossing around. Then I started wearing a ring, and it was terrifying. And now, it's both. But the underlying certainty and peace anchors me, and as we put together the major pieces of our wedding day, and continue to work on the bigger picture of building a partnership, I am smiling a lot.

I put on my dress at my parents' the other night, and said to the air, “Can't I just wear this every day?”

I daydream about the home we will make our own, how we will settle in, the furniture we will buy, and the people we will host.

And yet...

"Romance" is something I am not entirely comfortable with. The wedding industry is a frenemy of mine. There are so many cultural thoughts and expectations in every direction around the very idea of marriage, and at 29, I have very different opinions and a much more practical view of these things than I did at 19.

It's been quiet on the blog, I know. In part, because I have little time for processing and filtering and typing out all the thoughts. In part, because I hesitate to throw words into the world without giving careful consideration to them, and I am (I think) too close to these experiences to do them justice. It is too early for me to process the idea of “me” + “him” becoming “us," even though I think about it all the time.

I also think often about the fact that I am no longer fully and solely responsible for or in charge of my life. My story is, in a substantially different way, someone else's as well. This requires a level of self-sacrifice that I find incredibly difficult. It seems that on a daily basis (hourly, at times), I'm confronted with how self-focused I am, and how much I prefer everyone to think about me, my needs, and my wants. Or, at the very least, not to force me to think about their needs or wants. To think about giving and growing in this for the rest of my life is overwhelming, to say the least.

I'm an over-thinker, and I can get caught up in the anxiety of this “task” very easily. Little conversations sometimes trigger overwhelming and unexpected waves of fear. I have to stop and tell myself to re-focus. Remember the little things. Re-iterate truth, to myself, to him, to the whole wide world.*

Because this is the truth: we're a team, now. We're better, we're more ourselves, together. I want him in my life to support, encourage, laugh, cry, and (when absolutely unavoidable) fight with me. And I want to do all those things with him. That's what we do right now. And that's what we're going to keep on doing, all the way through this wedding process, and then on out the other side.

And if that thought makes my heart leap a little (which it does), then I guess you could call me a romantic after all.

*another time, more thoughts on how this relationship is a source of healing and hope, even as it shines light into crevices, cracks, and holes in an imperfect heart....