Am… am not… are too!

Posted on May 5, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

{Yea, yea, my post titles suck lately.  Oh, well.}

I’ve had a post brewing in my brain for a while, a post about how the best advice I could have given my newly-engaged self would have been to sit down and take an inventory of myself.  Who am I?  What do I know about myself?  What do I love?  What can’t I help but being?

I put off writing the post because I wanted to find the right words, and the particular brand of eloquence for which I’d hoped only comes along every so often.  With all of our wedding details swimming in my brain, though, I’ve decided to accept good enough words for now.  Perhaps eloquence will hit me some other time and I’ll rewrite this.

Sitting at dinner the other night, I looked down at my engagement ring and realized how much I loved it, a rather delayed revelation nine months after the morning he handed it to me.  For heavens sake, I picked it out, but I wasn’t ever really sure that I loved it, and the pressure of choosing Something I’d Wear and Love Forever and Ever made me indecisive.  I thought about all of the other loves I’ve ever had, and not one was an immediate reaction.  Not one.  No, not even him.

See, that’s how I am.  Love has to settle into me, seep into my soul, follow knowledge and understanding.  I’ll get a good feeling right away, but I have to know you to love you, and to know you, I need time.   So of course I didn’t love my engagement ring right away.  How could I?  That’s not my pattern.  I was smitten by my ring at first sight — though it didn’t fit any of the criteria I’d settled on (again, pretty typical) — then just wasn’t sure about it for a while until one day I realized that I wouldn’t have loved any other ring more.

Planning a wedding in an era when the whole shebang is supposed to be all about you — yet at the same time, all about your guests — can be tough, and all of your insecurities will be augmented.  Me, I’m not so good at breaking a big picture down into individual elements.  I’m not so good at tweaking and tuning until anything is perfect.  I hate spending big chunks of money.  I love to dream about details, get overwhelmed at planning them, then decide I could care less — until I’m stressed out over the things I didn’t do.  That’s me.

But I love to dance.  I love my people.  I love live music.  And though I might deny it, I love schmoopy lovey moments — but only when they’re not planned.  I love twinkly lights and glassware; laughing until I’m light-headed and wearing pretty shoes; knowing everything that’s going on and choosing what I want to hear; fancy outfits and down-to-earth food.  I love paper.  I love happy flowers.  I love green that’s like grass, the bluest of skies, and warm yellow sunshine.  I’m totally in love with my fiance, even when I’m wrapped up in wishing I lived a perfect life.

So my advice to myself would be this: sit down and make a list of what you love and what makes you feel bad.  Just those two lists.  (I love to dance.  Picking a specific color of anything makes me feel bad.  I love words.  Not knowing how everything fits together makes me feel bad.)

The first list will tell you what you need to care about when it comes to this shindig. (Music.  Ceremony readings.)  The second list tells you where you need to enlist help or have a plan. (Choosing table linens. Start by building the wedding day timeline.)  Forget all of the to-do lists that tell you what needs to be done in what month.  This isn’t building a house, after all.  You’ll do the first list because it’ll make you happy.  You’ll call people for the second list because it’ll make everyone happy.  See?  Easy.  Screw the timelines.  If you hate doing it, you’ll put it off anyway.  And this way you’re involved in what you love and you’re building a community around you.

Keep those lists with you, because even well-meaning people will push you into doing things you didn’t formerly care about or won’t ever be happy with.  Don’t feel bad about adding to your lists, but make those additions the same way — what I love and what makes me feel bad, not what I should do and what I’m not good at.  There’s a difference.


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2 Responses to “Am… am not… are too!”

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Beautifully said!!

Thanks! I like you… let’s be friends.

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    I’ve been there, done that, got the t-shirt (and divorce papers) to prove it. Here I am again, pledging my life to my (new) love with eyes wide open (and heart racing) knowing full well how emotionally traumatic this can end… and doing it anyway.


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