Wednesday, July 8, 2009

On being engaged, and wedding planning

So, now we're engaged. The strange thing is that being engaged feels different. It feels wonderful, but it does feel different. It feels a bit like growing up, like we're taking a step into adulthood. And, after the first week or so, this doesn't feel scary. It feels good. Normal. Pleasant. Right. Of course we're growing up. We're 29. What's so scary about that?

It feels like I've gone from having a vague future to one that is suddenly more in focus. I will spend the rest of my life with this man and we will work together to make our lives into ones we want to live. And we will support each other. And we will live in part for the other.

It puts a lot of things into perspective. It points out some of the habits we have as silly or unhealthy (or in the very least boring) that we want to change to live our best lives together. It brings into reality the fact that we will be parents together. We will make a home together in which we will nurture small people who share our genetic material. We will grow old together. We will take trips together and explore the world. And we will let the other be free as much as that person needs, too. In doing so, we also want to make sure that we are the healthy, well rounded people we want to be in our future. But the future is now, so now is the time to change, build, and nurture ourselves and each other.

It puts into perspective the kind of connection we have and that committing to T means that I am not going to date any other person for the rest of my life. And, it's not that I ever really thought I would, but committing to a marriage means that the future does not include not being with him. I let go of those other imaginary lovers, willingly, of course, but it is still surprising. With marriage, an alternate future is no longer there. And along with this is a realization that as we sew our lives together with more sturdy stitches, that if something were to happen to either of us, those seams would be wrenched out, battering the fabric of the other. We will undeniably be more together, but also more dependent on the other, economically and emotionally. I'm not a dependent person, so recognizing this is both astonishing, scary and comforting.

Marriage is something that we're entering together because we love each other and can't imagine not being together. But, now that we're engaged, it feels like more than that. We're choosing to love and support one another for the rest of our lives. We're vowing to raise a family together, to be partners to each other. To build a home together. To go on adventures and create things together. We're intentionally entwining ourselves.

And, as I look forward to the marriage, and the wedding, that's the perspective I want to carry into the process. We are getting married because we love each other, and that is what the wedding is about, too. I've been reading quite a lot, maybe too many, wedding blogs lately that are obsessed with the color palette and the name cards, the favors, the shoes, and they don't even mention the MARRIAGE or the ceremony.

I understand that... I like details. I love art. I love crafts. I love making things beautiful. And a wedding is the palette that, especially as women, we've been taught is our major work of art for the rest of our lives. I don't want to get obsessed with that. I want to have more art in my life after the day I get married. I want it to be a good time. I want it to be fun. But, if I can spare myself the concern over the mundane and inconsequential details, I'll be a happy girl.

Our wedding will be simple. It will be beautiful. And it will be perfect no matter how many things are out of place. We will be in place, beside the other, and that will be enough.

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