All posts tagged “marriage

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Weekend : Exercises in Team Building

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A very early, sleepy morning at the County Clerk getting our marriage license… 

This weekend Scott almost bought a company.

And I achieved wedding zen.

It doesn’t feel exactly how I thought it would, but I knew it was there when I was got more and more excited about the prospect of taking huge steps towards getting our real lives off the ground.

I mean, that’s the whole point of the whole marriage thing, right?

Supporting and encouraging, or even dragging kicking and screaming, each other into
bigger and better (or smaller and happier) things.

At least that’s what I keep reading in the blogosphere.

To see Mr. Big Ideas actually take steps towards making something happen felt huge.

Because this is my blog and I have to give myself proper credit, I will tell the story in brief. The whole thing started with him saying “T-shirt line “Fake Name” is closing because the owners don’t have enough time and want to focus on family. If it weren’t for everything we’ve got going on right now, I wish I could like, buy them out,” to which I replied, “Fuck the wedding. How much do they want for it?”

And so ensued two days of enthusiasm and negotiations. And even though it didn’t work out, giving it a shot made me seriously giddy.

I felt like I was following my gut the entire time (what a novel and amazing way to make choices), and that we were hashing things out as a team. Bananas.

If marriage is more of this, sign me up.

😉

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Life after Wedding

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me in Mexico

 

As I was writing my Honeymoon Diaries post on “doing” vacations, I started to ponder why I’m that kind of “doing” crazy.

 

Not to justify my own insanity—and it is insanity, as I’m sure you read—but I think this comes out of wanting to squeeze every ounce of amazing out of every moment of traveling.

 

When I’m on a trip, I’m constantly afraid of missing out on something great, I always wanting to be doing, and seeing, and exploring and making the most out of every second.

 

Even if every second is spent at an all-inclusive resort in Mexico.

 

I want to incorporate more of this kind of passion into my daily life, and I think after the wedding is going to be an easy time to start.

 

There is so much I CANNOT WAIT to do come October—some of it productive, like get in touch with a couple of possible mentors and brainstorm and test some new career paths, and some of it is indulgent, like reading magazines again. (God, I miss magazines.)

 

And that’s also part of why I think this honeymoon is going to be perfect for us. One part doing, and one part stopping to enjoy the view (guilt-free) equals a happy life.

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Wedding : Weirdness

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In the past week I’ve learned just how EASY it would be to keep the whole truth and nothing but the truth out of one’s blog.

Last week was really fucking hard. My best friend decided she was suddenly moving across the country, all my other friends—and my boss!—were breathing down my neck for me to REGISTER already (more on that later), I had to work late every night, and oh yea, I had a complete breakdown over what-the-fuck-is-really-the-point-of-this-whole-marriage-thing.

But I had planned in advance (imagine that!) my little week of pretty photographs, and fashion, and more pretty photographs. I said I was going to do it, so by golly, I stuck to it, often crying into my laptop as I put last minute touches on posts. The sheer volume of irony involved in choosing my favorite happy, smiley, lovey engagement pics while telling Scott through gritted teeth that marriage is stupid was not lost on me.

I usually make a conscious effort not to talk about these things. Because people talk. Even (especially?) if they love you. And they’re not quick to forget. So in real life? I keep my mouth shut.

But as I thought about what to post this week, I realized that after everyone’s amazing and brave comments the other week, I couldn’t possibly not share what was really going on:

As I began to allude to last week, marriage is an incredibly foreign concept to me. (And a wedding even more so.)

If I think too long about it (like more than 30 seconds), it seriously makes my brain hurt in its attempt to wrap my head around it.

Mostly, it seems a ridiculously long-term commitment for a life that, as I’ve repeatedly witnessed firsthand, is really quite fleeting. Now I know that a lot of people who’ve experienced their share of illness and hardship and death are often more likely to reach out, to commit, to seek stability, but I am not those people.

Like people who are afraid of dogs because they didn’t grow up around them, so I am with marriage.

My parents weren’t married, my grandparents were for 50 years but with more than a few choice words that a young girl can internalize and in doing so choose to grow up never seeing a long term relationship, much less a marriage, in her future.

So when I met Scott, with his—bless him—romantic notions of marriage it was, err, interesting. Convincing me to be his girlfriend was a complicated process, moving in together only slightly less so (it was my house after all), but on a day-to-day level we were (and still are) fine. Better than fine, awesome, great, perfect.

Eventually, I decided that since marriage wasn’t that important to me, it was a gift I could give him. (See Ben Affleck in He’s Just Not that Into You.) Plus a wedding would be fun. (Hah!) And so I proposed.

And then things got complicated. Because THEN I started, for the first time in my life, actually THINKING about marriage. I thought, and I researched, and I read, and I found that it doesn’t have to be what the stereotypes make it, and that there are many amazing people out there redefining marriage and words like “husband” and “wife.” People who have lives that were beginning, not ending, after they got married.

And in my head and my heart all of this sounded totally awesome.

But my gut is still fighting to reconcile this newfound knowledge with the life story I wrote as a 13 year old girl, the one that involved high powered careers and torrid affairs, and uh, no marriage.

This has not been going so well, as more often than not, my gut is ordering me to run at the thought of “in sickness” (uhh, been there too many times), “for poorer” (yup, there too), and definitely, definitely, definitely, from “till death do us part.” It flinches every time we send an email or a check that keeps this wedding train rolling.

As we get closer, the stakes seem to get higher, and the panic a little more…terrifying. Some people may read this and think, “Well, she’s clearly not ready.” And who knows, maybe some years down the line, they’ll find themselves to be right. But right now? I find comfort in the fact that I may never be “ready” or “sure”, because I am not a “for sure” person, and I’m not alone in that.

The kind of person I am, however, is someone willing to take a leap even if it is scary, because I don’t want to live a “halfway” kind of life.

I fly, even though I hate flying, because I don’t want to be the kind of person who lets fear stop them from seeing the world. I will get married, even though I don’t understand it (and so fear it), because I don’t want to let fear stop me from experiencing one of the greatest bonds one can have with another human being.

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Highlights

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Biltmore Estate, Asheville, NC
April 2010

 

I have been thinking a lot about "highlights" lately, although not in so many words until Meg posted about it.

 

I think it’s probably normal to think a lot about where you are coming from and where you are going when you are on the brink of something pretty huge and life-altering like a marriage.

 

[And if it’s not normal, please someone tell me how to stop! Because it would be a lot easier if I didn’t think about shit like this!]

 

As far as highlights go, I’ve had my share of pretty good ones:

 

Angst-filled high school days? Check!

 

Party-filled college days? Check!

 

Backpacking through Europe days? Check!

 

Starving artist days? Check!

 

Busting ass on film sets? Check!

 

Dancing all nite with celebrities in the Hollywood Hills? Check!

 

Following a band around the country? Check!

 

Following a band to another country? Check!

 

Falling madly in love? Check!

 

Flat broke, in love, and working at a bar days? Check!

 

So while I appreciate the hell out of writer Peter Martin’s statement in Esquire, "For me, the most gratifying part of finishing Kilimanjaro — of doing anything this challenging, this extreme — is that I know, for sure, that I can do it, that I did do it, and that I never have to do it again," and I do see the silver lining in it, for those things I really DON’T want to do again, I think maybe I’m more like the author’s colleague Rodney Cutler.

 

As exhausting as that sounds.

 

Because I LIVE for the highlights.

 

They are what make the caffeine-fueled sleepless nights, the torturous commutes, the months of eating ramen, the crying yourself to sleep because you don’t have the money to pay your medical bills worth it.

 

And it’s the current major drought of them what makes me worried about what lies ahead.

 

Looking back at my annual surveys of the last few years, I can’t pick out a single decent highlight. I don’t know. Maybe the highlights have gotten quieter, and my expectations haven’t.

 

What I do know is I have loved the hell out of all of my adventures. And I rarely (because

what 16 year-old isn’t angst-ridden?) felt my life was passing me by.

 

And now I do.

 

Now when I’m *supposed* to have it all, the boy, the house, the job, the [more] money, etc. I just want this back.

 

The last couple years–and almost all of my and my fiancé’s relationship–have been all about nose to the grindstone and making up the ground we lost when we were broke and happy–the bills, the health problems, the other things that creep up when you ignore the practical.  But now I no longer remember what we’re working towards, and I don’t see the end in sight.

 

And I’m afraid of not knowing how to get back to adventuring.

 

Except this time with a husband.

 

Now we’ve made some tremendous strides together, financially and professionally.

 

BUT.

 

I feel like the steps we’ve made have been decidedly into the direction of what’s “expected” and “normal” and “domesticated.” And I can see where it’s going from here if we don’t mindfully change course. (Babies. Twenty years in the suburbs. More office jobs.) But it’s a scary leap, as I’ve definitely gotten used to the relative cushiness of it, and am not really jumping to give that up.

 

So yea, things yet to be figured out.

 

I will say one thing about Martin’s philosophy:

It’s definitely freeing to approach highlights as the opportunity to do and try things while knowing it doesn’t have to become your "thing." Running a marathon, acting in a play, writing a novel. I want to do it all once, but none of it needs to be my calling.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE:

Sometimes I worry that any philosophizing/navel-gazing I indulge in is very, very “gold shoes too tight”/”first world problems.” Because I have been through enough grade-A nightmares in my life that I should be oozing gratitude for every thing every moment of every day. But I’m only human, so I’m not. And that’s another post for another day.

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“Up” was a downer.

[Wow, my first posted thoughts on marriage. Scary. So scary I procrastinated posting this for a while. And not meant to be pessimistic, or even particularly realistic. Just need to be said. Everything has a dark and a light side, and I’m sure I will get to the light side shortly. :-)]

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Meg’s inhumanly wise post today got me thinking, as they usually do–especially if I’m too busy at work to formulate a comment on the spot.

 

Now that I’ve since had a few hours to think (with some awesome hi-brow, low-brow performances as fuel), and what I thought about was my adverse reaction to "Up."

 

Yes, it made me cry like everyone said it would. But not for the "right" reasons.

 

I left the room in the middle of the tearjerker montage and was away so long that my fiancé had to come after me, finding me in the middle of the kitchen covered in hives and clutching a shot glass.

 

Now, I love him, dare I say, as much as Ellie loved Carl. And I love that I love him. I love that I see us having the same kind of longevity as my grandparents. Fifty plus years of survival.

 

What I do not love is the thought of life getting in the way of our dreams, and day-to-day simplicity and domesticity becoming the dream.

 

And that is what gave me the hives. The presentation of marriage as a gilded cage that strips you of your plans and dreams and leaves you with something else. Something admittedly sweet, but not quite the same.

 

Fuck that noise.

 

Fuck the fear that grips me here pre-wedding, as I struggle with all the examples that say marriage will ruin everything, and I cling to the few examples that say it’s it doesn’t have to be just a default cop-out, it can be a conscious and awesome choice that enriches your life.

 

BUT. But, just as Lauren and her husband so wisely choose to put themselves just a smidge above the other, I think I just might have to put my dreams ahead of my marriage.

 

Just a smidge.