Time for a little writing therapy, me thinks.
This month has been a complete and total mess. After the holidays, life began to speed up for Jay and I. His graduation was coming, he was feeling anxious about finding a job, my work had a fairly significant restructuring, our wedding hit the 6-month-away mark, then he got a job, and within a week found out he would be moving up north for 6 months. I felt like I had just run a marathon, only to cross the finish line and be told I had to swim upstream for another entire course. I’ve lived with anxiety (and it’s varying degrees of intensity) my entire life and all this just brought it roaring to the surface.
I’m not a traditional bridal kind of girl. I never really dreamed about my wedding, or fantasized about what I would wear. I just hoped that someday, I would find a love like the one my parents have (which is really wonderful). When Jay and I got engaged, we had fun drawing pictures in our minds about what our wedding would be like: a party of our closest family and friends where we would celebrate, dance and sing until the early hours of the morning (with an open bar, of course). When we sat down to plan, it sunk in that a wedding is not only a special day, but an entire production. There were so many opinions, so many wishes, so many questions to answer. We decided to wait a few years, and tackle it again when we felt more prepared and were in a better place. At the time of our engagement, Jay had a corporate job and hated it. A few years later, he made a huge change and became the happiest person I’ve ever met. We decided it was time.
Regardless of feeling much more prepared, the anxiety still loomed over my head. I desperately want to please our friends and families but personally, really wanted something small and intimate. I would have eloped and come back to a big party. But Jay has always loved the idea of a wedding and I want to give him that, so we met halfway with a mid-sized guest list, and an outdoor, relaxed venue. I felt at peace with our decisions, until I started having to make a million more. One morning, I found a guide online that the company organizing things for us had forgot to send, stating dates when certain decisions and tasks should have been completed. We were incredibly behind. I started stressing like crazy, acne breaking out over my face, losing sleep, getting very irritable. Days later, Jay got an offered a 6 month contract for the summer at a job 8 hours away. It was perfect for him, but just came at the most inopportune moment. Within a week, he went to training, came home and it was official. He would move in 3 weeks, only coming home for the wedding before leaving again to finish his contract.
All of a sudden, we had to make more decisions than we have in years, all in 3 weeks. We needed to secure our DJ, find someone to marry us, choose our wedding rings, buy him cleaning supplies, a TV, pack all his clothes and take note of everything we would need to buy him that we currently shared in our home. He had to file our taxes, see the doctor before he left, re-book scheduled dentist appointments. I had to change my vacation time.
For Christmas, I got Jay a weekend away up north in a cabin with no internet, no TV and a firewood stove for heating as a de-stresser and a romantic getaway. That weekend was meant to be this weekend, but we woke up on Friday morning, when we were meant to leave, to a very apologetic text from the host we booked with saying they were hit horribly by the ice storm the night before and lost power, and he would have to cancel and return our money. We were beyond bummed out. We had both planned surprises for each other, bought a ton of wine, planned food and board games and hikes and snow-shoeing. Instead, we went to see my family and tried to knock a few to-do’s off our list. But I continue to be terribly indecisive. How do I choose a ring I will like for the rest of my life? Do you go with white gold, like my engagement ring, or yellow gold, like the traditional, timeless bands? Do I want diamonds? Can I find something less ..blingy? What is the difference between a suit and a tux? Can you book group rates when your entire wedding party live in different cities?
Needless to say, I have hardly been reading. Books can hold my attention for a few lines before my mind drifts to an entirely different place; a place of lists and anxieties and so many decisions. So I decided to do what I always do when I feel like this: make plans. I finally found a good therapist, because talking out loud always calms me, put money aside to join the gym that my roommate goes to with the promise of yoga classes (another calming thing from my past), and made a list of things I’d like to do, movies I’d like to watch, places I want to go, while I’m kicking it solo for a few months. I’ve hesitated making a to-do list, because I keep thinking that once all the points are crossed out, Jay will have to leave.
I’m not afraid of long distance. One thing I am sure of is that we love the crap out of each other and will find ways to make it work. We’ve done it before. I’ll rent a car and drive up to see him, he’ll fly home whenever he can scramble a few days off. But my goodness, does the anxiety get to me. I’ve been taking it out on my wallet.. despite hardly reading at all, I’ve bought 11 books this month, and a fair share of wine.
I’m sure I’ll still be able to muster a small March in Review post in a few days, but there won’t be much to review. I’ve started a million things, managed to finish two, and instead of reading before bed, have begun journaling for the first time in years. So, this month was a bit of a mess, but such is life and I’m just grateful I have some wonderful people in my life who make the mess worth working through! (Special call out to Jay, who, despite being the one who needs to leave and be alone for 6 months, has been a reassuring voice every single day for the past few weeks. He’s a keeper.)