I’ll just say it: wedding planning is the worst. And I’m saying that as the male part of a nearly married couple, wherein my job is to pretty much stay silent unless I’m spoken to. No, I don’t always follow through on that, but the point still remains: the multiple tiny events that lead up to having a wedding are likely my least favorite events ever.
This is a bad attitude on my part. I’m also very aware of that. But it’s still true that over the last several weeks, when someone has asked me if I’m excited about my pending nuptials, my honest response has had to be that I’m really just read for it all to be over. I’m embarrassed by this response, mostly because I don’t want to feel that way and because I feel it’s a disservice to E and her parents who are paying for this big party; but I also believe it reveals something about me that I probably could have guessed at prior to all this if I’d considered it long enough: I’m not one for the build up.
To me, the really important part of all this is that at the end of the day, E and I will be bound together forever. So while I haven’t really been responsible for that many elements of the single day, most of my dissatisfaction with this process has been regarding the fact that I seem to be the only one that cares what happens after this mess is done. I realize this is not actually true–obviously both our parents care, and other people, too–but to me, the weight of what happens the first day we wake up as husband and wife and every single day after that feels like it rests solely on my shoulders.
This is foolish. For one, my theology tells me that I’m not only not asked to do it alone, nor is it expected of me, and furthermore that I’m encouraged to reach out and find God’s guidance and help in not only this, but all things. Frankly, this is where I am weakest, and I allow life and all its minutia to build up around me until I sort of lose my mind, even if just for a few moments, and blow up from just the sense of how vast everything is. It’s also foolish because, as I said, the days that follow are not all on my shoulders, even if it feels that way. E and I have a great support system, not only from family, but friends, too, who will do all they can to hold us up when we feel incapable.
And yet, I can’t shake the I’m just ready for this all to be over answer. In reality, there are myriad reasons for this. Things like I’m actually really excited for it, but won’t admit it; or that I’m ready for the marriage to begin, and the wedding just feels like the final stepping stone to get there; my place in the current pecking order plays into it, too, because I have opinions about things and am generally not shy about sharing them; and my small bouts with daily separation anxiety, when the night ends and E and I have to separate are all on the list, among a host of other things. These are all true, and yet they share one more distinction beyond that: they’re all excuses.
No matter how I feel about all of this, it isn’t my job to make everything harder for those around me or push hard in areas where my opinions–no matter how strong they are–don’t really matter. This has been the hardest lesson to learned, and in reality hasn’t gone any deeper than head knowledge up to this juncture. In a great moment of irony, I fully expect to start to indicate some sense of grasping the concept in the last few days, only to see things change again. Our life is one that will be characterized by transition, as we move in and out of semesters, in and out of summer and back into school, rinse and repeat. In other words, if I don’t figure out how to do better, the roller coaster inside my chest is going to kill me one day, and given where I’ll be in 19 days, I just can’t have that.
I need to find the calm.
And so that’s my goal over these next few days. It isn’t survival, it isn’t acceptance, and it might not even be getting excited (I have a feeling I’ll get there, but maybe not until the actual day of): it’s figuring out how to make myself more ready than I thought I might be. I won’t have it all figured out–probably not ever–but I also can’t just sit back and let it all happen to me. There’s no room for passivity going forward. Everything is going to change, and I’ve either got to embrace it or…well…that’s really the only option I have, isn’t it?