Monday, August 26, 2013

Something Blue

Image originally from here

I've been holding something in that I'm ready to put out into the universe. Consider this post my "Why Chris is the most amazing person in the world" post.

If you have talked to me at all since the day we got engaged, you may have noticed that I have experienced quite a bit of anxiety around wedding planning. More than one person has responded to me by saying, "you need to be more excited." Which I haven't responded to well. Because let's be real here - I get to choose my own emotions and my response. And being told what to feel doesn't feel very good. It just makes me more upset. You may have thought you were being helpful. But you probably made me cry. And here's why...

(deep breath)

On Memorial Day, just a few days past the "one year until our wedding" mark, I finally told Chris what has been on my mind since the day that we got engaged. We were headed home from a BBQ at my mom's house when I burst into tears. I was the one driving, which made it a slightly scary moment. We had been working through guest lists and discussing the format of our ceremony and reception that weekend, and kept getting into stupid arguments about it. Mainly because I was holding back what I really wanted to say for some time. It all came out in one giant slurry sob..."I don't care who is at our wedding. Because the one person I want to be there isn't going to be there. And it's not fair."

I miss my dad. A lot. For the most part, I have gotten past most of those "it's not fair" moments. I try not to make the phrase part of my regular vocabulary. But there are definitely the times that I feel it. Birthdays are kinda shitty. Holidays too. Days of celebration that are supposed to be extra happy - they're just a little more sad. When I attend the weddings of friends, as much as I fight it, I often cry when I watch them dance with their dads. This is usually why I am in the bathroom when this part of the day happens so that others don't see me doing the ugly cry. Trust me, it doesn't look like the "Aww, how beautiful" cry that everyone else is doing. It's certainly not something to be captured in photos. It's not that I am angry at them. Maybe slightly jealous. But just sad. Definitely sad.

I know that there are parts of our day that are going to be different from all of those other weddings. I have known for the past seven years that I wouldn't have a father-daughter dance. That I would likely choose to walk myself down the aisle versus trying to decide who the suitable replacement would be. Because, in my mind, there isn't anyone else. I thought I would be over this by now. That if I spent enough time mentally preparing, that all of the emotion would go away. But it turns out, this feels worse than a birthday or Christmas.

When we started the actual planning, I had this onset of dread. I wasn't looking forward to planning this big party at all. And I think I tried to push it away by rationalizing that if we didn't make a big deal of our wedding, if we planned something small and simple and intimate, the gaping hole would somehow be less obvious. People wouldn't notice that someone was missing.

But he will be missing. And I'm doing my best to deal with that. Every day.

I hope this doesn't come across as though I don't care about other family and friends. Or that I am not excited to share in our special day with them. Because I know that on our wedding day, we will feel truly showered in love by all around us. And we are planning a pretty fun party. At least, I think so.

But if you have wondered why I am anxious about what our ceremony might look like, or I don't care to talk at all about the little details, it is because there is this tiny cloud that I am trying to push out of the way so that I can have a little more sunshine about May 25th.

As much as he can understand this, Chris gets it. And naming the problem has helped a lot. I have actually enjoyed some of our wedding planning tasks this summer.

Still don't give a sh*t about favors. Ain't nobody got time for that.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Happy Birthday Rachie!

Today is the anniversary of the glorious day that I upgraded titles from only child to big sister. I know I probably didn't think it was glorious at the time, especially after three years of parental attention. But decades later, one of my absolute favorite roles in life being a sister. Today's tribute goes out to Rachel!

If you have met my sister before, you know that we definitely share a resemblance. We're related. It's clear. We also share a lot of similar interests: working in education, running, music, having fun all the time, snuggling with kitties and puppies, etc. There are also some ways in which we are very different - and I think some of these things are what I admire most about Rachel.

She is much more bold and outgoing than I am - she has this personality that just draws people to her, and she is constantly meeting new folks. When we go anywhere in public, she is bound to know someone. I may strike you as an extrovert, but I am nothing compared to Rachel.

She also has a very strong determination for whatever she is doing. When we ran together this past weekend, she was committed to running the whole length. I'll stop for stop signs or red lights or walk through a corner, but she just keeps on going, adjusting her route as needed so that she doesn't have to stop. She pushes herself to achieve more, both in work and in life.

I love visiting Rachel wherever she lives, because she has this talent for creating a home that is warm and inviting and representative of her personality. No matter the size of the space, she also manages to live without the clutter or mess that tends to follow me wherever I go. I just want to move right in, except I know that it's a space especially designed for her - whether it be the tiny room under the stairs where she lived in college, or her graduate school efficiency that was truly efficient and super cute. This girl has taste.

I think there is something that you can't truly appreciate about having a sister until you are an adult. Like getting to hang out together for a whole weekend of sitting around on the couch, or being silly at the state fair, or having some "real talk" time. Sisters can challenge you in ways that a friend can't. And that's part of their job.

Although my three-year-old self  might disagree, I would never want to be an only child. Having a sister is just too much fun.

Happy Birthday Rachie!
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