The space that is twenty-five

Sunday, April 8, 2018

I am often very glad that most of my early twenties does not exist on the internet--that the deep nights of loneliness, the most vulnerable bits of my soul-searching during college remain safely hidden in drafts and pen-and-paper notebooks.

Only now, breathing into this space that is twenty-five, do I begin to feel comfortable with sharing words and blurred images of this life I'm inhibiting.

I'm a firm believer that we all go through some form of shit--pardon the French--and even more so in not writing about said shit until coming out the other side. I look back on the past five years now with no small amount of awe that I have made it out of the end of a very long shit speak frankly, of course.

If you were to tell me at twenty that sociopaths exist, that people can inherently be not good by continuous choices and actions, that in contradiction some people can be good and lovely and mean well yet cause just as much damage as the not-good people, and that men will almost always let themselves be chased to no emotional distress on their part and all sorts of damage on yours...

Well, I'd say that was wrong.

I know better now. Thank God. There but for the grace of God--one of Ryan's favorite sayings. I am quietly reminded of it now and then.

I knelt in a hushed church today after Confession, the pews dim in the grey winter light, and gazed down the long isle. Thank Him for all your blessings, the priest told me in addition to my penance. Simple enough and yet I knelt, held in the silence of the moment, as I looked back five years and marveled at the things and people from which I'm now free. The men I could have ended up with. The futures I could have had.

It's humbling and inspiring, and I caught my breath with quiet, heartfelt gratitude.

There but for the grace of God. 

For the love of font

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

A little bit like spring

Monday, March 19, 2018

Tonight feels a little bit like spring...a little bit like summer and Paris and love wrapped all in one soft, balmy evening.

My heart feels full, and my body safe and warm in the circle of lamplight within. Outside are deepening shadows of nightfall and all the uncertainty of tomorrow and the days to come. But tonight...tonight is lovely and warm.

Ryan sits on the large plush white rug by my feet, laughing and talking to one of his groomsmen. Canned rose and cold sparkling water sit on his--soon to be our--coffee table. Small cheese pastries swell in the oven, savory and delicious. Golden light fills the apartment (my staunch refusal to use florescents), and soft saccharine strings vibrate the air.

I spent the evening talking and laughing and sighing--even crying--with one of my dear friends far away. We sipped (wine), and spoke of life's uncertainty, callings, faith, and growth. It was a wonderful few hours, so deeply needed, and so good for my soul. I miss my friends, especially this one, so. That's the hard part of life--saying au revoir to the people we love, not knowing when we'll meet in person again.

Thankfully, I know when I'll see her again, and come June, 'twill be a glorious reunion. But tonight, for one night, everything felt like a little bit of Paris's magic...that soft ease of walking outside in dusk, dwelling in a moment just on the outskirts of a tableaux: candlelit tables, lights strung in the air, bare feet, balmy air brushing against shoulders and cheeks, smiles and unending conversation over glasses of wine and plates heaped high with good food followed a deliciously bitter cappuccino, and endless wandering through the city beneath a canopy of leaves and iron grated windows.

A New Skin

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Very little has been easy about being engaged.

It is far, far harder than falling in love and realizing the other person is different and so you die to yourself and learn to compromise, but always still as an individual, as still you.

Being engaged is learning to slip into a new skin. A shared skin.

No longer are you protected by the small, selfish part of you that is allowed to declare that certain times and days and amounts of money and space are yours and yours alone.

I think we think that happens once you marry. That that is what the newlywed fights are about, the tension, the stepping on toes after coming together under one roof and realizing there's no room to go to when you need a break from the other person.

Why did I never stop to realize that it has to --must--happen before the wedding?

Now is the faltering, the biting of lips, the stubbornly crossed arms, the disquieting knowledge that how you spend your money, your time, your energy, is now answerable to another person.

When you plan to join two lives, it only makes sense that you would begin to sort the pieces and slowly fit them together months in advance.

Very little has been hard about being engaged.

I am so much surer and calmer and anchored in our relationship. We both agreed almost instantly afterward that somehow our relationship feels deeper, realer. We no longer need to defend it or our choices to others. We are engaged.

He is my fiancé. 

She is my fiancée.

There is little arguing with that. And so we begin. Slowly, but surely, leaving behind our old lives and relationships, shifting things to make way for a new one together. For the family the two of us will be. I will be his wife. No one can argue with that or accuse him of spending too much time with me. He will be my husband. No one can say I choose him over work and other people. I do, and I will, and I should.

We are becoming a family.

There is nothing easy and nothing hard about it.

How I want my wedding day to feel

Thursday, March 1, 2018