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

A series of rivers and roads

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

So much is different from two years ago. So much is different from what I thought 2018 would look like.

It feels like a series of rivers and roads. Some paths that I knowingly and willing took--a turn into a definitive road, one that led me away from where I was. And some, rivers. By turns small and trickling, forceful and overpowering. Leading me away, turning me over and upside down, swirling and a turning-of-a-different-sorts.

Rivers and roads.

I think about all of our friends from college. Two, three, four years out, we are all the same in that we are gone, all of us who once knew each other. Scattered and spread to different corners and places, hurting and learning and loving and mistake-making in our own separate lives...each of us looking across the distance and wondering if the other has it better, or if somehow, somewhat, that person's life is easier. If just slightly. We miss each other and wonder in our respective cities, feet hurrying, eyes down, soul by turns content then weary then hopeful then frightened then overwhelmed, how to do this thing called life. And whether we will ever find friends again such as each other. Will we ever laugh until tears come with someone in person, will we ever rant and unload over dinner, waving a fork emphatically, no need to censor or speak articulately?

Rivers and roads. This is life and getting older, I think. A constant succession of confusion and painful loneliness and odd joy and wondering if it will get easier and better. And the thrumming belief that it does--that it must. That soon we'll be able to see for miles and miles and miles in the landscape of our lives and it won't be so unclear.

In the end, I suppose, we are all trudging through our twenties wondering what the view looks like from up there--wherever there is. Our thirties, perhaps. Whenever we are done with growing. Which is to say, never. Which perhaps, is the point, the lesson of our twenties. Maybe we get softer and learn to let go, that somehow things will unwrinkle for a time, and that just like the seasons, hard days will come around again.

And so it goes. The rhythm of growing. Rivers and roads.

--a response to stumbling upon this mirror of a song 


Thursday, February 8, 2018

More kindness. Softer edges. Deeper boundaries. Sit next to the line drawn in the sand instead of shouting about its existence to the world. Listen instead of talking. Send flowers when able to, a text always. Pair friends with books. Dress the little girl inside. Celebrate the whimsy. Trust that it's not supposed to be perfect, no matter how hard you try. More sparkling water, less wine. Plenty of sleep. Think about how things should feel rather than how they should look. Expand skincare. More pinks and reds and blues. Soak up these moments.