And then that happened. And THAT!

Well.

I really don’t even know how to write this post, where to begin. I guess it’s been like this for me a lot recently, and not just writing – talking to people, telling them what I’m about to tell you, has been difficult. Not because it’s bad, or even necessarily difficult itself (quite the contrary, actually, because I’m SQUEEing all over myself inside), but because… well, I just don’t know where the hell to start.

So I guess I’ll start at the beginning. And be blunt about it.

On Sunday, April 10, The Boy and I found out I’m pregnant! On Wednesday, April 13, I had my first doctor’s appointment, complete with pregnancy confirmation and… our first ultrasound! At that point, I was 6 weeks and 3 days… which makes me 9.5 weeks pregnant at this point.

And then, on Tuesday, April 19, The Boy surprised me with this:

He proposed!*

We’re getting married!

I feel the need to clarify here that we are not getting married just because we’re having a baby. But, to be honest, if you’re going to think that, you’re going to think it regardless of what I say. Though the truth is we’ve talked about getting married for almost two years now… it just so happens that this is the right time for us.

We are accelerating the engagement process a bit because of the baby, however. The way I see it, it’s just going to be easier to plan a quick, simple wedding while I’m pregnant than to plan anything with a newborn – and I really don’t want to put off getting married another couple years.

So, Big Day #1 is July 16. We will be married in a small ceremony at our home, with a large reception at the community building in town. Be prepared for wedding planning chaos posts (if I have the energy).

Big Day #2 is December 2. The Boy and I will be parents (that is SO CRAZY!) by Christmas. AH! Also, EEK! 🙂

Note: When calling your mother to tell her some big news (because you won’t get the chance to see her in person for a few weeks, and want to tell her RIGHT NOW), it might not be the best idea to start the conversation with, “Are you sitting down?”

* Sorry about the not-so-great photo quality, but… well, I’m not a photographer, especially when it comes to shiny rings.

Rings & things: A confession

I constantly compare my life to the lives of others. They’re engaged; we’re not. She’s pregnant; I’m not. That blog has a couple hundred readers; mine doesn’t. It’s not pretty. It’s ugly and uncomfortable and painful and despite my efforts, I haven’t been able to just STOP the comparisons. The constant comparisons, which lead to inescapable jealousy, which makes me unhappy with my life. My life is beautiful, and most days I know that, and appreciate that. But some days, the comparisons win.

In response, I used to take it to the other extreme: Instead of expressing my jealousy, instead of communicating the things I want, I said I didn’t want them.

“I don’t want children.”

“We’re not going to get married.”

I lied.

I lied, lied, lied. I lied so much I convinced myself that I didn’t want kids, that I didn’t want to get married. “It’s just a piece of paper,” I’d tell myself. “I can’t lock a baby in the basement while I go to the bar for the night,” I reasoned.

I was convinced those things just weren’t for me. Let them get married. Let her get fat and not be able to drink and not get a full night’s sleep for the next couple years. Not me.

I lied.

And it’s tough, because I’m at that age – my friends? They’re getting married. They’re having babies. Stories of pregnancy and engagement and weddings are everywhere. And while I AM so. ridiculously. happy. for each and every one of these beautiful women, I’m also jealous.

Awhile ago, the fabulous Renee tweeted about a “discussion on marriage.”

One of the best discussions of marriage I've ever read. We are consciously opting in. (via @) http://bit.ly/fdIS15
@BelleRenee
BelleRenee

 

You should read it.

But for all you lazy folks, here are the parts that really stuck out to me:

  • “We know how painful it is to disentangle oneself from shared families, shared apartments, and shared dreams for the future – marriage license or not.”
  • “We know that marriage is one of our society’s last expressions of real, ritualized commitment and that it can be the backbone of a beautiful, messy family life, but we also know that it’s one of the hardest things in the world to get right, to stay in, to make last.
    The point is not that we are abandoning marriage as a potentially viable, if radically reclaimed institution. It’s that, more and more, we are choosing it consciously, aiming to transform it into something more equal and less embittering.” [emphasis mine]
  • “Just because men are no longer slotted into being traditional breadwinners and women are no longer slotted into being care-taking homemakers does not mean that families are no longer important to young people. … We want parenthood and passion, interdependence and independence – conscious, constantly evolving partnerships that reflect who we truly are, not who we were told we were supposed to be by wedding planners, priests, or conservative radio hosts.”

After reading it, I’ve decided that, you know what? It’s okay. It’s okay that I’m not married, it’s okay that I’m not engaged. But it’s also okay to want those things, too.

Waiting a little longer than what may be normal has given The Boy and I the chance to work through some things that I’ve seen rip marriages apart. I don’t mean that our relationship is better or stronger because we’re not married. I just mean that we got to work through a lot of the shit that is inevitable in a relationship. (And really, I mean that. If your relationship doesn’t have or hasn’t had any shit, you’re not loving hard enough.) But now that we’re almost four years into this, and we’re not married and we’re not engaged, it’s given me the time to digest the relationship. It’s given me the chance to figure out how I really feel about marriage.

There are so many people out there – and not necessarily young people, either, just people in general – who want so badly to be married. They want the companionship, the commitment. And that’s all fine and dandy. In fact, I want that, too.

But letting my relationship soak in, to get down into my bones, has really shown me that I don’t just want to be married. I want to be married to him. I feel pretty confident that someday, that will happen.

And nobody else can say that.

Photo: Geoffrey Wiseman

30-Day Letter Project: 19

I hurt you. Repeatedly, over and over again, I hurt you. I have hurt you, I continue to hurt you.

And still, there you are. Trying to be there for me, really be there for me… and I won’t let you. Not really. And I don’t get it! Don’t get me wrong, I love it. I love knowing you’re there…

But I don’t get it. And I wonder how long it will last, because I know I’m distant. I know I’m not letting you in, and I know that’s not easy for you.

Truth be told? If I were you, I’d be long gone by now.

Photo: esc.ape(d)

{Day 19: Someone that pesters your mind (good or bad)}

One in/of a million: Reverb10.08

In an attempt to travel further down the path of self-discovery, I’ve decided to participate in Reverb 10, which is an annual event and online initiative to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next.


December 8: Beautifully different

Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful.

I’ve been told I’m mature for my age, that despite looking like I’m 12, I act closer to 30. My coworkers say I’m organized and efficient, generally good at what I do. People have said I’m a good listener, have a good heart and a good head on my shoulders.

I’m not afraid to go against tradition, against the grain… but I don’t do it for eccentricity’s sake. I like what I like.

For example, I have seriously considered (when/if the day comes) wearing a black dress on my wedding day. Not white. Black. Why? I wear black. I almost never wear white. Simple enough.

I do what I want. I am what I am.

I don’t give in to peer pressure. I don’t do trendy clothing because they’re trendy – if I wear it, it’s because I like it.

But, really, being different has never been something I’ve aimed for. “Different” was not something I wanted to be. And maybe that’s because I spent so much of my childhood just wanting to fit in, just wanting to be accepted. So if I’m not so different, as long as I’m me, I think I’m okay with that.