I am not always motivated by "I should." I am a professional procrastinator. I put off things, even things I want to do, most of the time for no decent reason at all. Sometimes the only way to do something is to force yourself to do it. Now, that doesn't sound the best when it comes to blogging: why force yourself? One should blog because they want to, not because they "have to." But where creative pursuit or stress-relief were my reasons before, now I feel like I have to write because I will want to be able to look back at this time and remember it as it really was.
The last year of my life has really been the first year of my life of adulthood. I spent the first year after college living at home working part-time at a bakery and teaching my sister full-time at home. Even though I was 21 at that point, beyond the age at which people are considered adults, I still felt like a child. Being under your parents' roof does that, I suppose. I loved that year because it gave me valuable time with my family, made my relationship with my sister--which was practically nonexistent before I left for school--stronger and gave me a bit of time to figure out what I wanted from life.
When I left home last May to work in Texas for the Summer, I was taking a leap both from the nest and into something unknown. I learned so much that Summer about the Catholic faith, my values and myself. Eventually the Summer ended, though, and I moved to the East coast to find work and plan a wedding. The last nine months have been up, down and sideways, stressful, exhausting and difficult, thankfully laced with celebratory, ridiculous and relieving.
May 2015 has been a goal post, a destination, for me for over two years. "Once I get married," I'd think. "I just need to do this and then..." "Well after this, I'll..." Now that May 2015 is here and the wedding is less than three weeks away, I have two questions: "How prepared am I?" and "What happens next?"
"How prepared am I?"
Now, by this I do not mean that suddenly I have cold feet and am questioning what I am doing throwing my young, carefree life away, as others suggest to me with both mouths and eyes. Instead I mean, "How can I possibly prepare for this?" How does someone prepare for such a huge change? I've done Pre-Cana (why did I not blog about that? I probably should), I've submitted my paperwork, I have a dress. Super. But I'm not just having a wedding. I'm getting married. I'm going to be married until one of us dies (hopefully many years away).
How does anyone prepare for the rest of their life with someone? How could I possibly do all the research for something like this? How do I learn to be patient and forgiving and selfless and loving enough? How do I learn to stop clamming up and walking away when I'm upset? How do I learn to give of myself out of a desire to give and not out of a desire to receive? How do I learn to see my husband-to-be as human as I am? If he is really anything like me, I would save myself generous portions of selfishness, stubbornness and irrationality by becoming a hermit. Then I wouldn't need to depend on anyone. Then I wouldn't have to disappoint anyone with my own problems.
But then I wouldn't get to grow and learn from mistakes with someone else. Then I wouldn't get to learn true charity, to love as Christ loves. Then I wouldn't get to become selfless and make myself small in order to magnify others. Then I wouldn't get to have children and learn and experience everything that goes with them that I can hardly comprehend right now. Then I wouldn't get to depend on someone and let them depend on me.
I am not near ready for my entire life with someone else. That only comes with actually living out life. Just as the thought of having five kids now totally freaks me out and actually having that many children would be easier if they came along progressively, so marriage. A whole life won't happen all at once: it will go by, year by year, and, if I'm smart, I will learn as we go how to be refined into a better wife and a better person by it.
"What happens next?"
Well, some of the answer is straightforward. After the wedding, we're spending the weekend with all the family visiting us. The Monday after, we'll go back to work. In August, we'll move to Texas where C will continue his graduate studies to get a PhD.
But what after? Will I keep teaching? Is different work ahead? Will our new move and new school be as good as we hope? Will we travel to the dozens of places I want to see? Will we make good, lasting, supportive friends? How soon will we start a family? Will I have problems in that whole area? What then?
The questions continue and always increase when I consider the future. I always want to know what's coming next, but it is just like I discovered marriage will be: I can't know until time moves as it will. I cannot control every part of our future, but I do know at least a few things that I want and at least a few things that I do not want.
Until then, I'll keep going. Keep reading, keep learning, keep giving, keep forgiving, keep asking for forgiveness, keep loving and keep praying for lots of help.
|Spoiler: I'm going to be asking Our Lady for tons of it.|