My niece turned 8 years old Monday. The Christmas right before she was born, I went up to Michigan, where my sister and her husband lived, to await her arrival, due on December 28. She did not choose to join us until after I returned home of course. It feels like last week, and it feels like a century ago.
I was engaged then, too. I was ass-over-teakettle for Mr. Never-Really-Was-Incredible. Completely oblivious to...everything. This time, things are so different it's hard to even compare the two situations. This time, my ass is firmly below my teakettle. I'm not swept away, it's not about rainbows and unicorns. That girl thought she'd found The One. I don't even believe in The One anymore. I don't believe in soul mates, not the way I did. I don't believe in perfect relationships. I believe in making it work with one person that you love and respect, that loves and respects you in return (thank you, Songbird).
I still struggle, I won't lie. I have never had a healthy romantic relationship, so it is difficult for me to recognize it. My therapist compares it to the way a child will go out into the world, knowing that whatever happens, Mom will be there when you get home, Mom will help, Mom will always love you. That's what love is like. Safe, reliable, secure, and CALM. That was a watershed moment for me, because love has always been fireworks, and crazy passion, drama, tears, game-playing. Apparently I've mistaken the anxiety that results from all that for Great Love. And the closer the wedding gets, the more I think about the wrong decisions I've made and how to make the right ones. Am I crazy for trying again? Is HE crazy for wanting to marry me- as messed up as I am? Should we scrap all this marriage baloney and just live together? Is the anxiety I'm experiencing now just wedding planning crazies? Or my neuroses rearing their ugly heads? Or something bigger? And all I can figure out is that this is what I want, that he is not my ex, and that I am perfectly capable of doing this. Even though it freaks me right out. And every once in a while I have to take a deep breath, and remind myself that I am not irretrievably broken.
So, current status: We are 115 days from The Day, wedding planning in full turbo mode. Most decisions have been made and most vendors booked. It's gotten a bit larger and more involved that we originally intended, but I think that's the nature of the beast. My goal is to be surrounded by love and joy and peace. Given that such things are not plannable, I'm focusing on music and food and flowers.