April 2015

Wedding babbles


I am getting married one week from yesterday. Everyone keeps saying, “Are you excited?!” (except those closest to me, who know to just ask, “How are you feeling?”) and the short answer is, yes, of course. If I wasn’t, we’d have a problem. I am very excited. But I’m also overwhelmed. And I haven’t totally known how to put it into words until the other day when a new colleague overheard me trying to explain it, and she came into the hall and simply said, “It’s a constant state of hyper-vigilance.” Yes. Planning a wedding and getting mentally ready for it is exciting. But it’s also draining. For some people, a lot of something good isn’t draining. But for others, like yours truly, a lot of anything is draining, whether it’s a positive “lot” or a negative “lot.” I think I had gotten myself stuck in feeling guilty. I’m happy about my wedding, I’m excited about my wedding. So I shouldn’t feel overwhelmed or exhausted or sick of talking about it. And if I do, what does it say about me? It must mean I’m flawed, or something is wrong with me.

But the truth of the matter is that, like everything else, this isn’t black and white. It’s not one feeling or the other, it’s not right or wrong. It’s and. Like we always teach our students, and work to teach ourselves: we can feel more than one feeling at once. There is no right way to feel. And when I take a step back, I realize that all of us – my parents, Jeremy, his parents, have felt a myriad of feelings. Excited, anxious, worried, overwhelmed, stressed, elated. And they’re all good. And okay. And expected.

This is so surreal, I keep thinking. Not surreal that I’m marrying Jeremy. We knew fairly early on that this was it. (Fun fact: our recessional song, after the ceremony, is the song that holds such meaning to me, as it’s what I was listening to when it hit me for the first time – Oh my god. I want to marry this man. I want to spend the rest of my life with him.) But more so surreal when I think about my life as a whole. Sometimes I take a step back and look at my life, and I have my stuff, everyone does, but overall, I have my shit together. More than together. And for many years, my shit was…..well, very NOT together. And during those days and months, I had to focus on putting myself back together, piece by piece, figuring out who I was. I learned to like, and even love myself, but that was my focus. I certainly couldn’t ever see a future in which not only did I love myself, but I wanted to open up and trust and give myself to someone else. It just wasn’t something I could imagine.

I think that younger Jen, who lives within me, is the one who is feeling surreal. Present-day Jen feels like, Yes, this is exactly what is happening, of course it is. But it’s that old me who is astonished. Amazed. Proud. Relieved.

I am madly in love.

I am marrying my best friend, the man of my dreams, the most incredible man I could have ever hoped to find.

I am happy. I am lucky.

I’m getting married.

This morning I got stuck in my closet

Not physically.

This happens from time to time.

Here’s what happens. I go to bed with an idea of what outfit I’m going to wear to work the next morning. Most mornings, as long as I’ve picked out the outfit in advance, I wake up, shower, put on the outfit, and that’s that. Back when I didn’t plan out my outfit, I would stand there for minutes, just paralyzed, knowing I had to decide what to wear yet not being able to decide. So now, I plan.

But some mornings, I put on the outfit that I picked out, and even though I’ve worn said outfit multiple times, and love the shirt and love the pants and love the shoes, I put it on and HATE it. For a variety of reasons. It might be too big too loose too small too tight too itchy. The mirror might be on my bad side that morning and I see my body change in front of my eyes, knowing that’s not truly happening but fighting it nonetheless. And sometimes it just doesn’t FEEL right. And I don’t know how to describe it other than that. An outfit I love and have worn just doesn’t work. Sometimes it’s because the color isn’t right. Sometimes I crave colors, and am repulsed by others. Sometimes I desperately need to wear green, other times if I put on a green shirt I get nauseous. Purple is one of my go-to colors but some days it’s the exact opposite of what I need. Having done a bit of studying over the years of chakras and color theories, I do believe that we gravitate toward certain colors for certain reasons at certain times.

When any of those things happen, I get stuck. I freeze. I often put on shirt after shirt, pants after pants, outfit after outfit. Often times the more something feels wrong, the more everything else feels wrong. Everything keeps feeling too big, too tight, too itchy, too light, too heavy, too nauseating. And then I realize that the time is ticking away and oh crap I needed to leave five minutes ago and the more I realize how I’m running late the more my heart pounds and the more anxious I get and the harder it is for me to put on clothes. And then sometimes I say Just do it and I pick something and I get to the door of my apartment but then I think But what if I should’ve worn x, y, or z? And then I’m back in my bedroom starting all over again. But what if I feel “wrong” all day and then I will have a bad day and really I should’ve just changed my outfit and tried again? And that’s when I have to remember my tendencies toward obsessing and compulsing and need to (gently) just get myself out of the bedroom and out the door.

It doesn’t happen often. But when it does, it is not a good feeling.

Anyone else ever get stuck in their closet? (Literally, figuratively, take your pick.)

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