Ordinary People

We’re just ordinary people.
We don’t know which way to go.
‘Cause we’re ordinary people.
Maybe we should take it slow…

Friday night after work, I walked home. I walked home because I had a lot of stuff in my bag, mostly oddly shaped, and I knew it wouldn’t fit easily in a bicycle cart. (I use a city bike-share program for my commute.) I walked home because I was talking to Mr on the phone and we hadn’t talked – really talked – the way we need to talk in a long time.  As a matter of fact, we’d been arguing (or avoiding an argument) for weeks. Our relationship, our long-distance relationship, was a series of good morning texts, trite responses to shallow questions about our days, and “I love you. Good night.” on the phone before falling into a deep, deep sleep.

I knew before I left work what I wanted to say – what I had to say.

I almost immediately told Mr that I was feeling anxious and overwhelmed. Maybe it was because I took on too much at church.  Perhaps I’m not adjusting well to the personnel changes my team is experiencing at work. It could be that I’ve felt as if I’m going through the two aforementioned scenarios alone, without much support from him… or anyone else.  It could very well be that I’m not enjoying being engaged because since getting engaged, our relationship has deteriorated.

We became the people we are apart rather than growing to be the couple we want to be together.  I became busy, preoccupied, withdrawn and had more than one inappropriate thought about former flames and ex-boyfriends. Mr (in my opinion, of course) became lazy, dismissive, and inconsiderate. We have been like two ships passing in the night. That doesn’t do much for the prospects of marriage.  It doesn’t make an engagement fun or enjoyable.  So I told him…

Me: We shouldn’t be engaged.
Mr: Wow. That’s the opposite of what I was going to say.
Me: What were you going to say?
Mr: That we should get married even sooner. It can be us, our parents… we just do it.
Me: That won’t make anything better. That will make this worse.
Mr: What’s wrong? I know it’s been rough lately, but we should just be together. I’m better when we’re together.

I understood what he meant.  As a matter of fact, one of the reasons there is personnel change at work is because the director of my team is moving back to the West coast to be reunited with her husband who moved there eight months ago.  (Of course, she has a job there now too!)  But there were ways to feel more “together” without my dropping everything and moving to NY and then “figuring it all out” once I got there (which is, in essence, what Mr was asking me to do).  WE were not doing a good job of being together, even while we’re in separate places.  We could both do better at that before asking one party to uproot a life.

So I went to NY the next day because the conversation would go better if we were together, because sometimes you have to look your insecurities, fears, vulnerabilities, and frustrations in the eyes knowing that beyond all those things is love and hope, and that’s why you made the journey. That’s why you dare look.

In the end, there was love there, and we do have hope that we’ll keep all the promises we made to one another while in each others’ physical presence. We promised to show one another our prioritization and value of the other by making real quality time for conversations.  Mr promised to write me more. (I love letters!)  I used to get emails and cards and letters everyday.  I haven’t received one in months, and I believe that one was by request.  I promised not to busy myself with convenient (or inconvenient) close comforts like meetings and activities at church when they prevent me from seeing him more often.  We promised to remember why we want to be married in the first place – because we like each other, we love each other, we want to share in each others’ lives and make one life together.  So far, we’re both doing really well at what should be called Operation Reconnect.

We’d lost our connection and desperately needed to reconnect.

It’s funny to think we hadn’t actually set a date but have agreed that whatever that non-date was, it now needs to be pushed back.  (Mr is not pleased, but it’s because he’s just so willing to get married.  I believe I am not ready, and if I’m not ready, then we are not ready.  We can wait.)  And we’ll do it right.  We’ll enjoy being engaged. Wedding planning won’t feel like a circuit trip around the 7th ring of hell. It’ll all work out.

I feel an amazing weight lifted from my shoulders.  Sometimes you just have to slow down and step back to see the bigger picture – to gain clarity and peace of mind.

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