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More face time

Mr and I have been truly blessed this month.  We’ve seen each other almost every week!  Starting with a Labor Day beach weekend with friends and soon to be ending with the matrimonial union of two people we both love and care for very much, September 2013 is shaping up to be the month of more face time, and I’m so grateful for it.

Look! A picture to prove it…

IMG_20130922_104710(1) Continue reading

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Church Ladies

Women are fascinating and frustrating creatures.  I’ve spent most of my life knowing I’d grow into one if I didn’t die, but not necessarily looking forward to becoming one.  As a young girl, I recognized that the women around me were strong, faithful, funny, talented and smart.  They were also gossipy, prone to complaint and discontent, and wore as badges of honor all the “hard work” they did which far too often went unsolicited and consequently unappreciated.  Women.  churchlady-carveyOf all groups of women with which I have the most complicated relationship are church women – living through earthly sufferation to the promise of heaven through salvation.

No woman I’ve known in particular should take offense, though I can see how I’ve described both a servant of the Lord and a soldier for satan; both victor and victim, but I mean… hey.  That’s what it looks like to an extent sometimes.  OK.  The point is women are complicated (and that church is a unique space and place), and even for me – a woman (who goes to church) – I struggle with, resist and acknowledge the intricacies of my being especially when all I want is a simple life. Continue reading

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Fools rush in

Wise men say, “Only fools rush in.”
But I can’t help
Falling in love with you…

#classic

Whoa! I never noticed that this hit UB40 tune is from an album entitled “Promises and Lies.”  How fitting for a conversation about love, not real love, but the sappy, sick, perverted (yet, well-intended) love that so many people are searching for and paying tens of thousands of dollars to celebrate on wedding days. That love is a bunch of promises and lies, is it not?  Real love, though, is God.  It’s selfless, sacrificial, unconditional and everlasting.  I wouldn’t trust Merriam or Webster on this one.  I’d go somewhere holier – something more true:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails. – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a

Argue with the Bible if you want to.  I’m not.

I recently had the occasion to tell a person who loves me very much how much I love Mr.  This came after explaining why I did not feel I was ready to marry Mr and a review of the evidence for why Mr is not ready to marry me.  It could be that holding on to my dream of living and working abroad is characteristic of my reluctance to “grow up” (i.e. become someone’s wife, have babies, and keep house). Could be.  It could look like Mr is a sub-par mate with lots of baggage and problems that are simply unfair to unload into someone else’s life.  This is a valid point as well.  None of these things; however, takes away from the fact that we want to be with each other as husband and wife.  In fact, despite who we are and the hangups we bring to the table, we want to work through them.  We know exactly who the other person is as much as we know who we are, and in spite of what we see, we still choose to build something better – together.  But we don’t want to be foolish about it.  Haste makes waste.

I read this great blog post today.   I’ll share it in its entirety because it was an awesome piece of personal, reflective writing, and it is written by a married, Hasidic Jew, who is a man.  On the surface, if he and I were walking down the street together, we would probably look like polar opposites, but on the topic of love – real love – we could not be more similar.  Enjoy… Continue reading

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It Could Have Been Me

There are really great posts on Offbeat Bride, and I’m glad I subscribe to the posts.  Most of them are the best wedding-related reading I’ve encountered.  A recent one caught my eye today.  And with the title “What I learned from cancelling my wedding” who wouldn’t be intrigued?  Here’s an excerpt:

I started having doubts about the wedding (not the relationship… the WEDDING) early on, but I knew I wanted to marry my fiance so I didn’t say much other than “Do you like this venue?,” “Would you rather have German chocolate or pumpkin spice cake?,” etc. I thought I was doing him a favor by keeping my mouth shut when it came to my apprehensions. It turns out that, as the planning process carried on, we became more and more distant.

Wow.  That could be my story.  Like, that could be a post in this blog because it happened to me. Continue reading

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Wild Woman

cheryl-strayed-wildI’ve been reading Cheryl Strayed’s memoir, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail, and I’m just about done.  I heard Cheryl speak at a conference at the beginning of the month and decided to check the book out of the library the next week.  The loss of her mother and subsequent deterioration of her marriage and destruction of herself led to her decision to find herself and answers to questions about herself while hiking 11,000 miles over 100 days. Aren’t we all searching for our truth in some way?  I may not need to hike along the west coast to find mine, but reading Cheryl’s story in her own voice reminded me of how important it is to be able to tell my own story, in my voice.  To have a me for me before being a she for someone else – to strip away all associations, affiliations, obligations and distractions and focus solely on who I am by myself. How much can my body and mind handle? What’s my limit?

The book reminded me of a former life goal of mine:  A few years ago, I looked into what it would take to become an Outdoors Woman in my home state of New York.  I was convinced it was something this former Girl Scout should pursue, but I didn’t.  I finished graduate school and got a higher-paying job instead. Reading the book has reignited that spark to revisit the outdoors, though.  I should be able to pitch tent and camp by myself for a few nights with confidence.  I’ve shared this with Mr, and of course, he thinks it’s something we should do together. I agree, and yet I have the burning desire to do this alone… first. Continue reading

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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. Continue reading

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Sacrifice the single

I like being single. Well, I suppose I should say I liked being single. More accurately, still, I think I liked being unattached. No mortgage payment. No children. No pets (though I love cats). No husband. No boyfriend. Parents in decent health. A skill that can land me a job anywhere, and technology that allows me to do that job from anywhere. I could go and do and be anything. I’m young and love to have fun. I liked being single.

Nothing kills a single buzz like the prospects of marriage. Nothing.

bola-cadena Continue reading

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the big 3-0

I turned 30 on Wednesday.  I went for a run, indulged in treats without counting calories, went to work, rode a carousel, received gifts and cards, and had an unexpected but insightful conversation with an older woman at my church.  Turning 30 was an overwhelmingly exquisite experience.  No fuss, but an important milestone taken with full awareness that a significant chapter of my life is ending and many more are before me.

August 8 is also my parents’ wedding anniversary. Yes, though I am an only child, I have always shared my birthday.  My parents were wed on August 8, 1981. Continue reading

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Light fare

My email inbox had a treat for me today: a message from the Center for an Urban Future.

I’ve been on CUF’s distribution list for at least 5 years now.  They send reports, articles, and job posts. I tend to find the content informative and interesting, which is why though I no longer live in NYC, I haven’t unsubscribed.

Today’s email was a Save the Date for the organization’s annual gala.  I’m not going to attend, and I’m not familiar with the honorees.  I’m sure they sent the notification to the entire distribution list just in case someone who would not otherwise be inclined to support their cause through a special event might just change their mind and join in the party.  As I read the email, I came across words that I don’t remember ever seeing before: “Light dinner fare and festive attire.”  Well what is this intriguing option for feeding guests at a party on a budget? Hmmm…

Continue reading

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$2 million wedding

How would I spend $2 million on a wedding?

It has taken me all day to come up with an answer to this question. Apparently Good Morning America asked viewers how they’d allocate $2 million on a wedding budget. That’s a very difficult question for me to answer. I have never had to spend $2 million. It’s a real challenge!

But risking getting caught up in dreams that won’t ever come true, I’m going to answer the question as best I can.  Continue reading