So… The dude and I got engaged!
I know. It’s very exciting. And if you’re wondering, we don’t have a date yet.
We were celebrating my birthday last month: I came home to a house with all of the chores done, he made me burgers(yum), and we watched some of the Great British Bake Off. As I was getting ready for bed I realized that he hadn’t given me the book I’d picked out, so I asked for it and he told me to wait in the living room. He came back from the bedroom with his hands behind his back and I rolled my eyes because I thought I already knew what it was. The next thing I knew he was down on one knee, proposing. It was amazing. I cried(a little), we laughed(a lot), and then 10 minutes later I asked if I could have the book. Because, me. (Excuse me, but is a choose your own adventure based on Hamlet. There is no book that’s more me.)
Needless to say, I was so excited that I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep. I tried everything I could think of to help: CBD oil, my acupressure mat, my weighted blanket. I slept until about 4am and then was wide awake with a pounding heart, short of breath, the works. It felt like a panic attack, except without the abject terror. I spent most of the day feeling much the same, and the only thing that really allowed me to be normal and have more than basic cognitive functioning was CBD. I’m so thankful to Bird for getting me to try it.
One of the best parts was getting to see how people reacted. My work husband asked me if I was “fucking serious” and then flew out of his chair and gave me a huge hug. Another work friend jumped up and down. My students screamed. My friends and family sent a bajillion texts. It was great.
It’s still great. It can be really anxiety-making, too. I was so tired after that first day that I honestly could have slept for 14 hours if I hadn’t have had to get up for work. I couldn’t even do yoga, I was so worn out from being so alert all day.
I’ll be honest: there was a lot of ruminating about the proposal before the proposal. I spent a lot of time thinking about it. And I HATED that I did. I hated that my brain had latched on and was grinding away all of the time. I hated that when I tried my usual tricks for ruminating, they didn’t work. Sometimes I felt like a woman obsessed and I hated that feeling so much.
But then the dad passed away, and I stopped thinking about it. Being there for the dude and his family, dealing with my own grief – those things were more important to me than whenever we formally agreed to do the thing we both knew we were going to do anyway. I’ve known for a long time that the dude is my main plan and there is no backup plan, and that’s awesome. And that’s part of why it was NOT awesome that I was ruminating so much. I didn’t need him to ask in order to know how he felt or to assume we would spend the rest of our lives together; I knew we would. I knew he loved me. I just couldn’t figure out why I was so fixated. I still don’t know, to be honest.
I’ve had bouts of ruminating since he proposed. I’ve definitely already been down one hours-long wedding dress internet hole(priorities, am I right?) And I had kind of a rough weekend a few weeks back where I spent much of Sunday morning crying. Most of me knows that this is totally normal; there are so many emotions happening. And since we’ve started planning, I definitely have not made life easy for myself. I’ve been giving myself deadlines in my head and putting so much pressure on myself, AND ruminating about things that I have no power to change. Like the fact that weddings are SO EXPENSIVE. WTH is that about? Why can’t I just be a 1930s bride getting married in her mom’s living room in a dress she already owned and then serve cake? Because that is actually what’s traditional, not the big poofy white dress and the dinner and the dancing.
Let me tell you, guys. Wedding planning is a lot. Nobody told me what a time and energy suck it is to find a venue. No one told me about all of the questions you need to ask: are there minimums? What’s included in the price? I know I could have called my mom and ask – and I actually did after I wrote that because my mom is so supportive and so good at this kind of thing – but I am stubborn and independent and sometimes those things intersect in a way that’s not great for my mental health. I worked myself up so much that I couldn’t even remember to try the things that I know work.
I am incredibly lucky to have a partner who can see that and isn’t afraid to bring it up. And I’m so thankful for a mom and a sister whose number one goal is to make this process as stress-free as possible. And for an adorable dog that I can cuddle.