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Madeline: The End Is Just The Beginning


Madeline: The End Is Just The Beginning | A Practical Wedding

Me [via gchat, on writing my last APW post]: eek argh blegh, I’m stuck!

Brandon: You aren’t stuck for short meaningless guttural words

Here’s why this was hard for me to write. As you might expect from someone who’s just spent a year writing for APW (*sniff* can’t believe it’s December), my wedding to Brandon was more than one event, and not just because we staged it several times. Getting married was the two of us setting our sights on a place we wanted to be, then holding hands, closing our eyes, and jumping. The posts I’ve written along the way let me share the terrifying, exhilarating part from when our feet left the floor to the landing. I couldn’t be more grateful for the support, the solidarity, and the Exactlys I’d had from the APW community. But back on the ground again, I’m learning that it’s time to identify the next place I want to be, close my eyes and jump into the unknown once again. It helps—it really helps—to have a husband on my side for this. But it’s not a magic fix. It’s still down to me.

Back to the guttural noises. I promised myself I’d use this final post to check in on a couple of projects I mentioned in my bio, i.e. my first novel and the various Etsy stores that I would one day launch. That was the first step. The second, petrifying step comes now, when, without adding ironic air quotes around any of the words, I tell you that I took my manuscript to a writing conference, and an editor has asked to see it; and that I have recently launched my Etsy store, Modern Mala, selling beaded accessories inspired by Tibetan prayer malas. Did you see what I did there? I went from “manuscript” to manuscript, from “business owner” to business owner. It wasn’t so bad.

Sure, it’s possible to do these things without a person (read: my husband) to cheer you every step of the way, but there’s a reason why I acted now. The wedding was a glimpse of a world where everyone was rooting for us, especially when we did things our own way. It was a time when we stopped waiting to have enough money because the support we had was exactly enough. It was an experiment in becoming everything we’d hoped for. In other words, it was inspiring. Every visitor to this site knows the power of the words: “I now pronounce you.” If pronouncing makes it happen, what might be achieved by doing it more often, for ourselves? What if a wedding is really, after all, a challenge? Not one perfect day, but a taste of perfection that keeps us reaching for everything we value most.

So warmest thanks to Meg, Maddie, Zen, Elisabeth, and all the APW contributers and readers. In the Buddhist community I practice in, we talk about holding the space, which is kind of like listening, but in 3D with surround sound. You’ve held this space for me as I edged into an exciting, uncertain future. I’m starting a page on Facebook (pronounce it: “Writer”) where I’ll post my work going forward. I hope you’ll keep in touch as I keep on edging ahead, this time with Brandon at my side—one short, meaningless guttural word at a time.

Photo credit: Me,  from the Modern Mala Facebook page

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  • http://www.sarahhoppes.com SarahHoppes

    Congratulations! I’ve loved reading all your posts thus far, because you are both smart and hilarious.

  • Rosie

    “What if a wedding is really, after all, a challenge? Not one perfect day, but a taste of perfection that keeps us reaching for everything we value most.” This really resonated with me: that on your wedding day you’re challenging yourselves to continue this adventure and, as you say, to take a leap into the unknown. One of the great things about APW is the acknowledgement that married life isn’t a gentle happy ever after, but means taking on new challenges!

  • Cleo

    “I took my manuscript to a writing conference, and an editor has asked to see it”

    me too!!! best of luck to you!! I’m currently basking in the possibility of “yes” and I hope you are as well!

    congrats!

    and one more exclamation point for the road: !

    • KB

      I squeed for you at this :-) Squeeee!!!

  • http://www.advancedlivingforbeginners.com Jen W

    “The wedding was a glimpse of a world where everyone was rooting for us, especially when we did things our own way.”
    Lightbulb moment! You’ve just helped me define why I can’t stop looking at pictures of my own wedding (a pastime I was totally feeling vain/guilty for.)

  • Granola

    CONGRATULATIONS!!! You’ve done wonderfully and you’ll continue to do so I’m sure!

  • http://www.snippetsof.blogspot.com SarahE

    Great post- what a thoughtful insight into how your wedding propels you into the next adventure (instead of the “now what?”). I’ve been pursuing these goals in the other direction- pushing myself to get my own personal/professional goals together before starting the wedding planning process. Having the success and confidence of one to inspire the next can only lead to good things (no matter the order of operation).

    Best of luck on your new endeavors!

  • L

    Thanks for putting weddings in that framework. It is truly wonderful to think of weddings as a challenge to ourselves in which everyone shows up to shower support and validation. I love it! So meaningful and powerful.

  • http://cuvikingadventures.blogspot.com/ Jenny- Adventures Along the Way

    This was wonderful and beautifully put. I especially like this idea: “It was an experiment in becoming everything we’d hoped for. In other words, it was inspiring. Every visitor to this site knows the power of the words: ‘I now pronounce you.’ If pronouncing makes it happen, what might be achieved by doing it more often, for ourselves?”

    Working towards becoming what we hope to become… Thanks for the great reminder that we can accomplish amazing things when we go after our dreams and leap into the unknown.

  • Natalie

    LOVE this post. Especially this: “The wedding was a glimpse of a world where everyone was rooting for us, especially when we did things our own way.”

  • Madeline

    Thank you thank you thank you everyone. I seriously love you ladies.