We had an amazing wedding… that I didn’t want. It was this beautiful joy-filled day, one of the very best of my life. I was never opposed to having that kind of day, but I didn’t want my life to be overtaken by what I thought would be months of talking about party related things, like clothes and decorations. I used to think that weddings were important at their base but generally frivolous, and I was wrong. Weddings are useful; I believe that now.
I did a lot of work as a single person to be ready for a relationship, and then I did a lot of work to be healthy enough to stay in my relationship, and then I did a lot of work to be able to commit to marriage. It wasn’t wasted work, but it all had to be revisited. Everything you think you have in order within yourself—all the things you carefully considered and put in jars, on internal shelves? Yeah, the wedding is going to come in and knock all that shit down. And it doesn’t just take apart all your work on the carefully considered stuff, either. Whatever you’ve shoved into dark corners and said you’ll deal with later? The wedding comes in and is all, oh no, you’re going to deal with it now. Right now, at this venue meeting. Or perhaps at 3am, when you can’t sleep and your to-do list is dancing behind your closed eyes.
wedding work is internal work
The wedding forced me to dismantle all my internal work. It forced me to take everything off my shelves, touch all the icky corners, and reorganize myself in a way that would allow me to be a person who could commit to forever. I kept trying to explain why I was so stressed this year, but my words couldn’t quite touch what was actually happening.
It was never the menu or the decorations or the spreadsheets that were stressing me out; I was working really hard, invisibly, to get myself ready. And when the day came, I was ready. I was exhausted to my core, but I was open and able to accept all the love and awesomeness of the weekend. I said my vows with a confidence that comes only from knowing there were no untouched issues, no dust bunnies piled in the corner.
…but what happens to the external?
But my actual house? It was a disaster. There was wedding stuff everywhere, the bathrooms were not clean. And my external body? Also not at its best. I neglected my normal workouts, sacrificed my precious time in the woods, let go of some of my other goals. I watched a lot of bad TV in the dark. It was triage, and I don’t regret it. I chose to stand up there in front of everyone eight pounds heavier than normal and living in a clutter palace and I chose to be without doubt.
When the wedding and honeymoon were over, I went on this big organizational tear through the house, and it mirrored an internal need I’ve been feeling to finalize and process the wedding. The wedding is done, and just like I needed to reorganize myself into a bride, now I need to reorganize myself into a married person who, frankly, is excited to do other things this year.
putting the wedding away
I’ve been finding that it’s difficult to explain. I can get close—I’ve been saying vehemently, over and over, that I need to “put the wedding away,” that I need it to be really finally over and done with. As I wash individual plates and cups and put them in cabinets, I’m putting my jars of happy wedding memories on my shelves next to the ones filled with past disappointments and pain. I know I’ll need to open them all back up someday, and I’ll be ready. But for now, I really need the space.