4th of July and Wedding Crazy

6:26 AM

25 is consistently approaching at warp-speed. Is it the 9th of July already? My days as a 24-year-old are numbered, but I've waxed horrified on that already. So, let's move on.

I've been focusing on the things I've learned in the past year. How have I grown? How have I changed? How have I taken the things I've learned and applied them to my life? There's been a lot of semi-meaningful revelations in the past 365-ish days.  Stuff like, everyone has insecurities. Or when you're out for revenge, it's best to dig two graves before you set out. But in the last 30-odd days, I've had a booming, pulsing, intense lesson, and for as long as I live, I'll remember that 24 closed out with a real lesson:

Wedding planning sucks on all fronts. And this is a lesson, because if there is any deterrent towards divorce, it's wedding planning. I will never do this again. I'll suffer through anything, so long as I never have to plan another party to this extent. Maybe that's why a wedding is so important -- people piss you off, you get stressed, you die, you turn into a bridezilla. And you never ever ever ever consider divorce.

I feel pulled in a thousand different directions. Pressured to do things I don't want to. Commit to decisions I'm not ready to commit to. I been feeling out of control, out of charge, and out of sync with my fiance.

But then, last night, as I was making the long drive home from our weekend up north, it was just Jack and me, and I played the song that I've made the decision to walk down the aisle to....for now it's a secret, but as it neared the end, and got to the part that will cue my march up the sandy aisle, I imagined seeing Ryan, and it was suddenly all was right. It was a quick reminder -- this is why I'm doing what I'm doing. That man, his face, him forever.  This is a party, not a production. When that day comes, if the lights aren't hung the way I imagine, or the songs don't play the way I want them to, or somehow, I get a dessert table without Twizzlers, it will not matter. I'll be married to my best friend and nothing else will matter.

That's calming.

*****

The 4th of July used to be my favorite holiday. The parade, the candy, the carnival, the hot hot hot --- best holiday ever. I still really enjoy it, but Thanksgiving officially has my heart. You know, the food. This year, I packed my Oma in my car, along with our two puppies, and we hit the road.













































It was hazy and misty and cold in the morning, which didn't serve well the long parade, or a nearly 25-year-old girl who should know better than to wear shorts when it's cold,  but the sun peeped out around noon and for the rest of the weekend, we had perfect weather.

But before that, it looked like this:



****

When I was younger, I always anticipated that my life would end up being glamorous, and my first step towards that glamour was moving the heck out of my home town and Michigan. Perhaps a trite plan made by young people everywhere, but I was serious. Then I met Ryan and I fell in love with him and Michigan was his home. Mine too, but I was still delusional. It's not by accident that youth imagine a life entirely unlike their own, but when adulthood sets in, almost always trickle back to where they started. Their are anomalies, of course, but now that I'm practically in my mid-20's, I feel safe suggesting that I've learned a grown-up lesson or two, and I'm convinced -- we crave home.





We crave the safety of familiarity, of our friends, our family, our people. You get old enough and nostalgia feels good. If I ever left Michigan, I'd miss this.


















I wouldn't miss snow in January or icy roads in March, but, you know, good with the bad.
In Michigan, you get snow, but you also get Lake Michigan. You get ice, but then you get Sleeping Bear Dunes. For the chilly springs and humid summers, I get the trade off of the people I love most.












































****
This is home, and last week, we celebrated that, along with the freedom that home promises us.


















*** fireworks, compliments of Frankfort, Michigan ***

*****

In six-and-a-half weeks, I'm going to marry Ryan and all the crazy that happens between today and August 24th, none of it matters. Not a little, not a lot, not at all.


____________________________________________________
"A wedding is a party, not a performance. If at the end of the day, you are married to the one you love, then everything went perfectly.















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