2018 was a weird year.
I finished my master’s degree, spent months searching for a job, moved again (to an area that is dangerously close to where I went to undergrad *shudders*), and finally saw Game of Thrones, all while occasionally dropping very heavy-handed comments to Marc that it was time he make an honest woman out of me.
And then, toward the end of this weird year, in the midst of my annual hypochondria checkups for pulmonary emboli, heart problems, brain problems, lung problems, and otherwise (and even with great insurance, anxiety is expensive!), I found myself coming home on a normal Thursday. I changed into a stained Phantom of the Opera T-shirt as I vented to Marc about work. I half-heated up Christmas leftovers. Marc asked me to come out on our balcony and look at the beautiful lights he had put up and I looked at them for exactly one second, said they were great but I was cold, and headed back inside. And then three minutes later, he is asking me to be his wife.
The whole thing was very sweet. He took out a book I made him for our first anniversary compiled of all of our text messages from that year. We read aloud from it, reminiscing about how silly and awkward and weird we were (are). Then, when we got to a line that read, “Everyday is crumb cake as long as I’m with you,” my best friend, better half, and love of my life took a devastatingly sparkly ring out of his pocket.
Thus an ordinary Thursday night became one of the best and most notable nights of my life.
I actually forgot to answer for awhile. I guess I thought the answer was obvious. So I’m sobbing and he’s staring at me expectantly and then it occurs to me that he did just ask me a question. And I squeak out a glorious, “Yeah!”
And before we dive into the whirlwind of wedding planning, during which we will gradually lay out the event of our dreams and our families will tell us we are wrong, I must take a moment to reflect on all of the craziness that got us here.
There were a lot of lonely nights of sitting up late, wondering who I was going to marry: what would he be like? What would he do for a living? What would he be passionate about? The thing is, I’m ever-practical (cynical), so my fantasy was always my being in an indifferent marriage to a quazi-workaholic who I liked enough to see on most weekends. Never in the most outrageous corners of my imagination could I have dreamed up a comedy-loving, poetry-reading, ever-patient digital marketing specialist who rubs my feet without my having to ask and who I simply cannot wait to see everyday. Funnily enough, in my quest for self-acceptance, I, in many ways, fell for and agreed to spend the rest of my life with a male version of myself. Love thyself, always.
There were a lot of nights crying over men who weren’t worth the tears, feeling as though I were objectively unlovable. There was a lot of anger and dishonesty toward myself about what I (and all of us) deserve from a partner. There was a lot of confusion and resentment toward what love truly is. Through it all, I conveniently forgot the most important thing: love thyself, always.
Love may look different for all of us. I really wouldn’t know. My journey to this point has led me to believe that I objectively know nothing. For me, love looks like a comedy-loving, poetry-reading, ever-patient digital marketing specialist who rubs my feet without my having to ask and who I simply cannot wait to see everyday.
It all still seems very surreal and I spend most days in utter disbelief. And yet it also feels like nothing has changed. I am just going to have to cut back on my annual peace of mind check-ups in order to save for this massive celebratory party and a future home for all the dogs we will raise.
Happy New Year, awkward-teers. May 2019 bring you peace, prosperity, joy, love, and maybe a new President. I will sign off with this quote from my spirit animal, Elizabeth Lemon of 30 Rockefeller Plaza: “We don’t have to settle. The moms were wrong. Stupid Buzz Aldrin was wrong. So thank you and goodbye. Praise to the universe! Love is real!”