It’s been three glorious weeks of engagement bliss.
Despite the extra high levels of anxiety and the epic panic attacks/meltdowns that have settled just beneath the surface of my calm exterior due to my manic obsession with wedding planning, it’s safe to say that I nearly have to whole dang thing planned. Down to the dress. I’m serious. 21 days after the initial proposal and I have a dress picked out, ordered, shipped, and now hanging in my closet. Like a boss.
I have our photographer booked (Rachelle Rae), our DJ picked out, caterer in the works, decorations planned, and honeymoon being dreamed up.
I am in such pre-marital bliss that I have started singing in the shower. There is not one lie about that statement. In the past three weeks I have started singing boisterously in the acoustics of my shower for the first time in 27 years. I vomit wedding talk over every conversation also. It’s attractive, and I totally can’t help it.
I’m embarrassingly giddy about being engaged, but I don’t need it. I am not basing my every happiness on marrying Ryan Innis. As a matter of fact, I don’t need him at all.
Now before you get all hurt for this sweet and incredible man I am marrying, let me explain.
I had a conversation with a friend of mine the other day, and, per my new terrible habit, I had found different ways throughout the conversation to steer it back to my upcoming nuptials. There was wedding bile everywhere. She was sweet as she allowed me to get it all out before she steered it away and described to me the difficulties she was facing in the dating world. She was having frustrations and anxieties, and I realized that even though I am in this magical state now, this was not always the case, and it isn’t the case for many of my dear ones now.
I remembered that just over a year ago I would have boiled my blood over another’s engagement. Dating was obnoxious and constantly depleted my hopes of ever finding someone I would want to hang out with forever.
In my early twenties, I found my worth in gaining the attention of others. I was falsely happy only if I was pleasing everyone else, and never focused on what truly brought me joy. My happiness was fake, and I had fooled everyone, including myself.
It wasn’t until I decided to put in all my efforts to find what brought me joy. I switched the focus to myself for a time, and although I will always believe selflessness is imperative to happiness, the necessity of my selfishness during that time was one that would save me.
I had no idea what I enjoyed. What perked up my senses? What made me feel? What did I want to surround myself with? And whom?
It wasn’t until I intentionally explored these questions that I began to understand myself…as a human, a woman, a sister, a friend. I could see more clearly the things that were important to me, along with the relationships and activities. I felt more fulfilled emotionally, physically, spiritually. I was sincerely finding joy as I put effort into loving myself.
If I had met Ryan after that first encounter with his parents and sister, I don’t think it would have worked. I didn’t know myself well enough. I would have tried to find my happiness in myself through him, instead of adding to my happiness by being with him.
I think it was all planned that it would be another year before I met him. Because now I know I don’t need him for my own happiness. I know what brings me joy. But I want him with me every second because he adds to it monumentally.
I don’t need him to feel confident. But he builds me up every day because he wants to.
I don’t need his money. But I’ll take it. (okay okay, we’ll share 🙂 )
I don’t need his input to know my faith. But I adore his encouragement.
Ryan doesn’t define who I am, and likewise I don’t define him, but I want to be with him every day because he brings out all the good in me, and now we can find all the things that make us happy together.
So to all those frustrated by the dating world, I encourage you to have faith, and spend your time with a bit of selfishness to focus on your JOY with who you are. Don’t let anyone else define you.