I blinked and March 22nd bloomed into May 31st. I strapped blinders on my wandering, dreaming eyes and shed them this week to find I am to be someone’s wife in exactly thirty-four days. When you put your head down and charge through a seemingly endless eight weeks of practicum, graduation morning dawns bright and beaming, sudden and without warning. I am a nurse and Jesse’s almost-wife and I don’t know when university ended and this thrill began. I don’t remember the part where I grew up and out of perpetual student-ing.
Graduating was the most surreal passage of my life thus far (soon to be surpassed, I’m quite sure). Technically speaking, I am a registered nurse. In all actuality, I’ve yet to experience the gratification of landing the all important first job – there is, after all, a significant downside to dreaming Public Health Nurse dreams. So while I’m becoming increasingly antsy waiting for an opportunity in a competitive area of nursing, I think a short break after four years of working part time jobs through nursing school (in other words, after hell), is well deserved. I’m devoting my time and energy to job hunting, wedding planning, marriage preparing, life/stuff purging, and a wee bit of tanning. In the sun. It’s nerve-wracking having been unemployed for the longest stretch since my working days began but I’m learning to wait and to trust. While I was doing my paediatric rotation at BC Children’s Hospital last spring, a nurse I had never previously met, saw through my casual questions about her role as a community liaison nurse, looked into my soul, and told me I had to follow my heart. Do you know how many times I’ve heard those words? Said those words to other people? And in a do-or-die moment last spring, choosing our final practicum, I was ready to abandon those words I claimed to live by. I wrote on February 5th, 2014 of the risk it was to pursue Public Health Nursing. That expectations stands today. Even still, I will exhaust every opportunity until God slams the door shut in my face and pushes me to take the long way around. It wouldn’t be over, just delayed. I am learning to be okay with that possibility. Following your heart is certainly not the easy route.
So that’s where I stand on the job front. I’ve already fielded plenty of questions about my job prospects and maybe this post will answer some further incoming ones! As far as wedding planning goes, I’m having the time of my life! My stresses have really been limited to my need for frugality and considering the monstrosity that weddings have become, I’d say I’m fairly lucky in that regard. But seriously. I didn’t know weddings were so horrifically warped! Don’t misunderstand me, I cannot wait to spend a most special and brilliant day celebrating marriage to my best friend. That’s the thing though: it’s a day about celebrating marriage between two people. Take one look online though. See how our culture has transformed a wedding day into a day of narcissism, selfishness, self-gratification, and frivolity. Furthermore, we tell people, brides specifically, that it’s okay to embrace all of these traits and manners. We encourage excessive spending and schemes to impress our guests (not to mention those who will surely see photographs on Facebook), all in the name of “tradition” and “wedding etiquette”. Again, don’t misunderstand me, there will be flowers at our wedding and there will be food galore! There will be pretty ribbon and sparkle and heaven help us, there will most assuredly be place-cards and fancy seating charts (after all, I am marrying a graphic designer!). I think what I have learned is to resist the attitude surrounding weddings.
I’ve been surprised to have people tell me I can have whatever I want because this day is about me. I’ve been even more surprised to find that most people think more about wedding etiquette and tradition than they do about the marriage itself. The promises made. The vows spoken. The new family created before God. I don’t know when weddings came to be about everything BUT the marriage. It’s all been more disconcerting than I ever expected because truth be told, I was not raised to believe the world revolved around me and I’ve spent four years since high school slowly, painstakingly, finding this fact to be bracingly, sometimes inconveniently, true.
This season of planning and preparing has been a complex lesson in humility and prioritizing. It’s been a chance for God to challenge my values and desires. When Jesse and I were about to get engaged, we realized we would rather marry each other right then and there than wait any longer for the kind of ring our culture told us he should save for. We realized we would rather tell our children that their mama and daddy wanted to get married so terribly bad that we went out and picked the best damn ring one meager pay cheque could buy and promised to love each other even when the shine of a simple gold band wore off. We wanted togetherness more than we wanted a thing and I want a marriage more than I want a wedding.
No matter how many times I nitpick my florist order or obsess over beautifying three very hideous Porta-Potties, I have learned to celebrate the glory of marriage. Come hell or high water (please God, don’t let it rain), it’s me and him. It’s celebrating coming together – not the size of our wallets. I think it’s beautiful that our country celebrates marriage so boldly and openly. We mustn’t forget, though, our wedding day is about what God has joined together. It’s about love and commitment.
Nevertheless, planning continues. We are ecstatic to be joined by family and friends when we become husband and wife. It is important to us that we throw a party to remember, regardless of it also being a wedding day! Hah. This morning, Jesse left a jumbo bag of Sour Skittles, Miss Vickies, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and a beer on my duvet that he haphazardly (but very sweetly) tugged and smoothed into place. Quite clearly, he doesn’t condone weight loss for weddings (fortunately, that’s another expectation I refuse to adhere to); he is, however, the best thing that has ever happened to me. Not just because he feeds me treats and makes my bed. Rather, because he’s patient and kind and honest with me no matter the gravity of the truth. Somehow, he helps me to breathe. To think before I speak. We’ve waited four years for this upcoming month and it’s finally here!! God has been so good to grace our relationship with fortitude and friendship and we can’t wait to put.a.freaking.ring.on.it. Sorry, had to say it.
I can always tell when it’s time to wind down writing by the increasingly colloquial manner with which I write. Once I start using multiple exclamation marks to express emotion or adding “freaking” and “hah” into an otherwise eloquent and well composed post, the laptop needs to go away. Bedtime now. I’ve had a long day of shopping and eating Wendy’s and Pho with my mama. I’m contemplating writing another post on marriage… an opinion post of sorts, challenging or elaborating on some recent articles I’ve read or conversations I’ve had. Give me a shoutout if there’s something you’d like me to write about! I’ve put it off so long for lack of inspiration. Help a girl out!