Well, time marches on. I’ve heard it a million times before. I’m not at all surprised that time moves so quickly because I know that it does, and yet I still find myself shocked that so much time has gone by. I’m especially shocked because I feel like I haven’t moved forward as much I would have liked or think I should have given how much said time has passed.
But this isn’t about being hard on myself, this isn’t about beating myself up for what I haven’t done. This is about moving forward, even if baby step by baby step. Even if there’s time when the steps should have been bigger and more distance should have been covered, I am at where I am at. I can’t change the journey that brought me here, but I can do a few things differently, which includes being a little more intentional even in the smallest of places, hoping they add up to bigger things.
At this point in my life I am engaged to an amazing man. I’m sure every excited engaged woman says that, and given that I am an enneagram 4 (see enneagram personality test) who thinks she is much different than everyone else, I can say with confidence that I know for a fact my man is actually more amazing than all the others out there. Hear me out before I lose you for comparing- I think it’s good for people to think their person is better than all the others. That is their truth and important to the vitality of their relationship. And the same is true for me and how I see my man, genuinely as the most amazing human I have ever met and sometimes I’m still in disbelief that he is who he is, that he’s real, and that he’s mine. It’s absurd.
I don’t feel adequate to feel as blessed as I feel in the relationship department. It’s not to say I haven’t had my struggles, I most certainly have, and I’m no spring chicken who met her prince charming at a young age and had the big blowout wedding with 27 of her best friends as her bridesmaids- how does one decide!? I’m 35, I got engaged less than a month ago and I’m already over the long engagement process while you plan a big wedding. Ain’t nobody got time for that- not when you’re mid-thirties and the numbers only go up from there and “the one” is standing in front of you. Sure, time goes by fast, but not when you’re newly engaged at 35- time drags on… and weddings start to look like ridiculous parties meant for everyone else but the couple getting married.
So on the one hand I feel incredibly blessed and I sincerely cannot wait to marry the man I am going to marry. Time seems to be dragging on. And on the other hand when I look at my life and how far I’ve come- vocationally speaking, I can’t help but be slightly disappointed that I’m not where I wanted to be by now. Time has flown by and I wish it hadn’t.
It’s odd living in this tension of completely excited and slightly disappointed. I’m overjoyed to share my life with someone, and at the same time fearful of completely losing my own life in the process. How do I join in on living life with someone without disappearing into his? How do I make sacrifices and compromises as all relationships do that involve two different people who love each other, while also wanting to stand firm in what I feel called to do as an individual, a creator, a woman, a human with a voice and something to say- even if that something is “I don’t know, and that’s okay,”
I feel happy and fragile at the same time. Happy to be where I am at, and fragile to be where I am at, not really firmly planted in any one thing, not really even sure how to articulate what it is I do and what I want to do with it. I was supposed to know by now. I was supposed to be well established in whatever field I chose and have a lot of experience and a huge portfolio to back me up. My failures were supposed to be behind me, not ahead of me. I was supposed to introduce someone to my world, not still be in the middle of trying to create it, making mistakes along the way. It’s one thing to make mistakes on your own, it’s another to make them in front of somebody, somebody you love, somebody you want to love you, somebody you don’t want to mess up in front of. It’s vulnerable and scary and very much a part of what real love is I think- someone who sees and loves you when you’re not doing great and don’t have it all together.
It’s being seen in the mistakes, in the failures, in the how well you handle things, even if you don’t handle them well, and that person still sees you, sees your heart and loves you for who you are, not in spite of your mistakes or even because of them, but simply because you are you and we all make mistakes and no one is perfect.
I wanted to be more stable in my emotions by now. I wanted to be free of any triggers from past hurts. I wanted to be more solid in my faith. I wanted to have more money in my bank account. I wanted to be an artist or a writer or a comedian by now- like a “real” one, not a “artist” still trying to sell a painting at a bar, not a “writer” still trying to get more views on a blog post, and not a “comedian” still doing open mics and unpaid shows that she ends up paying for because parking isn’t validated.
And I know, these things don’t define me or determine my worth. I know that I know that I know, but at what point are we living into our worth and the ways in which we were created to do those things that make us feel alive, that give us a sense of purpose as we unleash our voices into the world through different mediums.
It’s easy to look at the adventure life is on social media- to see the pictures of the good times and think that’s all it is. But it’s not. It’s a lot of hard work to get to that one happy picture. So hard in fact that all too often I get tired and I don’t feel like doing that much more to get one moment of celebration, one little victory. And I know the little victories count, I know they add up, I know that’s how people get where they get- they don’t give up and they have little victory after little victory, with some little failures scattered in between. They have persistence to keep going, and eventually they get there, but not after they’ve worked really hard and gotten really tired and even then, upon arrival, there’s no time to rest, one must work to maintain how far they’ve gotten.
It’s exhausting, and when my over-analytical mind gets ahead of itself and I think about it all, I get tired and ask myself what’s the point. Forgive me, these are happy times! I’m engaged, and blessed beyond belief with a man who not only supports me but supports my questions and my wrestling with life and the meaning of it all. Happy, happy, happy. It’s fleeting, and I know this to be true because even for as happy as I am being engaged to the most amazing man I could ever hope for, not even that makes all the questions go away, the concerns about life, the fears about what may or may not happen, the confusion about who I am and what I was meant to do.
And for as happy as I am to have found my life partner, it doesn’t mean I have reached the end of my journey and now I can live happily ever after. I still have a purpose to fulfill as a human- whether that’s one big thing in life or a bunch of little things scattered throughout life. Marriage isn’t the end all be all or the determining factor of value for any person. And even my journey of self love isn’t over just because I found someone to love me. I have to continue to love myself for who I am if I am going to believe I am lovable and trust his love for me. And loving myself means not giving up on myself and the things that I love- even when I’m tired, even when it seems like it doesn’t matter. It does.
Happiness fades, but a Peace that passes understanding allows for joy to take root even in the midst of the confusion. I’m not happy I am engaged- I am overjoyed, so in love with someone, still a little fragile in my own skin, sometimes a little more anxious than I’d like to be, but very much at peace with the fact that this whole life thing is a process, and trusting I will figure it out along the way, grateful to have someone not to figure it out for me, but with me.
I wish time would both slow down so I can figure my life out, and hurry up so I can marry my favorite person. But I must live in the tension of slow and fast, sad and happy, confused and clear. Such is life, such is love, such is the Peace that passes understanding.