First they said … “Just wait … once you say ‘I do,’ things will change.” I didn’t want that to be me. So I asked questions to my friends and family that were married and/or had been married. THEN, I got more words of advice (along with some heartfelt chuckles). “Once you become engaged things start to change.” I didn’t believe it.
After about a week of being engaged, over and over, I found myself laughing at myself when I corrected the mistake of speaking about Shelli as my girlfriend. There were moments when I literally could not stop myself from smiling and/or giggling out loud as I said, “I mean … My fiancé!” That’s when it hit me … Yeah … things have indeed changed! Not only am I changing my language from girlfriend to fiancé, but I’ve changed from words and thoughts of I & me to US & WE. The idea that “I” is the last letter in my name after WE & US really kicked in! And I’m cool with that. I embrace the idea of WE and look forward to a life of US. I am more than committed to this. This realization had me rethinking life … re-evaluating what dedication is.
Now you have to understand something about me. When I commit, I commit 110%! I’ve invested all of myself into projects and people. I’ve sacrificed love, friendships and finances in the past. I’ve won sometimes and I’ve lost at times. I go pretty hard. I know what it means to be dedicated … or so I thought. Then I asked Shelli to be my wife.
In the past, I have loved, but recently I realized that it wasn’t about ME loving Shelli. This isn’t about me being committed to marriage. Those things are easy to do and are unquestionable and solid in this relationship. What changed is that now I understand that this commitment is about US dedicating ourselves, collectively as ONE, to marriage. After this epiphany, I understand commitment and dedication differently now.
OK so … Shelli and I continue to talk about enjoying this time being engaged without the headache of wedding planning. In my mind, that would last for about 4-6 weeks. But NOW … I’m 6+ weeks deep into this engagement thing! Sunday, we took a step forward and set a date to finally get our families all together. Allowing ourselves to take our time to make these plans has importance. Well, at least in my mind it has importance. It allowed the reality of the process to kick in. (I have work to do!) The other reason that it was important to me was that I wanted to make sure that we stayed rooted in the reality of our love before we jumped into the headaches and fantasy of wedding planning. WE continue to talk about how we’re both fighting the urge to jump into wedding planning. But the truth is, neither of us really wants to do deal with the wedding planning headaches. But … we both want those fly pictures to document what WE know will be recognized as a historic love!!
And yes, my mind wanders at times.
I find myself listening to songs and thinking, “I could come down the aisle to that!” But I know that it would come with me dancing down the aisle so … this is more than likely a no go … but I still LOVE THIS song!
Or, “I gotta put that on the playlist at the reception!” I just heard that they are FINALLY (after 2 years!) getting this mastered. So, hopefully, I can get it on the playlist for real!
Or I find myself thinking other things such as, “I like the cut and details on that tuxedo!” and “I want a dessert bar in the mix with Twizzlers … and Red Vines!” or “Maybe we could have a really classy 1950s themed wedding!” Then there are those times when I am flipping channels or surfing the web and see something about dresses or a vacation/honeymoon spot and I stop and look for a while.
Yes, WE have a good thing happening here between US … and I want to make sure that it stays that way. I write this to say … for some of us testosterone-driven beings, having the time to settle in and get a grasp of the totality of things can be all we need so that we don’t lose it as wedding planning begins. We know it’s gotta happen and we know that it’s not easy work. But we also know that easing into the process may save the relationship a bunch of stress and extends things so that there is a little extra time to enjoy being engaged and in love. And, for real … I still smile when I get the opportunity to tell people that Shelli is my fiancé!
Although some would say that I’m kinda corny, I like to define those moments as proof that I’m happily in love!
I LOVE YOU SHELLI GILLIS!
Yes … things change … and sometimes that’s for the better!
(ARGGHHH … I guess WE have to talk more about that last name thing, huh?! Maybe that’s a future post?)