My desk is filled with papers of every assorted shape and size. My to-do-list is longer than my arm and my head is twirling with whirly-twirly gumdrop thoughts (hard core elf fans will feel me there) -everything from wedding dresses to flowers, future plans that cause my heart to skip a beat or three and land somewhere in the deep end of panic and everything in between -including but not limited to the letter C, Christmas ornaments and whiny voices. I just called the dog one of my preschooler’s names and have no idea what dinner is going to be. I’m somewhere between wanting to collapse into bed and eat a gallon of ice cream. I can’t decide if I want to be happy or drown in a puddle of tears. Perhaps both?
I want to dye my hair red. I want to travel the world. I want to marry my fiancé. I want to teach my preschoolers. I want the best of all the worlds and am not used to having to decide between one or the other. I work ½ a dozen jobs -for that simple fact. I hate saying no. I hate disappointing people. I like to do it all. And I like to do it all on my own. But this new path of life is leading me deep into the out-of-my-control world, and its full of changes. Changes that will, inevitably, leave someone hurt.
My fiancé has asked me all week what is on my mind -he did a countdown with me last night “Tell me the first thing on your mind when I could to five.” He said, I held my breath in anticipation because I hate countdowns and I didn’t know what my mind was going to come up with….and when he got to five? I blurted out “Goldfish.” Because at that very second in time, the roster in my mind was on goldfish. I don’t even know. Except now I feel compelled to incorporate goldfish into our wedding. Which makes me want to cry. Because I don’t even like goldfish. Or do I? I don’t know anymore.
The problem with having umpteen jobs, is that there are umpteen people to upset when I tell them that I might be moving away in the future. I don’t do well with change. I don’t do well with spotlight and I don’t do well with upsetting people. One of the main reasons I have so many jobs is because I can limit the amount of people I upset -I can say YES! To everything. I can also control a lot of aspects of life if I keep my finger in the many pies…and yet this recent engagement has found me, well, floundering. Upsetting people or at least certain aspects of their lives. I have to decide between my future and my past. Someone, somewhere, is going to be hurt, left out and uprooted -unintentionally…and all that is enough to make my head spin right out of control.
The other day I sat holding a preschooler close while teachers commented on how much of my life was going to change. “Well at least my name won’t. I will always be Miss Christina.” I said, too confidently. To which they both laughed “No it won’t.” And my heart sank…because it’s just one more thing I am trading in.
If everything goes as it looks like it is –I will be saying goodbye to my hometown. My people. My family. My life. My job. My friends. My church. My address. My phone number. My status. My everything I have ever known. My preschoolers…and my name. There is absolutely nothing that will remain the same. And while I am not changing my mind or having second thoughts, I would be lying if I didn’t say I am not having a hard time with this.
When people ask me when we are getting married, my chest tightens a little bit. It isn’t that I don’t WANT to. I do. I want to get married tomorrow. It’s that I don’t know how to let go of everything I have known -and reach for everything I don’t know. I don’t know how to be happy and sad at the EXACT same moment.
So instead, I do what I can. I panic clean the cupboards. I scrub the fridge. I close down all the browsers containing countless wedding ideas and turn up the music. I smile and hold my ring extra close. And yes, perhaps I get a little bit quieter. The getting married…the starting a new life…it doesn’t scare me. It excites me. But the other part…the letting go, the starting new, the leaving behind…it’s hard…and it’s not something anyone ever told me would be a part of this happy, exciting time.
I’m doing what I can. I’m taking it one day at a time. I’m letting myself freak out here and there. Processing what I can, when I can. I’m doing small batches of research on all the things. And at the end of the day -I’m reminding myself that regardless of how this all goes down -wherever we move, whatever jobs we take, whatever we wear to the wedding or where it takes place…at the end of it all, we will have each other. And for that, I am grateful.