Well. This is it. The day I've been both stressed about and excited for. There's been a lot of work and money put into it. A lot of planning has taken place. This week especially has been a time for me to reunite with good friends and loved ones, and now the real celebration is about to start.
I'm currently at my parents' place for the night, typing this introspection out on a desktop computer. I'm actually physically having difficulty getting the words out. I'm breathing fast, my head is warm and spinning, and I am way too wired to fall asleep right now. The family cat is sleeping on his tower nearby, so he's obviously having an easier time than I am.
Tomorrow, at 4 PM, I will be marrying the love of my life at a beautiful art and garden center.
My suit is hanging up in the closet of my childhood bedroom, waiting to be worn. The rings are in a small box, waiting to be placed on fingers. The boutonnieres are waiting to be pinned. Pictures are waiting to be taken, moments waiting to be filmed. Tomorrow, I will be married, and the ceremony will most likely speed by. I want it to slow down for me, but it probably won't.
Tomorrow, the weather will be fantastic. Food will be prepared, and beverages will be delivered. Music will be played, and guests will dance. Toasts will be made and speeches will be read. Vows, too, coming from the heart, the soul, and the mind.
I could go on and on about what tomorrow will be like. But I do want to take time to talk about today.
This afternoon, I got to stand in front of the gazebo where my wedding ceremony will take place, holding my fiancée's hands, as we carried out the rehearsal. The sun was starting to set, and the lighting was perfect, even though it was fairly warm out. Being there surrounded by people who are so important to me, gazing at the woman I have been in love with for over five years, really cemented the reality of what we were doing: We were, and are, ready to commit to one another. For richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, as long as we both shall live.
Tonight, I was surrounded by friends and family. We had dinner together, talked together, and mused about how much we've grown together. Just thinking about the members of my wedding party really puts things into perspective regarding the people I've grown so close to over the years. My maid of honor, for example, happens to be my twin sister, so of course, I've known her the longest. On the opposite end of the spectrum, her boyfriend of two years, one of my groomsmen, is one of the most recent friends that I've made. My best man and other groomsman were my friends and roommates in college, while my other two bridesmaids are women I've been friends with since middle school or high school. Just interacting with them all together allows me to create a timeline of where I started as an individual, and how far I've come.
And a lot has changed in five years. I came out in February of 2011 and started dating my fiancée three months later. I've worked a number of jobs, finally receiving my English credential this year and officially starting my teaching career. I've made new friends and kept in touch with old ones. And I've continued to write. While I've maintained consistency, I've also seen an evolution in my life as I have become a post-university adult. It's been terrifying at times, yes, and anxiety-inducing. But it's been worth it.
Currently, my country is going through a pretty scary time, with its future at stake. But what does not change is the amazing community I have created around me throughout the years. And now, I can at last officially become the wife of a person whom I could never imagine living without.
Be a cynic about love and marriage if you so choose: This is something that I've always wanted. I just never expected it to be like this. And I wouldn't trade it for the world.
Tomorrow, at 4 PM, I will be marrying the love of my life. Those of you who will be there to witness it, thank you for everything, and I love you. Those of you whom I will not see tomorrow, thank you for everything, and I love you.
Have a great night and a great weekend. I know I will.