The wedding came and went, Chuck and I managed to survive with our sanity mostly intact, and now that the whirlwind is over all that’s left to do is wonder how something that needed so much planning (and money) and caused so much stress could be over in the blink of an eye. It’s ridiculous, really – but the important thing was that at the end of the day, I’d married my best friend (cliche as that sounds) plus I got to party with my friends who had traveled from all over the world to celebrate with us. I’m thankful to have such wonderful people in my life.
That said, I hope I never have to get married again. Not just for the obvious reasons, but also because the wedding planning process stressed me out terribly. I thankfully didn’t have any bridezilla-esque fits over centerpieces or bridesmaids’ hairstyles or anything silly (not having a bridal party had its advantages!) No, it was mostly stress induced from certain family members, related to the things I’d ranted about earlier. When you have your own version of Elizabeth Bennett’s mother taking ownership of a wedding that she’d “been waiting to plan for years, though I thought you’d never get married!” well… I purposely avoided writing on my blog for a few weeks, because the frustration was so raw that I knew I’d say something hurtful and offensive. A little distance is always good.
And now that the wedding is over, a little distance is what I’m getting! As I’m writing this, I’m sitting on a train traveling from London to Edinburgh.
I should back up. I’ve been in Europe since the end of March, but this isn’t our planned honeymoon. (We’re going to Uruguay in June for that.) In fact, Chuck isn’t even with me right now. About a month before the wedding, I’d had a bit of a meltdown where I lamented, among other things, that I was wasting my year off between leaving the Navy and starting grad school. I wanted to travel and visit friends, particularly those in Europe, but now I felt I couldn’t leave because of wedding planning and making sure I didn’t drain my savings before the wedding was paid for. Why was I continually putting my desires on hold, especially for something I didn’t even care that much about and was putting on for the benefit of obnoxious family members? By the time it was over I would only have a few months left before school started, and who knows when I’d have another opportunity to travel. It wasn’t fair, I’d ranted to Chuck, especially since if he decides to leave the Navy and take some time off, he’s going to be able to do whatever he wants since he won’t have a stupid wedding to worry about.
Well, he’d listened, and a few days later I’d found out that he’d made arrangements with his friend who owns an apartment in Paris. I could stay there for the entire month of April, free of charge as a very generous wedding present. I’m so grateful to have such a thoughtful husband – though I’m sure it was for his benefit just as much as mine, because my resentment was gradually growing and the meltdowns becoming more frequent.
So, here I am in Europe on a badly needed reboot. Chuck was able to come with me for the first week, so we did get a little bit of a “mini-moon” in Paris. But since he went back to the States for work, the time I’ve had to myself has been invaluable. Getting to visit my long-neglected friends has been wonderful, too. I didn’t realize how lonely I’d been until now; when I’d left the Navy and come to live in Virginia with Chuck, I’d also left my social life behind. For the first time in a while I feel normal, and it feels good to be traveling again! Using Paris as a staging point, I’ve taken advantage of the cheap flights to other countries. I also feel like I’m catching the writing bug again, and I’m looking forward to sharing my adventures over the next few weeks. 🙂