Quick warning: The words in this post have absolutely nothing to do with the photos, but I've got to get this out of my head or I might go a bit bonkers.
I have to address this whole marriage thing. I know that marriage is just supposed to happen. It's a normal thing, expected by society, and the world paints the picture that it just happens, totally naturally in the course of one's life.
I used to be totally excited about marriage. Starting at 12:01 AM, a mere minute after turning 17 (and several hours after the Homecoming dance ended during the week that also happened to be my one-year anniversary with my high school sweetheart), when said high school sweetheart turned to me, with a ring he got in a quarter machine and asked me to "someday" marry him. Obvi, I said yes. And I freaked out. It was the greatest moment of my teenaged life. But I couldn't tell anyone, or they'd think I was insane. So we secretly dreamed about what our wedding and subsequent life would be like until he graduated high school and became a college guy and things turned sour. In real life, he's been married for several years and has a kiddo.
Enter high school sweetheart #2/college "sweetheart" (who are the same person). He graduated high school year early so that he could follow me to college. He also proposed during high school, with diamonds. I said yes, because that's what you say when someone proposes. We had some good times, but we had some really, really not so good times. Every time I got mad, I'd toss that ring out the window and it got run over, diamonds fell out and was a mess. It was replaced two times, and mid-way through college, it was accepted that we'd graduate and get married, but I just couldn't outweigh the bad with the good anymore, and threw in the towel towards the end of junior year. We stayed friends after a bit of a rough period, but now are just FB friends. He got engaged yesterday.
Enter Tall, Dark and Handsome. I met him at a college party and for whatever reason (blame it on the Goose?), I decided that I was head over heels for him. Bonus points that he lived about 15 minutes away from me at home, and just happened to be at this party at my school. When summer term came around, I stayed at university because I was graduating early and stuffing my summer with the credits that enabled me to do so. TDH came and stayed with me during the week, cooked, cleaned, and since I didn't have a car, drove me home on the weekends so I could prep for study abroad with my mum. There was a ring, there were talks of the future, I almost debated not getting on the plane to Paris because I wanted to spend the summer with him, but two weeks after getting to Paris, guess who deleted me from FB and I really never heard from again? Yep. Don't keep track of him, so I have no clue where he is in life now.
Next, I ended up in a rather abusive relationship that, over the last few months, I've actually been struggling to accept. I fell into it after college. I'd successfully graduated early and moved home... but didn't have a job and none of my friends were there. I was bored out of my mind, so perhaps falling in with an angry, pot-obsessed, wannabe druggie, dropout who spent the majority of his time either drunk or high felt like a good idea. As a bit of a goody-two-shoes, it seemed like fun for a while, but I took a lot more crap from him than I should have. One day, he decided that we were engaged. Told his parents, friends, posted it on Facebook, and since accepting things is the thing to do when you're in an abusive relationship, that's what I did. When I was offered an internship in NYC, I took it as a means to get out of this relationship, but it didn't work. He kept tabs on me via text or Facebook. If I checked in anywhere cool, he'd know, and then incessantly call me to yell about it. I ended up moving back home and falling back in with him until my friends bucked me up enough to end things (and change my number). Don't keep track of him either.
Finally, I ended up in the relationship that I thought would be it for me. My lobster. We'd known each other for years, and it turns out, he'd had a crush on me in high school. I re-aligned my off-kilter life to align with his. He was going to be a pediatric neuroligist and I'd fallen into the field of special ed., so I figured I'd go to grad school, get my masters, work in schools while he was in residency and a young doctor and eventually we'd open a practice together. He'd do all the medical stuff and I'd do all of the therapeutic stuff. We had a ring, we had a venue, I'd found the perfect dress, but we got into a fight during the week of his board exams and didn't talk for several days. When he walked out of his exams, he called to tell me we needed to "take a break," which was his way of telling me that things were over. I saw him a couple of time after that... to try and talk things out, figure out what the issue was, and then to get my stuff since, I'd basically moved in with him (at his request). I'd heard, later, from mutual friends that he'd been cheating on me for a while, but they may have just been telling me that to make me feel better. I really don't know the truth.
Now the whole marriage thing just doesn't really mean much to me. I just can't wrap my head around it. I've been approached by it so many times, it's always ended up turning away. At the same time, when I see people that I've devoted years of my life to, already devoting or preparing to devote the remainder of their lives to someone else, it hurts. And makes me wonder what I'm doing wrong. Am I just growing in too many different directions that I can't be tied down? I know I don't need marriage as a means to rationalize my existence, but there's just something in the fact that people once pledged themselves to me and have moved in totally opposite directions that makes me question myself. And also, I'm happy for these guys. It must be amazing to have found the person that you want to spend the rest of your life with. I am just not really sure what that should feel like.
That was a lot of writing... just couldn't contain the thought of carrying all of those words inside of me all day...