You know those moments you think about as a kid and wonder what they’ll be like? First kiss. First love. Engagement. I was one of those kids that dreamt up the grand plan of how I wanted to be proposed to. I wanted it to be in a public setting. I wanted it to be recorded and photographed. I wanted it to be some massive spectacle. Looking back now, that would horrify me. But regardless of what I felt it may look like, one thing stood out: It was going to be one of the happiest days of my life. I just knew it. But anxiety had other plans for me for that day.
July 10th, I got engaged. It was a Wednesday and I was returning home from a long day. The proposal was everything I wanted it to be, despite what my 13 year old self dreamt up. But immediately after, something happened. I felt lost. I wasn’t sure what to do after the proposal. Do we tell people right now? Who do we tell? Who should be told first? Should I call that person or just send a text? Maybe just send a photo of the ring and be like, “Surprise!” Should he call his parents right now? Do I announce it on Facebook like I see other people do? What do I DO after a proposal? Anxiety hit me instantly and I hate that. I hate looking back and feeling like anxiety took something from me. But it didn’t stop there. Anxiety wasn’t done.
Two days into the engagement, I was getting asked about wedding dates and where we would get married. It had been exactly two DAYS. We hadn’t even told everybody yet and I still received these questions. But this is where anxiety won yet again, because anxiety took these questions as, “We need to be able to answer this immediately.” So four days into our engagement, I had downloaded a wedding planning app and began searching venues online to book tours. Four. Days. Into. It. Now, I am very much a planner (thanks to anxiety) so while this isn’t that much of a surprise, this next part is…
We’ve now been engaged for less than two weeks, and we’ve had two venue tours already, with three more booked this week. Why was this necessary? Because anxiety told me there’s no way I’d absolutely get the wedding date we chose if I don’t find a venue within one month. (For reference, our wedding date is in September 2020, over 13 months away.) Anxiety told me that I needed to have all the answers now. I just hate it. This engagement has not felt like I was dreamt it would, and while that in itself is relatively normal, I did expect to feel excitement for this period of my life. But that’s the thing about anxiety: It takes away so much. I’m disappointed with myself for letting my anxiety take control the past couple weeks and hope that things will quiet down after securing a venue.
I’m trying to remind myself that anxiety is a part of me and despite it, I am still blessed with the life I have. Simple reminders can be all we need sometimes, even if I have to tell myself that again and again.