With my upcoming wedding, I (obviously) have been stuck in wedding-planning mode and there is a never-ending stream of wedding-related thoughts running through my head at all times. Particularly when I'm trying to go to sleep. It goes something like this:
"How much time will we need for pictures?"
"How much will this cost?"
"If I don't do ____ I'll be able to save more money to do ____ instead.
"Will the bridesmaid dresses look good together?"
"Will 100 stems of baby's breath be enough?"
"I hope everyone comes on time."
"I'll kill them if I don't."
"I still can't believe ______ isn't going to come. I really thought they would."
...and so on and so forth.
But lately some other thoughts have been creeping up in my mind. Less wedding thoughts and more marriage thoughts. Sometimes the thoughts catch me off guard, take my breath away and leave me a little winded. Sometimes they're happy thoughts, I become overwhelmed with emotion just sitting at my work desk and tears well up in my eyes, because I can't wait to start my life with Derek. Sometimes they're scary thoughts. They make my stomach turn in knots and my heart jump up in my throat.
The best thing I can think to compare it to is a roller coaster - beginning with the engagement being like waiting in one of the long lines. The whole two hours you're waiting with anticipation and excitement, hoping you'll get a good seat, that the automatic camera gets a great picture, and that no one is going to barf on you. You're nervous, but mostly you're excited.
As you're getting closer - the next group to board - you start to get a little more nervous, but you're still excited. You think that first hill didn't look so high from the ground, but now that you're up close, its a little scary. But you know you love roller coasters, you cant wait for the car to get back around - you're counting the minutes, until finally it pulls in and the other passengers get off.
Now, you're in the car. You've buckled your seat belt and lowered the safety bar. There's no turning back. Your heart is pounding and your palms are a little sweaty. But then the attendant comes around and checks all the safety bars - you have a moment of panic. You can't get out! It's too late! What if something happens? What if you don't want to ride anymore? But then the car begins the slow ascent up the first hill - the big scary one - to start the ride.
I know there will be ups, downs, and probably a few loopty loops that aren't expected. There may be times when I have my hands up in the air, screaming with delight and there may be times when I'm holding on to that safety bar for dear life, praying that I just make it through. But that's marriage. I'm not going in to it thinking it's all going to be unicorns and rainbows. There will be ups, downs, and arounds. There will be trials - and triumphs - and we will have to support each other through them all.
I'm ready to start my ride of a lifetime.