Friday, May 11, 2012

Last Load of Laundry

I have not yet mastered the art of a satisfactory farewell.

How do I let people know how much I've appreciated their friendship?
How do I make peace with the past and move forward into the future?
How do I honor one experience while moving into another?

I know that when I most want to avoid something, I most need to face it. I have successfully spent the last five months pretending like this isn't the case. That everything will be fine. That I need not say "goodbye." That this isn't happening.
But it is happening.

I know this is true because someone, somewhere via Craigslist is now sleeping on my bed.
My walls are barren.
My books are in boxes.
My clothes are in suitcases.
Things are changing and I'm not sure I'm ready for them.

In 48 hours, I'll be married.

And I'm ecstatic. Thrilled. Overjoyed. Gleeful. Felicitous. This is what I want and there's no one else I'd rather spend the rest of my life with.

So, I am running a last load of laundry. I'm brushing my teeth. And I'm not quite sure what to do next.  I've lived with my sister, Ashley, and her husband, Ben, for the last three years. This is all I've known in college. This is all I've wanted to know. She came downstairs to say "goodnight" and mentioned that it is my last night in my room. And we cried.

What is the graceful way to move from this place to the big scary world of...of...marriage? Do I walk? Do I run? Should I test the water with my toe first? Should I have obtained a certain level of education or confidence or put-together-ness?

What will I do when I really just want to go home, to familiarity, to being safe and taken care every step of the way? How do I say goodbye to what was and move forward to what is?

I suspect that a satisfactory goodbye is one that honors both the past and the future.

I want to be satisfied with what just happened.
With the last 24 years I've enjoyed in safety and peace and comfort.

I want to be hopeful with what is to come.
With the joys that come with marriage and the forming of our own family.

So goodbye to what was:
to living in a house I didn't appreciate,
eating food I couldn't afford,
and driving a car with insurance fees I had no right driving.

Goodbye to my care-free and debt-free existence.
To knowing that my parents would always pay my gas home for Christmas.
To insulation from taxes and health insurance and tuition.
To naivety in general.

And hello to what is:
to a sweet and wonderful roommate,
to learning to budget,
and eating a whole lot more rice and beans.

Hello to the wisdom that comes with adulthood,
to not going to our respective homes at 11:39pm,
to ownership and responsibility of my own life,
to a great adventure with the man I love.

Goodbye, what was.

Hello, adventure.


Kylie said...

Its ok that this is hard. Farewells and change aren't natural, but there is greatness to be found in stepping outside the confines of what is comfortable, and moving towards what we don't understand.

What a blessing that you have Jeremy by your side, and a whole slew of people who love you without reservation, and who have your back. Girl, just think of the adventures headed your way.

You have a community who supports you, and that comes in the form of extra beds, rice and bean potlucks, and a freaking lot of love.

I'm proud of you.
I'm excited for you.
I love you.

EMILY STAR said...

That all sounds like so much fun. The list of what was to the list of what is going to be is a really cool one. I like it.

Big Rich said...

Great post Heather.
I remember the last night I spent as a bachelor. I was at my folks house in Kansas City. I could barely sleep thinking that this was the last night I would spend without a wife. When I woke up I immediately thought of my mom and dad. I was about to leave them and be married. I knew that there was no way of fully thanking them for everything that they had done for me. So I made my bed and took out a piece of paper and wrote "Mami and Daddy I can't thank you enough. I love you." Then I went off and got married. A couple of years later my mom told me that when she got back from my wedding she walked into my room, saw the note, and broke down. I don't know why I'm telling you this other to say that I am really excited for you and I am so happy that you get to feel this excitement and nervousness. Life will just keep getting better. God bless you in your marriage.


Briana said...

I am so happy for you, Heather!