Monday, January 16, 2012

Come grow old with me, the best is yet to be

I'm engaged! *confetti*

A friend I've had since high school has always been unfailingly enthusiastic about his life. He's had more jobs than I can count and took far longer than normal to finish college, but he always threw himself 100% into whatever venture he was embarking upon. He would speak so convincingly about each and every new life path (each with its own 5-year plan) that despite the fact this life plan was different every 4 months, I believed him every single time that This Was It and it was going to be Awesome.

That sort of optimism is alien to me. I hold on to doubts and fears and when I look five years into the future for any given thing, I see a thousand paths of disaster lying in wait. I try to be optimistic that, well, my life's been pretty good so far, so the chance of a flash flood washing away all my belongings and ruining my newly painted apartment walls with mold is really quite slim; yet I still have that little voice going "yeah...but it could happen, so don't get too excited".

Being with The Boy is my greatest example of that. To be fair to my psyche, my tendency to doubt our future had concrete evidence (see: him breaking up with me for a month in 2010), but ever since we got back together things were wonderful. Amazing. Completely different than the previous five years. I could tell he was just as invested in our relationship as I was and I would tell myself that is was real, this was It, finally. I was 99% sure of us, and our 5-year (10-year, 80-year) plan. 99% is easy to round up to 100%, and it was easy to tell myself that the part of me that was holding on to the 1% possibility that something could go awry was just being silly and pragmatic, that I was only doubting because it'd be illogical not to. Because honestly, who's 100% sure of anything? Fools, that's who. Right?

But then it snowed.

The first snowfall of the season finally came, and The Boy was uncharacteristically eager about going downtown Naperville to walk around and look at the snow. It snowed, and with just the soft rustling of snowflakes filling my ears, he asked me if I wanted to marry him.
I unromantically asked him if he was sure, and his eager/terrified nodding persuaded me that he had, in fact, thought this through and he was, indeed, sure. We put a simple and beautiful ring on the fourth finger of my left hand, hugged really tight, and smiled like goons. While the world around us was freezing over and turning a beautiful and brilliant shade of white, the 1% left inside me melted away. And let me tell you, 100% is absolutely nothing like 99%.

Don't get me wrong, I know things could still go wrong. People change, life happens, and the possibility of Forever is not a guarantee. But right now, in this moment of time and this stage of our life, I'm 100% sure that this is what we both want, that we're 100% in this together, and 100% going to promise to try our best to make it happen.

Can Finally Rename The Bookmarks Folder From "Unmentionables" to "Marriage Stuff",

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Two Thousand Twelve, Common Era

My brain is a wild jungle full of scary gibberish. I'm writing a letter, I can't write a letter, why can't I write a letter? I'm wearing a green dress, I wish I was wearing my blue dress, my blue dress is at the cleaners. The Germans wore gray, you wore blue, 'Casablanca' is such a good movie. Casablanca, the White House, Bush. Why don't I drive a hybrid car? I should really drive a hybrid car. I should really take my bicycle to work. Bicycle, unicycle, unitard. Hockey puck, rattlesnake, monkey, monkey, underpants! 

This new year snuck up on me. I kept marked track of time starting with Thanksgiving, counting down the days until Linda came home, counting down the days until my birthday, panicking over the days left until Christmas in which I had to do gift shopping, delighting over Christmas, and frowning grumpily at my schedule which had me working every single day from the 26th until New Years Day. You would think I would have been prepared, yet I somehow managed to awake in a panic at 6am on the 2nd remembering that I hadn't paid my rent yet. And now, my year in review:

Things I Hope Come to Pass in '11
-Move back to the suburbs
Success! A happy one, in which I see my friends, see The Boy, and hermit it up in my apartment of my very own.
-Go to New York and meet the long lost fams
Success! My Great Uncle looks, talks, and acts exactly like my Grandma, my...great cousins? are quiet and exactly in-between my and my mother's ages. They gave us squash.
-Not lose The Boy again
Success! I dare say this has been our best year together, thus far, largely due to the fact that we're (well, I'm) not afraid to talk to each other anymore. 
-Get on the management track
Success, by a hair! I officially started Shift Supervisor training last week, which is but a stepping stone to Real Management (also shaves off an entire month of management training, which doesn't sound too shabby).
-Chop off my long(er), sexy-like hair
Failure of epic proportions! Not only did I not chop it all off, but I neglected to get a single haircut the entire year, barring trimming my own bangs every so often.
-Help plan a wedding
Success! Poncho Wedding Extravaganza is well underway. I'm not sure how much help I've actually had with the planning aspect, but I think I'm providing an acceptable level of moral support.
-Seester goes to grad school!
Success! She refused to comment upon her scholastic future so I commented for her. Of course she got into grad school. Duh.

Overall 2011 was happier for me than 2010, and I think I can credit it to two things: surrounding myself with the people I love most, and making actual, conscious effort to progress in life. I'd been floating semi-aimlessly for the last three years, and actually sitting down, making a plan, and putting in some effort toward that plan has done more for my disposition than most other things.

Living in the city was a fun experiment that ultimately showed I'm a suburban chick at heart. I love love loved living in a place where I didn't have to drive anywhere, where if I decided I wanted a pizza RIGHT NOW I could just slip on some shoes, shuffle downstairs in my sweatpants to the 7/11 100 feet away and grab a frozen pie for $4, where I would walk to and from work along the Magnificent Mile and where I would have the street and the storefronts all to myself when I would work closing shifts and I could gawk at my leisure, where I had my Poncho Twin more at my disposal than usual, and where I felt like I was Living Life and being Part Of It even if I did spend most of my time sitting on the same couch I'm sitting on now, watching the same seasons of Gilmore Girls on the same TV. I was very lonely (despite living with my sister, which was lovely), and felt very poor (things cost more money in the Chi, not to mention the 10% sales tax), and spent most of my time HATING my job and wanting out, but I was entirely charmed with the concept of "city life". I felt adult, I felt adventurous, I felt young and alive. Rube alert.

I have high expectations for this year, some things I'll be verbal about and others which are too precious to be spoken aloud lest I jinx it.

Things I Hope Come To Pass In '12
-Become a manager, fo realsies
-Get out to Boston twice (once is for sissies)
-Plan the best bachelorette party in the world
-Not ruin my makeup at the Poncho Wedding Extravaganza
-Not die in an earthquake/flood/cyclone/deluge of frogs on 12/21
-My vote for Obama in November will be one for the winning side
-Buy a Jetta