I recently stumbled upon an unpublished blog post written a month before my wedding. Reading it now, roughly one year after, is a treat. Journal entries throughout the process similarly reveal a tidal pull of thoughts and emotions. I wanted to share this now juxtaposed against the wedding vows I wrote and recited on the day-of as a link between two states of mind. It’s sort of interesting how the things we may see as weaknesses are in fact some of our greatest strengths; how we can also never help being exactly who we are; and how the people who love us, who really love us, are in it for all those messy reasons and more.
Views From One Month Away
Monday, Jul 12, 2021, 8:48 PM
My bachelorette party was a few weekends ago. In keeping with the tradition of the debaucherous and slightly kitsch single send-offs of yore, my group of gal pals explored doing the all-too-recognizable bridal squad custom t-shirt. Typically these include printing a handful of cheap t-shirts with bridal adjacent puns such as “Crew I Do'” or “Our Final Fling This Spring” or, more to the point, “Her Last Penis Ever.”
In an attempt to do something creative, relevant, and well thought out, my friends wanted to print quotes about love and relationships from Peek. How cute and touching it be would to shine my own words back at me as I stood at the edge of marriage; to embody some of the prose, ideology, and advice of my ten years writing about love, sex, and relationships.
Or so they thought.
“Nomi, we literally couldn’t find a single quote that wasn’t like ‘love is a woman’s greatest waste of time’ or ‘monogamy is a trap.’ We scratched the whole idea. Your content was too depressing.”
My best friend ran me through her experience parsing through page after page of Peek Mag content, scrolling through years of late night blog posts, rants, re-posts, and tell-all’s only to be left with one, maybe two, usable quotes for an event meant to celebrate a woman’s send off into holy matrimony.
“I didn’t want to print like, ‘what does love have to do with my vagina’ for a bachelorette weekend with your fiancé’s sisters.”
While albeit absolutely hilarious I’ll admit, this did leave me realizing one glaring truth: I’ve barely written about my relationship.
There are rare pickings on Peek when it comes to Current Fiancé. In part, it’s felt too honest and too real to depict a relationship that I brush up against daily. My words can’t sit transiently unaddressed–there are implications and immediate effects. And this is not to say Current Fiancé isn’t completely down with me continuing to online journal as I always have and always will; it’s literally not him, it’s me.
I’ve come to realize you develop a certain type of relationship with your creative process, much like you develop a relationship with a person in your life. My Creative Self, as I knew her, while introspective, magnanimous, and biting, was quite angry. Even now, literally right now as I attempt to update my relationship in my writing I can’t help but be dragged back to a place of referential dramatics.
It’s been difficult to come here, to the page, as the person I am now. To get these fingers clicking into a new groove, a groove where we’re not constantly seeking refuge, safety and security–forever chasing the blinking cursor at the end of the sentence. We have all of that. And though you can never predict the future, we’re signing up to have that sense of security forever.
Forever. That is a purely impossible idea.
To be honest, I don’t feel like I have to have an understanding of forever to make the commitment of marriage. I don’t. As Esther Perel aptly states, the idea of love as unconditional is the laughable, easy way out. It oversimplifies absolutely every aspect of love. Love is wholly conditional. And in being so it requires a conscious type of commitment. No falling asleep at the wheel. It’s the leap of faith required in knowing you are a constantly changing being, as is your partner, so you must remain open to the person they become. It’s acknowledging you’re likely more difficult than you care to admit, and so must remain forgiving.
It’s not sexy but to me, at this juncture of pure naivety, that is what I understand marriage to be. Literally: I like you as you are now, and I’m betting I’ll like who you become. And I like who I am around you, and I’m betting I’ll continue to like that person. And I don’t want to fuck anyone else, which has been the strangest part of it all.
But what has been difficult is not so much feeling confident in the person I’m committing to, it’s been the fear of the unknown of the person I’ll become.
As a ferociously almost comically independent person I struggled for a while about how to embark on this shared identity. Knowing that any healthy relationship retains a fair amount of independence for the people involved, I’ve just never felt the need or desire to fully integrate my life with someone else’s. I like my own space, my own time; I don’t care to indulge in shared hobbies; I almost cringe at saying “we.”
And so where does the self go when it makes such space for someone else?
Sunday, Aug 22, 2021, 7:22 AM
I wasn’t the girl who dreamed of her wedding day. I didn’t have a vision board collecting dresses, rings, and perfect smiling couples. If anything, and those who know me can attest, I rejected the whole idea of marriage, never thought it would be something that a girl like me could make fit.
But standing here, with you, today, surrounded by all of our friends and family, ushering in this new chapter of life, committing to a life of unknowns and ups and down, standing at the alter and vowing to be your wife, it feels like the most natural and most miraculous place on earth to be.
I wasn’t the girl who dreamed of marriage–until I met you. And you started to paint a picture of a life I never thought I wanted, and never knew I could have. A life in which two people show up for each other everyday, a life in which constant and unwavering love and support cradle you from morning to night; a life in which you go to sleep and wake up with love on your lips.
Marriage is inherently a leap of faith–we are taking a chance on who we think we know ourselves and each other to be. But the truth is, there are so many unknowns awaiting us. You will change, and I will change, and the world will change around us. But what I promise to you today is that I will continuously greet this new you with a sense of curiosity. I will give you the space to grow and evolve; and I will grant myself the same kindness; and I will help us return again and again to each other.
When I met you I felt you were the most self-actualized young man I had ever met. You have a deep and unwavering knowing of yourself; a sense of confidence that emanates from another dimension. I felt I had finally met my match. We are not two people who need each other, but we choose each other actively and intentionally, and that is our super power.
American poet and psychoanalyst Clarissa Estés writes: To love means to stay with. It means to emerge from a fantasy world into a world where sustainable love is possible, face to face, bones to bones, a love of devotion. To love means to stay, when every cell says “run.”
I love you bones to bones. And I am here to stay.