It’s all starting to come together.  We made a lot of progress between November 16 – 22.  We met with our photographers who are pretty cool and are good listeners. The bridesmaids dresses came in the mail, I decided I didn’t like the color, and decided on different dresses (and a different color.) My dress was steamed and I went to pick it up. My shoes arrived at Payless and they fit. I picked up a very beautiful veil that I’m borrowing from Will’s cousin’s wife. I watched youtube videos and practiced making some handmade decorations. We booked our reception venue. We went around Boston taking engagement pictures with a friend. My maid of honor came into town and we met up with two of my other bridesmaids for dinner. And we went to our third pre-marital counseling session and I broke down.

I didn’t think I was going to break down. I didn’t think I’d end up crying in front of our pastor. I didn’t think we’d spend the entire session trying to figure out what was wrong.

I’m a planner.  I love planning. On the Myers Briggs, I am a 19-1 “J.” According to one website definition I found:

People who prefer judging may:

* like to make decisions, or at least like to have things decided
* look task oriented
* like to make lists of things to do
* like to get their work done before playing
* plan work to avoid rushing just before deadline
* sometimes make decisions too quickly without enough information
* sometimes focus so much on the goal or plan that they miss the need to change directions at times

And out of those above, I fit 6/7 of those.

Given that this is my strongest personality trait in the Myers Briggs, it manifests itself very strongly in my everyday life. And now that I’m planning the biggest party I have ever had to host, let’s just say my personality is loving it.

And hating it.

Sort of.

One part of me loves the fact that I get to plan all the little details, I get to think of different ideas, I get to anticipate costs and compare them, figure out music/flowers/colors/favors/shoes/howtostaysane/jewelry/hotels/transportation/food/photographers, coordinate the timing of the events of May 15, oh wait. Did I say “figure out how to stay sane”? I must have overlooked that one. And that’s where the other part of me hates it. My personality loves to be so enveloped in the details, that unknowingly, I become consumed by it. I go to bed thinking about it. I wake up in the middle of the night thinking of something I need to accomplish the next morning. I wake up in the morning trying to remember what I was thinking about a few hours ago so I can accomplish it.

I know it’s unhealthy to be so absorbed in it. I know it’s not good for me. But that’s the thing…I feel like it is me.  It just feels so natural…it fits my planning-multitasking-organized mind.  But no, no, no…it’s not right to be so engrossed in one thing, one party, one day.  But I like it.  But I shouldn’t.  But…

Can you see where my personality is giving me problems?

And problems it did give me.

Will and I had a fight (yes, we do fight).  And it still wasn’t completely resolved going into our pre-marital counseling session.  And Pastor Dave immediately could tell something was bothering us.  He was like, “What’s up?  You guys look so somber.”  After some questions and discussion, we all weren’t really sure what was the deep issue that was going on.  Pastor Dave touched upon a subject, that I initially didn’t want to think was the main issue because, honestly, I didn’t want the issue to be the problem.

The issue?  Focusing on the wedding…too much.

Now, that’s a planner’s nightmare.  Believing that what they’re working on and loving so much is the cause of their problems!  The first step in overcoming addiction is admitting you have a problem. Well, that’s easier said than done!  How can planning a wedding be a problem?  It has to be done.  People are going to be invited to a party and there has to be a party, and well, people have to be invited!  There’s no way around not having a wedding.  (Side note: Even if you do elope, it might cut down on the number of things you have to do for it, but you do still have to pick a day to go to the town hall, decide how you’re going to get there, decide who your witness will be…so you do technically have to plan some things!)

For me, a wedding became an obligatory, but welcomed and exciting event that I enjoy planning.  How could that be a problem?

After much thought and discussion with Pastor Dave and Will, I’ve come to remind myself that planning a wedding, in and of itself, is good.  But it’s not the end.  In reality, vows will be said, champagne will be drunk, music will be played, but at the end of the day, Will and I actually have to live out the vows we said.

A wedding is one day.  A beautiful day.  Filled with friends, family, fun.  And after that day, begins my life with my new family.  My best friend who has now become my family.  A family that will have to deal with bills, new schedules, cooking for two, a different relationship dynamic, role changes, taking two individuals and becoming one, yet still remembering that we are individuals.  And this begins the day after the wedding and the day after that and the day after that…

Planning a wedding is good, fun, and exciting.  Planning for marriage is even better, more fun, and more exciting.  The problem I am facing is figuring out how to plan both, enjoy both processes, and remember all the while that in both, and in everything, I’m going to need God’s help.  It won’t be easy, but since when was life supposed to be easy?

Since that day, we’ve started reading “Sacred Marriage” together and discussing it.  The first chapter talks about how marriage is meant to make you holy.  A concept not widely taught in grade school or society in general.  So it is and will continue to be something that Will and I think about and discuss together.

The “J” in me will never go away.  And it shouldn’t.  That’s part of who I am.  But it shouldn’t consume me or my life.  At the end of the wedding, people may remember what they ate and who gave a toast.  But at the end of my life, I’d much rather people remember the life I lived with Will and how two people with imperfect personalities can do their best with God’s help to become holy and pleasing to Him.