My name is Annie Bradley and my blog is Iz Dee Fashion. I am very excited and proud to be given the opportunity to guest post here on Lush to Blush. As a wife of over two years, I wanted to start this column, From Miss to Mrs., to share with you my experiences as a married woman–how marriage has shaped me and my life and what I have learned along the way. To begin, I bring you the true and truly arduous story that led to me getting married. And it all started with one “yes”.
Did I just say “Yes”?
I was standing on the beach at night with my boyfriend, Josh. Digging my toes into the sand. Feeling the cold, salty ocean spray on my face. We exchanged a few words about the future and spending our lives together, the kinds of things that people in love say when they are somewhere beautiful together and alone. And then, he was on his knee. He asked. I said yes.
All I was thinking about after the “yes” was telling everyone I knew. Showing off my ring (still do that). Getting the perfect dress. Planning a wedding. Going on an amazing honeymoon. Moving into a house together. All the things a newly engaged woman would be thinking about.
What I should have been thinking about was that “yes”. What did I just say “yes” to? As any female influenced by romantic movies that end with a crescendo of uplifting music, lots of kissing, and a big diamond, I spent my life dreaming of when I would get to say, “yes”. And then I realized, I didn’t say “yes” to a wedding, I said “yes” to Josh for the rest of my life. I SAID “yes” once, but I would be LIVING that “yes” for every single day I had left on this Earth. If that’s not enough to make you sit down and take a breather, I don’t know what is.
And a breather was what I needed. We were living together. I was planning a big wedding. I was getting more and more anxious. And then, I almost ruined everything. Being tactful wasn’t something I was born with. It started out with talking about the stupid initials to put on the stupid napkins for the increasingly stupid wedding that I, stupidly, hadn’t yet realized I didn’t want. And then the words were just flowing. Angry words. Words I didn’t even mean, but the stress of the wedding and living out that one “yes” was making me crazy.
I was blaming him for being afraid. The uncertainty. All the frustrations. The fear that came after the “yes”. Somehow, it translated into anger and it exploded on him. It was the easy way. Rather than admit I’m scared, I decided he was doing all kinds of made-up things wrong and making my life hard. It was one of those instances that everyone has in a relationship where you realize you should have just openly communicated your fears in a rational way. And what you did do was yell, cry, and accuse your partner of all kinds of horrible domestic crimes. Like leaving dishes in the sink and hating to try new things. It was the weight of the “yes”.
We cancelled our original wedding. We talked seriously about not being together anymore. But then, with the stress and the expectations of the wedding gone, something changed. I changed. After all of my fear-induced fighting was over, I finally could see, could remember just how much I wanted a future with him. And, miraculously, he still wanted a future with me, too. Even when the girl that said “yes” to him had morphed into this other being of doubt and anger, he still loved me. This was how I learned my first, and probably still my most important lesson about marriage…or anyone trying to live their life with another person. Love isn’t easy and I’m not always easy to love. And at this point, my husband deserved a Nobel Prize for dealing with me.
Fourteen months after I sputtered out “yes”, I was standing on the back deck of a rent house overlooking Lake Tahoe. Josh was standing there in a suit. He was smiling. He was crying. I said, “I do”. I wasn’t afraid anymore. There was no more weight. People ask me all the time how I knew. How did I know he was “the one” for me? I may not have known when I said “yes”, but I know now: because he loves me, everything about me, every day. Even when it’s not easy.
So, to all the beautiful women out there waiting to say their very own “yes”, I would say don’t wish for the “yes”. Wish for the future because “yes” is only the beginning.
-AnnieB, Iz Dee Fashion