My amazing sister did our engagement shoot. Before she had all the pictures uploaded, she sent me a text with this teaser:
i automatically forwarded it to a ton of my friends. Of course, their responses were mostly the same.
Heart eye emojis
"I love it!"
"So perfect for the two of you!"
And lots of exclamation marks.
This is exactly the response that i was looking and hoping for. Much validation that we looked amazing. Which means we are going to be just fine, right?
However, one of my friends and i had a little bit of a different conversation. It started the same--i sent her the picture, lots of exclamations of joy followed, etc. For some reason, i didn't just leave it at a "thanks!" response back. Maybe it is because i know she is going through a hard time and i didn't want to shove my "joy" in her face (hypothetically speaking). But i think the actual reason is that part of me was aching to just be real--to explain a little about what i was feeling.
So i responded: "What the picture doesn't show was Mr B whispering in my ear, 'I'm kind of freaking out.' And me saying, 'Me too. Just remember to breathe.' And him saying 'We can do this, right?' And me responding, 'I'm not sure but i hope so!'"
My friend texted back "I love the truth of all that! That's real life!"
In that moment it really hit me. How when you see a "perfect" picture, you have no idea what is really going on. i'm not saying that the emotions in my engagement shoot (or in anyone's happy pictures) are not genuine. In fact, i think the reason i love the photos so much is that they genuinely captured us. What i am saying is that there are so many layers, complexities and situations that are not visible at a quick glance--or without being told.
Sometimes we tell the stories behind the pictures. Sometimes we don't. Sometimes we feel like we need the validation more than we need the connection of understanding. But real validation comes from real connection which stems from vulnerability.
Some people have earned the right to our vulnerability and some haven't.
i suppose that is why i struggle with social media mediums--it feels like it's either very shallow, or the dirty laundry is hanging out on the line for everyone to see. There are a very few people, i feel, that have found a healthy balance in being real without floodlighting their followers.
Here is me trying to find that balance. Let me get real. i love Mr B. i am excited to marry him. i thank God every night that my life moved in unexpected ways so that i could have the chance to be his wife.
i'm scared. i'm afraid that i will be hurt again. i sometimes have minor meltdowns which end in me bawling on the floor because i'm scared Mr B will leave me--all the while he is standing there watching with wide eyes saying, "I'm right here. And I'm going to be here tomorrow." i'm afraid that i will love and give my all and that it won't be enough.
And yet...i'm plunging in because this is what life is all about. We have agreed to take it one day at a time--even one moment at a time when necessary.
"TRUST the wait. EMBRACE the uncertainty. ENJOY the beauty of becoming. When nothing is certain, ANYTHING is possible."