We went to court . . .

Town hall

. . . for our marriage license.

Our marriage license. It’s all official now.

Well, almost. We have to, you know, actually get married — which will occur in just a few weeks! And then it will be all official.

Hard to believe.

Time went by slowly, then quickly — and now faster still. I moved over the weekend. It was intensely emotional. By Sunday evening I felt wrung out, depleted; organizing everything I own in a new space has been challenging and scary and a little fun at times, yes — but also intimidating. And painful. And odd.

Spencer has been wonderful. Patient and kind and helpful. Understanding when I felt too wiped out to do much but stare into space; comforting when I most definitely needed a hug and chai tea.

Growing up is hard. I’m 28 but can easily close my eyes and be 10 or 12 or 22 again. I feel like my world is topsy-turvy — like everything is out of order, rearranged. I’m guessing many people feel that way after leaving home? After 25 years, I’m having a hard time thinking of “home” as anywhere other than the house in which I grew up. With my parents. And my dog.

But it’s only been two days. Two strange days. And I keep thinking of my future husband and the life we’re building and the positive changes that will accompany stepping into real adult world, though they’re hard to sort out sometimes.

Look forward, my mind hollers. Keep looking up.

I’ve always found change so difficult. Every major life transition has been met with uncertainty and fear. Graduating from middle school and high school, starting and leaving college. Break-ups. Reconnections. Heck, even falling love. So why would leaving home and getting married by met with anything but uncertainty? I know myself well enough to anticipate this would be an interesting time for me, and I was so very right.

But I’m hanging in. And I’m adjusting. I’m working on adjusting.

Bittersweet has become my refrain, my own broken record. That one word has come to embody everything I know and think and feel about 2013. I’m always so hesitant to talk about my sadness regarding leaving home because I fear judgment — like others think my anxiety is a reflection on my relationship. It’s a general assumption that wedding planning should be The Happiest Time of Your Life!!!, which makes it even harder to express the mixed bag of emotions I’m actually feeling. It makes me feel guilty and pathetic and bad. (Which is why I’ve been so grateful for places like A Practical Wedding. Nervous brides-to-be, get thee to that website.)

I remember reading Aidan Donnelley Rowley’s Life After Yes in 2010 — how it spoke to me on a deeper level than any other novel had at the time. The thought that moving forward isn’t something that just happens to you — that growing up and being happy are a choice — is a theme that struck every little chord in my soul, and it’s something I return to now.

“Growing up doesn’t just happen. It’s not a fact; it’s a decision.”

So I have decided. I am deciding. We are deciding.

Starting with that license.

19 thoughts on “We went to court . . .

  1. That license is a big spoonful of reality…more than picking flowers or ordering a dress! And you shouldn’t feel bad about your emotions of leaving home…that is HUGE. Everyone always says that the first year of marriage is the hardest, even for those completely and hopelessly in love. Just because it is change, and change isn’t easy. But you guys will emerge from your wedding and honeymoon with the rest of your lives ahead of you. I’m really excited for you!


  2. I love how honest you are about struggling with the transition. I’m 24 and I can really relate to feeling 10, 12, etc. Deciding to grow up is tough – maybe it takes something as big as getting married?!


  3. Meg- first, I love your blog and that it is more than just book reviews (which mine is just book reviews-I am nervous about opening my private life due to kids). If anyone judges you, keep in mind they have not walked in your shoes. Leaving home is very hard. I left to go to college and was fine as I was only 90 min away, but when I left michigan to go to Maine for grad school, I cried like a baby. Bittersweet is a perfect word.

    I just turned 47 this week, my mother passed away in 2006 and my siblings an I sold her house-the house we grew up in. I now live in NY and still consider the house I grew up in HOME. Crazy since it has belonged to someone else since 2007. I still say when I go to michigan, I am going HOME. I have had people tell me, no you are going to visit family. Nope, I am going HOME.

    My kids definition of HOME is NY and our life here. That is a huge part of my HOME too, but not the only part.

    Hang in there and keep blogging! Best of luck


  4. Seeing as I’m just still settling into my new apartment and life with my HUSBAND…. giiirl do I feel you!! And I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve found myself wishing for HOME – and not the home I’m currently in. Growing pains!


  5. I feel nervous when people DO NOT talk about their fears. I think it’s impossible not to have them especially with HUGE life changes and HUGE decisions like getting married and moving out. Like you, there are many times I look at my life and I’m like am I really not 18 anymore? Will I not go home and have dinner with my parents/sister, will I not be sitting on the floor of my childhood bedroom doing crafts? It makes me sad I can’t go back and do these things again. It’s not even because I’m sad with my life right now. I just may have taken those things a little bit for granted because they were really good times. Sigh.

    I’m glad you feel you can vent on here or even on Practical Wed (a website I still read even post-wedding). So many emotions and conflicts and situations come into play when you are getting married and there is no way the thing is a smooth course for anyone, ya know? Even post-wedding I have a lot of emotions about my wedding and even marriage. I think people need to stop rushing into it or really think about it BECAUSE IT’S A BIG THING to decide, yes I am going to grow old with this person and grow with this person and wow, this is my person. We are almost at our third anniversary and I feel increasingly amazed by our relationship and just how happy he can make me (even though I knew he could, does that make sense?). But you make a good point. Who wants to hear that? Many of my friends are still single, and I can’t really say well… my marriage is good today. They don’t want to hear it. But I’m glad to have others in my life who look at this relationship as an ever changing thing and can say … wow he did this and it drove me crazy or maybe I should work on this. All of it is about learning in some ways.

    This is a long comment and it’s making me sound sad. haha. I love when people can openly admit their honest feelings about this time. I’m sure it will happen again if you decide to expand your family or even if you get a new job. I’m always fearful of the next step, and doing the right thing.

    It is a crazy time, but I know it’s going to be all worth it in the end for you. 🙂 Can’t wait to continue following along. xo


  6. I absolutely understand the nerves & fear of uncertainty. It’s great you recognize this is a view you tend to take & now you have a partner to ease you forward at the pace you need. Congratulations as well! Remember to take deep breaths and stop to look around for a minute because this time period (before & during the wedding) will fly right by.


  7. Wonderful honest Meg! Reading your post made me reflect on how I felt when my son Sam left home. He was homesick and so was I. I cried and felt sad for years. But then something wonderful happened. I saw him have a family of his own and that he was happy. Any transition is hard. I so longed for my son to be home again, but that wasn’t best for him. It was best for him to go out in the world and be his own man. You are taking that step and i know you will do well. Give your mom some big hugs. She’ll need them as much as you do.


  8. We tend to think only negative or catastrophic events are stressful, but I once read that marriage and the birth of a baby are among the most stressful events in life even though both are positive and welcome. As other commenters have mentioned, change is hard. Hang in there! It will get easier (and even more wonderful!) once the wedding is over and you and your husband have time to adjust to your new life.


  9. There will be many stages of life that you will go through. This is a happy but stressful one. Change is hard but with change you grow and become more resilient to accept the next phase. Embrace your new life and look forward but never forget the past. Keep it tucked away when you need to remember being a child and the comfort of your childhood home.

    Wishing you all the blessings in your upcoming marriage and may you have a beautiful wedding day (weather)!

    Thank you for sharing so much of yourself through your blog. Best wishes & hugs!


  10. I can’t even begin to image how you’re handling all this (good) but scary change. I get so anxious/sad/scared even thinking about moving out of my house- my home! I just want to live here forever 🙂 But obviously, better things are to come and you have so much ahead to look forward to. Hopefully after all the wedding/moving madness, you’ll be able to settle in and just *breathe* for a bit. And settle in and get comfy.



  11. Oh! It’s exciting how fast things are going! 🙂 I am happy for Spencer and you!

    I can relate to your mixed feelings though – and I think most people would. It’s rarely easy to face change, and to grow up happens differently for everyone. I’m sort of a nostalgic girl and I get very attached to things of the past. It’s been 12 years since I left home at 18 and I still think back on some aspects of it with nostalgia, but I can truly say I love my life in the present.

    People are more than one single thing; you’ll be a wife, but you’ll still be a sister, a daughter, a friend… so it makes sense your anxiety wouldn’t necessarily be a reflexion of your relationship!

    Good luck with everything 🙂


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