It was truly amazing to see how much my life could change in the course of a weekend.
I went into Saturday a girlfriend and left Saturday a fiancé. If you really want to analyze it- things drastically changed in a matter of seconds- just by saying “Yes!” to something.
Let me start this post by saying: Wow. I’m excited for this season. Being engaged, planning a wedding, and learning so much about myself and Justin is going to be hugely new terrain for the two of us- and I cannot wait to share how it goes, what I learn, and the hiccups along the way. I love to share my story.
But today’s post is going to be relatively different than what you’d expect from a newly-engaged-gal. No, it’s not Justin and I’s story, it’s not how he proposed, and it’s not our plan (although, those posts will eventually come.)
It’s about who we are; who I am.
I am not my engagement. Justin and I aren’t our engagement.
Something that hit me super hard after this weekend of mania was how much I felt my identity was falling into this ring on my finger. To an extent, I totally understand why. Before, I didn’t have this specific, big, life-changing thing ahead of me yet. I was just a singular person. Now, I’m choosing to hang out with the same dude for the rest of my life on earth. It’s exciting and one of the best reasons I’ve ever heard of to celebrate.
But, all of a sudden, I felt like when people looked at me, it was all they saw. I’m still kind of processing all of this, so, bear with me, but, I felt like when people looked at me, all they saw was an engaged girl, and not Tori. My blog was no longer what they thought of, my music didn’t cross their mind, the kind of friend I am nor my sense of humor was at the forefront of their brain when they saw me- they saw “Tori, who is now engaged to be married.”
It was truly shocking to see how many more people cared about me getting engaged than than those who did about me moving out of the state in 2015.
To be honest, I hate disclaimers, but I do feel the need to give one here. I know that this (getting married) is huge- I mean, it literally happened less than a week ago, and it is exciting. Why wouldn’t people want to talk about it and congratulate us? It’s big! But, in a moment when I was getting texts and phone calls from people I hadn’t heard from in years… I had the sudden urge to say:
“This is not the most important part of my life or who I am. I’m still me. This engagement doesn’t define who I am and being married won’t either.”
I felt like I could finally understand how some women might feel, being defined as a mother or a wife. You are known for the part you play. Not for who you are, or what makes you up. Now that I think about it, I’ve been that kind of friend to multiple people. The friend who hugs their gal-pal who’s been married for two years and my first question is: “How’s John?” not “How are you?” Because, I associate them with their life partner. I no longer look at them as an individual.
This shook me to my core, because of how long I’ve fought to know who I am and for how hard I’ve worked to accomplish what I have. To me, that makes up who I am. Getting engaged and married? That’s easy. Being engaged and married, not so much. But, executing those two things? That’s pretty easy in comparison. That’s just a bunch of check marks and to-do lists, and I can acknowledge the work that goes into this kind of partnership- but it does NOT by ANY means, define who I am. If I find my identity in my marriage or in being a wife, then I will be devastated with what I discover… a life of never measuring up and not feeling good enough. Because my (our) identity is not meant to be found there.
Who I am is a hell of a lot bigger than being someone’s fiancé.
I also feel the need to add, that I’m so absurdly excited to marry Justin, but planning that wedding is one of the lowest things on my priority list right now. Why? Because we’re in our early 20’s and trying to figure out how the heck to do life still! I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, and to me, that’s just as important- if not more- than knowing the date of when we’ll get married.
I use to find my whole identity in relationships, and it wasn’t until I stopped that The Lord showed me Justin. I had to find myself before I could spend the rest of my life with a dude, and to me, I think I’m a lot cooler than what season my wedding will be in. At least, I hope I am…
I am so excited for this chapter. I’m excited for the planning, the cake, and the dress- but I’m more excited to find out more about myself, Jesus, and who Justin is.
We’re the same people with a new title.
So, if you see me randomly in Target, try asking me how I’m doing without referencing my ring. Try doing that with your friends too. The ones who are married, the ones who are mamas. They’re still individuals. They still have their own desires that the Lord placed in their heart, and they are more than roles they play. This is important, y’all.
Also, so help me God, if one more person asks me the date of my wedding, I will call the whole thing off. (Kidding, but still- when I know, you’ll know, geez.) We have been engaged 5 days, people!
Real talk: I called my Dad two minutes after Justin proposed and he asked me within 20 seconds what date we had decided on. My response? I asked him “Dad…do you want to die?” Yes. I threatened murder.
But, thank you for your sweet messages, comments, and calls. I do appreciate them- we both do. But, I felt like this thing that’s been on my heart this week needed to be out in the open to air out and hopefully make a few people uncomfortable.
Thank you for reading this, thank you for being who you are, and thank you for your well wishes.