I know I've written my engagement story. And it was a private moment, surprising and sweet and beautiful. And it was important, but not as important as what happened after. I've been thinking about writing this post for a while, well more like thinking about these ideas for a while, but couldn't write them down just yet because I needed a little more distance. And now it's been a full two months since I said yes.
The thing is, I got engaged on a Thursday ("got engaged" that sounds so gauche), and if I had any advice for anyone it would be that no matter how anxious you are, do not pop the question on a weekday, when you both have to trudge off to work the day after.
When I was dating Kamel, we did the majority of our relationship in different cities, in different states, and though the distance sucked, it wasn't horrible. I like my independence. In fact, when Kamel filled out a survey about me and compared it to my own filled out survey about me, we both put that my #1 priority in life was independence. His was feeling safe. I like to do my own thing. I like to sit alone and write or read or go out with my own friends. And I like when he does his own thing, when he goes to movies with his people or does nerdy boy things without me. But the morning after he asked me to marry him, I went to work reluctantly. This really isn't earth shattering, I often go to work reluctantly. We could say the majority of the time I am dragging myself out of bed to go to work in a reluctant manner. But it wasn't work I was reluctant for, it was being away from him. The entire day, after our engagement my thoughts were solely on Kamel, and when I could see him again, be with him, and have no one else around. Being engaged, for me, flipped a switch. It wasn't just about me anymore, it was about us and I felt an incredible desire to protect it, to nurture it.
I'm still independent me. I still run off to Chicago and leave Kamel at home, I still plan winter time snowboarding adventures with college folk and without Kamel. I still like to lay in bed and read and go for walks by myself. But I also hate coming home to an empty house. I hate when we're both so busy during the week that I only see him when he's crawling into bed next to me, waking me up. I want us to come home, I want us to make dinner, eat together, watch movies together, sit side by side on our computers together. And I want us to not be in the world all the time, around people. I have an immense craving to hide up in our new apartment, away from everyone and just be us.
Being engaged, surprisingly, is not just about a fab ring and planning a kick ass wedding. Being engaged is not about the build up to the wedding, it's about the build up to the marriage. And that's what I've been thinking about, that's what I've been wanting to share because no one tells you that when you're a kid and you're running around with a sheet on your head playing bride. Engagement is so much more meaningful than I ever thought it would be.