No Longer A Bridesmaid
Submitted by Sugar Weddings on Thu, 2010-08-05 22:33
Editors Note: Wedding Diaries are back! We're happy to report that our previous bride to be Dunni, is now happily married and no doubt has her hands full in her new role.
Our latest bride to be is Timi, join us in her exciting journey to the altar.
Have you seen the movie 27 dresses? I could have been that girl. I was always a bridesmaid. I just never kept the dresses. I didn’t have the closet space. After a point, I started turning down requests mostly because I was getting tired of having to attend weddings. The thing is not that I hate weddings; it’s just that I don’t like occasions or events and a wedding happens to be both. This peeve of mine has both annoyed my mother and amused my father greatly. My friends have learnt to forgive me when I missed their weddings, or be pleasantly surprised when I did show up. I achieved wedding-attendance balance. Then I got engaged, and have become a little more neurotic than usual.
Let me explain: I am the eldest daughter, correction, eldest child of my father. This means that I am expected to have a big wedding. The fact that neither I nor the man I am marrying want a big wedding is nothing but television static to some people. We would have liked to elope. You know, hop on a plane to some far off beach, make vows, exchange rings and come home with photographs for the family. No such luck! There’s going to be the registry, the traditional ceremony, the church ceremony and the reception. We’re getting the typical Nigerian three ring circus wedding. Halfway through the wedding planning process, I decided to hold on to my sanity and let go of my need to have my wedding my way. Apparently, a wedding is not for me or my fiancé; it’s for the families. So I let it go and decided to do what they wanted.
Or so I thought. Till they increased the guest list; complained my gown was too simple and kept asking for asoebi. So I shut them down again (cue evil laughter), and told them, in very clear terms, that it’s my way or a beach in Ghana (aka my way). I had become bridezilla! Who would have thought? They obliged me, and I’m sure when this whole wedding planning process is over, we’ll all look back and laugh, but right now, I’m happy laughing alone.
There is a cloud, however, on my near perfect picture, and that is me. I am threatening to rain on my own parade, and I am not speaking of my bridezilla tendencies. I think I’m having an identity crisis, and I don’t know what the general consensus is, but I don’t think 15 days to the big day is the best time to have one. However, regardless of my very bad timing, I seem to have forgotten who I am. I used to know. I used to have a very strong sense of self, but right now, for the life of me, cannot conjure up any image of myself.
I remember who I was in secondary school - quiet, reserved, somewhat loyal, somewhat fickle, somewhat unpredictable, brilliant but not hardworking, academic gambler, friend, daughter, big sister, bully, pet. I remember who I was in the university – focused girl with a plan, hardworking, renegade, reserved, under the radar, born again, fellowship girl, dancer, friend, daughter, sometimes confused, sometimes frustrated, sometimes tantrumatic, happy, sad, depressed, judgemental, solo.
Now here’s where it starts to get fuzzy, after the university – corper, headstrong, karatekan, worker, employee, pet, annoyed, strong, hopeful, inspired, tired, prayerful, closet dancer, misunderstood, at the end of my rope, rescued. Then after youth service, disgruntled worker, unhappy employee, confused, afraid, lonely, surrounded by supportive friends, stubborn, determined, provided for, hardworking, despairing, tired of fighting, quiet, watchful, praying.
And now, I am with someone who I admire and love and value and respect who makes me happy, who does not allow me to wallow in shame, who gives me strength, who makes me believe I can try and I can trust. So who am I now? – unafraid, trusting, strong, powerful, able, blessed, smiled on, carried along, encouraged, happy, full of laughter, joyful, peaceful, glad, sister, daughter, friend, lover, wife.
I think the confusion for me stems from being intrinsically a part of a whole. On the one hand, there is a strong sense of safety and security, but on the other hand, incredulity at being so dependent on someone else for those things. I trust him but I don’t have to, so why do I? Because he makes me happy. And I think that is the crux of it all. I am made happy by something that will change me completely. It’s not a new chapter, but more like a new book as I take on roles, responsibilities and rewards that were previously unavailable to me. In spite of the fact that I am happy, I am also changing. I’ve even put on weight, on a lighter note. And the question is, is this change a good thing? I don’t think it’s a bad thing. It’s just a change. What matters is how I respond to it. Will I whine about the things I am giving up? Will I be afraid that he will resent me for the things he’s giving up? Or will I raise my head high in hope, and march forward trusting that we have what it takes to thrive? Ask me tomorrow.
By Timi G.