Our Crazy Long Engagement and Why I Don’t Believe in Marriage

Ti’s the season to get engaged. While I am incredibly happy for all of the beautiful people in my life who have gotten engaged, I think some serious evaluation needs to be done before people decide to get engaged or stay in an engagement. This weekend, good friends of our visited. They are interested in getting engaged and they just reminded me of who we were way back when before we pulled the engagement trigger. If you recall this post, then you remember how excited I was to get engaged. But even then, I openly expressed that I love weddings but didn’t see myself getting married. I just got to thinking and here are some things that I would want someone to tell me and that I just wanted to tell others about being engaged espeeeecially if you are young which chances are you are if you blog 🙂

1. Never be afraid to say “I don’t want to marry you”. A friend of mine got married our sophomore year of high school and seven months later she and he husband separated. The day before her wedding we spoke and she told me that her grandmother said “You can say ‘no’ until you say ‘yes” and I thought that was the most beautiful and intelligent advice I ever heard. If tomorrow I decided that I didn’t want to marry my fiance, I would gracefully bow out because until the day I pledge before God and my family that I will be his wife forever, I don’t have to be. And that is the beautiful thing. I am choosing to be his wife and I could choose not to be. I will never let my pride get in the way of doing what I know is the right thing for me and for us. It’s important to not be afraid to say “I don’t want to marry you” be it because he’s isn’t right, the time isn’t right or you aren’t right. Whatever the reason, its okay to say ‘no’ until you say ‘yes’.

2. I don’t want to reduce our love to a wedding. Weddings have turned into these million dollar shows. Just look at the Kardashians who show boated their love on national television only for their marriages to dissolve in flames. I didn’t want to reduce our love to that. As I plan our wedding, I don’t want to turn our love into a show for the entertainment of others. Our vows are sacred and I want them to be seen that way. If at anytime, it feels like the wedding overshadows the union, maybe it’s time to reconsider.

3. Wedding planning is irresponsible. You do all of this planning for a wedding but how much planning do you do for a marriage? Because our engagement has been over two years, we have had an opportunity to see each other through legitimate ups and downs. We have spent the last two years planning not just for our wedding but for our marriage and in turn, our lives together.

4. The terrible twos are real real. We are not the perfect couple regardless of what nonsense people say and I just have to keep it real with y’all; the second year of our relationship got real real, real fast which from talking to friends I’ve heard is a common trend. I don’t really endorse getting engaged until you have suffered been through the second year of your relationship. Whether you are 18 or 46, the second year of your relationship is the part where the foundation and make up no longer gets applied to the relationship every morning and the blemishes shine. All of the cute, newness and infatuation fades away and you are left with raw feelings, emotions and ideals and if you can just wade through those to come out on the other side, you can be more sure of your relationship.

5. Wedding planning is expensive. We have decided to pay for our wedding on our own. It’s really an issue of personal pride on my part. If you accept people’s money, you accept their opinions and I have enough of my own over here. I have always been silently strong willed. I march to the beat of my own drum. Our wedding will be to the beat of our drum, as will our marriage. We don’t accept opinions because no one knows us like we know us. If you are accepting money, just prepare yourself to more than likely accept suggestions.

6. Consider your reasons for being engaged. It’s really easy to get on facebook as a part of a non-engaged couples and practically watch in real time as all of the people around you get engaged. It makes it easy to feel left behind. I remember feeling like “I’m one half of a fully functioning couple and I’m not engaged. Why not me? All of these little freshmen are getting engaged to people they have known for a month. Why not me?” This mentality is one that facebook/instagram/tumblr feeds (see this post about my social media break down). This is not a reason to get engaged. I knew in my heart of hearts when I accepted my fiance’s proposal it was because I want to be his wife. I want to be his life partner, not because I wanted to have a wedding.

7. Weddings are not about you. I know that one seems odd, especially if you’re reading this as the girlfriend/bride-to-be/wife. We were not going to have a wedding. H2B and I were going to get married privately and then go to London for a week this year on our anniversary. We realized last minute that that’s selfish and irresponsible. Our wedding is really for you guys who have been riding with us from whenever you entered our lives. For the people who knew us on day one as confused eighteen year olds who met during welcome week at the pool; who tolerated us during Christmas breaks during the Philly to Brooklyn to North Carolina commutes; who sat on the other end of the phone when I cried because of my mother’s disapproval; who helped us study for cell biology test; who had family dinners with us in Faculty memorial; who spent dark nights in Africa with us listening to H2B’s retelling of Count of Monte Cristo. This wedding is about our community and our support system. We need you to know how much you mean to us and how much you have enriched us as a couple which goes back to our wedding not being a show. We only want to invite people who will lift us up and help us to commit to our vows.

8. God’s will is perfect. When we got engaged, I prayed to hear God’s voice. Each day I prayed that if this relationship was anything that was not like Him that he would close the door on it. I prayed to see God’s face and to know Him for who He truly is and who He is in our relationship.  I did a lot of Roman 12:2 and Jeremiah 29:11 reading. When we first got together, we were not exactly who God wanted us to be. Between my disdain for men and H2B’s suspicion of my goodness (yes, I am that great that he thought I was lying) we had a lot of things to work out and still do. But we have come far in our relationship. Each day we grow in who we are and where we are going and I feel like this relationship is in God’s plan for my life. I checked and double checked and tripled check with Him to make sure that I wasn’t turning someone seasonal into someone permanent. Plus it helps that my H2B told me that he prayed for God to bring me to him.

Before this relationship, I strongly disagreed with marriage. I think Brittney Spears and not LGBTQ has ruined the sanctity of marriage. I think Say Yes to the Dress and Bride Wars has certainly contributed. People have gotten so far from what a marriage is suppose to be. But I look past that and decided for myself that my fiance is the man that I want to spend my life with and just like the day we got engaged, if he’s crazy enough to ask, then who am I to tell him no?

PS. Here’s a sneak peak of one of our engagement photos which I will tell you guys about in another post 😉

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Facebook: The Highlight Reel

As you know by now, I had to take a little break from social media. I’m not one of those people who is obsessed or anything. I wasn’t on twitter every moment of the day. I wasn’t consumed with the fierce need to pin on pinterest while on the toilet. I didn’t check facebook every ten minutes while allegedly studying for a test. But what I did was much worst. I internalized things that I saw and read on social media.

Thanks to my parents. I have a healthy self-esteem. They made sure that all of my needs were met as a child. Not just physically but also emotionally, spiritually and mentally. They made sure that I was confident in my own skin, endorsing the concept that my black is beautiful, my mind is sharp and my value is not in my looks.

So imagine my surprise, when I began to feel bad about myself while engaging in a social network. People in my life were graduating, getting new jobs, spouses and having kids and I felt like I was stuck in metaphorical limbo. I felt like my life was never as exciting as the lives of people on social media. I didn’t plan enough for my dinner like pinterest, I didn’t take filtered photos like instagram. I didn’t wear beautiful outfits like tumblr. I didn’t document life milestones like colleagues on facebook. All this left me with was a feeling of not being good enough. I am not enough for social media.

Don't compare your behind the scenes life with other people's highlight reel! by daniela.fuchs.144

The moment I thought that thought, I realized, I needed to step back and reevaluate my priorities, especially since my life is in fact moving forward. I have gotten multiple jobs and degrees in the last two years. I am engaged but not married (entirely by choice). I have an excellent wardrobe. And I am child free, thank you Jesus (a kid would put a cramp in my irresponsible spending habits).

I spent a lot of time worrying about appearances which is not usually like me. I decided to take action. With a semester off of social media. During this time, I have centered myself and found peace, clarity and focus. Without the constant bombardment of sad news stories, life highlights, buzz feed articles and birthday comments, I have really been able to decide who I am outside of the influence of http://www.insert website title here.com. Now that I am back, I feel better able to prioritize. Now I spend less time online surfing just because I’m bored. I don’t feel pressured to stay online and continue a conversation with anyone into the wee hours of the morning and I don’t end up stressed during midterms and finals because of other people’s anxiety. I feel like I am closer to being the quiet spirit that I used to be and the woman that God wants me to be.

A Semester in the Life

It has been a while, aye? My blog, which is currently under construction, has gotten a slight face lift and a new name. I wanted my internet presence to be cohesive so I changed the name of the blog from Southern Ethnic to PrepFord Wife, my tumblr name, especially because over the years my blog has moved from the topic of me being a northern implant. Cute pun though right? Thanks, to the almost-hubby for coming up with it.

Anyway, I took a semester long break from social media (facebook/twitter/instagram/tumblr/blogger) for spiritual reasons which I will explain at a later date. For now though, here is my life over the last semester in photographs. I will more than likely do a post per day about each photo.

August

 

 

Sure, I got a new planner but I also began the last year of my master’s and got a new job on retail. It’s where all my money went anyway. Oh and that watch, my new found dedication to time management.
I also started a new role as an intern at the local Health Department. I have interned in a health department before but this time, I had a different focus.
I gained my other sister. This (far left) is my beautiful sister in law to be and she too is a Campbell student now! The one in the middle is my biological sister who was became a CU student in 2011. Surprise, Campbell family.
September
I started working out faithfully. I am not necessarily on a mission to lose weight but to be a healthier version of myself. I don’t have a regime, I do the one above on occasion. I am just moving towards a healthier lifestyle.
Sirius Black grew. Darn near overnight. Look at that guy. He’s huge. Ain’t he a stinker though? Precious baby.
October
The lumberjack and I spent our anniversary at a possible wedding venue. We were suppose to get married privately this October but decided against it in favor of an actual wedding. Surprise! So next October, me and the boo are gonna get hitched. I’m a perfectionist so I need that time to plan. Don’t judge me. Stay tuned for updates about this shindig.
November
Ze Shanster had a birthday. Happy Birthday Shanster.
Gasp. All of the Ellis-Ford progeny, at least the ones who matter, are in the same place at once. Had to catch that one on camera. Far right, the one who you probably don’t recognize from other post, is the Ellis brother. He is a marine and is usually stationed away from us.
Janelle Monae concert! ‘Nuff said.
We had our engagement shoot. Obviously this handsome couple is not us but we are going to publish an entirely separate post with our photos. I promise; they are worth the wait.
December
December marks the end of the semester and the beginning of winter break which means our little lovelies are traveling back to their actual parents and we are now empty-nesters for a little while. I’m super gonna miss the little buggers.
Pay no attention to the man in front of the curtain. This picture is actually a peak at the inside of our little house. I have slowly but surely been pimping it out. Again, another post for another day.
Stay tuned, I fully intend to spend the next two weeks or so catching you up on my/our lives and the semester.