Sunday, July 29, 2012

Bridal Magazine Addiction?

Before you say (or think) anything, let me at least plead my case.

It happened simply enough back in 1999, my Freshman year of college.  One of my 4 dorm-mates was getting married and she left her bridal magazine in the living room.  About this same time I was dating a guy who wanted to married me from day one (in retrospect - RED FLAG, RUN!).  So I thought, there's no harm in looking at this . . . . .

Fast forward through the years where I had another boyfriend that wanted to marry me.  We were so broke, both working at the mall, but the magazines gave us something to dream about.  Remember wedding magazines are around $5 or more a pop.  Don't try to add up this cost - it will make you cringe.

My favorite was always when you checked out at the store.  The checker would say "oh are you getting married?  No, I just like looking at them."  I tried to tell myself that I was being an informed consumed that when "it" happened, I would be ready.  I could plan my dream wedding in moments with the help of all this research.  My mom always told me that everything I liked would be outdated by then.  I like to think that my wedding will be timeless, so her comment didn't matter.

Then my glorious moment occurred when I moved into my house.  I treated myself to a year long subscription of Modern Bride, Bride and Elegant Bride  - it was a special bundle.  Every month, I look forwarded to mail.  Then into that first year, they canceled Modern Bride and Elegant Bride, which was ok because because Bride was always my favorite one.  I renewed for 2 years.  My sister was always afraid for any potential boyfriends.  What would he think if he walked into my bridal magazine extravaganza?  Don't worry kinda like Playboys, I hid them, camoflaged them, on planes, I would put them inside other magazines because you don't want people asking questions.  Once on a plane, the flight attendant said over the loud speaker that they had a bridal magazine to give away and it took all my will-power not to press my call button.  Then I realized, oh, I already have that one.  That's not new.

It wasn't just bridal magazines through the mail, I also searched for them on trips.  I have Colorado, Florida, New Orleans, Alabama, Pensacola, FL, Maryland, VA & DC, MO & KS, Destination specials, and my hometown St Louis Weddings.  And let's not forget Martha Stewart Weddings and In-Style Magazine's Wedding Special.  Remember I was being an informed consumed?

Or there was the time when my friend got engaged and I brought her about 2 dozens magazines to look through.  I know that you are thinking, how sweet.  Kinda, but not really.  Before letting her borrow the magazines, I put my return address labels on all of them - I was going to get them back!  Then since I didn't want her cut them up, I got her color-coded post it tabs to put on the pages.  Red for flowers, yellow for hair, etc.  She just laughed.  What is wrong with you brides?!?!? You have all the excuses in the world to go buy ever bridal magazine and you don't?!?!? I think that all my friends that have gotten married in the past 10 years collectively have had about 10 magazines total and that's because "people" have brought them for them, they did not actively buy them themselves.  Insert my sad face here.

After 2 years of monthly service, I didn't renew.  It's been 2 years now.  I do slip up from time to time and buy one.  Like the time that my boyfriend and I got back together (7 yrs on and off) and I took him to my super secret wedding location.  I naively thought, we're going to do this, this time.  I even had a diamond and platinum Tiffany's commitment ring to prove it.  Well, it's not my super secret wedding location anymore and the commitment ring, well I do love that ring on my right hand. 

If you are keeping count, I have been engaged 3 times, no wedding and probably hundreds of wedding magazines. 

Zoey and I in the secret location. Simply beautiful.

Secretly, I do have my ultimate dream location, it's beautiful and simple and definitely me (I found it when I was researching parks to go hiking at with Zoey in Florida.)  I'm saving it for the one, not the kinda one, or ok let's do this, this time one. Simply, my guy.  I will probably ultimately elope, just me and him, on our day.  I want a man that says I love you so much, meet me here next Thursday and that will be our story, told by a fabulous photographer so that I can share it with fmaily and friends later.  All the magazine clippings that are currently in file folders waiting to be put into "The Wedding Binder" will probably not even get flipped through.

What ever happened to all the magazines you ask.  Well, after I went through them, they got recycled.  I did allow myself to keep several of my favorites.  Brides, Washington DC - I got this one when I first moved to DC for grad school.  It was thin enough that I could keep it in my bag and flip through it on the subway.  I just think that DC is one of the most romantic cities that I have been to, not exactly sure why.  It just is for me.  I kept the Martha Stewart Weddings with the Today show couple Cody and Jess.  They are so cute and young and had this huge beautiful wedding - themed Breakfast at Tiffany's.  I have a couple of The Knot yearly guides because they have ALOT in them and I didn't want to tear them apart.  Now with the internet age (and I haven't even joined Pinterest yet - eventhough my sister has and has a "ideas for my sister's wedding folder"), you can save images and find almost anything you want related to weddings. I do search on there now from time to time to quench my wedding itch. 

Recovering Bridal Magazine Addict?  . . . . Yep, I'm that girl :)
PS Before I wrote this post, my sister told me that she discovered that her really good friend also have a bridal magazine subscription.  SEE - I'm not the only girl that does this.  Non-engaged bridal magazine buying women UNITE!!!!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Secret No More. . . .

My last post was about how I was trying to keep a scret.  Well, I did. 

My secret was about a job.  A job that I thought I really wanted.  A job that fulfilled all of my wants, so I thought. 

It was at my undergrad.  Let me tell you that I was pretty neutral when I attended there 10 years ago, but I thought it would be a good experience to take this position, career-wise.

When I arrived in town, I instantly had this "heebie-jeebie", gut reaction to being there.  It was not the comfortable place that I had built it up to be in the month long interview process.  I had visited my friend there several times over the years and never got this feeling.  I got a better feeling vacationing by myself in Florida than I did pulling into town.

The interview was over 6 hours long.  The people I met were so nice and wanted me to join their team sooo bad.  Over the past 3 years, I have been greatly under-appreciated or some might say neglected by my former boss (she moved on to another position).  Most of the time, the program I managed just consisted of me and sometimes a part timer, so you can imagine how lonely it can be.  I don't know that she ever thanked for a job well done, or great idea, etc.  So here I am with people complimenting my ideas, my fabulous resume, telling me I should pursue a PhD - it made my employee self-esteem shoot through the roof.  And that made turning the position down even harder.

I have discovered, probably starting in my mid 20s or when I went away to grad school, that your gut feeling is super important and that you should probably listen to it.  So when I pulled into town and all this "uck" kinda fell over me like a blanket, I knew it wasn't a good thing.  Turning down the job felt like I was being mean to friends and made me think "what the *$&# am I looking for"?  I felt comforted on the way home when U2's "Still haven't found what I'm looking for" came on the radio. It might be a sign? Or not. 

In addition to my gut check, I have been working really hard about not settling (6 months of counseling will help with this).  There was nothing wrong with the job, but there was also nothing more they could have done to sweeten the deal and there was nothing that made me go "wow, I have got to have this job".  It just wasn't the right fit for me and that's really hard to say when there's nothing wrong and you have been looking for a new job for 2 years and your current job will not exist Jan 1, 2013. 

Like I have told myself, if I find the job that is just perfect, ignites that passion in me, makes me look forward to going to work, Yes, I would sell my house, pack up the "kids" and hit the road without hesitation.  A new adventure where I am happy and fulfilled working 9-5, sounds like a dream right?

My mom asked me if she thought God was testing me by offering me this job.  I said I didn't know, but sometimes wondered.  I guess you could also think about it like a game show - do you keep what's behind door #1 or do you go for what is behind door #3.

Although hard, I have decided to continue to search for open doors, not settle and look for my happiness.

Zoey & I in Colorado - June 2009

Haven't found what I'm looking for, but still searching . . . .yep, I'm that girl.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Umm. . . eek. . .I'm terrible at keeping secrets, but I'm getting better

So everyday recently I wake up with this bubbling excitement mixed with a heaping dose of unsureness and a pinch of sadness - shaken, not stirred.  And I am TERRIBLE at keeping secrets, but oh, I've been good with this one.  It's not that I am trying to be mean to others initially.  I have just learned a lot about me lately (6 months of weekly counseling sessions will do that to you) and I have learned that you don't have to tell everyone EVERYTHING.  And as my sister says "Liz, don't poop on your own parade." I don't want to poop on my own parade and have discovered that it's more fun to bottle up this excitement and pure pride in myself than tell people and just be disappointed in their reactions or better yet, they try to one up me b/c their jealousy.  who knows.  I have also learned through therapy that I am a happier person "when I am not investing my energy in friends that don't give me back the same".  Again, counseling with the right counselor is FABULOUS.  It doesn't mean that you have failed, that you are damaged or whatever other negative you can think of.  It means that you realize that you need help - whatever help means to you.

I hope that I can post my secret soon - the waiting game sucks.  And if I don't post anything, don't ask as I will be in therapy. . .again.  Just kidding, maybe.

So are you intrigued yet?

I'm FINALLY learning how to keep secrets (at 32) . . .yep, I'm that girl.