We are 99 days to go until our wedding day. We are looking at each other, looking around at the apartment; at the dishes that have become one with the sink; the jackets that look they must have come attached to the dining chairs; the bills and miscellaneous papers strewn across the carpet cum second-job-office; basically, looking at our lives and thinking, “we are a mess”.
He has worked 12 hour days and 6 day weeks since November, and I have worked 12 hour days and 6 day weeks since January. January was also when we started doing 2 sets of marriage preparation classes, Mondays with a Catholic Church and Fridays with a pastor from our Pentecostal church. For 8 weeks each. In fact, January was also the last time any substantial load of laundry was done between the two of us. Come to think of it, January was the last time I was in the gym, the last time I did some writing, and the last time I woke up feeling like taking on the world.
My breath is rattling in my throat at this point because my nose is completely stuffed up from the cold I’ve developed. Somewhere between my terrible eating habits and the night job I work outdoors in an Albertan winter (it was -30 degrees Celsius with wind chill last night), I have worn my body down and it’s starting to push back at me.
How did this happen?!
I’m thinking back fondly on the days we fantasized about getting married in some distant future. Neither of us likes being the centre of attention at events, and both of us think weddings are usually really overdone, so we imagined a small minimalist, intimate but really fun affair.
Until we told our families.
We are now playing catch-up with an event that took a life of its own and somehow ran far ahead of our combined imagination.
I am trying to remember the other parts of my life that matter, the new career I recently started, the decision to apply to make Canada my permanent country of residence; the decision to be more in touch and involved with my friends and family, the decision to be more conscious of my nutrition and exercise; the decision to be a writer.
I am searching for balance.
In my favourite post colonial novel, Anthills of the Savannah, Achebe alludes to a literal down to earth kind of balance; where you reach for the sky with one hand but keep several hands (you are a mythical goddess in this scenario) firmly to the ground.
Somewhere in the middle of the new, the exciting, the challenging, the ignoring my mother’s texts; the pretending I can’t hear my sister on the other line; the being high on flu meds at my day job; the secretly waiting until we are in front of the pastor to bring up that thing my fiancé hates talking about; the going back to reading Scripture; and the thanking God for the wonderful stand-by-anything friends I have; there is a healthy balance I can live with and that can accommodate me.
Also, I’m quitting my second job.