"When you get those rare moments of clarity, those flashes when the universe makes sense, you try desperately to hold on to them. They are the life boats for the darker times, when the vastness of it all, the incomprehensible nature of life is completely illusive. So the question becomes, or should have been all a long... What would you do if you knew you only had one day, or one week, or one month to live. What life boat would you grab on to? What secret would you tell? What band would you see? What person would you declare your love to? What wish would you fulfill? What exotic locale would you fly to for coffee? What book would you write?"

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Weddings are so Bittersweet

But....mostly sweet.

As a part-time wedding photographer, I get to see a LOT of weddings. Most people, on average get to go to about five or so weddings in their life time. 2 or 3 of their friends weddings as they are younger, and then their children's weddings. But so far I've been to about 15, and regardless if I've been the photographer, a guest, or a bridesmaid, it is always such an amazing, emotion-driven roller coaster. My favorite way to be a part of a wedding (and my most frequent way) is as the photographer, and this is such a special, and honorable, and very responsible job. You have been selected and TRUSTED to record every special moment the bride and groom experiences and doesn't experience. You are the eyes of the entire wedding. You must see everything. You are constantly one step ahead. You have to think for the bride and groom. They are trusting you.

You get to be a part of their day. You get paid to be a stranger, butting into someones very personal life and emotional time and very special day. You get to see them cry, see them have wedding jitters before the wedding, you get to help talk them through that, you get to see the transformation from girl in a plaid shirt with a ponytail to a beautiful bride in a gorgeous dress with her hair all done up. You get to record, very up close and personal, the look of the groom's face  when he sees his bride for the first time, or the tear that falls on the bride's father's face.

When the rest of the guests go rest for cocktail hour, you get to stay with the bride and groom and their bridal party and coordinate & organize formal photos, which brides want the best of the best. They spend years looking at bridal magazines and want the magnificent photos seen there. It's up to us to sit in their shoes and fix on them what we think they may feel self-conscious about. Its up to us to fix the flyaway hairs, the ends of the dresses...Its up to us to hold whatever they can't hold anymore (shoes, Veil's, purses, etc.).

So I have had the pleasure of being a part of so many weddings, and so far have 5 tentatively-lined up in the future, which is SO exciting. But one thing I have noticed from wedding to wedding, is that they are so different from one another and yet you see the same phenomenon every time: The radiating happiness beaming from the bride and groom. They constant eyes on one another. The kisses. The dancing. They are so happy, and it is so contagious. Just being around them for the 8 hours we usually spend with them, you can't help but be in a good mood. You can't help but bask in some of that radiating happiness.

But being 22 going on 23 in less than a month, it is also extremely bitter...sweet. But a lot of bitter. I see how happy they are and I want it so much.  I've been so reluctant against marriage for the past couple years. I have been running from the thought. Married? I can't get married. Too many marriages end too quickly. Too many fights. Its just a signed piece of paper and a big party, whats the point? But then seeing them...seeing how they look at each other, seeing how he holds her, how he looks into her eyes and they communicate, they communicate without speaking, seeing how he holds her as if he is protecting her from the world. He is constantly one step ahead of her, watching out for her, thinking about her, figuring out what she needs before she even knows herself. It is amazing. I want that.

Seeing couples together, getting married, splits me in half. Spending all day with them, getting to know who they are, figuring out their drama, their story, their characters, their feelings....you truly are leaving your own life for a day and stepping into a stranger's life, and you have to learn their entire way of life and adapt within 10 minutes and perform.  So seeing how they interact all day, both gives me confidence that, yes- one day I WILL find someone that looks at me like that, that holds me like that, that protects me and is always a step ahead, loving me no matter what my flaws. Even if its not here now, somewhere, down the line in this long life, I will find it. But then the rest of me thinks- there is no way. They are out-of-this-world happy and so in love. I will never find that. I've had that and lost it. It will never come again. I'm not good enough or lucky enough to find "that guy", I will be a cat lady at 60.

So thats where the bitter comes in.  Jealousy. I'm just at that age where I want it. Not right now, but within the next ten years....and usually couples that marry at 25 know each other by the time they are 23 (and are getting engaged at 23), so I feel my time clock ticking fast. I wish the 20s could last a little longer.... :-\

It will come. Happiness, love. My happy ever after. Its just learning how to play the waiting game, and there are a lot of rules.

~A Writer in a Nurse's Body

1 comment:

Jessica said...

Can't wait to see the picture. And yes of course you will find it! Sometimes you have to stop looking first =o)