For the 20 months of our engagement, wedding planning took over my brain. Even during the months where we weren't booking vendors or planning anything in particular--we had 20 months after all--it was still there, just sitting in the back of my mind. I pinned about it; I researched; I budgeted. It was fun. I loved being a bride for that period of my life--if you only get to do it once, at least do it right, right?
I suppose partially for these reasons and partially because it's just the nature of being a bride, for 20 months all anyone really ever asked me about was my wedding. And because I was so involved I often got this question: What are you going to do when you don't have a wedding to plan?
Yeah... cue me attempting not to roll my eyes and scoff at questioner.
My response: I had a life before the wedding... I'm sure I'll just go back to it.
And for the most part I did. I had a really hard time writing anything during my engagement. My brain was too clouded by centerpieces and dress fabrics to create and maintain new characters, let alone imagine lives for them--my life was interesting enough.
It was a frustrating time creatively, but not a waste. I read a lot of books, which only helped fill my mind with new ways of approaching writing, character development, and plot. I also focused my attention on my health. I went to zumba several times a week and started running. I ate healthier. I worked on building relationships in my new hometown, so that every friend I had wasn't two hours away.
A few months after the wedding, my muse came back. I started a new novel, completely revised my first novel, and joined an online writing community. I read a 12-book series in three weeks. I still go to zumba several times a week, and I try to always get in a Sunday run. I have friends who live down the street. I'm slowly fitting the two sides of my life together.
So now when I see people there's so much to talk about, and yet, invariably, the question I receive the most is: How's married life?
People mean well. They know this big event happened in your life and they want to acknowledge it. It's just another variation on small talk. And married life is great. My husband and I lived together for nearly three years by the time we got married. We knew each other's habits and pet peeves. There wasn't really a learning curve. We are relaxed and happy, focusing on home renovations and inspiring each other to keep doing the things we love. Nights we would have spent planning, we watch a movie, or he goes for a bike ride and I add a few pages to my new novel. We started going to trivia on Thursday night with our friends.
But I'm so much more than my marital status. My life didn't end when I got married--it continued. I didn't run out of things to do--my list got exponentially bigger. I am so many things--writer, bookworm, zumba addict, runner, cat mom--wife is only one of them.