Tag Archives: friends

Yes, I’m SOOOO Excited! But I’m Also Anxious as Hell

The wedding is in 5 days, and I am an anxious fire monster.

I have resisted writing in detail about my anxiety because I don’t want it to be misinterpreted by friends and family as doubts about getting married. I have zero doubts. But not being open about my anxiety is, as always, making it worse.

I should know better by now than to sit and stew.

So let me be as clear as possible and immediately halt any possible misinterpretation for those of you who still might not be totally clear on how mood disorders work– this has NOTHING to do with Eric. I have never been more confident in a decision in my life (which is saying a lot, as decision-making, for me, is the ultimate anxiety trigger, and is usually done with 100% haste and 0% confidence). I love Eric with all my heart and can’t believe I found him and get to marry him.

But anxiety doesn’t care if you’re grateful or happy. Anxiety has its own agenda, and the only way I’ve found to combat it is to do the exact opposite of combating it– to accept it and to be open about it. Because when I’m not, it eats me alive.

To be clear, I am excited– VERY excited. But the things is, when you have an anxiety disorder, excitement and panic run through the same pipeline, and, despite the fact that you are happy and really looking forward to something, that anticipation can FEEL very uncomfortable, produce an acute restlessness, make you feel like you’re crawling out of your skin, and just cause you to feel plain bad. It’s a frustrating cycle because you know you are lucky and happy, and you want to just feel those simple feelings of happiness and gratitude, but the nerves take over and don’t let you. They just leave you feeling like you sort of want to vomit, and maybe casually pull out your arm hairs one by one.

About 3 weeks ago, I began to feel like a line of drummer boys entered my body, and started a looped parade through my bloodstream, playing a steady, catchy beat– not altogether unpleasant, often actually fairly enjoyable. Sometimes I’d find myself bopping to their steady rhythm and feeling the flow, other times I was like, “Eh, I could use a little calm and quiet now. Oh, no? You’re not going anywhere? Ok I guess I’ll just drink wine straight from the bottle.”

And then, somewhere around last week, the drummer boys decided that right on top of my heart was a good place for them to all settle in, place their instruments on the floor, and then just start banging the SHIT out of them. Cymbals flying, drumsticks clanking. Even some cowbell. Because every band could use a little more cowbell.

All that being said, I know once this weekend arrives I will be thrilled and full of joy and love. Once all the people I care about most in the world are there, gathered in one space, and I get to marry this ridiculously awesome guy while surrounded by them, it will be incredible. Anticipation is always the hardest part for me. The lead-up is torture. Once the event is happening, the energy takes over and I can enjoy myself. I know I will.

So for all of you who have been so lovingly inquiring, “Are you so excited?!”, the answer is yes, absolutely. But I’m also anxious as fuck. And that’s ok. That’s who I am. And I think as long as I acknowledge that’s ok, to both you and myself, I will be able to at least mildly quell that inner voice asking, “What’s wrong with you? Why can’t you just be happy? Why can’t you just be like everyone else?”

Because I’m not everyone else. I’m me.

And you know what? I found someone who can’t even remotely personally relate to these feelings, but who does everything he can to fully understand them, support them, and, inexplicably, love me even more because of them.

Can’t get much better than that.

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#cleareyesfullheartstwojews

A friend of ours, Shaun, is designing a wedding trinket for us and using our wedding hashtag, #cleareyesfullheartstwojews on the design (If you don’t watch Friday Night Lights, and don’t know we are The Taylors, then there is nothing I can do to help you understand or appreciate this hashtag. I’m sorry.)

Shaun also runs his own business. While designing our trinket, he was simultaneously emailing a potential new client. In this email, he meant to cut and paste a standard questionnaire that goes out to all potential new clients.

Instead, he accidentally cut and pasted our hashtag, and hit send before realizing.

Literally wrote:

Hi Allison,
#cleareyesfullheartstwojews
Thanks!

-Shaun

The client signed.

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Hope

*Disclaimer: This post is not meant to represent the experience or feelings of anyone but myself. I recognize that crawling out of depression and Trump being president are not universally analogous, nor is the comparison relevant to most people out there, especially the people most potentially threatened by his presidency. This is simply a personal, self-indulgent journaling of how I am processing my emotions and looking to stay positive and make sense of things in a time that is overwhelmingly challenging to do so. But mostly, it’s just an ode to a dear friend.

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Today I received this email from a dear friend…

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Nine years ago, this same friend came to visit me in my darkest hour. I was living with my parents in Maryland, in the midst of an extremely serious depressive episode. I had left my job and my life in Philadelphia. I was literally sleeping in my parents’ bed, between them, too afraid to be alone with my thoughts. Despair was eating my insides. I couldn’t function, couldn’t eat, could barely breathe. Dressing myself was a challenge. I had lost any semblance of the life I had known and loved, and I saw absolutely no path to getting it back.

And then this friend came in from NY to visit. He dragged me into DC and forced me on a tour of our nation’s capital. And as we sat on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, he promised me hope.

I didn’t believe him. I couldn’t see how that was possible. I couldn’t see past the very moment I was trapped in. I couldn’t imagine how I’d ever be able to function again, how I’d ever be able to take a breath that didn’t feel shallow. I couldn’t imagine ever holding a job. I couldn’t imagine being able to connect with anyone, on any level, ever again. If I couldn’t even imagine these simplest of human tasks, the idea of ever living a fulfilling, productive life seemed completely out of my reach. I wanted to die.

But this friend insisted on hope. He insisted that progress doesn’t happen in a straight line– but that eventually, we always move forward. He promised me I’d not only get my life back, but this painful experience would, in time, lead to an even better, more connected life than the one I had before.

I protested. He protested back. Eventually, too bone-tired and sad to argue, I nodded. My heart wanted to believe him but my mind told me he was full of shit.

Shortly after his visit, life began to change. It wasn’t instant and it wasn’t easy. It took work. It took a LOT of support from those around me. It took a damn village. It took faith. It took forcing myself into action. It took constantly reminding myself that no matter the setback, everything was going to be ok.

Today I not only function, I thrive. Today I not only breathe, I breathe deeply. Today I not only work, I have my own business. Today I not only connect, I get to marry and share my life with the most incredible man I’ve ever known.

My friend was right. My life is better today than the life I was living before my darkest hour. Not only because I survived the despair, but because I learned from it. It opened my eyes. It gave me perspective. It made me more empathetic. It deepened my connections with others. It inspired me to give back. It forced me to speak out. It sprung me into action, and inspired me to work on myself and stand up for others every chance I get. It made me realize that I have to cherish, appreciate, and look for the good if I want to ensure that darkness will never win in the end.

So thank you, friend. I needed this reminder of hope today. And not because there aren’t other messages of hope out there. There certainly are, thank god.

But you are a source I can trust.

I Blew It.

The following story should beautifully illustrate for all of you why I walk around this world in a constant state of panic, with the assumption that at any point in time, I will do something epically dumb/awkward/socially unacceptable/spastic that will leave me slapping myself for years to come.

A few weeks ago, one of my best friends, Adam, asked me to sign the ketubah at his wedding, which occurred last night (*note to the non-Jews– a ketubah is a Jewish marriage contract between the bride and groom. It requires the signature of some Jewish witnesses. In this case, me and three other Jewish friends of the couple.) My first thought was “What an honor!” and my immediate second thought was “Christ, what does that entail?!” (No, just kidding. I definitely thought the Christ thing first.)

I’ve never signed a ketubah at a wedding, and I had heard various stories about how it works– one friend of mine had to write a bunch of shit in Hebrew, a task this barely-Jew is CLEARLY incapable of without at least one month of practice. Another friend said he had to write his entire address in cursive. As we recently established, I do not know how to write a cursive t, much less any other letter that is not part of my name. I could envision me standing there with a shaky hand, taking 45 minutes to pen the words “New York” with the same skill and accuracy as Billy Madison writing “Rizzuto,” while Adam puts his head in his hands and silently wishes he had just asked his 98-year-old senile great aunt to do this instead. (Note: Adam does not actually have an old, senile great aunt. I’m just saying, if he did, she would have been the better choice).

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“No, no,” Adam assured me. “You literally just have to sign your name. No Hebrew, no extraneous cursive. We are making this as easy as possible for everyone involved.”

And then, in what can only be labeled the most unrealistic notion to ever enter my psyche, I thought, “Oh, ok. There’s no way I can fuck this up.”

You see where this is going.

I fucking fucked up the fuck out of it.

“But…but…how is that even possible?” you say. “You just had to write your name! You literally just had to do the one thing you’ve been practicing doing since you were 4 years old!”

Yeah. I know. FOR CHRIST’S SAKE I KNOW.

Here’s what happened. A bunch of guests were gathered in a room, and the rabbi called over the “witnesses.” To me, that meant ALL the witnesses (I’m not the only one who thought this– ALL the ketubah witnesses came over. #throwingmyselfabonehere). The rabbi explained to the first witness standing in front of her, Jon, that he needed to fill out his name and address on the sheet of paper, and “we’ll do the signature part later.” So Jon went first. Then the rabbi turned to me, as I was second in line, so I picked up the pen and went next. Right below Jon’s information, there was a line for the next witness to write in her information. So I did. Full name, full address.  In print, not cursive, thank god.

I then passed the pen to the next witness, Melissa. She went to fill out her information but there was no space for a 3rd witness (I had failed to notice this when I filled out my part. I just did what I was told by the rabbi– she has God on her side, people! If a rabbi gives you a task you fucking do it and you don’t ask questions. I later pointed this out to the rabbi, and she was honored that I gave her that much credit and power. Yeah, well. Never again, sister.) Confused, Melissa turned to the rabbi and said, “There are more than two witnesses here but there is no more space.” It is at this point that the rabbi informed us that this was not a form for the ketubah signers– this form was the official marriage license. You know, the paper you use to legally seal your union and prove you are married? That form. That binding, lasting contract. And I was NOT the designated witness for that form. Jon, who filled it out before me and is a best friend of the groom, was. The second witness was supposed to be the best friend of the bride.

I am not the best friend of the bride.

I’m an asshole friend of the groom who wrote on the wrong paper.

A paper that just happened to be the legal marriage license.

“Well, I guess you’re the new witness instead!” said the rabbi casually, thinking that solved the problem, which it clearly did NOT. The bride and groom had obviously very precisely planned who would sign their legal license, and I was not included even a little bit in that plan.

The only saving grace is that I did not actually SIGN the license. I just filled out the form with my information. The actual assigned witness could still sign it at the bottom, but her signature would not match the information I had given. So, in other words– it would not be, you know…legal. Per se.

“I mean….I guess we can just cross it out…” said the rabbi tentatively, clearly never having had to deal with a fuck-up this epic before. “It won’t look great, but it can still be used…”

Every newlywed couple’s dream.

So that’s what happened. The poor girl who was supposed to have had the honor of being the marriage license witness had to draw a line through all my printed information and squeeze hers in on top of it. And for the rest of their lives, Adam and Diana will have proof of my idiocy forever imprinted on a document reflecting the most important, meaningful decision they’ve made in life thus far.

When the ketubah signing part happened afterwards, I managed to get my signature down on the correct line, because I looked the bride dead in the eye and said, “Please show me EXACTLY where to sign.” I then wished the couple a lifetime full of “love, happiness and LAUGHTER,” emphasizing the word laughter in my most dire tone, so as to indicate, “Hey, remember when I screwed up your marriage license? We’re all already laughing about that, right?”

Probably not.

When the whole thing was over, Adam came over to me, gave me a huge, warm bear hug and gently whispered in my ear, “Thank you for ruining my wedding.”

Well you. are. WELCOME.

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He Did It!

One of the best parts about yesterday being the day I got engaged is that up until that point, I was certain it was literally THE most inconsequential day of my life. It was the last day before leaving for our family vacation in the Outer Banks, and I was just eager to get the hell out of dodge. All my tutoring gigs were on pause until September. My bags had already been packed and my errands already run. So when I woke up that morning, I had exactly zero items on the agenda. Come lunchtime, I had never felt more useless or like less of a player in society. I was sure that if this were the game of life, I’d be losing by a landslide.

As of 1pm, I still had not gone outside, was watching “American Dad” reruns on TBS (inspiring my Summer of George post), and texted one of my best friends the following:

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It was not looking good.

Luckily, I had exactly one thing on the agenda to give myself a reason to live for the day– Eric and I were going out to dinner with our friends Carrie and Dan, and I was really looking forward to it. Mostly because it was a legitimate reason to remove myself from the denim couch and pretend that on August 18th, 2016, I sort of acted like a human.

And just when I was psyching myself up for entering the world of the living, this text came from Carrie:

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I tried to save face by listing the meager amount of activities I had managed to accomplish in the past hour, mainly to prove to them, and to my soul, that I am one (albeit tiny) step above George Costanza:

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So that was that. My one plan was gone, but at least my friend Emily had stopped by, so I felt like that could totally count as having done something significant. Clap, clap done. I could settle back into my couch ass-crater and not move for the rest of the night.

Then, less than an hour later, my sister texted:

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“Well, you lucky, lucky bitch,” I thought to myself (because I’m dumb). Coincidentally, my schedule JUST cleared up! What a serendipitous world we live in!

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Personally, I thought the nanny was being a bit of a diva regarding my arrival time but fine, WHATEVER, IZA.

Then, Steph dropped some terrible news:

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I braced myself for the struggle of a lifetime, and specifically put on a sports bra and my loosest potato sack dress so that I would be physically prepared to maneuver that jolly little chunk of a child into his too-tight jammy jams.

Then of course I got held up on social media reading about Ryan Lochte’s douchebaggery and naked Trump statues (#America!) and ended up losing track of time. Suddenly, I only had 20 minutes to get to Steph and Andrew’s apartment before the nanny had to leave. It was hot outside, but their apartment is only 17 blocks away, so I forced myself to walk and not take a cab, mainly so I’d have one more item to add to my list of “Things I did today that prove I deserve to exist.”

But of course, rushing in the heat, and me being who I am as a person, I began to sweat profusely. And by the time I got to my sister’s apartment, all I could think about was dunking my head in a sink of ice cold water before the nanny left. I looked like hell in my sports-bra-and-sack-dress get up, my hair was in a particularly disheveled semi-wet bun, and I probably didn’t smell great.

Every part of me was sweating.

I went to open the apartment door, which is ALWAYS unlocked, but for some reason it didn’t open. This nanny is really something, I thought, rolling my eyes. Then I heard the Boog (aka Tyler, my 20-month-old nephew) whining. “Don’t worry, Boogie Boy, I’m here!” I said as the door was unlocked and slowly opened for me.

First thing I saw was the Boog in a tux, looking fucking adorable, if not a tad whiny/possibly traumatized and BEYOND confused. He was holding a sign, but to be honest, I didn’t process what it said (it said “Will you marry —->”), because then I saw Eric, and a ton of candles, and rose petals all over the floor (which I later learned were fake, just in case the Boog tried to eat them).

And even though I knew EXACTLY what was happening, for some reason all I could spit out was “OH MY GOD WHAT IS HAPPENING OH MY GOD WHAT IS HAPPENING?!” I mean– it was pretty fucking clear what was happening.

Eric started to give a beautiful speech and then, seconds in, the Boog began HYSTERICALLY crying. Even though I was very focused on Eric’s words, I couldn’t help but interrupt, point to the Boog and ask “Ummm…is someone here to deal with him?!” (The answer was no. Just us. Which sucked for the kid because Eric and I could not have possibly cared less about him in that moment. He may or may not have lifelong trauma stemming from this 45 seconds of sheer neglect.)

Long story short, the baby kept crying, then I cried a bit (but mostly just trembled and said “Oh my god” repeatedly), and then, when Eric asked if I’d spend the rest of my life with him, I said, “YES– OF COURSE! ARE YOU SERIOUS?!? YES!”

The Boog, at this point, had completely lost his shit.

So we picked him up, read him some Goodnight Moon, and shoved a pacifier in his mouth until he was calm enough that we could ignore him again. #parentinggoals

**Side-note: my sister was disappointed to hear that the Boog “blew it” in his proposal role. I, personally, thought it was absolutely perfect. All the biggest moments in my and Eric’s relationship have been kind of a shit show, but in the best, most hilariously imperfect of ways (which is how I like to affectionately think of myself and my life….”hilariously imperfect”). Examples: I showed up so drunk to our first date, I barely remembered it and then had to play along when he texted me afterwards referencing things we discussed. Our first kiss, which started off amazingly, ended with him telling me I’m disgusting. Then, on our 6th date, just as I decided that I REALLY liked this guy and needed to tell him about my dating blog (and his guest appearances on it), I was busted at the table by a high school acquaintance. 

So to be quite honest, having a toddler cry throughout our entire proposal was not only fitting, it was just imperfectly perfect, and perfectly us.

And god do I love that little bozo (Tyler, not Eric. Well, Tyler and Eric.), so to have had him be a part of this most precious moment in my life meant the world to me– and knowing that Eric knew it would mean the world to me is just all kinds of meta perfection.**

Speaking of perfection, then Andrew came home. (Badum- ching!)

He whisked the Boog away to the bedroom so Eric and I could have a moment alone and attempt to let it all sink in (it didn’t. I was a mess.)

We then went to a lovely and delicious celebratory italian dinner in our neighborhood with Steph, Andrew, Zack and Eric’s mother (Eric was wise enough to bring me a change of clothes, because he knew EXACTLY how hot-mess-expressed I’d be). Eric’s sister and brother-in-law are in Georgia, but sent champagne and well wishes to the table. My parents and Jeremy are already in the Outer Banks, but we will be with them tomorrow and then for the next two weeks, so plenty of family time and celebrations ahead.

After dinner, I finally got a moment to call and FaceTime my friends, and so, barely able to contain my excitement, I did just that.

No one picked up.

But knowing that I would only make an actual voice call if I got engaged or someone died, they all quickly called back. And after the expressions of excitement and well-wishing, they all wanted to know if I was surprised– and the answer is yes, totally. I know that seems impossible, given that I joke about it all the time (both on this blog and to Eric’s face) and a proposal was clearly imminent. But Eric really did manage to throw me off, because I was 100% certain his plan was to speak to my parents while in the Outer Banks, and then propose when we got home in September. I told all my friends it would happen in September. Not only did I NOT bother to get a manicure, I actually took my manicure OFF yesterday morning to give my nails a breather at the beach, thinking I’d need to have them looking nice for September. So here I am, rockin’ this stunning diamond on the world’s gnarliest unkempt man-hand. I will be banging down the door of the nearest nail salon the second I finish typing this.

So, in summation, I slept zero minutes last night and am writing this at 5:00am on the couch, because I want to record and remember every moment, and that’s what I do when I’m happiest– I write. And as I’m doing so, I’m watching the sunrise, which is just beautiful and breathtaking and the most lovely way to start my first morning as a promised lady.

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Never mind that the man I’m promised to is sleeping like a baby in the next room.

Literally didn’t stir once the entire night.

So he’s either very confident in his decision or he’s TERRIFIED to wake up.

Eh, either way– I’ll take it!

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Eric preparing the Boog for my arrival…..

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