Friday, July 15, 2011

Justifying the size of my engagement ring.

We’ve got some exciting engagement news…

No, Patrick didn’t go down on one knee and profess his everlasting and unwavering love for yours truly (at least, not yet), but someone did! Dennis, whom I also refer to affectionately as my frenemy, proposed to Carly last month while we were visiting Taiwan.

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You may remember blond-haired and blue-eyed Dennis as the “Golden Boy” in my family from this interview many moons ago on the trials and tribulations of undertaking the daunting task that is dating a pair of twins. We call him “Golden Boy” behind his back because he is everything Patrick is not—stable, quiet, Mr. Always Does the Right Thing at the Right Time…I mean, c’mon, who wouldn’t love this guy?!?

Well, after four years, two breakups, and lots of family drama mostly instigated by me, Dennis somehow survived and decided to jump headfirst into the deep end, finally slipping a pretty little one on my twin’s ring finger. Atop the most pristine and heavenly mountains in Taiwan, Dennis asked Carly to “be his baby forever” late one night as the stars peek-a-boo’d from the blanket of velvety night fog. *sigh*


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Their engagement was and wasn’t a surprise to my family. We’ve known that something was coming for a while now but because we’ve known for so long, at one point we weren’t even sure it was coming anymore! Of course we are all thrilled for Carly and Dennis (when it was first confirmed to me he was going to propose in Taiwan, I had tears in my eyes!) but their elation can't quite mask the white elephant in the room.

“Do you feel upstaged by your sister because she and Dennis are stealing the spotlight from you?” my dad asked me sincerely after the engagement.

“Oh my gosh NO! I am so happy for them. Carly and I never compete about anything. Her win is my win,” I respond truthfully. But I knew why my dad was concerned for me since hearing the word "marriage" still gives me the hives. Because I don't know what it'll take for Patrick and me to once and for all take that leap of faith towards blissfully engaged. Because I keep telling the world marriage is a dying institution even though deep down... deep down...ugh.


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Dennis asking my dad for Carly's hand in marriage on our back porch.

“Patrick and I are like a married couple anyway, and a ring won’t change much of anything for us right now,” I reassured my dad just as much as I was reassuring myself. You see, something very few people know about is that I DO have a ring. And a big one at that. Its hiding place changes from week to week but it’s still supposedly mine and when I feel all romantic and giddy, I try to wear it around the house.

When Patrick and I were planning our wedding that never was, he put down a lot of change for a very big ring for me. White gold, princess cut, a band of diamonds, and three whole carats, it is quite excessive and definitely more than a simple girl like me could ever wear. Sometimes when I look at it in its polished mahogany case, I wonder why I ever hinted to Patrick that I would want something as big as he could afford. I almost feel guilty he spent so much money on a ring I don’t even get to show off, money that could have been invested or saved as a down payment for our imminent house purchase. Sometimes I am embarrassed or even ashamed thinking about the prospect of having to wear such a rock in front of his family one day, scrambling to justify to them why on earth I ever had their dear son waste so much money on me.


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Ok, I lied. We don't really live here. This was during our Asia vacation.

The worst part of it is I can’t even wear the ring right since it is almost three sizes too big for me (the ring was bought unsized). So it has been floating around in a bookcase or bathroom cabinet for going on two years now, its misfitting ways symbolizing all that went wrong and all that is broken in our relationship. There it has been sitting and collecting emotional dust, representing all that could have been and all that still has to happen for Patrick to finally say to me, “Yes, you’re it. Let's do it, girl!”

But last week, on a weekly cruise through the mall, I stumbled across a newly opened jewelry store that promised fast fixes for any jewelry or watch problem. The man behind the counter told me it would cost $50 to take my ring down to a size 5.25 and $50 on that day didn’t sound like too high a price to once and for all resize my ring. I texted Patrick to ask him what he thought and he said, “Sure, go do it.”

And so I did the very next day. I brought the ring in like a nervous high school girl in love, watching the jeweler precisely laser the band apart only to put it back together a few minutes later. I guarded the ring like a new father would his baby in the NICU, making sure every step of the way my baby was treated with utmost care. It came back to me clean, polished, and MY size. The man behind the counter slipped it onto my finger and said, “You can wear your ring now. It fits perfectly. By the way, how long have you had it?”

“Oh, um, a while…”

“That’s a shame you couldn’t wear it for so long,” he said with a twinkle in his eye. No, you don’t understand, I wish I could tell him the story. It was not mine to wear this whole time. But thank you for making it feel more like mine, and maybe I will wear it more now. But just for fun because I’m not really engaged yet.

Looking at it on my finger as I type this post that has gone on for too long, my ring doesn’t seem too big anymore. Perhaps it was wrong of me to ask Patrick to prove the magnitude of his love in carats when we first found out I was unexpectedly pregnant. But Patrick, after all we've been through, can you honestly tell me I'm not completely, utterly, MAGNIFICENTLY worth every penny you've spent?

Right??

*cricket chirps*

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Traveling and searching for purpose.

I've disappeared to Asia and back...with babes in tow...

I keep running away. But from what?

Some of you may have noticed I shut down the blog for a while. It was spurred by spontaneity one night when I was alone watching a show about Internet predators. It struck a chord with me because I've exposed a lot of information and details of my family on this blog and guilt and regret rushed through me as I scrambled to protect our privacy. I sent a text message to my immediate family to apologize for giving others an intimate look into our lives and let them know it will no longer happen again as the story can't go on.

But something still didn't feel right about my decision because for most of my life, I've let fear and pessimism limit the roads I take. When you don't let yourself believe and choose to see the good and bright side, you've already written the end of your story. I truly don't know why I've had such issues in the past year writing on my blog. Part of it was because I fell into deep postpartum depression during the winter months and have been struggling to pick myself up since then. The other part was simply due to the fear of the unknown. I didn't know where I was going with my blog anymore, who I was writing to and for, and what others were thinking of me.

I felt limited with what I could say and how I could present things in my life because I was afraid of losing readers and offending people. I was helplessly lost in my depression but so desperately trying to hide my inner struggles from the world that writing became a chore. I was putting on a meaningless puppet show for the sake of performing.

I was afraid of sharing how things truly were for me because I didn't want people to laugh and say "I told you so."

I told you so because I chose this path for myself and YES, there are still days I wonder how life could have been if I never had my baby. The road getting back to even, getting back to where I was two years ago before my life spun off-course has proven to be an on-going battle. A battle of aimlessly searching for what once was and what I could still recoup and have.

Or am I fruitlessly trying to regain and repair what is no longer mine? A singleton life without limits and bounds? I am a mother, a partner to someone who loves me very much, and things are different now. This is life, evolving, changing, and moving towards a new normal instead of constantly checking over your shoulder and checking in with what could have been.

In this past year, I've lost weight, friends, happiness, career ambitions, and many other sacred and defining parts of me. But what I refuse to let slip through my fingers is my voice even when it's muddy and unclear.

I am lost because I don't know what I am doing anymore. But my twin, Carly, reminded me this morning that nothing in life matters if you don't do things with purpose, passion, and gratitude. So that is where I am at now: I love to write. Period. I love to write about feelings, emotions, relationships, family dynamics and drama... I love to read and write things that make people tingle on the inside. I love to read and write things that tug at heartstrings and make people breathe "Wow. I totally get it."

I once thought I wanted to be a rock star. But money and notoriety aren't things that matter to me or would make my life any more worth living. It's time to scale back, to break things down to the basics, and do what I love unabashedly and without fear. Write without an audience in mind, without limits, and without anxiety. A blog is a personal space and outlet, and readers will hang around if you add value to their lives.

King is literally clawing down his playpen as I write in frustration that his ever-attentive mother has put him down for a few minutes so she could possibly hodge-podge together some words. Ah, my time's up again for now.

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