Saturday, March 18, 2017

#LewisLove2017: The Prequel

Just four days into the new year, work duties called and he was preparing to leave again. 
After three years of being committed to a self-proclaimed nomad, I'd become comfortable with the recent ritual: "Two months on, two months off", a clockwork reminder that rang loudly inside my head to soothe the slump of loneliness. He'd only be gone for 60 days, but this time, it felt different.

Six months prior to this particular departure, he proposed. The long-distance love that we seemed to be managing quite well would soon be a permanent allegiance.

I quickly learned that wedding planning is the most overwhelming responsibility ever. No exaggeration. Led by my dramatic deadline tendencies, the major tasks had to be tackled immediately:

  • Set Date and Budget
  • Choose Colors/Theme
  • Select Venue
  • Contact Photographer
  • Request Make-Up Artist
  • Book Entertainment
  • Create Guest List
  • Inform Bridesmaids/Groomsmen
  • Search for Dress

The venue hunt was the most difficult part of the process, yet all of the above items were checked off within two months.

However, as my fiancé and I dedicated ourselves to staying connected in the midst of physical separation, I was floating away from reality, constantly daydreaming about the details of our eternal union. Pondering the future as if it literally clenched the air that would assist in producing my next breath. I was expecting a familiar personal and professional shift that I've been experiencing since 2012.

Post-Christmas break teaching was wearing me down. I couldn't will myself to draft anything worth finishing. I intentionally neglected my business. And I was missing my fiancé profusely. The desire to check my calendar and count the days was hypnotizing. I wanted to escape. Possibly join him on the other side of the world to expedite accomplishing my 30-year-old goals, to simply exist in the space where the man I love was contractually obligated to be. With subtle remarks and blatant reassurance, he encouraged me to be patient.

Ten weeks had passed and I was anticipating reuniting with my soon-to-be-husband like never before. He arranged for his return to coincide with Spring Break and told me his flight would land around 7:30 p.m. In my mind, I'd be picking him up from the airport on Friday.

While relaxing on the couch, captivated by my weekly #TGIT TV-watching routine, I suddenly heard the front door's lock click. Then, the alarm sounded. The handsome burglar rushed in holding a bouquet of flowers, kissed me, and exclaimed "Surprise!" As fast as my heart was beating, it could've literally barged its way outside of my chest. I inhaled and exhaled my way back to calmness as this sneaky man that I'll be marrying in four months stood in front of me displaying a "GOTCHA" smirk.

I examined his physique, my eyes roaming portions of exposed skin, cautiously checking for signs of overseas harm. His face, lightly bearded and scar-free. His hands, cold and dry. Arm muscles protruding through his plaid, button-down shirt. I invited him to wrap me in them for an overdue embrace, internally refusing to let go for the duration of his stay. The fact that he sensed and acted on my need for him to be present as soon as possible solidified why he's my Mr. Write, a double entendre that fully serves its meaning.

While watching him sleep yesterday, overcome by jet lag, I noticed his eyelids flutter, though they were sealed shut, as his breathing conquered the silence of the room. Memories of our past adventures suddenly flooded my mind, and after almost three months of lacking the ability to assemble a group of complementary words worth sharing, I was inspired to construct this blog post. The cleansing release of emotions helped me detach from a dark spell that threatened to enthrall me long-term. 

Overnight, I realized that (Lewis) love is the ultimate cure for pressure, stress, and exhaustion.  

Our remaining wedding day to-do list is just one-page long and I'm looking forward to my alliterated name change. More quality time preluded by more surprises, too.