Monday, January 19, 2009

Weddings and self-doubt

On my last post, Ruthie made a comment that kind of hit home for me: "it's easy to get down on yourself, wedding or no wedding."

It hit home for me because I've been doubting myself in a major way of late. It's not entirely about the wedding; in fact, it's mostly about my career prospects post-grad school. Long story short, I'm trying to make peace with the fact that given the awful job market, the chances of finding a job in my chosen field are ... not great. Actually, close to zero. Coping with that reality has been hard, and isn't exactly a recipe for high self-esteem.

Mostly the wedding has been a fun escape, and a source of minor victories (we finalized the invitation wording! hooray!). But sometimes it makes me feel like the biggest, most incompetent idiot in the world. Today I almost curled into a ball because we have a pretty substantial surplus in our budget (I know, the horror) and I couldn't decide if we wanted to spend the money to upgrade our menu from just chicken to chicken and beef. Sometimes I wonder if I should have picked a different dress, or whether the brightly colored flowers I planned will look weird in a historic mansion, or if we chose the wrong caterer. I know that none of this is important, that as long as we get the marriage license and our officiant shows up our wedding will be a success in the only way that really matters. But I've never been a stylish or terribly creative person and it's so easy to second-guess myself about fashion choices and color schemes.

Ruthie's comment made me realize that I was giving in to the same kind of pressure that I'd sneered at in the post about wedding diets: the pressure to Make Things Perfect. That realization caught me by surprise, and I hope now I can take a deep breath and remind myself that no matter what I do, it won't be perfect. Which means I can stop second-guessing myself, do the best I can, and know that it's good enough -- and "good enough" will probably still be pretty special, at least to the two of us.

Image from


Anonymous said...

I always thought you were very stylish and creative; an academic Martha Stewart, but without all the corruption and condescension.

Remember, your friends and family are there for YOU, to recognize and celebrate you two as a couple, and not for the wedding, really...

Ruthie said...

Wow, I'm touched to hear that my comment hit home so much. And thank you for articulating the same sort of thing I am feeling.

Color Me Green said...

what a great way to think about it. your post me reminded me of this (paraphrased) quote i love from the website: it may not be perfect, but it's fantastic, and sometimes fantastic is better than perfect.

Bride in Exile said...

@Apricot -- aww, thanks! I do need to remember that people are coming for us, not because you think we're going to serve a twelve-course meal and hire the Cirque du Soleil to entertain them.

@Ruthie -- one of the great things about the internet is being able to find people in the same boat as you are! Reading blogs like yours from other brides who are mostly excited but occasionally a bit freaked out helps me realize that I'm not (entirely) a crazy person.

@Color Me Green -- Great quote! I may have to write it out and tack it to my bulletin board as a reminder.