I know… Another post about being engaged. To those who are not engaged or dating someone (especially around Valentine’s Day), I know you want to do a cornucopia of things to me, including but not limited to vomiting on me, punching me, or throwing darts at me. I have included a picture to print off, including my face in the middle of the target. Sorry, darts are not included. But I know YouTube has a great selection on “How to Make Darts.” I didn’t actually watch any, so if you do, let me know what you think… #targetpractice
So if you are caught up on Life of a Clare Bear, you know I am becoming a bird. I am not suddenly morphing into another animal; I am just changing my last name. I have finally found my “other half” and we are going to be married for time and all eternity. I guess you could say that I am pretty happy. Our period of engagement will be 51 days. It’s fast, but when you know, you know! So I thought I should enjoy these days until I become an old married woman. I wanted to share with you the 10 things I was glad I did before I got engaged. I am not saying these are rules to follow; they are just things that helped me get ready. Everyone is different, we don’t come with directions and so there will be other opinions. All I can say is share them… if you dare 😉
1. Dated Around… I have been on plenty of dates in my single life career. The dates ranged from finding out he was a registered sex offender, throwing up on the boy after a carnival ride and being left 60 miles from home to find my own ride, I have even been on a date with someone who I found out was my cousin later… Now those are my extremes (they are pretty extreme). I have been on wonderful dates too. I have been to see Christmas lights, on scavenger hunts, rock climbing, and broken into a TCBY (he had a key, legal, Idk…) All of these dates taught me something. It taught me what I didn’t want in life. It’s a negative way to look at things, but it made me understand what I really wanted in a future partner. The part I needed most was I needed to be dated out. When I was younger I felt the urge to date everything that moved with no commitment. It took me time, but I realize now it is fun to go on dates with the same person and to have a commitment. Commitment can’t be forced, it can only come through desire.
2. Finished Gilmore Girls… (a few times)This show is a guide to life. Okay not really, probably look for a more spiritual resource, but it taught me about boys. I learned that there was always going to be a Dean in your life. Your first love. He would have a special place in your heart, but in the end he would not have your whole heart and that was okay. You don’t have to end up with the first boy you date (you can, but you don’t have to). Then there are boys who are like Jess, the bad boys. They are going to sweep you off your feet and turn you into someone you are not. They will make you question life; you will fall fast and hard… But then you fall out of love in faster. And then there is Logan. Rory dated him for a long time. They were a cute couple and seemed to have it all. SPOILER ALERT, Rory did not accept the engagement ring, and that was her choice. I learned from Logan and Rory that love is a choice, if you make the choice to love the person, you are accepting their best and their worst.
3. Road Trip with your Best Friend… That’s a Girl…The summer before meeting Mr. Bird, I went on an adventure. I surprised my best friend Amanda for her birthday in Skagway, Alaska. I flew there and then we spent a few days making the road trip from Alaska to Boise, Idaho. If you have never been in the same car for 4 days straight, I can tell you that you are going to come out of it loving them or hating them. I came out loving my friend Amanda. One of my biggest fears of getting married was spending a lot of time with the person (because I am an introvert and love being by myself). This long road trip taught me that it was possible. I let down my guard and learned new qualities about myself. It helped me get over that fear.
4. Served in My Church… Now, this can be for any faith, any position, and for any time length. What I am referring to is my mission. I learned what it was like to live away from family and to make sacrifices. I learned how to do hard things and to rely on God. I built a firm foundation of what I believed. I saw families who didn’t live with religious beliefs and they struggled, they lacked something great. I learned and have made it my goal to find someone who wanted the same thing. A family and home built on faith and God. I also learned the value of serving and what it can do for relationships. Serving others can break down barriers and allow you to love someone even when you are mad at them.
5. Survive a Broken Heart. Everyone must survive a broken heart in their lifetime. It is inevitable. I never thought that I would have to. I always had the idea that I would date one person and that would be it. That wasn’t the case for me. My life was a hot mess after break ups. The relationships just never felt right. What I learned from having my heart broken a few times was that I had the ability to care for someone, that I could open up my shallow mind and let someone in. I needed to learn this so that when it was the right time with the right person, I knew I could let them in and care for them the way they deserved. Knowing what a broken heart feels like makes a heart full of love mean that much more.
6. Graduate College… One of the reasons I say this is because dating after graduation is a lot less stressful. You don’t have to pick studying for a test over a weekend away. The other reason I liked it, is because I had already defined who I was through what I studied at college. I didn’t have to change my career goals because I had met a boy. I was able to focus my time on school and was able to be successful. When you are spending so much money for your education, it is nice to have it not interrupted. I know this is not always the case, for me it was perfect. I have a one track mind 🙂
7. Have a Grown Up Job… Graduating college led me to a job. I have loved being able to use my degree that I put so much effort into. I have been able to build up a resume, network, and complete projects. I have learned how to work in an office. All of my experience is preparing me to work from home, something that I have craved ever since the snuggie was invented.
8. Build up a savings Account…I am not saying I am a sugar momma, but I am not worried about how many Ramen Noddle’s to buy for Mr. Bird and me. Having a grown up job means grown up money. I have been building up my savings account since I was 12. Money is something that puts stress on any marriage, whether newlyweds or those who have hit 20 years. Beginning a marriage itself is stressful and it is expensive, saving as much money as you can before would be the smartest thing you could do…
9. Use Private Boards… It is no secret that girls at a certain age (pretty much from the time they are born) want to plan their weddings. The greatest invention in mankind (not really) was the Private Board function on Pinterest. You are going to have those days where you just want to dream about your wedding. It is natural, but the whole world doesn’t need to know you are planning your wedding before you have met the boy. Let’s be honest, boy’s Google us before they take us on a date. Do you want the first thing for them to see is the 10ct diamond, the tiny baby clothes for your first born, and ways to get along with your husband? I know that they are super cute and you want it now, but scaring them before the first date almost always results in no second date… Perhaps go private on those 🙂
10. Find Happiness in Singlehood… I have seen so many people resort to marriage because they are simply unhappy in their “single” life. I urge you not to make that the reason. Do it because you are in love. Being single is great, at times it may seem not so much, but you have your whole life to be married. Find out who you are and who you want to be, what you like and dislike, find your passions. Learn to be happy when you are by yourself, so that when you find someone you can make you happy you know it is genuine. Getting married doesn’t solve problems; solve some of your problems before your marriage becomes one.
There are so many other things that I am happy I did before I got engaged, but these are the ones that stick out. Valentine’s Day is coming up; I would recommend taking number 10 into consideration. Learning to be happy without a man/woman will make loving them so much easier. The last thing is timing; nothing will happen unless it is the right time, be patient. Now if you hate me even more, the target is below 😉