Saturday, September 29, 2012

2012: The Wedding Invasion

This year has been a busy year for a lot of people, it seems. I have noticed it not just in my life, but in the lives of my close friends and family and also in the lives of my past friends and acquaintances (Thanks go out to Facebook for allowing us all to creep on each other). And I have noticed something....

2012 is a year of Wedding Invasion.

Like, seriously, I can think of at least 10 people I know or have known closely that got married this year or are to be married before the year is out, just off the top of my head.


I sometimes think about it and it gives me the willies like thinking about infestations will do for most people.

Now, don't get me wrong - I'm a hopeless romantic at heart and love a good love story and happily-ever-after as much as the next Disney-story-loving, wedding-pinterest-board-owning, daydreaming girl. BUT holy shit, it's a lot of weddings. I was even in one, for goodness' sake.

Granted, I am at that age where everyone and their dog is trying to get hitched. Early to mid 20's are prime tying the knot ages for many a couple. It's perfect for many, because people in my age group are "just starting the lives": they just graduated from college, they've been dating their significant other for a few years now, they're getting ready to settle into the hum-drum of adult working life, start their own life, and begin the journey of creating a family. What better thing to do than sign the line and get hitched??

But, then again, I'm glad I didn't join that crusade for marriage this year. I wouldn't want to share my anniversary year with so many people so close to my age... or with so many people I know so closely.
It's a selfish desire - but I really want my wedding and following anniversaries to be as unique to me as they can be and so that means trying to separate my wedding date as far from people who are in similar life situations and stages as me as possible.

Aside from this, I do wish all my wedded friends and acquaintances sincere congratulations - Marriage is a big deal and cause for fabulous and wondrous celebration! You have found love and solidified it from now until you part.

I will say this, though, having so many weddings occur has given me a wide variety of weddings to observe and thus given me a lot notes-to-self regarding my own. I'm sure I'll share more of them some time (probably when it's more applicable to my current life situation), but I'll just list a couple here:
  • I won't be buying my dress from David's Bridal. They're too commercialized and they're not nearly organized enough to fit their claim of being wedding experts. Not only that, but like I said before, I want my wedding to be unique. I want to prevent anyone from walking into a bridal store and saying "Oh, that's the dress Jenny wore for her wedding." My dress is going to be mine as much as it can be. I'm not saying I want a custom dress - that's too pricey for something I'll only wear once. But I definitely don't want to support the wedding dress monopoly that is David's Bridal. I'll be supporting local bridal boutiques and I'll have my mom alter my dress - both of those things are more personal to me and my community. Just the way I'd like it. 
  • I will be paying for my bridesmaids' dresses. They accepted the invitation to be in my wedding as a kindness to me. They will also be needing to make arrangements for accommodations, travel, and other expenses galore. It's the least that I can do & I don't care if it's not tradition. 
And now for some inspiring wedding ideas, that I have found via Pinterest (of course), that I hope to maybe incorporate into my wedding in my own way. I've got this idea of a "tree wedding" running around in my mind, I think it's a great theme and it suits me well. I love trees and the symbolism of them (but that's a whole other blog post, I think! :) )

  1. Tree branches with names or initials carved in a heart - centerpieces. Great way to use the remains of a tree someone removed from their land. via here.
  2. A must-do photo of the bride and her dog. I love this. via stylemeprettycom here.
  3. Thumbprint guestbook tree. Thumbprints for leaves, names/messages signed on the leaf. Perfect. via August & After at here.
  4. Bridal bouquets utilizing succulents. One way to have a more eco-friendly wedding. Many more ideas and beautiful pictures of eco-friendly wedding ideas via here.
  5. Using part of a tree trunk as the cake stand (using more of that felled tree!). via here.
  6. Little baby tree saplings as wedding favors. Encourage people to plant a tree. Saving the world one tree at a time. Love it. via here.
I've been laughed at for my idea of a tree wedding & honestly, I can't see why. I'm still fully sold on the premise. Do you fancy a cool theme? Have you been to a wedding that was fabulously set up? One that was less fabulous? 

Thank you for indulging in this silly little observation of life and wandering down the topic of weddings. It was more of just word-vomit on the subject, but in friendship, sometimes that what you talk about: just simple thoughts and observations. 

May the road rise up to meet you, friend.
Hopefully, it won't be so long until my next post as it was since my last. 

Stay excellent!
- Jenny - 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Up on My Soapbox about Suicide Prevention

It surrounds the World Suicide Prevention Day of September 10th.
There are a lot of misconceptions and incorrect ideas about suicide and depression out there, especially on the internet. For some trustworthy facts, I would send you to the non-profit movement To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA), to Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE), or to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). To read a little blurb about the mission of these various organizations I have below the mission statement of TWLOHA from their Vision page.
"To Write Love on Her Arms is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire, and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery."
I have supported TWLOHA for about five years by purchasing t-shirts and helping to spread a better understanding of depression and suicide.

Though I have not personally endeavored through depression or thoughts of suicide, I have been the one to stand between someone I love and his/her bitter, cold end. I was what my loved one called "the only reason" he/she did not commit suicide.

Having been that close to the issue, having had my heart on the line for this issue, yet still having the distance from it to not be the one considering giving in - this has given me a strong passion for suicide prevention.

I cannot emphasize enough what a serious topic this is. 
It infuriates me when people take it lightly, joke about it, or otherwise demean the issue.

For example, I have personally been told to "buy a gun and one bullet" by someone who was angry with me over something inconsequential. When I tried to interpret this order and give the person the benefit of the doubt (saying to myself, they couldn't have meant what they said), the person continued to stand by their statement. So I realized, I had been told to go commit suicide.

Now, I am in no danger of ever taking an order or threat such as this seriously. I am a calm-waters and smooth-sailing kind of personality and the struggles that I've seen have given me strength in myself.
But what if, this wasn't said to me?
And I know that this isn't a what-if scenario - people are told to kill themselves all the time. Most of the time,  the people who say it don't mean it. But that doesn't change the fact that we as a society make light of this dark issue, this real problem. It doesn't change the fact that people go around telling other people to kill themselves.

If I can't get you to feel so strongly about suicide prevention to personally involve yourself in the movements and the work being done to fight it, then I hope to at least get you to feel strongly about the fact that suicide isn't funny or a joke or fake. Suicide and depression are REAL.

They're real issues affecting real people with real families and friends.
They're real issues that take real lives.

You don't have to volunteer at a Suicide Prevention event or hotline.
You don't have to buy a t-shirt (though, they are pretty sweet).
You don't have to donate your money to the causes.
You don't have to be the one chasing people down to tell them that they don't need to take their own lives.

All you have to do is to understand, to feel, to love.
Just know that suicide happens. Know that depression has real consequences.
And know the people just like you, just like your parents, just like your siblings, just like you grandparents, just like your friends - people like the people you love are suffering in one way or another from depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide and they need our support. 

Take a moment this week to pray for, to think about, to consider, and to learn about the people who suffer and the people who are trying to help.

Knowledge is power and the more people that understand the more inviting and welcoming the world will be for these people who are considering leaving it for good.

Spread the love and think twice about what you say.
Stay excellent.
- Jenny -