And they shall call me "#Sedawson!" Wait. No.

For my birthday The Mr took me to see David Sedaris. He was performing, we didn't pay him a visit or anything. It's not like The Mr was all "Pack a picnic, darling, we're off to visit with David!" and then drove me to some grand estate with groundskeepers and things.

 

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Why are David Sedaris, The Mr, and I suddenly in a Jane Austen novel? None of this seems right... Oh duh, that's because The Mr bought tickets to go see David Sedaris speak in Massachusetts. Now things make more sense.

Clearly, I do not hang out with David Sedaris (and I believe it's pretty obvious that that won't be changing anytime soon.), but I've been a big fan of his since college when Bestbian introduced me to his work. I thought he was funny then, but now my affection for him and his work has grown from being a fan to being inspired. His ability to write an essay is frustratingly brilliant.

 

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The personal essay is something that I've been working hard at lately, and in doing so, I've been turning to his work more and more.

There's just one problem with looking to my heroes for inspiration: They always seem to be more interesting than I am.

David Sedaris seems to witness a completely different world than I do. Jenny Lawson always ends up in these ridiculous situations and conversations. After reading their work, I find myself not feeling inspired, but instead feeling inadequate.

But then David Sedaris said something in response to a question at his reading that changed things for me. A couple people asked him questions about how he got into writing memoir or if he goes out and gets himself into situations for the sake of the story and he began talking about how none of this was ever part of the plan.

"If you read my work, you'll notice that nothing big ever really happens to me," he said. "I just have to figure out how to make something out of nothing most of the time."

He also said something along the lines of how going out and doing something just so that you can write about it immediately turns that story into a lie. He writes about things that happen to him and what he thinks about those things. Staging those situations immediately takes away the truth from the story.

I couldn't stop thinking about this. For weeks prior to this reading, I had been saying to The Mr that we need to go do more interesting things and get ourselves into more interesting situations - all for the sake of having material. Of course, now I realize that this notion is completely ridiculous. I can't put myself in situations like David Sedaris' and Jenny Lawson's and expect the great, fresh material to flow out of me. The world already has David Sedaris and Jenny Lawson. They don't need a Sedaris-Lawson impersonator. (#Sedawson?)

I'm me. It's my perspective and my ideas that should be going into my work. I just need to learn to make something out of nothing.

I simply need to learn to make something out of nothing.

And maybe when I'm feeling like I can't do it or that I have nothing good to say, I'll call my good friend David for a little pick-me-up. Oh... right. I'll just think about that time I sat in an audience of a thousand people and heard some good advice.


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When I Said Yes, I Learned to Say No.

Getting married is often seen as a sign of adulthood. I don't think it's a universal rule, but I don't think that it can be argued that marriage is a thing for children. So, when I got engaged I expected to learn a lot of things, but learning to say no wasn't one of them. I've never been good at saying no to people. I am at my very core a people-pleaser. If someone is sad, I want to cheer them up. If someone is angry, I want to fix it. If I am the cause of any negative feelings, I have a tendency to spiral into a deep hole of self-loathing. After all, my whole internet (and "real world") presence is all about how you are awesome and I am foolish and while we are all a little foolish, we need to learn to embrace it and learn to love ourselves. Together.

So for me to say no to people is... rare. And painful.

But now I have a lot of people and businesses offering to do things for me. And I have a lot of people telling Fiancé and I what our wedding should and should not be like and how things are done and why we shouldn't do them differently.

And I've had to say no. For the sake of saving our sanity and having the wedding that we want.

"No, we do not want passed hors d'oeuvres." (but yes, I will always google how to spell that word)

"No, our wedding party will not be a traditional one."

"No, we will not be doing <insert traditional, but gross ceremonial thing here> because it doesn't jive with who we are."

"I understand that you're nice and just trying to run a business, but no, I will not be paying that much for flowers."

These are all things that used to terrify me. I'm the girl who goes to a flea market and bargains to pay more for something. If I'm being taken advantage of, that's bad karma for them, right?

Wrong.

And I always used to think that I could avoid saying no by disguising it with a yes, but that doesn't work here. Sometimes, especially when planning a wedding, you have to say "No."

And the other tricky part? Not apologizing for it.

The guilt I feel over turning people down is staggering, but I'm also learning that it's a little egocentric. Obviously, I will always take other's feelings into account (or I'll try to), but it turns out that everyone's success doesn't rely on me. It turns out that saying no to some people is actually helpful in weird ways. It feels terrible to say it, and I will be far from bitchy about it (or, again, I'll try), but I don't need to beg for their forgiveness over it.

And all of this is because I'm learning something bigger: Our dreams and what we want is worth fighting for.

Fiancé and I have built what we feel is a beautiful dream for our wedding day. We reserve the right to stick to those plans even if they make others confused or ask questions. If we find vendors who won't do what we want, we've learned that there are vendors and people who will, and saying no to one means saying yes to another. We can't hire everyone and we can't make everyone happy, but what we can do is celebrate our love the way that we want to with the people that we want to and hope that everyone has a blast in the process.

So, I'm here to tell you that it's okay to say no to people when it comes to standing up for what you want and who you are. Be kind about it and be gentle (we are, after all, all human beings), but if you are also a person who hates saying no, give it a shot. Pick your moments, of course (so maybe don't start with your boss), but find someone, who you are constantly just saying yes to in order to avoid confrontation (roommate? sibling? friend?) and say "You know what, that's not what I want. Can we do something different?"

Chances are, they might say yes.