I am a golden bowl of weird.

It's not a secret that I don't always make the best of choices. 

I set off fire alarms just by boiling water.

I trip over my own feet. 

I say ridiculous things when the situation gets awkward and uncomfortable, which inevitably just makes the situation even more awkward and uncomfortable.

My body is all messed up due to a birth defect.

I'm smart about some things, but not most things. 

I don't know how cars work and driving gives me anxiety. 

Most things give me anxiety. 

I'm basically just constantly making a fool of myself. 

And so one would think that I'd be super down for fixing all of these things.

But the truth is, I'm not so much interested in fixing these things as I am in finding a way to balance them. 

Because I like me and I don't want to become one of those people who is constantly at peace with myself.

World peace? Yes, please.

Inner peace? 

Don't get me wrong: I want to fix some things. The physical stuff can be a real drag. I hate having monthly migraines and the fact that my hips always hurt, so I try to do yoga every day - I even like the meditation part of it a lot, so I'm not dragging on that at all. 

But I also think that part of that whole narrative of self-care which has become so buzzy these past few years is not so much about learning to "be better" and more at peace and all "ommy" all the time, but to just love your dang self - not in a "look at me I'm so awesome" kind of way, but in a "I ENJOY BEING AROUND MYSELF EVEN THOUGH I'M WEIRD BECAUSE WEIRD IS FUN" kind of way. 

And it's not that I'm not constantly trying to be a better person or version of myself. I'm constantly improving. 

I just don't think that I need fixing. 

Maybe instead we should treat ourselves like one of those Japanese Kintsugi bowls where when it breaks, people just put the pieces back together by filling in the fractured bits with a special gold lacquer, thus making the bowl even prettier than it was before. All because it was broken.

I'm weird and anxious and I use cartoon-like voices to express myself.

I talk to my dogs (and I believe they talk back through me).

I have irrational fears of sharks in pools.

I know that my toilet is haunted, which is a thing that excites me rather than scares me although it probably should because ghosts possessing you through your toilet bits is VERY concerning.

My body is screwed up and I'm working on that.

I often go down rabbit holes of trying to live a zero waste life only to end up accumulating a bunch of trash. 

This is who I am. 

And if I wasn't that, then what the heck would I write about?

Homemade yogurt recipes that you can freeze in your old toilet paper rolls to make your own push-pops probably... but doesn't the internet have enough of those? 

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.

Complainers Gonna Complain -- Just Not to the Right People.

I'm terrible at complaining. Actually, that is a total lie. I'm amazing at complaining. I'm just terrible at complaining to the people who can actually solve the problem.

For example, a friend of mine texted me today with a picture of an incredibly disappointing sandwich that cost her ten dollars.

Me after seeing the photo: Oh dear...

Her: I was so sad when I opened the box... This used to be my favorite sandwich!

Me: I would complain.... Actually that's not true. I wouldn't complain, but I'd want to, and then they'd come and ask me how everything was and I'd be all, "Oh this is delicious, thanks so much! Are you guys number one on Yelp around here? Because you totally should be." 

Her: Same here! 

Me: And then I'd complain to everyone else in the world about it. Because I'm productive. 

And then something hit me: When do I ever actually complain to the person who can fix the problem I'm having?

If I'm not feeling well, I whine to Boyfriend about it instead of actually going to a doctor or the drug store. (Side note, I actually count this as partially effective because by complaining about it to Boyfriend, he often goes to the drug store and takes care of me, which in turn means that I actually did complain to the right person. He doesn't necessarily agree. His reasons are ridiculous.)

If someone hurts my feelings, I will talk to everyone else in the world I can before I confront them about it. I will call my sister and tell her about it, and then I'll call my best friend and talk to her about it, and Boyfriend will definitely get an ear-full for WEEKS about how frustrating and insensitive that jerk was to me, but if someone were to suggest that I actually open up and be vulnerable and confront the person responsible for my hurt feelings? No, thank you. BEING VULNERABLE IS HARD AND I DON'T WANT TO.

Bad service at a restaurant? You're totally still getting over-tipped, but I'll say something to my friends about how lame our experience was once we're out the door because I don't want to hurt your feelings and I'm sure your day was really hard or something like that.

At this rate, if my house caught on fire, I'd call my best friend who lives three hours away before I actually dial 9-1-1 and admit that something has gone wrong.

Why? Because addressing problems makes me incredibly anxious.

If I have to address an issue, it means telling someone that they did something wrong, or it means admitting to someone else (like a doctor) that I did something wrong. And nobody likes to be aware of their mistakes, and I certainly don't enjoy being the bearer of bad news. I want to be the person that says "Hey! You did an awesome thing! And I feel awesome! Yaaaaaay us!!"

So, until I figure out how to look at a waiter or waitress and say "This food sucks... and you're awesome," I think I will just swallow my horrible sandwiches and complain about them on the Internet. Because that way we're all happy, right? ....Right?