Ah, what a few 3,500 meter mountains will do to put everything in perspective. Taiwan is a tiny island, and we are two single expats on it, out of several hundred thousand Westerners, and quite a few more expats from other Asian countries. And yet, as insignificant as I am on this teeming, overpopulated rock, the wedding was taking on ridiculous proportions, overwhelming my life and becoming the center of everything I thought was important. To the point where I wondered what it was like to be someone who didn't really care about The Wedding, or Any Wedding. I am not really the “OMG it's the most specialest day of my liiiife!” kinda girl, so when I realized that I was becoming that girl without actually believing the hype, well, that was doubly worrying.
I was feeling frazzled before we left. I also felt like every single conversation I had with B. was about the wedding — guest this or guest that, food this or food that, schedule this, thing that, dingbat this, thank you card that, googaw this, lanterns that — we hadn't talked normally in weeks. There was no visible strain on our relationship, but I had noticed. I do think that the fact that we've gone through this period without one fight or disagreement or even annoyance is a sign of how strong our relationship is. (Okay, a few moments of annoyance but we've been planning this for a year, so that would have happened anyway.)
Who would have thought that planning a party, even one where you celebrate a momentous milestone, would suck so much out of you? I do emphasize the “party” aspect because the actual life-changing milestone isn't really that hard to plan once you know you want to do it. The party afterwards is what can really grind you down.
So we grabbed our friends, rented a car, and drove up to the highest mountains in Taiwan that are accessible — nothing like cool, crisp evenings, even in a subtropical country in August, mindbending mountain vistas, good local food, fresh peaches, apples and vegetables and a few mix CDs to stop, defrag and reboot with only three weeks to go.
We got cabins on a farm homestay with an amazing view, chatted with locals, took a night walk up the ridge nearby where we could see a billion stars (something I don't get to see in Taipei), and getting back to find the gates to the farm locked so we had to climb over the fence.
It reminded me how really unimportant it all is. That, yes, it's a lot of money but it's still just a party. The part where we get married is more than that, but as I said, that's easy to plan. It may be a lot of money to us, but in the grand scheme of things (by things I mean not just six billion people but also oceans, mountains and stars) it's really a lob of spit in a lake. It's nothing.
And it was so good to just forget it all for a while, hang with our friends and talk about interesting things, having the sorts of conversations that made us all friends to begin with, and spending Non Wedding Time with my fiance again. It was literally like a ball of stress that I hadn't even known was lodged between my shoulder blades just vaporized.
I loved my No Wedding Talk Weekend. It was just what I needed. If you can, you should take one too.