I was jealous. And it was wrong. I’m a girl with a lot of good stuff — lucky, blessed, fortunate — whatever, I need for nothing and never have.
I debated on whether to share this — but here goes.
Some of you read my “Why I Don’t Want a Wedding” post. I’m still okay with that. I didn’t just say it, I’m really okay with it.
But, I always thought I would definitely get that honeymoon I wanted. First, it was Tahiti or Fiji. For years, I’ve dreamed of it. I let go of that one awhile back when I realized how insanely expensive it would be. And so, I said Hawaii would be wonderful. I couldn’t wait to start planning. In fact, I was emailing people about it before we got engaged and they were confused, asking me — wait, are you engaged? Um, not yet but…it’s coming.
And so it came and I dove into websites. I know plenty of people pay for their own weddings and honeymoons. And since we were only doing the second half, I figured we could swing it. Even with a monetary gift from my parents, though, everything that I found was so expensive. It pained me to think of dishing out the money it would take to make this dream honeymoon come true.
After talking to Rick and thinking hard about it, I decided to give up the dream of Hawaii as well. We have a future to think about — one that begins, essentially, right now. It would be nice if we were 24 and had a few years to think about having kids or buying a home, building up savings — but we don’t. We’re in the thick of it and if I were to do this “dream honeymoon,” I’d be sacrificing the foundation of what we are building toward.
When I realized we’d have to pay the majority of our trip, I was really disappointed. I started feeling jealous and bitter towards those whose families paid for weddings and honeymoons. I started to wonder how anyone actually gets through these engagements, weddings, honeymoons and comes out with a dime leftover.
But, reality check, Ericka — shut up. I have felt like a total jerk. Feeling sorry for myself that I don’t get what I want? Seriously, this had to stop. I had to level with myself. I had to remind myself that this is partly my fault. I’ve not been a responsible spender as an adult. I could have a huge savings right now that allowed me the luxury of a vacation but…over the years, I’ve spent my money on experiences.
I don’t regret it. I don’t regret a single experience. I’m kind of a “live in the moment,” take a chance, just do it person. I’ve done it — and I’ve got a lot of great stories, beautiful moments, unforgettable days and people — priceless. But I exchanged having a savings, a home, and other things for it. I’m 31 — I should have more to show for myself.
Plus — the bigger thing on top of all of this? Most people in the world are dirt poor. A home, a good job, a good family, STUFF, vacations — all things I take for granted. I sponsor three different people in Ethiopia and Congo each month just so they can have enough food to eat and money to attend school. It’s sad how easy it is to lose sight of our extreme fortunes in America.
The funny thing is, something I read in a book by C.S. Lewis today. It reads:
“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires to be not too strong but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in the slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
Now, you’d think this may not exactly gel with what I’m saying — but I think it does. I think I want the wrong things. If I got this “dream honeymoon,” — it’s like just this temporary, worldly desire. A week come and gone — $5,000+ down the drain (and imagine adding an actual wedding to that…). I should be aiming for something more, something bigger and better — lasting and joyous.
You may think I’m taking this too far. Fine. But I’ve been wrestling with it for several weeks and these are the things that went through my head.
When I finally surrendered the “dream honeymoon,” this weekend, it felt kind of freeing. I still don’t know what we are going to do. We will go somewhere to celebrate — do something — and we will spend far less than I originally thought we “deserved.”
But like the wedding, the honeymoon isn’t really what’s important here. What’s important is LOVE — and you can’t buy that.