Side effects of engagement

Appreciating the city from Central Park...
Appreciating the city from Central Park…
Fantastic espresso followed by Central Park...a brisk (ha) 65 degree day in November!
Fantastic espresso followed by Central Park…a brisk (ha) 65 degree day in November!
First broadway show for the boyfriend, first together.
First broadway show for the boyfriend, first together.
The view from our friends' apartment...no kidding.
The view from our friends’ apartment…no kidding.
I'm saying it...Best bakery in NYC!
I’m saying it…Best bakery in NYC!
Apparently this is the 'temporary' ring and I get a new one next week...do I also get flown to New York again next week? Just asking.
Apparently this is the ‘temporary’ ring and I get a new one next week…do I also get flown to New York again next week? Just asking.
Post-engagement tapas with sweet friends.
Post-engagement tapas with sweet friends.
Homecoming surprise with dear friends, my madre, prosecco and Sprinkles gluten free cupcakes of course!
Homecoming surprise with dear friends, my madre, prosecco and Sprinkles gluten free cupcakes of course!
Banksy? Or just a look-alike? Either way, it is true.
Banksy? Or just a look-alike? Either way, it is true.

Last week I found myself in an unexpected but all-consuming state of crazy. Somewhere between fearing discussing marriage with the boyfriend, rolling my eyes at yet another engagement announcement on Facebook and scoffing at friends’ complaints about how frustrating the post-talk, pre-engagement phase is, I had the overwhelming realization: I need a wedding Pinterest board. Like now.

Within a few hours I was right beside those friends, pinning all the things and moaning, “Why doesn’t he just do it already so I don’t have to be stuck waiting around? I don’t even know if it will really happen! Not to mention waiting for my fate to be instigated by a man is decidedly insulting for my feminist sensibilities…but there’s still no chance I’m the one proposing.”

Crazy.

Little did I know I wouldn’t have to wait more than a few days, as I was whisked off to New York City for the weekend with loverly friends, front mezzanine Broadway musical seats, a leisurely Central Park stroll, gluten/dairy/soy-free baked deliciousness from Babycakes and finally, a candlelit rooftop proposal overlooking the New Yorker and Empire State buildings. (Yeah, he might be a keeper.)

It turns out, though, getting engaged only exponentially increases the amount of uncertainty. Not only are there actual wedding plans to make (blagh), but we’re going to have to broach everything from worrying about people’s feelings to wondering where we’re going to live to actually figuring out this whole getting my own medical insurance thing.

And then there’s the questions. So many questions. I realize it’s only been a week so everyone’s just really excited for us (and truthfully, rant aside, I am too), but it worries me. I’m still the exact same person. Same goals, dreams, struggles and passions. For some reason, when a girl gets engaged, everyone seems to forget about this. Suddenly, wedding planning is all anyone thinks to ask about. I’ve seen it happen (and been guilty of perpetuating this myself), and it just makes me want to yell, I’m a whole person!

This is one reason I’m super grateful for my awesome friends, in addition to a whole lot of support and surprise celebrations, they just…talk. I had dinner with one such friend this week. After spending an hour and a half sharing work stories and life updates, we finally got around to talking about The Engagement. But you know what she was more interested in than the proposal story? Talking about how she’s seen us grow in our relationship over the past two years of our friendship and how neat it has been to see us appreciate each other the more we understand each other. Love her.

All that said, it has been quite fun typing this whole thing with a shiny diamond on my finger. 😉

It’s all happening

Istanbul - Hagia Sophia

We had a plan.

After sharing my unfounded but very real passion for Istanbul with my now roommate, we made a pact to make the trip at the end of our lease together – a last hurrah for us in a way, and if things kept on the path they seemed to be, perhaps even a last hurrah for my ‘single’ self.

Partly in hopes of rationing the voice in my head that said things like too far, too expensive, too different, I tried to be responsible. I plotted vacation days on my calendar. I spent hours researching the best credit card for miles (Chase Sapphire Preferred, by the way) then actually got it this time. I steered clear of city research to avoid getting too excited too soon or worse, let down.

Istanbul Streets

Then out of the blue, I got a text: “I can go to Istanbul!!! Let’s GO”

The five (or ten) that followed were filled with dates, exclamation points, summer sale prices and more than our fair share of smiley face variations. One quick trip to Starbucks later we had researched plane tickets and the roommate was literally bouncing off the chair to hit “purchase” when that voice came back again with “reasons”…what if it uses all of my vacation days, what if it costs too much without all my bonus miles, what if it disrupts my dietary needs/issues?

I’m a pretty impulsive traveler by nature, so all this hesitation was so unlike me. For example, my first ticket to New York was purchased on a whim immediately upon opening a travel deal email and without a second thought toward where we’d sleep…and it turned out to be one of the best weeks of my life!

Turkish Coffee in Istanbul

One week later, though, it was clear: the only thing holding me back from Istanbul was me. With the green light from my work and bank, there really was no reason NOT to hit purchase…so we did.

That’s right – I’ll be spending an entire week in ISTANBUL in just 5 weeks! We also timed it perfectly to squeeze out a weekend in New York beforehand.

Pamukkale Turkey

Seriously.

If you’ve been following Finding Tiffany’s for awhile, my wanderlust is no secret. It’s also no secret that I’ve been obsessing over both Istanbul and New York, specifically, for quite some time now. I’m literally going on my ideal trip, accomplishing my latest major life-travel goal.

I’m not exactly sure when I allowed the aforementioned fear to creep in, but I realize now why it did. It’s kinda a scary thing when you accomplish what you thought was a huge goal much sooner than you expected. Yeah there’s always the fear of being disappointed after all the hype, but really it’s more the wide-open realization…Now what?

In the words of my coworker: “Now you need a bigger goal.”

Istanbul Bridge Europe to Asia, East and West