Officially an Officiant: Thoughts Post Performing a Wedding

I’ve been pretty MIA for awhile now. Overburdened with promises I made without really considering how much they would personally tax me. One of those, really the one with the most to gain/lose, was my agreement to officiate a good friend’s wedding ceremony.

It transpired this past weekend. It went…. far better than I could have hoped, to be honest. My heavy reliance on my ‘inner wolf’, as I jokingly call my tenuous confidence, pulled me through a situation that terrified me. 

After the ceremony and the dinner and the dancing there was an afterparty at a bar just downstairs. I wanted to change out of my spiffy dress and take a moment to myself, so I Irish goodbye’d my way out of the ballroom and escaped to my hotel room.

I never made it to the bar downstairs.

My friends have long accepted that despite working in the service industry surrounded by people, I classify myself as an introvert. Not all of them, especially the newer ones, believe me when I say this though. Until it comes to moments like that one, where I disappear and can’t bring myself to reemerge.

When I moved back to Maryland I knew that I was going to be social. I had missed events and people and holidays for years. There was going to be some kind of push back on all that precious alone time I had enjoyed in Colorado. I knew that. And it wasn’t like I was dreading seeing people I love more often. I wasn’t and I still don’t. But… sometimes it’s painful and I’m not sure how to deal with it.

I do feel hungover from large groups of people. It makes me anxious. And sad. And genuinely less than when I get to be in small groups or left to my own devices. Which is honestly a huge issue given that the main way I know how to make a living is in restaurants, where the only way to survive is on the custom and generosity of many, many strangers.

This update has no purpose and no reason.

I am sad and feeling like less than I should be. Depressed and flattened by what should be blessings. Guilty and angry about what I can’t help feeling. I’m not writing and I’m not moving forward. I’m not reading and not planning for more.

It’s all in my mind. But I can’t cut through it. For officiating the wedding, the new bride and groom gave me a beautiful, thoughtful gift. I love it, and it reflects… so much about our friendships, and their understanding of who I unapologetically am. So much more than a traditional ‘thank you’ gift.

I’m so grateful for the people around me. I’m so lucky for the people around me. So why the hell do I still feel so down?

Jessie Gutierrez

5 thoughts on “Officially an Officiant: Thoughts Post Performing a Wedding

  1. Colorado can make a lot of us feel like we are the beneficiaries of bad decisions…Perhaps in moving home you feel like you have surrendered, tucked your wings back in. But there are great things about the closeness and support of friends and sometimes family, and I’ll bet your writing is packed in with some other baggage right now…Moving is unsettling enough, with new surroundings to emphasize the loss of your familiar writing space…And maybe you have a resurgence of (imagined? anticipated? familiar?) critics in your head. But you are older now. Wiser. Carve out a new den, howl at the moon. It will all come back.

    1. Jessie Gutierrez

      This was… super heartwarming. Thank you, friend, for your kind words and insight. Here’s hoping your words are prophetic =)

  2. Feeling grateful/lucky for the people in your life does not mean you have to sacrifice your own well-being for them. Take some time to yourself. Those people will still be there when you reemerge.

    1. Jessie Gutierrez

      I don’t want it to feel like a sacrifice =/ and I’m not entirely sure I even know how to hide without being found.

      1. But it is a sacrifice when it prevents you from doing the things you want to. If writing or listening to music or being alone for a few hours are good for your mental well-being, then you should do those things without feeling guilty. Just because you were gone for two years doesn’t mean you have to entirely change the lifestyle you had built in CO. Compromise with yourself.

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