Again, where to start? I really have to work on being more accountable with blogging! I’m back in Scandinavia. We arrived over 2 weeks ago and have been swamped since we arrived. So much has happened in the past month, but I’ll share about our time in San Diego on my next post. One big announcement to make, my boyfriend and I are engaged!
In terms of engagement, things in Europe have a different system than in the states. One of the biggest things I’ve noted about Sweden and Norway is the emphasis on gender equality. The discussion of the possibility of marriage has seemed natural especially given our long-distance and the never ceasing issue of the visa. Last summer, I knew I needed to tell my boyfriend that permission or a blessing from my parents would be a crucial step in the process of an engagement. Our conversation went something like…
Me: ‘Are you going to ask my parents for their permission to marry me?’
Him: “Are you going to ask mine?”
I was surprised in a way as the responsibility is usually left to the man in the states. However, it didn’t bother me at all, I just found it stretched my mind in a new direction. Typically in American culture, the guy would meet the girl’s parents without her knowledge and ask for their blessing to marry their daughter. More often than not, follows a surprise and sometimes elaborate proposal that usually “knocks her off her feet.” Weddings in America are often involved events, with lots of guests, alcohol, food, and dancing. The time between the moment of proposal to the actual event itself is often within the following year. Hollywood certainly only perpetuates this image as it constantly projects that sort of American wedding in films worldwide.
When I’ve told my friends in the states that we’re engaged, two responses are usually evoked: How did he propose? and When is the date?
The proposal wasn’t a formal one. It was more about him asking my parents during a conversation over the dinner table at home; a conversation that I knew was going to happen. My parents were essentially asking him loads of questions about his future plans and intentions and the question came up rather organically.
As far as dates go, we haven’t set one. We’ll be traveling around a bit the next year as I’m still waiting for my visa, and will hopefully have my official visa for Sweden by January of 2014. However, as of now, we’ll be in Asia for all of Autumn and the beginning of winter.
Another thing is the ring. We’ve decided to go against the traditional diamond ring. We are now both wearing recycled sterling silver rings from Me & Ro. The rings are in Tibetan with the Buddhist Four Immeasurables of Maitri (Love), Karuna (Compassion), Mudita (Joy), and Upeska (Equanimity). We both feel this is a good reminder to wear as we approach each other and others on this journey together.
This autumn we’ll be embarking on an online lineage training program where we’ll study Buddhism. Its my wish that this will help cultivate the traits to help me be a better partner and individual in our first real year together without a long distance separation.
A time for love, learning, growth, balance and equanimity is never more apparent for me now. I’m so happy and at peace with everything right now. It feels harmonious and exciting!
I love you B and am so excited to be on this path with you!