Wednesday, October 25, 2006


Imagine the perfect fall day. The air is crisp and clean. The colors are vibrant and warm as the whole world is lit up in a palette of oranges, reds and yellows. There is a slight breeze in the air that makes it just cool enough to need a light coat, and as the wind blows through the trees, the leaves sound like the whispered laughter of little children. The leaves begin to let go of the trees and drift through the air creating a confetti of autumn charm. This was Saturday, October 21, 2006.

Fall is a season that although a prelude to winter and the inevitable dormancy of nature, is remarkably alive. It is inviting and comfortable, a time of warm apple cider, tasty soups, jackets, scarves and the smell of roasted chestnuts on street corners. People are naturally more bundled up, their cheeks rosy from the cold, and the touch of joy on their lips. I love the fall. Saturday was the perfect day for a farewell to summer and a welcome for a change of season.

I have experienced many changes of seasons in my life, literally and figuratively. I often complain about the cold in the winter and the stifling humidity in the summer, but I do enjoy the passing from one season to the next. I feel like they are mini milestones in life signaling that one chapter is over and the next is about to begin. As leaves fall making way for snow and then snow making way for flowers, I find that my life moves in much the same fashion. I am alive and thriving through all seasons only I am changed through it all. I am not the same person I was last year at this time. I am a better, wiser and lovelier version of myself. But that only happens when I can shed some parts of myself to make room for the new pieces to grow. As the summer waves goodbye and I welcome in the autumn, I wave goodbye to a very familiar way of life and welcome in a new one.

Being single is not a curse. It is a time to be enjoyed and treasured. It is one of the only times in life where we can be truly and justifiably selfish. It is a time of exploration, adventure, growth, experimentation and expansion. And I have loved it. I won’t lie and say there weren’t times when I would have rather the pains of growth and expansion given way to something less painful and annoying, but I can say from hindsight that it really was all worth it. I have tried to take advantage of every opportunity in my way, and it has afforded me some of the richest and most memorable experiences of my life. And ultimately, my zest for life and passion for not having missed opportunities but rather taking risks because I only have one life to live has gotten me to a point I am not sure I ever thought I would actually reach. I remember thinking many times that I couldn’t imagine not being the center of the social universe. A year ago, I was there. Now I find myself passing up parties, get togethers and other social events… and for what? Cameron. I haven’t thrown myself entirely out of the single social circle. I have kept a foot in making it convenient for me to enter the festivities whenever I choose. But I no longer feel the need to be the one planning the parties at my house every weekend or coordinating large groups of people for fun filled activities every night of the week. I have passed that card on to someone else, and I have to say that I am somewhat happy to be relieved of the responsibility. Now, I find my time is spent mostly with Cameron and with other close friends. As I get older, I find that I pick and choose more consciously and carefully what relationships I focus on and friendships have become much more about quality and not quantity.

In less than six months I am going to voluntarily remove myself from the world of singledom forever, and I am looking forward to it. How did this happen, one might ask. Well, it happened as silently and comfortably as the changing of the seasons. One day in January Cameron asked me on a date. Then he asked me another date. And then another. Pretty soon we realized we loved each other. And then we realized we needed each other. And somewhere in the middle of it all we fell in love with each other. One day we decided that we need look no further because the perfect person for each of us was standing right in front of our eyes. So we decided that we wanted to be together forever. It all happened so naturally and so beautifully. There was no lamentation for what we were leaving behind along the way. We looked forward for what changes lay ahead and what blossoms would come in the coming seasons. I have been with Cameron for almost a full cycle of seasons. Relationships have seasons… we went from going on dates to dating to being serious to being technically engaged and now to engaged. And when the winter melts and turns to spring, we will officially welcome a new season in our relationship.

It is a story worth telling because someday some grandchild will want to know how their grandparents met, fell in love and got engaged. Luckily, there were no major sporting event marquis proposals involved because that would have been truly horrifying. Rather it happened on the perfect fall day. Cameron and I had planned to spend the afternoon together in Central Park taking the row boats out across the lake since it was the last weekend they would be available until spring. We rushed over after a busy morning of painting murals at PS119 in Brooklyn and working barely making it 3 minutes before the cutoff. We were the last boat to go out. The west side was lit up in a golden glow from the afternoon sun making the trees around the lake light up as if they were on fire. We rowed all around that lake talking and laughing and enjoying the wonders of this fantastic city that we live in. We spotted some friends on the bank near the Rambles taking pictures. After a mini photo shoot, we invited them to join us in our row boat for a quick spin around the lake. We ferried them across the lake to a wooden gazebo where we dropped them off and parted ways. Cameron and I continued to row around the lake almost completely alone as most of the boats had gone back. As we rowed toward the dock with the sun beginning its descent, Cameron stopped under the bridge and told me he wanted to kiss me under the bridge. I told him to make it quick because I didn’t want to get pooped on by any of the pigeons that were nesting above our heads. How romantic of me. He kissed me and in a very suave and smooth movement reached into his pocket, pulled out a little blue velvet box, which he flipped open as he got on one knee in the boat. As he told me he loved me and asked me to marry him, the tears came, but luckily I could get a yes out. Of course, it is no surprise that I would say yes, but all the same asking someone to marry you is probably the most flattering compliment since you are essentially saying that there is no other person you would rather spend eternity with.

So now I find myself in a position I never really thought I would find myself in. Engagements, weddings, etc. were always things other girls did and I just supported. Now it’s me. Now I am the one planning my own wedding, and it’s exciting and crazy and fun and a million other things. The past couple of days have been emotionally overwhelming. I always wanted to marry my best friend, and now I get to. I can truly say that I am experiencing a kind of happiness I never imagined. I don’t lament leaving my single life behind. I had a good run. I took advantage of the fun times, opportunities and experiences and I have a million memories to take with me. Things just keep getting better every day. Every season gets a little more beautiful, fun and memorable. I am enjoying every moment of this 5 ½ month celebration of my single life. And then I will relinquish it willingly with grand fanfare on April 7, 2007 in Manhattan… the city where it all began…

1 comment:

Rachel said...

I think congratulations are in order!!! Hi Nikki! wow! I just found out and after reading your beautiful blog/story...come to find out that I missed it by only 4 days. :) Congratulations to you and Cameron! :) I can't wait to see pictures!!
By the look great!'s been a long time.
rachel :)