Welcome, my friends, to a blog post that has seen drafts like no other. You see, I have been keeping something from you. A secret of sorts, even though it is the worst-kept secret of all. A long time ago it was a real secret, but that chapter finished a long time ago, and at some point it stopped being “a private thing I’m not ready to share” and became “a wellknown thing I am pointlessly hiding”. In conversations I found myself using the wrong terminology to shocked and bemused friends; in other conversations, I deliberately sat myself down and blurted it out to smiles and whoops. In one case, a friend leapt up and smashed 8 drinks off a table.
Then the news became commonplace, and not news at all. It became a fact of life; something the postman asked about, or the opening statement somebody used when introducing me to a new person. But in all of this, I had not told you: my loyal and lovely readers. I never really acknowledge you, out there; mostly because I have no idea who the majority of you are and also because I write purely for myself and try not to concern myself with who might be reading. But some of you message me or comment on this blog, and you always have such kind things to say. And as time went on it felt less like a secret I was keeping and more like a lie. And I don’t want to lie. So, this post is a first: this post is for you, and you alone. I will learn nothing.
So, I suppose this is our engagement announcement. Yes, really. Magic! Now the secret is out and we have come clean. I say “I suppose”, because it really has been the worst kept secret in the world (there has been a wedding plan board on my Pinterest now for well over a year), and also because this was the final place to tell in the whole wide world after we dutifully went through our whole lives telling everyone we know. It took some time; my mum passed on the news Stateside to the family grapevine; my Dad bore the news south to relatives in Africa, and I waited in London for non-local friends to visit so I could regale them with the happy facts. We received a card, another, a third: there is a small collection now which beam at me from the wardrobe and make me smile every morning. At times it was hard with our families, waiting for congratulations which never really arrived; but today our friends celebrate with us instead and we feel loved in a different way. That matters. Cherish your friends.
Getting engaged itself felt like a mere acknowledgement of what had already been overwhelmingly obvious for some time. One of the most mundane, pedestrian and straightforward conversations I’ve ever had. But sharing it has been weird; I wasn’t expecting so many people to have ideas about “officiality” and I also wasn’t expecting so many people to be happy for me. I say “me”, it’s obviously not my news alone, and that’s part of the reason I’ve neglected to mention it so far. Ryan is out there with a public career too, after all. But, like all our previous news, we reached a point where it was easier to acknowledge this publicly rather than continue to hide it. And that’s it really. I’ve written paragraphs and paragraphs about why we got engaged, when, how; attempts to tell the whole story that I thought might be of interest. But honestly, I don’t know what you’d want from that, and I think all that really matters is that you know. Big love to you for always being patient and kind, and thank you to my friends for, yet again, letting me take my time with things and granting me your silence until now. You can tweet about the #lyanwedding now 😉 X