Accidental Joy

by Jessica Lohafer

I am worried I will be a terrible bride.

Exacting, obsessive, overly concerned with unimportant details, I have never been good at letting anyone else run the show. It’s not that I’m mean; event planning doesn’t inspire murderous thoughts within my frame. I just don’t trust people to follow through. Or to do a good enough job. At least, not as good as the job I could do. If I had a wedding my way, I’d probably make all the food, decorate, buy all the gifts ahead of time, and act as minister.
Then I would marry myself.
Why risk that job on someone who wouldn’t be as good a husband as me?

I might need to work on my control issues.

My book release was probably the closest thing to getting married I have ever experienced. I needed it to be perfect; I had a very particular vision for how the night would go. So, I started to delegate. Everyone had jobs. Monique’s job was to make me look good, to cut my hair and attack my eyebrows. Hanna was in charge of selling the books, and then not letting me spend the money. Croyle was in charge of bringing me booze and checking on my family. Anna worked the tip jar; an easy choice, I knew she would have no problem sweet talking dollars out of any person in the place. Sarah was in charge of music, an element that added so much to the evening, I can’t imagine my poetry without her now. Troi warmed up the crowd with glorious and powerful poems.

It went off without a hitch!
I sold all but two of my books. The audience supported the venue like champions. I gave a ten minute soliloquy about the relationship you have with Mr. Rogers when you’re in your twenties, and seriously considered switching careers to stand-up comedy. (Do you know how good it feels to make people laugh?) The performances were strong, and I was really pleased with how it all turned out.

This past week, an interviewer asked me what this book was about. I answered tactfully, told them it was focused on the “awkward transition that comes with graduating college.” True enough, but to be more honest? It’s about the absolute worst year of my life. It’s about being an absolute mess. Losing love. Losing sight of what you’re capable of. Choosing chaos because you’re more comfortable with it. It’s also about the greatest friends a girl could have. Coming out the other side, probably still depressed, probably still eating too many carbs, but definitely improving. Last Friday, I stood in front of a room of people who’ve loved me despite it all, even because of it. Friends and loved ones who offer me nothing but support. I decided in December to put out a book. I still can’t believe it’s all happened.

I woke up today, and this was the life I wanted. I got it, without even meaning to.
I am filled with gratitude.
So, with whatever you’re drinking right now, a wedding toast.
To accidental joy.