Bride-to-be Blogger Alyse: Learning Calligraphy!

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There really are some days where I am totally relaxed and carefree about this whole wedding thing—but then I go and do stuff like this and lose all of my chill-bride credibility: I took a calligraphy lesson.

Before getting engaged, I always thought about learning calligraphy, but never had an excuse to sign up for a class. Let me explain that: For an extreme Type-A like me, spending time perfecting a skill that does not have a specific practical purpose with tangible results is almost impossible. So it’s not that I am using being engaged and the possibility that I could address my own envelopes as an excuse to try calligraphy, but … Yeah, that’s exactly what I’m doing.

I got engaged at the end of April and, true story, one of the first things I did was start researching calligraphy classes. I was put on a waiting list and finally got a call a few weeks ago that a spot had opened up. (Yes, that’s right, there was a six-month waiting list to get into a calligraphy class. I think this is more of a supply problem than a demand problem.) Before I headed off to my class, Kevin asked me how much the class cost. When I told him (minus $50 just to be safe), he just looked at me for a moment and said, “I can tell you are really excited about this.” And I was.

The class was held in the living room of a woman’s apartment. There were six students, three of whom were brides with no prior calligraphy training. (It’s nice to know you aren’t alone in Crazyville sometimes). For three hours, we learned the alphabet, one letter at a time, starting with the upper case. For some, that might sound like slow torture, but I actually had a blast. Apparently, to perfect the skill, one must practice for fifteen minutes every day. I have fallen somewhat behind on that schedule, but Kevin has come home more than a few times to me practicing writing our names and the names of our family and friends.

Despite my semi-diligent practice, the idea that I will be addressing my own invitation envelopes is the definition of taking on more than I can handle. I can just see the scene now: It’ll be the middle of the night a few days before invitations are set to be mailed. I’ll be working—by candlelight, for some reason—with my ink well and pen in hand, and I’ll be addressing envelopes while slowly having a mental break down because they do not look perfect and it’s too late to outsource the task. Kevin, hearing my whimpers will come out, look at me, and just ask Why? It would be a valid question. Why in the world would I try to address 100-plus envelopes on my own when there are other clear alternatives?

Because I like feeling a sense of accomplishment? Because I actually thought it would be fun? Because why the heck else did I take a calligraphy lesson? All valid points, but I am trying to avoid the scene of me being completely overwhelmed by self-inflicted and made up tasks. I’ve been there before, and it’s not pretty. For now, I will just have to admit to myself that I am a huge nerd that has a passion for an antiquated and under-appreciated art form. I will continue to practice my hobby with the thought that it may come in handy one day. And maybe, if I get really good, then that day will come sooner rather than later.

Do you take on more tasks than you can handle for the sake of accomplishment and then regret it? Anything you’re glad you did take the time to do yourself?


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