This is what I want to remember about my first ceremony:
The Twin meeting me at the train station, lit up by the joy of one-half day of school left before the summer officially begins, and by the joy of happy hour and her hilarious friends. We took our customary chatting-and-cackling-the-whole-way train ride back to her apartment.
At her apartment, I rehearsed my ceremony for her, and she gave me notes, and also gave me the giggles.
As I lay in her bed that night, my eyes were wide open, my heart was beating in my chest, but it felt good. I had to keep telling myself, "this is a gift you're giving" and that made me not think so much about myself but why I wanted to be there in the first place.
Which is, to help people. To be a part of people's joy and love. To try to notice beauty. To do something meaningful, for myself and others (maybe the "others" part is what makes it meaningful).
I told the Twin I tried to think of it as being excited more so than nervous. She said "You were born for this!"
It was in a beautiful garden at the Queens Botanical Garden. It was hot, the occasional plane passed overhead, guests heard a mama duck and ducklings quacking.
The actual ceremony itself went by so quickly and for the most part, as planned. You know how it is when you perform something - I was just caught up in making sure the moving parts kept moving, and didn't really have a chance to take it all in. But I was glad to have The Twin and friends there, and she seemed to have good things to say.
Twin and Co. dropped me off at the subway.
The way I felt riding the 7 train looking out at the buildings, listening to a happy song on my ipod - that's a scene I want played on the movie montage of triumphant moments of my life. I felt proud and happy and my cup was just runnething over everywhere.
What fun! A few days ago I was telling AJ about how I came to decide to be a Celebrant. And in addition to thinking I would like it, and be good at it, and find it meaningful. But it was also kind of a risk, and the first thing I ever decided to do entirely on my own, and some might think it kind of a random thing to do. And I was telling AJ, I wasn't 100% certain about it, but there was a point where I just decided I would do it. So I did.
It all stemmed from my own pursuit of happyishness - and I am pleased to report that from where I'm sitting, here on the megabus back to Philly from New York, caught in Shore traffic - that this out and out happiness has everything to do, like Winston Churchill put it, not with what I get, but with what I give. To be able to be yourself, do what you enjoy, and use your strengths for the benefit of other people - I'm pretty sure the secret of life is wrapped somewhere up in that idea.
I was thinking of calling my future/nascent/currently-being-born business Inspired Ceremonies. And in fact I think I will, because that's exactly how I feel right now: inspired.