It has been a while since I have posted a blog entry. It has been almost a year in fact. I think this occasion is a good enough reason to get back into my blog writing. I would like to introduce you all to my Fiancée
Yes, I got engaged toTyffani Thompson. It was a magical moment for me and my new fiancée. We met 3 years ago at work and had been friends for a couple of years. When we first met neither of us would have imagined we would be at this point. If you were to ask her she would swear it never would have happened. She tried hard to stay away and keep anything more than a friendship from developing. So we hung out a few times and stayed friends until late last year. Dating her felt different than anything I have ever felt before. This was different from any relationship I had in the past. Love was building and by January it was full blown and both of us were captivated by it and each other. It was here where the first thoughts of making this and her a permanent part of my life.
We spent every weekend together. We were unapologetically in love. No matter what anyone said or thought we loved one another. We did have some challenges. She had doubts. I had hesitations. Together we had resolve. We also had no intentions of letting either of those prevent my story and her story from becoming our story. One January afternoon, after a trip and during one of Tyffani’s doubting moments, I watched her as she napped and thought “God, I want to Marry her”. With that I worked to be a better man. The thoughts of marriage and proposals came to flood my mind but I knew that we were not there or ready yet. I needed to improve myself and character. We laughed and loved and fought and partied. We hosted family gatherings and Special events. We went on trips to plenty of places Charleston South Carolina, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Florida, Virginia and others. We were trapped in love. I didn’t want to escape.
I have always known that when I wanted to propose I would want to do something in public and fun. I also try to have a bit of romance to me. So I knew that anything I did had to incorporate those two elements. I also knew that whatever proposal I had planned had to be significant to her. I had thought of several different public forums to actually do the proposal. Some of the ideas that came to me were karaoke or a flash mob dance. (As much as I try to deny it, I’m not a great singer or dancer.) In the end, neither of those felt right. Neither showed of my romantic aptitude. I used to write very often. I used to perform open mic poetry on stage at a few places. I shared with Tyffani that I had written poetry before. She had asked me to write something for her. I had written something small and quick for her. That was the end of it until I thought about a new poem I wanted to write for her….
The poem idea came after watching other proposals and thinking about what exactly that moment is for a man. I, also being a huge thrill seeker and having a love for flying or soaring, swinging, gliding through the sky thought about that moment before you jump from a plane or base jump site or even the pendulum drop at an amusement park. That moment being a beautiful and terrifying moment. You making the decision to let go and or leap into the sky and not know whether you will crash or if you will be caught or if you will fall or fly. “It has to be a wonderful and scary moment.” I thought to myself. So I decided to write the poem as a metaphor.
Once I decided that I wanted to do a poem the next thing to determine was how to deliver the poem. I knew an open mic was the way to go. I knew I would need to try to get family there so my original idea was to have her sister invite us to a quaint open mic poetry night at a spot. The plan was to progressively invite more family along with us, in what I would try to make in unsuspecting fashions. I would then to her surprise hop on stage after my name was called and perform. I was prepared to reach out to old contacts to try to host an open mic if I couldn’t find one already being hosted during the period I would want to propose. The problem with that plan is that she would be suspicious if there was that much family at an event. So I needed a new plan.
It was at this point where I bought the ring. That was a challenge in and of itself. But immediately after I had purchased the ring I began having a bit of second thoughts and worries of if I was doing the right thing. Now anyone that knows me and has ridden in my car knows I have an unorthodox way of listening to music. I usually let my entire collection play. Usually this means going from an R&B song to a Pop song to a rap song to country or gospel or rock. Im told its hard to catch a mood in my music selection. But in the exact moment of my doubt I got Devine confirmation of my decision. The song Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran, which is special to us for a number of reasons, began playing. It was then followed by Bruno Mars’ Marry You.
Armed with this newfound confirmation and confidence, I went ahead started working on fine tuning my plan. (I don’t want to give all the details before you see for yourself below) I found the perfect event which was another confirmation. This also gave me a date. The plan ended up working to where I could get all of our immediate family there and Tyffani not know it, as well as me surprise her with the proposal. Below is the Poem and the proposal both and some photos of the day of the proposal. (So I actually was nervous and there was so much going on I forgot some lines.) Please Enjoy Share and comment.
So there it is folks. That was the culmination of months of planning and different ideas. I knew I wanted to plan the event around October or November because this was the time when we started to have our relationship grow. We have a number of special moments in October and November. So once I purchased the ring I began looking for open mic events and then I found that the Blumenthal Performing Arts center was hosting an open mic at their Spirit Square McGlohon theater. The event was schedueled for October 30th 2015 and this fit within the time frame of when I wanted to propose. What really sold me was the size of the theater and the fact that they were encouraging performers and audience to wear costumes. I loved this fact because this allowed me to have our family all there to witness the event without Tyffani ever knowing they were there. This also allowed me to perform and for her to not know it was me until the point when I wanted her to know. This venue and event was perfect in every way that perfect could be.
Once I found the event and venue, I called and advised them of my plan. They were very supportive and eager to help and assist me. They allowed me to come by and visit the venue and plan the proposal. They also offered much assistance and I thank all of them for their involvement before and day of. After the venue was secured I needed to coordinate with the family. So I gathered up everyone’s contact information and informed them of the news. I contacted her grandparents and asked for their blessings. I then had to gather the important people in our lives and make sure they were there to be a part of it. I invited my 3 sisters, My Mom, Tyffani’s Son, Mom, Sisters, grandparents and best friend. Her brother, unfortunately was not able to make it. There were also plenty of nieces and nephews there as well. I kept in secret email correspondence with all of them. It was a clandestine operation and I was the Jason Borne of wedding proposals I had deleted every evidence of it from my phone. Any pictures or text messages were instantly deleted. I used a secret email address. I even made the family members delete conversations from their phones. No one was allowed to text me about it unless I text them first. I went so far as to throw her off the scent by downplaying my readiness to marry her. I even lied to her face and flat out told her there were many things for us to work on to get there. I annoyed her and acted disinterested in her discussions. every word out of my mouth was carefully vetted before they left my mouth, like soldiers off to do battle. I was determined for this to be a complete surprise to her.
My next task was to perfect the poem. As I mentioned earlier the theme was a metaphor of The Most Beautiful and Terrifying moment but I needed to make sure it was special to us and related to our relationship. There was a moment where it all fit together. Back when Tyffani and I were dating and beginning to get serious in our relationship and wondering about the next steps, we were both hesitant for our own reasons. We had both been through a lot and as I mentioned Tyffani was already trying to push me away for the longest time. She was afraid of us failing, of being hurt and losing out on our friendship. She used a metaphor of her being on the ledge and worried about taking the step off. She was scared of falling. She didn’t want to jump she felt she had no parachute and she was right. She wanted to stay safe and comfortable on the ledge and then the words of the thought she was terrified of seemed to escaped the prison of her lips dying for freedom.
“What if I stepped out off the ledge”
Without a hesitation I responded with
“I’ll catch you”
This was it. This was the moment from our relationship that married my poem with our love. I had to make this the signature.
Now that that was all in place I just had to wait until the day of event. Leading up to the day I was not nervous at all. I had to remain calm to make sure I had all bases covered. The plan was to have her sister invite her to the open mic event. I would be invited as well but I would decline and state that I had to work and instead would watch their children. I meanwhile, on the day of the event would get all of our family in the theater early seated and in costume so that she wouldn’t recognize them or me. I also invited a friend of mine whom Tyffani did not ever meet in person but also in mask. Her purpose was to help get Tyffani and her sisters to their designated reserved seats in the front row. She was also responsible for taking video from my phone during the performance and proposal. I chose her to do this because I figured Tyffani would be suspicious if her sisters started recording my performance. (They recorded anyway lol.) I also was supposed to have a camera on stage with me to film Tyffani’s reaction to the performance. I unfortunately in all of my day of excitement did not realize that I had not charged my camera battery. If I have one regret of the proposal it would be that I did not have that done.
On the day of, I was a robot. I had worked the night before from 9:00 pm to 7:00 am. At around 7:30 am before Tyffani left for work I fell asleep as I would normally do. I then woke up about 10:30 and began preparing. I had to prepare my poem. I would then go to my barber to get my haircut. Next I would have to be at Tyffani’s house to pick up the children and get them and myself dressed. All the while throughout the day taking and making calls to be sure everyone was going to be in place on time and to make sure everyone had all of the details. I didn’t even eat until about 5:00 pm. At 5:00 I met up with Tyffani’s grandparents and my mom and Tyffani’s best friend and headed to the theatre where my sisters and everyone else would meet with the exception of Tyffani and her two sisters. Their job was to take Tyffani out to a bar for drinks and snacks and stall her prior to, in order to make sure that everyone else was settled in first. When we all met I gave the family the final details. I advised them when I was set to perform and informed them of the audible cue in my poem. The audible cue was the phrase “Cloud 9”. When they heard this they were to get up from their seats in the back of the theater and travel down to the front in view of Tyffani. I wanted her to know that her family was there to support her and share this special moment with her. That cue gave me enough time to also make my own reveal.
At the time of the doors opening I got everyone in. I was in full on dictator mode. I began barking out orders and demanding compliance. Once everyone was settled in and had their masks on. I put on my own mask. and waited in the lobby for the guest of honor. Once I spotted her I signaled my friend who then signaled the hostess to seat them. I walked away before being noticed and sat down in the back. I waited and watched other performers and then my name was called. All of a sudden all of the nervousness that should have been spread out over weeks came and hit me at once. I wasn’t worried that she would say no, not in the least. I worked so hard to make everything perfect. I wanted it to play out just how I imagined it. This moment was a culmination of so much planning and care and precision tactics. I did not want to mess up. I even had an iPod with my poem ready to go in my ear in case the nerves took over my memory. I then stepped on stage.
In that moment looking down at her barely visible through my mask…. I felt as if I WAS on top of a building about to jump… My metaphor poem was manifesting itself in that moment. I truly was feeling The Most Beautiful and Terrifying Moment. I press play on the iPod, and then what felt like disaster… the poem was already 3 lines in. I paused for a moment and just started speaking from the beginning. My pacing was a little faster than I had wanted because I was trying to catch up. I even skipped a line. I was also trying to disguise my voice. In an instant I settled myself down and thought of the hundred times I had listened to and recited the poem and calmed myself. I got through to the moment where it was time to reveal my face. ALL BETS WERE OFF. I knew the words but it was hard trying to force them out. They were there but hard to see through all of the emotions and litany of other things going on. They were mere the gnats in a room full of giants. And then for the first time since 7:00 am that morning I could see her clearly. She was there never taking her really moist eyes off of me. I could hear her tears. I would hear the crying and sniffles of most of the family and then the wave hit me. I couldn’t think and it took all of my brain to hold back my own tears to finish the poem. To Ask The Question… I speak and I know its not how I had written it down but I don’t care. I reach for the ring, I kneel… I speak still knowing that it wasn’t exactly how it was written but still not caring… I wanted to get to that moment. The question was burning a fire in its cell to be released from my lips. She’s shaking her head and answering before I could even get it out. And then FREEDOM. I lept. We met in the air and now we are flying and ready to soar!
Here is the full poem for those that would like to read it:
The Most Beautiful and Terrifying Moment by Xavion Newkirk
Have you ever been high? I mean at the top of the world and looking down from the sky type high. Your breath is lighter than helium gas, your heart is a revving like a Nascar engine waiting on the green flag. Your apprehensive mind filled with second thoughts and hesitations. “What happens next?” written on your face with the ink of anxious anticipation. What ifs and speculations. But no, Now is not the time for regrets though…. You look down close your eyes and then let go. And you see and THERE is the moment. That wonderful, most beautiful and terrifying moment. The one where you take control of your fear an own it. When you let go and adorn the sky. See some fear the fall… but Me! Listen… I was born to fly… In that beautiful terrifying moment there’s a feeling of peace replacing my cares. I mean I literally get high on facing my fears. They say everyone has two choices when faced with peril right. Fight or Flight… Well ironically my fight is my flight. I’ll look for the tallest and most terrifying roller coaster sight. Get on wait for it to climb to its highest height. To feel that beautiful scary moment start when it stops. To feel my stomach in knots when it drops. I’ll raise my arms and throw my hands up to fly. I do this because in order to feel heaven I have to touch the sky. That’s why I’ll never stop trying I’m obsessed. It’s no wonder my church is called Elevation and my favorite team is The Jets. I look down and stand above the crowd. Some may say I have my head in the clouds. Well How else do you expect me to elevate my mind? So I will fly, soar, glide levitate and climb. Everyone wants to be at the top. No one wants to fall. I live for the moment. Others don’t want it at all. When you’re there with the bungee cord attached to your legs.That moment Standing on the edge looking down working up the courage to leap from your ledge. I know stepping off isn’t going to be easy In that beautiful scary moment the fear frees me. When I’m up there looking down but I have no plans to touch the ground. I want to touch the sky. If I stepped off will I fall or will I fly. That moment is where I am now … See you have me at the top of the world. You have me on cloud 9. With you I feel high even in my down time. But staying in one place isn’t how I’m made. Not too long ago you were in this moment on the ledge and afraid. There’s a reason it’s called falling in love. You’ll never find out if you keep it safe. I told you I’d catch you if you just took that leap of faith. Now it’s my turn to make that leap out into the sky. It’s a beautiful scary moment. Will I fall or will I fly? And if I fall for you all over again will you be catching me? Because see The most beautiful terrifying moment is asking…