As usual, I have slacked on contributing to our sister endeavor that is this blog. (Actually, by the looks of it, all 3 of us have.) In all fairness, T has the little one to care for now & S has moved into her new condo- YAY little sisters!!!
I on the other hand, have a slightly different reality. Looking back on this time last year, life was a whirlwind. I was 6 weeks in to being engaged and going over the millions of wedding options out there. Where to do it? When to do it? What color scheme to choose? Who to invite? The list goes on. I had also recently moved into our first home. For the first time in my life, raking leaves and Sunday shopping and laundry didn't bother me, it was all for my home after all. My home, my new life.
|My picture perfect first home.|
Fast forward to February. The dress had been purchased, date set, venue decided upon… all I can say is thank goodness I slacked on getting the invitations printed because on February 27th I boarded a plane with 41 high school students and 5 other staff headed for Europe and my life changed. I cannot pinpoint what happened exactly. I know I kissed him goodbye thinking I was going to miss him and walked through the arrivals knowing I hadn't.
Perhaps it was seeing the beautiful sights of Paris, Versailles, Milan, Pompeii, San Gimignano, Siena, Rome and knowing that I should drink it in; Travel feeds my soul, but in a few short months I would be marrying someone who had no need to travel, saw no value in it. It was possibly the other chaperons who opened my eyes; I realized how nice it was being able to discuss and debate things that are important to me and not just feel listened to but feel heard. It could have been a dream I’d had during which I began to walk down the aisle towards him but hit a point that I just couldn't walk past. Maybe it was just the bananas…
|Story for another day ;)|
Whatever it was, I walked off that plane knowing that I was going to make the hardest decision of my life: hurt myself and stay in something that didn't make me feel complete or hurt someone else so that I had a chance at someday finding something or someone who completed me. I guess the beginning of this post kind of gave away the end of this story… a few weeks later, I slid the beautiful diamond engagement ring off my finger and with tears in my eyes, handed it back to him. “I’m sorry, I can’t marry you” was all that was said.
We live in a time when I can turn on the tv at any given point and find various wedding shows- Four Weddings, Say Yes to the Dress, Rich Bride, Poor Bride, reality shows in which being the winner means you are marrying someone. It seems as though we are wedding obsessed. Now don’t get me wrong, I often watch those shows, scroll through Facebook wedding albums and stop to look at wedding parties when I happen to see them. For me however, I could picture the wedding but couldn't picture my life beyond that. I understand that things happen and plans change but as far as I can control it, I would like to get married but once. (The worst part about my decision was having to tell people about it when they asked how the planning was going. Not because I was hurt but rather because of how awkwardly people reacted to my response.)
So now I have the memory of a beautiful dress I once tried on, a gap on a finger that once held a ring and a house that I would desperately like to sell. I also now know that I have enough confidence, strength and love for myself to make the choices that are best for me and I can promise that there is no better feeling than realizing that you can trust yourself.
One thing that comes close though is knowing you have friends who are there to help get you through it all... no matter what.