How much do you acknowledge your past?

Posted on April 2, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

The question sits with me often and I don’t have an answer yet.

Putting together our playlist, I see “What a Wonderful World” in my music file and I wonder if I should include it.  See, that song was our first song at my first wedding, so maybe not.  And yet, I love that song – that’s WHY it was our first song.  I’m still me, and I still love it… so then yes.  Except, I’ll be reminded of my first wedding at my second and that seems a little bit, I don’t know, wrong.

I’m considering wearing my favorite pair of flats for the trek to our ceremony and back… but I bought them on a trip with my ex-husband, a trip we’d spent all of our money on and really I shouldn’t have been buying a pair of shoes, much less at full price, but he pushed me into it and I’ve loved them ever since (5 years!).  So is that a yes, because I love them, or a no, because that memory comes up each time I see them?

I remind myself that I won’t be able to avoid thinking about my first wedding, my first marriage, my (only) divorce.  That’s the thing about weddings – they really are about your past meeting your future, and my past includes a failed marriage.  And the thing about the past is that it’s impossible to cleanly divide.  Memories are shared, so I can’t say that a song or place or experience is “mine” if my ex-husband was there.  The thing about marriages?  You really do become a part of “our,” as unable to separate yours from his as to separate the grains of sand in the ever popular wedding sand ceremony.

The song will go on the playlist, but not by the amazing Louis Armstrong; it’ll be sung by Michael Buble.  A slight nod to my past with a bigger acknowledgment  of my present.  Because this is a pretty wonderful world, one in which I get a second chance at being loved by an amazing man… and to love him well in return.  I’ll also be including songs that remind me of the loneliness I felt just after separating from my ex-husband, the nervousness I felt just after moving across the country alone, and the hope I felt after meeting my new husband.  Because in the end, our wedding is also my rite of passage.

I still haven’t decided about the shoes.  How will you handle your past?


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    I’ve been there, done that, got the t-shirt (and divorce papers) to prove it. Here I am again, pledging my life to my (new) love with eyes wide open (and heart racing) knowing full well how emotionally traumatic this can end… and doing it anyway.


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