Archive for April, 2010

On Your Wedding Day

Posted on April 22, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Today is your big day, though not for the reasons people might first believe.  It’s not your big day because you get to wear a beautiful dress, or because you’ll feel like a bride, or even because your nearest and dearest have come from all over to be with you.  It’s not your big day because you’re probably throwing the biggest event you’ll ever throw.  It’s not your big day because your vision will come to life, because your details will be perfect, or because the whole shebang will unfold just as you planned.

Today you’re making the kind of choice only adults make, the choice to tie the well-being of yourself as a single person to the success of yourself as part of a couple.  This is a big day!

From this day forward, you’ll have someone with whom to share the tiny moments that form a life.  You’ll be building a joint history with someone who is as much a main character as you are.  You’ll be frustrated beyond comprehension at the tiny things you have to give up, then grateful beyond words to have this person — this person who made the same choice you did — right next to you.

There will be times you’ll wonder if you made the right choice, if an easier partner might have come your way if you hadn’t.  You’ll worry that you’re not meant to be married.  Marriage is hard.

But c’mon, anything worth anything is hard, right?  Maybe not always difficult, but worthy of being cherished.  Perhaps it’s just my increasing age, but I feel loss much more acutely now than ever before.  I look at you and know that someday soon, I won’t get to see you as often as we’d like.  We’re at that point today, when all that stands between us and a girls’ lunch is schedules.  What happens when we have to surmount miles, too?

We’ll figure it out.  “No miles of any measure can separate your soul from mine,” said John Mu.  That’s us.

And you’ll find your way through your marriage, too, I don’t doubt, so you shouldn’t doubt either.  I don’t doubt you’re with the right man or making the right choice at the right time with the right reasons.

“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.” — Anonymous

So enjoy today.  Enjoy, breathe, feel – that’s my advice.  When things don’t go as you expected, remember you’re building memories here, made up of experiences, and every single thing that happens enriches.  Memories, after all, are more like movies than snapshots.  What fun is a movie without drama?

I’m going to let better writers than I wrap this up.  Know that I love you.  Know that you’re wonderful.  Enjoy the heck out of your day.

There is one friend in the life of each of us who seems not a separate person, however dear and beloved, but an expansion, an interpretation, of one’s self, the very meaning of one’s soul.  — Edith Wharton

“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” — E. M. Forster

“To fall in love is easy, even to remain in it is not difficult; our human loneliness is cause enough. But it is a hard quest worth making to find a comrade through whose steady presence one becomes steadily the person one desires to be.” –Anna Louise Strong

Trouble is part of your life, and if you don’t share it, you don’t give the person who loves you enough chance to love you enough.  — Dinah Shore

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An open letter to my best friend on her wedding week

Posted on April 18, 2010. Filed under: emotional |

Hi, Sweets —

With five days to go until your big day, I wanted to take a moment to share my love, give you whatever advice I can think of, and tell you what it’s like from this side of the aisle, so to speak.

First, let’s talk about this “big day” thing.  Your wedding day is all at once a Very Big Day and Just The Beginning – we know this.  Despite my, ahem, previous experience, I found that my wedding day was both much more and much less than I expected: I was much, much, MUCH more overwhelmed by the love of my people and much less stressed or panicked or freaked about the stuff.  Sure, I had to take a few moments to gather myself, but that’s just me.  Our wedding day was wonderful, but looking back from my almost-anniversary, I can say with complete honesty: it was just the beginning.

The next year will be one of the most exhilarating and frustrating of your life, rife with questioning, cursing, and thanking the universe for this choice you made.  In a year, you’ll look back and see your wedding day as a fantastic bon voyage, and that’s the way it should be.

You know I love you.  You know I’ve found in you a soul-mate (and yes, I’m using that silly word because it’s appropriate here in a way I never thought it appropriate to describe my relationship with my husband).  We’re so different, you and I, yet so deeply connected that it doesn’t matter that we have very little history in common.  We don’t need it.  I value your feedback over almost anyone else’s, a shocking revelation when you consider I’ve known everyone else whom I trust for most of my life, and you only three years.

But this isn’t supposed to be about me.  It’s about you (and I could not love you anymore than I do, but this face makes me reconsider the idea – I love this face).

So I’ll say the thing I always say when I have to describe how much you mean to me: until I met you, I didn’t realize the power and necessity of female friendship.  You have a way of making people feel safe and understood; the ability to be honest and upfront yet supportive; a willingness to lay it all out – to anyone on anything – that continues to inspire those of us lucky enough to be your friend.  You inspire me just by being yourself.  I love you.

And I love you who you are with him.  I love the way you fit — even in maddening ways that drive each of you nuts.  I love that you balance his freneticness while he gives you focus.  I love that you each push each other to be committed, to grow, to be just a little bit more yourselves but in the context of a partnership.  He makes you laugh; you make him settled.  Through the craziness of your relationship, I have never really doubted that you would end up together, and I’m so glad my intuition played out.

Of course, given how similar your husband and I are, it’s a bit self-serving to tell you you’re perfect together. (But I will!)

My advice for this week: feel every moment, wonderful or otherwise.  When someone says something that makes you want to throw something, think, “This is my life!”  When you’re surprised or overwhelmed or so happy you can’t smile any wider, think, “This is my life.”  When you take that man’s hand and declare your loyalty and commitment in front of your people, think, “THIS IS MY LIFE.”

It’s strange to be on this side of the whole getting married thing.  A year ago I was frantic with stress over all the little things I didn’t do.  You calmed me down and helped me get through.  Our wedding day was fantastic because my #1 coping mechanism was to send people to you, in fact.  I knew without a doubt that you would take care of me.  So this time, when it’s your wedding day, remember to lean on your people.  Remember that we all want to help because you’ve helped all of us, at some point, some time.  Let us take care of you, if only for a day, mkay? {And congrats on creating a shindig that is so you two, it’s awesome!}

Enjoy yourself, laugh, and take every moment for what they create: the beginning of this next part of your life.

My wish for you is this: may you find – in him and your marriage – the calm you’ve been seeking without the boundaries you’ve feared.  May you never take for granted the fantasticness of new beginnings or wonderfulness of old understandings.  May you find in each other the reason to be better at being yourselves.  And may you love each other — even when you don’t like each other.

With all my love,

Me

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    About

    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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