One Woman’s Wedding is Another Woman’s Goat Milking Competition (or, Living According to What Really Matters to You)

I am a married woman!

Our wedding was gorgeous and special and exceeded every single hope I had for it.  I get to live my life with Jonny, which makes me feel like I have hit the jackpot.  We got to have a beautiful day dedicated to our love surrounded by all of our loved ones, which made me feel like in addition to the jackpot, now we get to have a jackpot celebration party.  THEN – people gave us gifts, which made me feel like WAIT WAIT WAIT!  You guys, we already won!  Why all the presents?! Shouldn’t we be buying YOU presents?!!

Here is a picture that my aunt took that sums up best how the day felt to me: like it was overflowing with a gazillion different kinds of love, with mine and Jonny’s bond as the big fat centerpiece.

Even wedding planning was so much fun!  Nothing like the slow drown in a swamp of stress goo that I had feared (I blame overconsumption of reality television/chick lit/rom coms).  It was totally hectic at certain points, but come on. I was creating a huge and exciting party with the love of my life to celebrate our commitment to each other.  Not exactly harrowing work.

After all the hubbub, I am in a bit of a mourning period post-wedding. No need to look at bridal magazines anymore: my hairstyle has been chosen and done, the ceremony readings have been read, the placecard holders are off in the damn trash somewhere.  THAT SHIP HAS SAILED, the weddingbee message boards whisper to me when I want to visit them.  MOVE ON, MARLA.

The little details aren’t what I miss the most, though (but man, coming up with signature cocktails was so awesome. SIGNATURE COCKTAILS!).  What my little heart is really hungering for is the widespread acceptance by everyone of the wedding as a big huge deal.

In the weeks leading up to the wedding, there were lots of, “Oh, don’t even think about this until after your wedding,” and “Of course you forgot! That’s totally understandable! You’re getting married!”s whenever I’d apologize for not having my shit together in one area or another.

Everyone let me off the hook for everything.  Even if they were silently judging me as they did it for being a bridal fanatic, they didn’t show it… being a highly wedding-focused bride who let other things slide during wedding planning seemed to be accepted by everyone as totally normal.

It’s nice when our values align with greater society and everyone respects what’s important to us.  Our wedding was tremendously important to me, and much of the society I live in deems weddings as important too; so that was easy.

This got me thinking about one of the most challenging parts of loving myself, which is having the strength live according to what matters to me even when the rest of the world sees it as ridiculous.

I mean, what about when the world doesn’t give us permission?  What if, instead of planning my wedding this year, I’d opted to plan a trip around the world or become a meditation master?  Would people have been all, “Of course you didn’t call me back! You were in the middle of two hours of silence, that’s important!”  Probably not.

I want to be the kind of woman who does the unconventional stuff with the same amount of pride and heart as the ‘normal’ (vom) stuff, no matter what anyone else says, don’t you?  Let’s talk about how we can make that happen.

Don’t apologize or overexplain.  It can take a lot of mental re-training to let it really sink in that it’s okay to live your life according to what actually matters to you.  A good, action-based place to start is to stop acting sheepish and apologetic about your values (even if still feel sheepish and apologetic on the inside).  You don’t owe anyone an explanation for why you care about the things that you do.

Get rid of your own personal pair of judgeypants. As we learn how to honor what really matters to us, let’s give out lots of permission for others to do the same, shall we? Your coworker needs to take a week off to spend quality time with her pet gecko?  Your sister has decided to dabble in mediumship?  AWESOME.  Notice where you scoff at others whose passion and joy is different from yours.  And then try really hard to quit it!

Be really really super patient as you figure it out.  Your parents, your friends, and the media have likely been sending you messages for a very long time about what will make you feel happy and complete.  It can feel like you’re wearing an outfit that doesn’t fit to let it sink in that not everyone cares about making a ton of money or having kids, you know?  All that conditioning can be powerful stuff, so don’t worry if it takes you some time to tease YOU out from all the bullshit.

Don’t give a shit if no one else gives you permission.  Listen, the truth is, there is always going to be someone who thinks that the thing that makes your heart sing is petty and ridiculous.  Fuck ‘em.  They’re not the one who has to live your life as you feel all empty and your soul rots away. It’s nice to get it from the outside world, but don’t go trying to convince anyone to see it your way.  It’s a waste of valuable time you could otherwise spend on goat milking competition practice, you know what I mean?

27 Responses to One Woman’s Wedding is Another Woman’s Goat Milking Competition (or, Living According to What Really Matters to You)
  1. Jackie
    November 28, 2012 | 10:06 am

    Dear Marla, last night you came into my mind and I suddenly did a date/reality check and realised that oh my God you would be married by now. I totally missed it in the drama of moving house. So today I went straight onto your blog to find the post and the photo. I read this with tears pouring down my face and oh your dress looks gorgeous. I am so happy you had your beautiful day with your special love and the signature cocktails sound wonderful! Huge congratulations and love and wedding bliss and joy and excitement to you both. I am so pleased for you. Love Jackie xxxx

    • Marla
      November 29, 2012 | 7:39 pm

      Dearest Jackie, your comment made tears pour down MY face!!! Thank you so so so much for your sweet wishes, you are such a doll. I hope that your move went well and that you are feeling settled and happy in a beautiful new home! So much love to you. xoxo

  2. Jo | Crafting the Sacred
    November 23, 2012 | 5:28 pm

    Yay to tying the knot without getting too tied up in stress along the way. So happy for you and Jonny – now the fun in the relationship truly begins.

    Wishing you too many, many years of love, laughter and adventure!

    • Marla
      November 29, 2012 | 7:37 pm

      Awwww Jo, thank you so very much. It’s so nice to hear from you and I hope you are great! And I’m wishing you tons of love and laughter and adventure too. Hugs!!!

  3. Donna
    November 22, 2012 | 4:51 pm

    Congratulations on your marriage Marla – may you have many, many wonderful, love and laughter-filled years together! And wonderful post – you’re so right, wouldn’t it be lovely if the world allowed us to live to our own values…and it starts with allowing ourselves to. xx

    • Marla
      November 29, 2012 | 7:36 pm

      Thank you soooo much Donna!!! xoxo

  4. Cassandra
    November 18, 2012 | 6:25 pm

    Nodding my head to all of this! It’s true that sometimes I don’t even know who I am because of all the outside influence. Time to shut out all of that noise and let ME speak. Also, I love your last piece of advice about getting people’s permission. I can respect their thoughts, but I don’t have to live their life.

    • Marla
      November 29, 2012 | 7:35 pm

      Oh Cassandra, I know that feeling so well. You are so right, we can still be nice, loving people and not live anyone else’s life. Thanks for reading!

  5. Emily
    November 18, 2012 | 1:41 pm

    I’m so glad you’re back! Why did I watch that goat video? Are the goats the celebrities? I may have googled this question after watching the video…

    • Marla
      November 18, 2012 | 5:55 pm

      Thank you so much dolly and UM GREAT QUESTION. Is it the goat milker or the goat? Or are they both just conduits for the great universal milking force??? HMMMMMMMM FOOD FOR THOUGHT LOVE YOU MUCHO

  6. Toni South
    November 17, 2012 | 2:19 pm

    Marla, first of all congratulations! You look just beautiful in that wedding photo. This was a wonderful post and I loved this phrase: “It’s nice when our values align with greater society and everyone respects what’s important to us.” I couldn’t agree more. I truly wish that some of my friends and family could get on board more with my journeys into a healthier life. I like the last one – “don’t give a shit if no one else gives you permission.”

  7. Yiye Zhang
    November 17, 2012 | 10:34 am

    Wow Marla, many congratulations!! beautiful picture and writing!
    I was trying to please everyone at the wedding initially and only found out it was impossible and slowly I was resentful towards a few…so yeah, like you said permission from within is more than enough. Congratulations again!

    • Marla
      November 18, 2012 | 5:52 pm

      Hiya Yiye! Thank you SO much for stopping by! You are so right. Pleasing/getting permission from everyone is just completely impossible and TOTALLY a resentment-building activity. Hugs to you!

  8. Elinor
    November 16, 2012 | 3:52 am

    Marla, first of all CONGRATULATIONS! I adore your description of how the day felt to you :-)

    Secondly, that is such a wonderful checklist to come back to when I need some encouragement to live my own life, not someone else’s. Awesomely simple. Shared.

    • Marla
      November 18, 2012 | 5:50 pm

      Elinor, thank you so much for your congrats and your sweet words! It’s great to hear from you. How are you guys doing???? Sending you love!

  9. Nancy Norbeck
    November 15, 2012 | 9:50 pm

    I love this list! I struggle so much with needing permission, and I can use all the reminders I can get. And the judgeypants…omg yes. So guilty. Why is it that I am so attached to judging when it makes me feel so icky inside? Hmm? Possibly the same question as “Why am I so attached to sugar/carbs when it makes me feel so icky inside”–now there’s some food for thought…thanks for making me wonder and think about it!

    • Marla
      November 18, 2012 | 5:48 pm

      Thank you so much, Nancy. I think we ALL wear the judgeypants sometimes, I know I do a lot! For the the trick is noticing it and not treating my judgments as facts, you know??? Wishing you a day where your insides feel lovely!

  10. Tanja @ Crystal Clarity
    November 15, 2012 | 9:35 pm

    First up, congratulations hon! I truly love that photo – I teared up a little looking at it :-)

    Second up, wow. Wow, wow, WOW! How did you know EXACTLY what I needed to read today, lady? I am officially *TOTALLY* getting rid of my personal pair of judgeypants now. Right now. Into the metaphysical goodwill they go 😀 !

    • Marla
      November 18, 2012 | 5:45 pm

      Tanja, thank you so so much for your sweet wishes, I really appreciate them. And OMG, metaphysical goodwill LOVE LOVE LOVE THAT. You have such a way with words! xoxo

  11. gina
    November 15, 2012 | 11:59 am

    many many congrats to you Marla and your new hubby…wishing you much love and happiness and fun and discovery on your new adventure!

    and I loved your post too :)

    • Marla
      November 18, 2012 | 5:44 pm

      Gina, thank you so much! Biggest hugs to you! <3<3<3

  12. Jo Macdonald
    November 15, 2012 | 9:15 am

    WOOHOO! Marla you look beautiful in that picture, hugest congratulations to you and Jonny, I wish you endless joy, happiness and snuggles together.

    I love this post, as always, and YES 100% Fuck ’em if they don’t get it! Plenty of people think I am crazy living in tune with my menstrual cycle but frankly my dear I don’t give a damn, I know it works for me (and plenty of other women too!).

    It might be a cliche but we only get one chance at this life and it would be such a waste to spend it trying to do what others want instead of what works for us and sings to our soul.

    Huge love as always, Jo ♥

    • Marla
      November 18, 2012 | 5:43 pm

      JO thank you so much, beautiful! They always say that everyone who others think are crazy are the exact ones who change the world. And if people think that you’re crazy for doing what you do then I am 100% convinced of that statement because you are SO changing the world. Thanks for doing what you do. <3

  13. Tapita
    November 14, 2012 | 6:54 pm

    Congratulations Marla! You look stunning and every thing wonderful in your Aunts picture at your wedding.
    I always feel like you are speaking to me and this post especially does. It almost feels like an early New Years Resolution!
    Cheers to you and your handsome hubby!
    Thanks again, T~

    • Marla
      November 15, 2012 | 8:59 am

      Hi lovely Tapita,

      Thank you so so so much for your congratulations and your sweet compliments!!! I am so happy that my posts speak to you, that means so much to me. Wishing you a 2013 filled with what you actually care about and none of the bullshit!!

      Lots of love,

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I'm Marla Hamilton, and this is my blog. I write it because I want to make it very easy for you to feel healthy and great about yourself.Read more about me here.
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