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?