When I was little, I never played Bride. I never dressed up and made believe I was a bride in a white gown walking down the aisle. Getting married was a step an adult made so it was tucked away as a distant option to consider one day.
As I developed and grew, it didn’t really cross my thoughts in a conscious way. Never at the front of my mind although I knew someday I’d have a partner and a family and maybe a house. Getting to that point in my life was never envisioned in any real way, just thoughts or ideas. That was it, nothing concrete.
Just a passing idea or a fleeting notion. Nothing in reality.
Then came a time when I saw numerous friends and family walk down the aisle. Lots of white dresses, big parties, and gifts upon gifts. It was then that reality set in. That a wedding followed by marriage was something many people did. And it was something I wanted to do, too.
From then on it was a thought that plagued me.
Would I meet the right guy? How would I know? Will I get married in a big wedding? When will it happen? Blah blah blah… Yes, like many women the world over, I was in my mid-twenties, done with college and ready to meet the person I would marry and I became obsessed with dating and weeding through many frogs to find that prince.
As progressive as I’d like to consider myself, in the end I had become like everyone other girl. I wanted the dream wedding, the perfect guy, the house with the fence and the dog followed soon by little feet pattering down the hallway. Never once did I actually think about the process of finding someone let alone the reality of the wedding and the work that went into said relationship.
No… All I could think about was how many of my friends had gone before me and how long would I have to wait.
Then a wrench went flying into my dreamy thought process and no longer was I pining for a man of my own to carry me across a threshold. No, it was at this point in my life I was having to consider another set of questions about my new role as a single mother.
How would I provide for my son? Would I be strong enough to be both mother and father? What will I say when he asks the tough questions about his upbringing? Will I be able to convince him that we are a family just like any other family, only smaller?
Suddenly the notion of meeting someone who would accept me and my son as their family and willingly take on the momentous task of marrying me seemed impossible. It was then I gave up.
I found myself lacking. I was not worthy.
As I watched countless friends become engaged and then wed while I picked out health insurance for my son and interviewed many day-cares to watch him while I worked 3 jobs, I slowly gave up on the dream of getting married.
No white dresses for me. No bouquet toss and no cake to cut and smudge all over my new husband’s face. I had deemed myself unlovable and broken.
No one told me this. No one labeled me negatively. I did it myself.
I saw myself as undesirable. Who would want a single mother with a handful for a son and shit ton of baggage?
Though I did date a small amount after my son turned 2, I don’t think I really really allowed myself to consider the possibility that I would be worthy of a proposal let alone a lifetime with someone I truly meshed with.
I did think I was fit to settle with someone that loved me but wasn’t honestly the right person. And I came close to sealing that deal with them until I found the strength to wish for more and walk away from a decent thing, even though it wasn’t the right thing.
Since then I’ve met that someone. Someone who looks at me and smiles because I’m just sitting there being myself. Someone who encourages me to push beyond my fears and to really be my best self. Someone who loves me completely. Unconditionally.
And, someone who loves my son as if he were his own.
It’s not been an easy path. He’s had to cut through all my red tape and obstacles I step up to reach me. It was as if I had booby trapped the way to my heart unknowingly. And yet, here he stands beside me, ready to take the next big step and get married.
He actually wants to marry me! Go figure!
And all he’s asked for in return is my unconditional love for him and for myself. He pushes me to really let go and love myself with no strings and no shadows. He only asks that I believe that I am worthy of love and compassion.
He tells me daily that I deserve all the good things life has to offer.
And I’m slowly starting to agree with him.