26 years ago today I walked down the aisle and lived out every little girls fantasy. Big white dress, long veil,my daddy walking me down the aisle, limos, huge bridal party, gorgeous flowers, big cake, photographer, video guy---you know the works. I don't remember anything positive about that day. I only remember the negative things. Is that strange? I realize I'm divorced but that was supposed to be one of the happiest days of my life--I was only 23! I had signs, I had feelings, I knew I shouldn't have gotten married. But it was what was supposed to come next right? I had so little self esteem that I thought no one would ever ask me again, I imagine. I was only 23! My sister tried to tell me....my dad tried to tell me.....I was not hearing any of it. Now, 26 years later this day means absolutely nothing to me. I wouldn't even realize it was today except tomorrow is September 11th and that is always important.
If I could go back in time I would give that 23 year old girl a good swift kick in the ass! I have no regrets, that's not how I live my life, but I wish I knew then what I know now! Here is the advice I'd give her
1. SLOW DOWN! It doesn't all have to happen RIGHT NOW! Life is about the journey not the destination. Throw the 5 year plan out the damn window and enjoy your life! Branch out from what you were raised with. There is a huge world out there and you aren't experiencing any of it. Do it now! Find the joy in every day and stop being so serious!
2. BE ALONE! You were in a relationship from the time you were 15 with only maybe a few months in between the early ones--stop revolving your life around someone else. Be alone, it's not the end of the world! It's nice to not have to answer to anyone and do what you want without worrying about someone else's happiness. And that's another thing---stop allowing your happiness to be contingent on someone else. You are worth so much more than you give yourself credit for! Wait for the right one---stop settling. Don't allow anyone to treat you like an option. If they can't put you first like you do them, they aren't worth it---move on! The jealousy thing? Stop it, dear God it's annoying! If they want to be with someone else then LET THEM! Don't be so afraid of losing something that isn't meant to be in the first place. And as far as their jealousy? It's not flattering, it's controlling---don't let it happen. Don't alter your personality for anyone, but don't expect someone to alter theirs for you either---if you do what's the purpose? You're supposed to love someone unconditionally---learn to accept it both ways. And drop the expectations. No one is inside of your head and can't read your thoughts...if you want something ASK for it! Don't get all pissed off because he can't just KNOW what you want! With that being said if you ask and he's still a jerk don't marry him or date him or whatever.
3. YOU DO MARRY THE FAMILY--- don't care what anyone says you do! They will always be there and hey, face it, some day you are going to have your own family and would you like your kids to just ditch you for their spouse? No! So think about that. If you can't get along with the family then you need to think long and hard about the future of this relationship. Not saying you have to live next door and spend every holiday and weekend with them, but if they obviously don't like you and you don't like them ---that's a problem girl!
4. SPEND TIME WITH YOUR FRIENDS - Girls only...no guys. Travel! Go on girls weekends. It's important! Don't just give it all up because you are in a relationship. You always encouraged him to go out with his friends, yet you never went out with yours. Why? Damn girl I wanna shake you! Everyone always thought you were so brave, turns out you were a little chicken. Afraid if you let distance between you he'd leave you, move on. Guess what? Who cares! If he leaves hold the door, you don't need someone who doesn't want to be with you. Being with your friends doesn't mean you love him any less.
5. DON'T BE SUCH A CONTROL FREAK! - do I need to go further? You want everything "perfect"...girl there is no such thing! Stop caring what other people think and figure out what makes YOU happy and do it! Stop trying to tie everything up in a neat little bow, not gonna happen. Well, yes it will, but then 26 years from now you will be writing this and wil just be realizing all of this when instead you could have lived the last 26 years so much happier. You don't have to fix everything for everyone you know. Here's a thought---how about you let someone fix something for you every once in a while---novel idea huh sweet pea?
6. TRAVEL - go out and do what makes you happy! Don't sit around because someone else doesn't want to go! Go alone! That's right---GO ALONE! It's ok, you're pretty cool company and no one understands you better than me :) See different places, try different things. Explore the world! And don't take everything so damn seriously (ooops I said that already huh? well it bears repeating hon. You are stubborn.
7. WHEN CHOSING A MATE.....stop making excuses for his behavior. Oh, he's tired, oh, he's busy, oh he doesn't mean it....oh, he loves me but....No BUTS! Expect him to be honest, and loving and kind and romantic and chivalrous and totally crazy in love with you. You DESERVE that! You give it don't you? You give 100% all the time! Yes, sometimes it's not about you---you have to realize that, he has his own thoughts just like you do. But if you're giving more than you're getting all the time---it's time to end it. There will be others. He's not the only fish in the sea (yes, you hated when your mother said that but it's damn true!) and somewhere out there is the perfect man for you---not the perfect man, but the perfect one for you! And when you find him---then don't ever let him go! Don't let pride, or ego or any of the other shit I mentioned about stop you from being with him. But until we find him---it's ok to go back to #2---you will get used to it
Now put on your big girl panties and go live your life! And have fun! Send me a post card from any place you go <3