Valentine's Day came and went. Michael asked me to write down 10 questions, and he did the same. Over dinner and dessert we proceeded to ask each other things that miraculously, over 5.5 years together we never knew about each other.
He posed his last question to me: If there was one thing you would change about our relationship, what would it be?
As if it was at the forefront of my mind, I immediately quipped: our wedding reception.
Good answer, he mused and nodded in agreement. Phew. I guess I was in the clear.
I'm not sure why but there were certain moments of my own wedding reception that I didn't even believe myself. A wedding is not a performance, and yet, it is. The stage is set with beautiful flowers and adornments. The actors are cued to walk the proper pace down the aisle. And the audience "ooohs and awwwws" at the precise time they are supposed to. Enter the two main characters. The bride and groom. The reason the event is. The reason the audience is there.
Obviously with my job, I've had the opportunity to witness many weddings. When it comes to the speeches, I take some photos and then put my camera to my side and observe. I listen. It is the moment which distinguishes whether you've lived your life right, or not. Absentee fathers skulk away in the shadows of the uplighting, as the mothers who raised their children boast on in the spotlight about their lives. The bride and groom sit quietly and listen to their chosen people, often times a sibling or lifetime best friend, tell funny and endearing stories that make everyone swoon and long for their relationship. You wait your whole life for someone to stand up and tell the world exactly how great they think you've turned out. And the wedding day is that very event.
I was fortunate to have love and support during our wedding. Those who came to Mexico to witness our vows, were the ones who immediately said they were going and never reneged on their promise. We had our parents stand up for us, and that is something we will never regret. Engagement parties, showers, bachelor and bachelorette parties were thrown in our honour. And our loved ones not only showed up, but really showed up. Their kind words, generous gifts and enthusiasm for our excitement will always be treasured.
So I'm not sure what it is, when looking back at our wedding video, that makes me sort of cringe in discomfort. Maybe it's more about who I was back then. The fact that a friend's wedding speech went on and on about the bouncers that I knew in the club scene. Really? I thought. It's my time, to show everyone in the room how great a person I turned out to be, and all I can be remembered for is being a party girl? Surely to God, there had to be more substance to me then that. I look at my face on the video, scanning the guests with a discerning eye, almost seeking out their approval or noticing disdain.
I look back, and I was such a different person. I was lost and on my way to being found. Marrying Michael was part of the change. An aunt's death was part of the change. Medication was part of the change. Divorcing negative people was part of the change. Quitting a job I disliked and doing what I loved was part of the change. My mindset was part of the change. Holding on tight to dearly beloved people, was part of the change.
And here I find myself wondering what our wedding would be like if we did it over again. Who would the guests be? Who would be there for us? What would they say? And the odd thing is, I know all the answers, and I know I wouldn't need it to be said aloud.
People use Facebook as a way to display their popularity to others. I used to say to friends...if you mean it...write it on my wall. Most likely to prove a point to someone else. Like, see? Look how loved I am.
I don't need that anymore. And anyone that I secretly wanted to see those comments, has also been removed. Those feelings are not healthy. Those friendships aren't real.
This past summer I identified with a bride and her discomfort. Nobody showed up for her. Her shower, her birthday party, her wedding. The wedding events...the time which distinguishes whether you've lived your life right or not. I obviously did something wrong when, at my stagette, I was told to plan it myself by my "BFF". My best friends now.....are you kidding me? They would never dream of doing something like that. But is that a testament to who I was? Or who they were? Or a combination of both? Is it a testament of who I am now? They say, to have a friend you have to be a friend. Food for thought.
There was a stag and doe for our Costa Rica bride last weekend. Remember? The worst snow storm to hit in 4 years? I felt so bad for them. 300 people were supposed to come from near and afar. And you know what? 200 braved the storm to make it there and support them.
Sometimes words don't need to be spoken. Presence says it all and unfortunately so do numbers.
I remember certain moments with a pang in my heart and a sort of longing to do certain things over again. But alas, here I am. Living a life ensuring that at my funeral, there will be worthwhile things to talk about.
Don't wait for your funeral. Don't wait for a wedding speech. Just be a good person, contribute to society and be genuine.
Get rid of the people on Facebook that spark that unhealthy competition. You know the ones, you stalk their pages but leave in a bad mood. People feign ignorance about being on there, but you know they are on there 24/7 and yet they deliberately ignore you, your photos, your status, your good news.
You don't need public approval. You don't need it written on your wall. You are aware of the person that you are and so are the ones who love you.
And as for the rest, it's time to get the fuck out of Dodge, and leave them behind.
Now go do something remarkable, and enjoy this glorious sunshine filled Sunday.