Life is fast. And it is getting faster. My boys are 9 and 6. They no longer need me the way they used to need me. It’s changing so quickly. I no longer need me the way I needed me. I need me differently - in a much more fierce and loving way. I am 41 and getting married for the first time in my life. I was never the girl that dreamt of weddings or wedding dresses. I dreamt of love in a different way. I dreamt of soulmates - of finding people in my life who made me feel alive and excited whether we were lovers or not. I dreamt of love in that kind of way - of romance, or being knocked off your feet and the breath taken out of you - and for me it came from travel, from learning to be present, from dear friendships, from childhood crushes, from yoga, from sports and so on and so on.
When I was about 12 I first fell in love, on our yearly trips to Miami for Passover. He was religious, I was not. We played basketball and flirted by jumping in the pool, playing tag and staying up late playing on the moonlit beach. It was so innocent and happy. I remember those times, the letters we wrote to each other when those weeks would end. I think I have spent most of my life knowing that I would recircle to that same kind of relationship, one that was playful, sportive, spiritual and here I am years and years later in that same kind of childhood love bond. To me, this is what is so great about life, it takes you on a journey where every turn is magically different than what you imagined, it spins you so far around until you are willing to look and follow the path it wants to give you and the one that you were always meant to take. All of the chapters are important and necessary...all of them, even the hard ones.
People ask me “how are you feeling about getting married,” and I keep thinking that I feel grateful. I feel this sense that I have made my way back to myself, to listening to what feels good and right and allowing myself to have all of that. I am so grateful to raise kids in a home where I can be myself - and a partner to support that.
I watch my kids navigate life - I watch them try to understand their own paths, what feels good versus what looks good, what culture is telling them versus what their heart is telling them. I empathize with how confusing it is to both be yourself and to fit into this society. I feel their pains when they come up against that friction of aligning with themselves or aligning with their peers. It feels all too familiar. We talk so much about being brave and courageous, we talk so much about supporting each other and how when we allow ourselves to be ourselves, no matter what it looks like, we can feel the flow of life, of the universe, dare I even say God.
How do we teach our kids this? How do we learn to make choices, forgive ourselves for some of those choices and move forward? I have never felt so weak when I was living according to some other persons or cultures plan and I have never felt so strong when I took responsibility for my own choices and found my way back to my own path. And isn’t it funny and interesting that we have to do this over and over again in all the areas of our lives. Even here at work, I have to make sure I am listening to my own voice, my own choices in the face of what culture tells me is beautiful...
There is so much richness right here at this very moment. I wake up each day feeling an immense amount of energy not just for all the beauty in my life, but more importantly for my own strength and trust in myself that I cannot steer myself wrong. And only all of this could have come with the suffering and sadness that I went through - with that moment of total fear of stepping out of a relationship with two young babies by my side, with a total leap of faith into the unknown - that is bravery. We are so lucky - most of us, who have this choice, to stand before another and announce our love to each other in front of the ones we love. So many women and men do not have this choice.
A wise person once said that first we must learn to love ourselves and then we can love another - and I think that is so true. So here I go into this next chapter where I welcome things like commitment, growth, intimacy, age and uniting our families. I go in wide eyed, heart open and with family and friends supporting me. I go in with a person who is so loving and kind, that I honestly don’t deserve it (but I do) and I go in with my two boys hand in hand who have shown such bravery and compassion and who I am so proud for all the lessons they have had to learn.
We all go in together.
Hoping this finds you somewhere in love or on the path back to it. Tell me your stories, I love to hear them!