Friday, June 8, 2012

I sell these in my shop.  Now that I am getting married, I should make some new styles!  I need to make some for my reception.

Unsolicited Advice from a 35-Year-Old First-Time Bride

I see many Facebook posts from my younger friends, mostly my former students in their late teens and early twenties, that break my heart.  I understand how you feel.  I understand what it is like to think that you will never find someone.  I was hurt so many times before I met Kevin, the man I will marry this November.

I cried on many shoulders of friends who assured me I would find someone.  I cried on my mother’s shoulder, as well.  My mother was married when she was 21 and is still married to my father.  I felt like her words meant nothing because she couldn’t understand.  She found the love of her life at a young age.  I felt like no one really understood.

However, this is not a “don’t worry, you will find someone, I did” post.  It is a “don’t worry about finding someone and enjoy your life” post.  Even though it hurt to not have a special someone, even though I was afraid I would never find the one, my life up until I met Kevin was great.

I didn’t sit around waiting for him.  I didn’t settle for someone else.  I wouldn’t change a thing.  Of course, it would have been nice to have met Kevin years ago, but that was not meant to be.  I am glad I was single for 33 years, instead of settling and marrying someone who was not as amazing as my Kevin.

Instead of sitting around wondering why no one loved me, I lived my life.  I bought a house, adopted a wonderful dog, and I traveled the world.  I went to Ireland by myself, instead of waiting for a man to take me.  I traveled alone to other places, as well.  I had many experiences in my life that I will always treasure, and none of them would have happened had I been married at a young age.

Although I did enjoy being single, being with Kevin has enhanced my life so much.  I can’t imagine life without him.  However, I am grateful that I lived my life to the fullest until I found him, instead of wasting away waiting for him.  I am not saying my life is better than the lives of people who got married young, because that is not true.  I know many happily married couples with full lives.  What I am saying is that my life was definitely better than the lives of people who settle for someone unworthy, or who fail to live their own lives because they are too caught up in trying to find a partner.

I have many single friends, my age and older, who have spectacular lives.  You do not need a significant other to have a fulfilling life.  Ignore what movies tell you.  Even if I had not met Kevin, I would still be happy traveling and enjoying my friends.  Of course, having Kevin makes my life better, but I was definitely not miserable before we met.  Your significant other should do just that—he or she should make your already amazing life BETTER, not save you from a miserable existence.

Here is my advice.  Do not make finding love your goal.  I know it is hard, but I promise it can be done.  In fact, don’t make any life goals that depend on another person.  Your goals should all be things you can accomplish on your own, such as traveling, getting an education, excelling in your career, etc.  Make yourself the most amazing person you can be, and when the right person comes into your life, you will know it.  You will know that you are worth being loved by a wonderful person.  You will know that you are not settling for fear you will not find someone else.  You will know that you have indeed found true love.