Let’s be honest – I suck. I have been so insanely busy! After the holidays, life exploded. I have less than 3 months until my wedding now and things are in high gear! I think about you guys a lot and there have been things that I wanted to say, not limited to (but including):
- A recent health scare
- Cupcakegate 2012
- Wedding accessories
- Jeans of a certain size
- DIY Madness
I promise that sometime, though I can’t attest to when, I will tell you about all those wonderful, insane tales. Until then, please accept this apology in the form of a picture of kitties getting married.
Thanks for reading! – A
Prince Phillip of England said the title quote, and I doubt he was saying it about some girl in the US. Still, the sentiment really hits the nail on the head when I look back at this past year and what I’ve gone through. I’ve been trying to write this post for two weeks because you, as a reader, deserve to read this. I have lost 107 pounds. 108, by now actually, but the pic shows me 1 pound heavier and 1 day late from my surgical anniversary. On July 15, 2010 I woke up at 4 AM and hustled down to Temple University Hospital in the ‘hood of North Philadelphia to go through a major surgery. You can see the vacancy in my eyes that day as I was a million miles away in my worries. One year and one day later I just came back from a run where I attempted unsuccessfully to clear my mind of all the stress that planning a wedding and managing insane weight loss entails, and I ironically looked equally vacant while lost in my thoughts. I find it interesting that though everything changes, some things never will.
This past year has shown me what I am made of. I am running 5k’s. I am wearing mediums, and even smalls. I am doing pull ups. My motivation and drive are only matched by my fears, which are still there. I am afraid I’ll drop the ball and gain this weight back. I’m afraid that this amazing gift I have received will go out the window when I get pregnant in a few years. But I think that same fear turns into jet fuel in my veins and keeps me powering through. I have been given this amazing opportunity to have the life I always wanted. I feel so incredibly lucky to have this tool that changed my perspective.
Months ago I expected to feel some sort of momentous accomplishment on July 15th this year, like I had climbed Mt. Everest. The day sort of came and went. I had a margarita in celebration, something I’m sure my surgeon would have an issue with, but that was about it. But looking at it a few weeks later I feel grateful that it felt like any other day because it means that this is my life now. Yes, July 15th is the anniversary of my rebirth. But it’s also just one more day that I need to work out. It’s one more day that I need to chew my food to a liquid consistency. It’s just another day in this new life.
I’m so thankful for everything that’s happened this past year. I lost 100+ pounds and met my goal. The first number of my weight is a 1. I started a new job at a wonderful place. I became engaged to a man who is strapped in to ride this roller coaster with me for the long haul. And I started telling all of you about this. This hasn’t been easy, but I feel like nothing worth having usually is. I’m excited to continue moving forward in life, and I’m so glad that I can invite you to share in my successes and even my stumbles, because I feel that continued challenge to change. And thankfully, I’m up for the challenge.
Thanks for reading. – A
I know this is a little late, but I have been thinking about this topic for a while, especially now since Father’s Day just passed. My story is long and sorted, so I’ll just say that I was estranged from my father for the majority of my life. Only in recent years have we reconnected, and the bulk of my reconnection is really with his sister who is only a few months older than I and his mother. There’s actually a cousin who I’m also friendly with on facebook who is an amazing photographer. Anyway, suffice it to say that he, my birth father, will not be walking me down the aisle.
So who should? My grandfather who, for all intents and purposes, served as my dad passed away in 2008. He was a character, and he gave me a great sense of direction and the ability to joke with anyone, but he was definitely a grandfather and not my daddy. My great-uncle was more like my dad than anything. As a child, he’d take me to breakfast at the diner with his business associates and to the Shriner circus, since he himself was a fez-wearing member. We went camping at the local country club campgrounds and he’d spoil me with little treats when he came home from his business trips. He often told my mother “not to come over without that baby!” and told me things that I didn’t like to eat, like cottage cheese, were foods that I should try because they were good for my “globicles”. He is a father. Sadly, he is also a very sick man who will not be able to make the trip to my wedding. Frankly, even if it were in his very backyard I’m not sure he’d be well enough to attend.
Though there is a part of me that is really sad that my pseudo-dad can’t be the one giving me away, there is an amazing silver lining. Nobody ever said it has to be your father who gives you away. And what is being given anyway? I’m almost 30, the jig is up – I don’t belong to anyone other than myself. But I do like tradition. Some traditions, like those of a Jewish wedding, have the bride escorted by both her parents because it is they who shaped her and made her the person she is. Because of this, I’ve decided to have those who have shaped me walk me to my man: both my mother and grandmother will escort me down the aisle.
My mother is important to me, though I can admit that our bond is not as strong as I would hope. I think now that I’m an adult I’m able to see her for who she is and love her for her qualities instead of having ill feelings because of her faults – and that gives us the room that we need to grow closer. Regardless of what we’ve gone through, she is a big part of me and I see that more and more each day. She is my ability to whip up a meal out of nothing more than leftovers and a spice rack. She is my steady hand that allows me to decorate cupcakes in cute and intricate ways. She is my creative eye that affords me the ability to contribute tons of cute crafty ideas to my big day. And I love her for all of that.
But she didn’t raise me, not completely anyway. She had a hand in it, but my grandmother was there at dance recitals and band concerts. Grama, as I call her, is kind-hearted and gentle in her soul. She has suffered more pain than most should ever have, but I am her joy, her greatest accomplishment as she’ll tell anyone who asks. Her unofficial 6th child, I had every opportunity she worked for me to have and I barely appreciated them at the time. Looking back, I can see how her sacrifices afforded me the ability to make something of myself. Not having her by my side would feel incomplete. I am so grateful for the love that she has always shown me, and knowing that I’m “the love of her life” has always pushed me to reach for the brass ring to do her proud.
I may not be a daddy’s girl, but I have been so lucky to have wonderful people, be them birth parents, surrogate fathers or ancillary mothers, who have raised me to be a proud and self-sufficient woman. When I walk with them on my arm, or present in my heart, on my wedding day, I’ll know that everything I am and everything that I’m offering to my husband came about because of them.
Thanks for reading. – A
It’s been 3 weeks. THREE weeks, since I’ve said what’s up. I have been SO busy! For that, I apologize. I have had a ton of major submissions due at work and they have been eating up my mind so that by the time I get home the last thing I want to touch is a keyboard. Hopefully that will stop soon.
I want to follow this post with a few smaller and focused posts on flowers, photographers, the Royal Wedding (obviously!) and my weight – specifically in terms of a recent g a i n in poundage. Don’t worry though, it’s under control now! 🙂
Anyway, I just wanted to let you know I haven’t forgotten about you and I’m going to make it a point to catch up. I think my sanity depends on it.
Thanks for reading! – A
I know this post may, at an initial glance, have no place on a wedding blog. Everyone is looking for this blog to be all cupcakes and rainbows – and trust me, it will get there if you keep reading. But for now, I’d like to discuss with you the taboo topic of ex-boyfriends. Yes, I heard you gasp. Be forewarned, my relationship history isn’t insanely robust but it’s average I think. For the purposes of this post, I’m only going to mention post-high school exes.
In college I dated someone that we’ll just call Intense Guy to be nice. We met when I was a sophomore, so I was still naïve, and although we had a lot in common I felt like he had so much to show me. We were together for a year and a half, and during that time I really learned a lot about life. He helped me get my academic efforts together and really pushed me to practice more. (We were music majors.) But then his planning and passion for learning focused on the future. What were WE doing for grad school? And then when would WE get married? Little things like passing tests for classes that we had together became pressure-laden land mines that I avoided at all costs. It was too much for me and I ended up wanting to just enjoy life now and make decisions for myself. I couldn’t handle the pressure so when we went through a break-up/make-up period, I eventually held him to it and we broke up.
I learned from that one. I wanted Intense Guy to chill out and let me run a little bit of my life! So the next guy was suuuuper relaxed. We’ll call him Doormat Guy, because instead of pushing his opinions and plans on me as Intense Guy had, Doormat Guy left all of the planning to me. He was the sweetest guy ever and would give me anything and everything I wanted, but he didn’t have any opinions that he’d share. It was a very “whatever you like” time in my life, if you’ve seen Coming to America, and much like the royal prince of Zamunda I wanted a REAL relationship with someone who wouldn’t bark like a dog if I asked them to. I wanted an equal, a partner, not someone that I had to drag along through life! We parted ways after a year.
By this time I knew I couldn’t be with someone too intense, but I didn’t want to be with someone who was spineless. Maybe this time I’d find a nice mid-road guy. And mid-road I found! This should be it, right? He wasn’t too passionate, but he knew how to stand up for himself, even for us. We had fun together during the honeymoon phase, but as things progressed and I was ready for a real emotional connection I soon found out that I was with Emotionally Unavailable Guy.Every time I tried to progress our relationship and get closer, there was a wall. He gave me just enough to give the illusion that we were moving ahead, like asking me to move in after a year and then looking to purchase a house together a year later. We had a lot of fun together, but we fought a lot too because I was really resentful of coming SO CLOSE to finding what I wanted but then being blocked. He was supposed to be it! He seemed like he was the guy, even my family thought so. When I eventually realized he wasn’t, I’d spent 3 years waiting for a future that was never coming. I had to do something drastic so I walked away. He didn’t follow me.
At the time, I tried to be positive. I tried to tell myself “now you’re free to meet someone who’s right for you!” like all of the books say to. Unfortunately I would be lying if I said I didn’t shed some tears over it. Being lonely sucks! But then something happened – I started to see what I had learned. I now knew that I needed someone who was passionate about life and wanted to plan our future, but wanted to plan it together. I needed someone who I would have fun with, but also someone who wanted to really connect with me and give me emotional support. I started to take comfort that being single really was giving me the freedom to find the one.
As luck would have it, this knowledge served me very well and I met him – the one, that is. When M and I began dating, I was able to feel confident that if it didn’t work out I would learn something and move on to a relationship that fit better. This confidence allowed me to be brutally honest. M knew early on that I needed him to talk about the future, but that it needed to be a group effort in planning our life. He knew that I was the marrying kind and understood when, after he asked me to move in, I told him that if I parked my toothbrush next to his I expected him to put a ring on it within a year. Yes, typing it out I am able to see that it may come off as an ultimatum. But it wasn’t really for him, it was for me. I didn’t want to have to be drastic again and uproot my life because I was shuffling around waiting for someone else to make my life start.
I felt empowered in our relationship because I took control of what I wanted and was no longer looking for someone to give me everything as some sort of participation gift. Instead, I had taken charge and went looking for a partner who was right for me. And I found him on my terms. Looking back, I’m able to have fond and thankful feelings toward the exes. They led me to him. And in a cheesy therapist way, they led me to me. And now, I have it all.
See? Cupcakes and rainbows. 🙂
Thanks for reading. – A