I described myself as a “recovering cynic” recently in one of my online dating profiles. (Yes, I’m dating, but we’ll save that topic for another post. Or another 30 posts. Or maybe an anonymous book someday.) Right now, we are focusing on the less sexy topic of cynism. As a result of describing myself this way I was often asked what do you mean? And I was confused. Because it seems pretty self explanatory. It means I was a cynic and now I’m in the process of choosing not to be. Cynism is a choice. I choose not to view the glass as half empty. This claim has recently been put to the test.
My beautiful baby sister is getting married exactly two months from today. I could not be happier for her and her amazing fiancé. They are truly a perfect fit. Again, I could write an entire post about these two lovely weirdos and how they stumbled into love, but another time…
As a result of their upcoming nuptials, we are the midst of wedding festivities, which means it has been impossible not to think about my own wedding. And then I found myself talking about it. Out loud. And it seemed taboo. Like I shouldn’t talk or think about it. Like my wedding was tainted because my marriage was “unsuccessful.” Granted the taboo part could be (and probably is) all in my head. But it still made me think, was my marriage unsuccessful?
And my answer is no. Plain and simple. No.
My wedding day was a beautiful day that I painstakingly planned. It was full of smiles and music and laughter and love. Yes, love! We became a family that day. And a couple years later our family grew. And a few years later it grew again. And during that time we grew up. We helped each other grow up. We picked up each other. We had each other’s backs. We helped each other keep all of the balls in the air. Until one day, we couldn’t, we stopped. But we did. We did for eight years. We built a beautiful family from the ground up. From nothing. From two 26-year-olds standing in a century old cathedral staring at each other saying I do. We had faith in each other. Faith that we would figure it out. We jumped in with both feet. No, it didn’t last forever, but I really can’t look back at it, look back at that day, look at the faces of our children, look at our intact friendship, how much we’ve grown together, I can’t look at all of that and deem our marriage unsuccessful.
I had what I thought was an epiphany a few weeks ago. One where I woke up at some godawful hour and wrote it down not knowing why or when I would revisit it…
Not knowing what’s next keeps us humble. Knowing we’re strong enough to survive it keeps us confident.
Now I know it just to be another way to describe faith.
Your wedding day is about faith. Not faith as it relates to religion, but faith in each other. It is trusting that you are making the right decision together. Finding peace in knowing that you are both willing to work through whatever is thrown at you. When that faith in each other starts to waiver, that’s when the cracks start forming, but as you walk down that aisle your faith should be strong. My faith in him was there that day. So I’m proud of me and I’m proud of him and I’m proud of the day when we celebrated that faith. Let’s be real, I won’t be celebrating that day this year. I will probably shed a few tears and hug my babies tight and remind myself that that day gave me these tiny hands to hold.
Through my recent journey, I’ve learned that worrying about things that I cannot change is a waste of time and energy. What’s done is done. There is no use in feeling shame or guilt for what I cannot change. I am proud of what I (we) accomplished and I have learned from my mistakes. And I choose to continue to have faith. Faith that some day someone else will place their faith in me and I in them. I don’t know if that faith will be recognized by a church or the law or shared silently between the two of us, and frankly, I don’t care.