Jul 9, 2014

Three Times the Charm.

I've been proposed to three times.  That's right.  By three different men.  At three different times in my life, the man I was in a relationship with got down on one knee (or not) and asked me to be his wife.  That means I've had three different wedding dresses.  Three different rings.  Is your mind blown yet?

I've been a little more open in talking about my past relationships in this blog with my last post, and now this one.  The older I get, the more authentically I live.  As in, I just want to be, surround myself with, and seek out the real.  I crave it.  I've also realized there is no such thing as pretending big experiences didn't happen.  Burying it is not sustainable, and you can only pretend to forget, or deny.  And why should you want to? That's the big one.  Everything that happens to you, the good and the bad, is your story.  It makes you who you are.  It alters you, it informs you, and you grow from it.  

This isn't to say I feel my life or my past is anybody's business I don't want it to be. And I've learned that I don't owe an explanation to anyone.  Boom! Power back! But there are some things I'm willing to share.  I've done my work to clear out, heal, and I'd like to give it to you as I approach my wedding day. 

Have you seen the movie, Mr. Nobody? There are three timelines in which he makes a choice, propelling him down a path.  Each one is very different.  In each one there is a different wife.  There are variations on each path, as well.  If you don't chose, everything is possible.  But there's no such thing as not choosing anything, because even nothing is something.  In the end the lesson is that there is no wrong choice.  There are just choices (I've blogged about this concept before).  But there are also some things that simply do seem to be part of our destiny.  

We decide what to do in any given situation based on what we know at the time.  How much life experience we have behind us, how we perceive the world, the type of personality we are, who we are genetically, who we think we should be, etc.  

There is no wrong choice. 

The first time a boyfriend got down on a knee, he had no ring.  He was nervous.  He was shaking.  He was on his way to work at the bookstore.  He took the ring I was wearing (a birthday present from my parents) and moved it to my ring finger, saying to wear it there for now.  He went to work.  I was on my way somewhere, stopped at the train tracks when I called my mom to tell her I was engaged.  Silence, followed by, "Oh."  She wasn't happy about it.  Later, we bought our engagement rings and my wedding band. I bought a wedding dress.  We had a downpayment on a reception center.  He called it off.  I thought I would die.  I survived.  It was back on.  We were going to elope.  It was called off again.  It blurs from here, the cycle of on then off.  It was a long time ago.  It was juvenile.  It wasn't real.  It wasn't to be.  It turned out fine. 

The second time I was proposed to, he had a ring.  He'd picked it on his own.  It was enormous.  Gorgeous.  I don't even want to tell you what it cost.  It was a planned proposal.  It was Halloween.  I remember what I was wearing.  I'm not going to tell you all of the details, because they are mine.  I married him.  We eloped.  Little planning is required for eloping.  No way will I share that day with you.  It's mine, all mine.  We were married for six years.  It was real.  It wasn't to be.  I thought I would die.  It turned out fine.  Except when it wasn't.  And then it was fine again, and then it wasn't.  It blurs from here, the cycle of fine, then not.  It wasn't that long ago.  It wasn't juvenile.  

The third time I was proposed to, he had a ring.  We picked it out together.  It's absolutely perfect.  I look down at my left hand now, and with this one there is no sense of playing house, being unprepared, or wearing a symbol of defiance for my parents' sake.  There is no underlying question when I see my ring deep down (so deep) that maybe this ring is too extravagant, and not quite me.  Gone is the most secret of feelings that I tried to deny and never, ever wanted.  The feeling that getting married was what I thought I was supposed to do at that time.  That the ring felt off, because it represented being trapped in the wrong choice.  

The third time feels like the only time.  The real time.  The conscious choice.  The choice I make as a healthy adult who's been through it.  The self-aware choice to embark on a marriage and a life with this person, at this time, knowing what I know now.  Knowing who I am, and what my strengths and faults are in a relationship. Knowing my deal breakers.  Knowing what it feels like to be loved by good guys and not so good guys.  Knowing what I'm looking for.  Now when I look down at this ring, I see the symbol of what fits me, literally and emotionally.  I'm reminded that I was brave as hell and survived the worst of the worst.  I fought! I refused to settle! By god, there is such a thing as finding the love of your life!

There is no wrong choice.  And boy, this is very much my choice.

And I'm so deeply in love with this choice.

This time, I am freed.  I'm empowered.  I'm enhanced.  Whole, home, real.  


Deena Marie