It’s Been Awhile

I think I owe you an update.

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It’s been a long 8-ish months since I’ve posted anything on LPA and for that I sincerely apologize. Life has gotten incredibly crazy and I feel like I’ve been living in a bit of a blur. Not only did my snazzy Finn and I finally reunite, we’ve received an amazing surprise, but more on that later!

Now there’s a lot that has happened since my last post back in January and I promise to update you all as briefly as possible; buckle up and let’s get to it.

Jan through March: This period of time was full of angsty waiting while working as a leasing consultant back in Michigan and as a digital marketing intern for a company based in Helsinki. The boyf and I were trying to figure out any way for us to reunite in the future and avoid this whole long-distance thing.

I cannot even begin to explain how overwhelming it was to weed our way through several options, eventually land on one, and then attempt to get it all sorted as quickly as possible. Not only were we moving me to Finland, but also two of my cats (one is currently living with my dad in Michigan and is his little buddy!), and timing it perfectly to allow me to return to Helsinki in time to finish my last month of my internship in person while first allowing the boyf to come and meet my family. It was hectic to say the least.

But alas, he made it to Michigan and met my family. We traveled around Michigan IMG_3551sightseeing and we got engaged! He proposed at Port Huron; it was a truly perfect day as we were driving around the thumb of Michigan, stopping at different little spots along the way, and we even made a pitstop at Wilson’s Cheese Shoppe to grab some amazing cheese curds, dip, and sausage for snacks. We chowed down the entire drive home, haha.

Interested in reading about the immigration process in Finland? Check out our next post!


April: We left for Finland on April 6th. In all honesty, we probably should have postponed my coming to Finland because not only was no one in the office for all of April, but staying home to save up money would have been a smarter decision. Oh well, hindsight is always 20/20 and I’m truly grateful to have been able to spend so much time with my man. Anyway, April 6th was a day full of emotions. I was incredibly stressed out over moving to Finland, getting the cats situated with their flights, and we received a major surprise that day.

About 2 hours before we were to leave for the airport, I was standing in my mother’s bathroom staring at a big + sign in utter disbelief. I stuffed the test into my pocket and placed it in the center console of my car so I could tell my guy privately. We ended up IMG_3728taking a quick trip to the bank and I asked him to check the console. He opened it up, looked inside and goes “there’s a pregnancy test and your wallet” and then closes it, not even looking at the test! I laughed and said, “did you even look at it?!” which causes him to reopen the console, look at it, and then at me. His expression was complete shock and pretty much captured the mood of the rest of the entire day.

Our flight to Finland was filled with us, holding hands, watching movies, and occasionally looking at each other and saying “oh, shit…” while laughing. It was definitely what you’d imagine seeing in a movie!

By the end of the month we had visited a maternity clinic here in Helsinki and heard our little baby’s heartbeat. Life truly hasn’t been the same since.


May: In May, I began renegotiating a contract with the company I worked at as an intern for in Helsinki, just to come to an agreement that was revoked after they were bought out by a larger company. Literally the next day. I was devastated, because not only did I love what I was working on, but because I knew I needed some form of income while in Finland an awaiting my residence permit.

By the end of May, boyf morphed into my husband and we traveled to Estonia on our IMG_4698short but absolutely perfect honeymoon. We spent about 4 days in Old Towne walking up and down cobblestone streets and eating delicious food. We made a special trip to St. Olav’s Church and climbed to the top of the church tower to appreciate the gorgeous views.

Note: This tourist spot is not handicap-friendly and while I saw a little girl climbing the stairs to the top, I would definitely not say that it is kid-friendly either. The staircase is insanely narrow and the steps are no more than 4 inches deep. It’s a bit disorienting because it’s such a twisty staircase and there’s only a rope to hold onto, plus some people are walking up while others are walking down and each step is probably only two feet wide. After climbing to the top, I really dreaded going back down. Luckily we were one of the first few people to go up, so it wasn’t super busy until we made our way back down .

Stay tuned for my next post that ventures deeper into our honeymoon in Estonia!


June through September: Okay, so I know this is a really large lump, but there’s mostly just been routine and not much to note in these last few months. After everything with my internship ended, I focused mostly on just finishing my degree (which was conferred in August, whoop!) and taking care of this little bun in the oven.

August 1st we found out we’re expecting a baby boy and we couldn’t be more excited.IMG_5145
We’ve decided to name him after both of our grandfathers and with a name that works in both English and Finnish. Let me tell ya, figuring out a name in both languages for a girl was such a pain in the butt and we weren’t in love with our decision, so having a boy was the perfect solution! Our little man has been steadily growing and I’m nesting little by little. My parents are sending us a package of baby items in the mail because clothing and everything we need is so expensive here. We’ve been fortunate enough to have generous parents and people in our lives. Hubs’ parents built baby’s beautiful crib by hand and we finally have it situated in our bedroom.

Interested in seeing a completed nursery/master bedroom tour? Stay tuned!


So now we’re here, in modern day, enjoying the last few months as a family of two – four if you count the cats! Life has been an incredible adventure and it’s only just begun.

xo,

LP

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Keep Climbing and Don’t Look Up

This was not how I envisioned this going.

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If we’re being honest, I hadn’t expected this year to be such an uphill battle. I figured that, by now, life would have gone back to normal and I’d be working for a company I love, in Finland. Hell, if we’re going to talk about my crazy and incredibly naive notion on how this year would go, we’d be discussing how I had planned on still being in Helsinki and working for a company that was able to hire me on full-time, planning to go back to Michigan any day now.

But that’s not how life works.

Life is messy- I’m pretty sure I’ve said that phrase about a million times on this blog, but it’s still true. After spending the last year and change in an international relationship, you’d think I’d understand how nothing is easy and just seeing each other is the world’s biggest headache, but I’m still not fully grasping the severity of it all. Let me give you guys the low-down on what’s going on:

I am currently working for a start-up company in Helsinki, from Michigan. This company is amazing and I want to be a part of this team like you wouldn’t believe. There is an opportunity for becoming a partner at this company after my initial position has come to its close. So you’d think that would mean I could get a residence permit, right? Nope. So even though I’m an educated and hardworking individual with a job that you’d think would allow me to mosey my way on over, I can’t. Here’s why: because this company is a start-up and we are not making real salaries, in terms of like over a 1000 euros a month, I cannot get a residence permit, so I can’t move to Finland in order to work there, like, you know, full-time. Plus, although I would be in a situation where I don’t have normal expenses like rent and utilities, it’s not a good enough reason to not need to meet their income requirements.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t even be looking into this company or moving to Finland if it wasn’t for my super cool boyfriend who I’d like to actually get to spend time with… preferably without the use of a computer and the internet. So we’ve talked about it, the big M-word, and it’s been a difficult conversation. This wasn’t how we had planned on doing it. Rushing it was never in the cards, but living apart for another year and a half isn’t either. It’s all a bit up in the air at the moment and I’m stuck somewhere in the limbo of planning a courthouse wedding and looking for full-time jobs in Michigan for when my contract with the Helsinki based company ends. As the “planner” type, this has been horrible. I’ve broken out with hives every day for the last week and I keep pretending it’s not because of some underlying stressor, even though it is.

I know there’s already been a lot of climbing this year; my arms are a bit tired and my footing is a bit loose, but there’s nothing else we can do but climb and not look up at the rest of the massive mountain in front of us.

-LP

Grieving for a Marriage You Never Wanted: A New Divorceè’s Perspective

You can’t realize how unhappy you were until you stop being unhappy.

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Photo by Chiến Phạm on Unsplash

I’ll admit it; I was in an unhappy marriage and I didn’t know it. 
How did I not know it? Ignorance is bliss and I was trying damn hard to be blissful. I mean, that’s what the entire first year of marriage is meant to be, right?

That’s what I was told, until things got hard.

Then I was told the first year of marriage is the hardest. 

And when that wasn’t enough to make me stay, I was told I took a vow. 

They were right. I took a vow. I stood before a man and told him I’d love him regardless of what came our way. I made this promise in front of all of our family and friends. I wore the dress. I played the part. I was the blushing bride.

Yet somehow I found myself standing in front of a judge waiting to finalize the divorce of a barely there marriage.

I was able to stand in front of our judge and confirm, without hesitation, that the bonds of matrimony had been severed and there is no hope of reconciliation. As I stood there, somberly and pretending not to see the man who was about to become my ex-husband to my left, I waited for the doubt to creep in. I waited for the moment where my heart would tell me I was making the wrong choice. I waited and yet it never came.

I wish I could have said the same for my wedding day.

A mere 19 months earlier I stood holding that man’s hand, unable to look into his eyes without forcing myself, and felt panic rush through me as I vowed to be his wife. Pure terror rushed through me and I waited for the courage to let go of his hand and run down the aisle, alone.

But now I sit here with no ring on my finger. No husband in my life and no desire for him to be there; but I can’t help but to have a sore heart. I’m just as doubtless as I was in the courtroom, but there’s a gray tinge to the rosy outlook I had on life.

I’m grieving for a marriage I never wanted to be in.

I wish I wanted it. I wish, so badly, that he was what I wanted. How can you want more than a person who loves you unconditionally? A person who would agree to anything just to keep you in his life? A person who just wanted to be loved back?

I never tried to want more. I spent months attempting to convince myself that I was happy, but I just… wasn’t.

Maybe they’re right. Maybe I am being selfish. Maybe I should have stuck it out and realized 50 years from now that I wasted a life wishing to be happy. Would I have been okay with the choices I made? It’s possible, but unlikely. Regardless of if they’re right or not; it’s okay to grieve for this marriage that never could have become something I wanted.

If you’ve gone through a divorce, even one you wanted, and you’re wondering why it is you’re not feeling like celebrating… just know you’re not alone.

Your marriage ended. I’ve had several people ask me how I’m going to celebrate; I’m not celebrating. I spent the weekend with a close friend of mine and all we did was talk and day drink. Sometimes therapy is watching Grey’s Anatomy silently, crying over Denny Duquette’s death, and wishing you loved someone like Izzy loved him. You’ll find someone that fills your heart with that kind of love; don’t worry. (Bonus points if is name is Denny!)

You may still care for your ex-spouse. That doesn’t mean you’re meant to be with them. I don’t wish my ex-husband ill; I just know that we could never be what the other person needed. Regardless of how hard you try, sometimes the pieces just don’t fit and you’re both left banged up from trying. It’s okay.

Your future changed. You can no longer imagine exactly what your future is going to look like. You were probably, at least slightly, comfortable in your relationship and now that it’s over you’re feeling a bit out of sorts. Give it time. If you separated before the divorce it might be a bit easier, but it doesn’t mean that it’s completely painless. That first year is the hardest, but you’ll make it through.

Your identity is changing. Again. You used to be a single unit, then you became his wife, now you’re back to being on your own again. You’re no longer so-and-so’s wife; you’re just you! It’s both an amazing and unsettling notion. If you’re changing your name back to your maiden name like I am, be prepared for lots of questions and having to get used to signing it again!

It’s okay to feel a bit sad when you think about the life you gave up even if you know it’s for the best. It’s normal. It’s part of the process. I knew before we got married that we shouldn’t get married. I knew it wouldn’t last because I never wanted it in the first place but it doesn’t make it any easier to let it go.

I’m happier than I’ve ever been and then I remember the heart I hurt. It sends a little pang of guilt into my chest, but I know with time it will subside and that ultimately, this is the best way I could have ever shown him that he meant something to me.

Even if he doesn’t get it yet.

-LP

I’m Yours; I’m Mine

Don’t forget that I’m a person
Once you’ve spent all your days with me.
Darling, I know it’s not easy,
But remember what I used to be.
I used to be so daring,
I used to be so new.
Back when I was just a girl,
Before I meant anything to you.
So don’t forget that I’m still me;
Don’t forget the way to woo.
Remember how you loved me,
And I’ll remember how to love you.

When I’m no longer mysterious,
When you know my every curve.
Promise to love me like you did,
Love me like I deserve.

Maybe one day you’ll see me,
And maybe I won’t notice.
You’ll get to be a stranger,
And I’ll be the one you can’t kiss.
You’ll see me like the rest do,
You’ll see my from afar.
And I’ll be on my own,
I won’t be on your arm.
Instead of looking at me like you’re other half,
You’ll view me as a whole.
You’ll see me like I used to be
Before I stepped into that role.
And I’ll get to be me again,
And well, you’ll get to be you.
Maybe you’ll smile to yourself,
Because we both know we’re no longer new.

I get to be your partner,
Yeah, I signed my name on the dotted line.
While that means I belong to you,
It also means I’m mine.
So don’t forget that I’m a person.
Don’t forget that I’m still me.
But when I return home that night,
You can’t help but look at me and see
That while I’ve turned into the woman you love,
Somehow I’m able to be
More than just your partner,
Somehow I’m still me.

It’ll Kill Me to Stay and Break Me to Leave

6 Things People Won’t Tell You About Getting Divorced

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I’m in the thick of it. How is it that I can feel both relief and hurt at the same time? I’m the one that wanted this; I know that leaving is the best option for me and, quite frankly, for us, but my heart is a little sore today. I’m feeling a little broken today in a way that I can’t completely express. Someone should have warned me about these damn emotions, but they didn’t so I’ll share a bit with you:

  1. Even if you know it’s what you want; it isn’t easy. It’s not easy to let go of safety. It’s not easy to unravel a relationship you spent years building. It isn’t easy leaving but it’s no easier to stay. You’re not making this decision based on what’s easy; you’re making it based on what’s right. You’re going to feel selfish; you’re going to think that you should have stuck it out, relationships are hard, right? But the thought of staying will make your pulse quicken and your breath catch; staying makes you anxious and leaving scares the shit out of you. It’s normal.
  2. People are going to hate you. His family will hate you and won’t even try to hide it. People you met together may side with him; they might side with you. You might get calls explaining what a piece of crap you are for destroying a person that loves you and you just have to take it, even if you’re feeling broken, too. You can cry about it later and, believe me, you will.
  3. You’re going to cry a lot… and then a bit more. You’ll cry when you think about the good times. You’ll cry when you realize there were more bad times than good. You’ll cry when you realize those good times should outweigh the bad, but don’t. You’ll cry when your anniversary passes. You’ll cry when you think about your possible future. You’ll cry when you realize you’ll never have it. You’ll cry when you call him and ask him to move out. You’ll cry when he does, half from relief, half from sorrow. You’re allowed to grieve this relationship; it’s okay if it hurts. You’re human.
  4. You might doubt yourself for a split second. When you’ve thought your mind was made up, fear of the unknown will seep in. It’s okay. Those moments of weakness are few and far between at this point and you’ll make it through. We both know how damn difficult this is; it’s more than a break up; it’s a complete demolition of a home you once had. As terrible as that home may have been, sometimes it’s sad to see it come down brick by brick.
  5. Ultimately, only you can make the decision to walk away or to stay. You can look for advice and support; you can scour the internet for a situation just like yours and see what others have done. You’ll want someone else to make the decision for you at first; ultimately you’ll realize that the decision is yours and you’ve known in your gut what that decision was from the very beginning.
  6. There’s a reason you walked away. Time can put a rose-y glow on memories; it’s easier to remember the good times than the bad, but remind yourself that you took that first step for a reason and so long as that reason still rings true, listen to your gut.

Keep your chin up.

-LP

Momma Knows Best

My hands reached for books,
Words have filled my head.
Boys like smart girls,
At least, that’s what momma said.

She had her plans,
A life filled with ribbons and pearls.
College is meant to meet boys;
Because after all, we’re only girls.

Momma, I tried,
I swear I never meant to,
But somewhere along the way
I realized I had a brain, too.

Those books gave me thoughts,
Ideas of my own.
And now I long for to do more
Than spend my days in our home.

But now I’m so torn,
Because all of my life,
I always dreamed of being a mother and wife.

So I jumped into it;
I said “I do,”
He said he loved me
And sometimes I thought it was true.

He told me I was pretty,
I was all he had hoped for;
But no one knew what happened behind closed doors.

I longed for more,
But I tucked it away.
I knew I was lying
Each and every damn day.

I know I’m young,
I’ve got so much left to do.
I’m only twenty-three,
And I’ve already disappointed you.

I wore the pretty dress,
Momma, I read the lines.
I tried so hard,
But I also have a mind.

I long to learn,
To explore and discover.
And all these lost years,
Well they’ll never be recovered.

Momma I tried,
I promise you, I really did.
But it turns out boys don’t like girls
With this many thoughts in their head.

Technically, I’m running.
So yeah, I guess you’re right.
But I can’t fix this
And I don’t wanna fight.

I long for my freedom,
For the wind in my hair.
And we both know I could never explore
If I would have stayed there.

So I’m hitting the road,
I’m turning my back on that man.
And I guess I’ve kind of ruined
The future you had planned.

I hope one day you’ll get it,
You look at me and understand.
I’ve always felt like myself,
With a book in my hand.

I know someone will love me,
They’ll want to hear the thoughts in my head.
When we have a daughter,
She’ll say, “that’s what momma said.”

I’ll tell her to think,
To be courageous and be strong.
I’ll tell her thinking for yourself,
Well that’s never wrong.

I’ll look at her dad,
Wrap my hands around his waist.
I’ll tell her running away,
Was the best difficulty I’ve ever faced.

These mistakes led me to him,
And in turn gave me you.
I’ll say, “maybe after all,
That’s what momma knew.”

 

10 Vows your Bride Wants to Hear; a 23 year-old Divorcée’s Perspective

Wedding season is quickly approaching and you might feel a bit freaked out and overwhelmed when it comes to writing your vows. Odds are, your bride probably has an idea of what she longs to hear from you on her wedding day.

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You may have decided to write your own vows or at least adjust them to fit your life; if so, check out this list:

  1. I promise to fight for you and for us; even when it feels like I should be on the other team.
  2. I promise to pursue you above all else.
  3. I promise to hold you in my arms on cold nights, after hard days, during times of joy, and during times of pain.
  4. I swear to hold onto us even when I feel like letting go.
  5. I vow to stand beside you through it all, to lead you through what comes our way, and to protect you, to the best of my ability, from the rain of life.
  6. I promise to be open and honest with you about my expectations of our marriage.
  7. I will listen to you when you come to me with your worries; I will do my damnedest to not invalidate your feelings, but to try to understand why you feel that way. And when I have worries of my own, I will share them with you.
  8. I promise to try my hardest at being the husband, friend, and partner that you need me to be.
  9. I will make decisions that affect us and our family, with our best interest at heart and without leaving you in the dark.
  10. I promise to love you, even when if I don’t think you deserve it, because you are my wife and therefore deserve a soft spot in my heart, even when it feels like stone.

Every bride has the dream of what her betrothed will say to her while vowing to love her, but words are empty if you don’t mean them. So before compiling your vows, look at each one and determine if you can honestly say, at the end of each day you will fulfill these to the best of your ability.

It’s easy to make promises you don’t intend to keep, because the words taste too damn sweet as the dance across your tongue. If you’re vowing to love her; love her. If you’re promising to fight fair; fight fair. I would much rather hear you promise to try to not eat all of my ice cream when I’m asleep in bed, or that you’ll at least think about letting me know you’ve decided to shave your head entirely bald because you found a gray hair, before you actually do it than hear you say pretty words, just because they’re pretty.

Be realistic; don’t promise to never let your relationship change. Promise instead to change with it. Promise to still love your bride, even when she’s sick and sniffly; even when the kids have been so crazy lately that she hasn’t showered in 5 days. (That would be a great time to draw a bath and send her in for some alone time, just sayin’)

Whatever you promise to you beloved; mean it. Do your best to fulfill those vows you made to each other. Put the other’s needs ahead of your own; that’s love and it sure as hell isn’t easy, but it’s worth the effort. The right one is always worth the effort.

-LP

I Crave the Breeze

I’ve noticed as we grow, we try to tame the wild parts of ourselves.

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I realized this fact, yet again, as I was looking at myself in the mirror this morning, running my fingers through the halo of messy brown hair framing my bare face. At 15, I let the curls do their thing, but now I wake up early to smooth them into a more respectable form; I spend 10 minutes applying makeup to this face in order to “accentuate my features.” I spend a majority of my morning trying to transform into a version of myself that I’ve somehow grown into.

Why is it that as we age we feel the need to be tame? Is that just me? Surely, I cannot be the only one who feels like I’ve let go the colorful and crazy pieces of themselves. I was so eager to grow up; I wanted to have the freedom that came along with adulthood, but I didn’t realize how much would change and how quickly. I can’t stay up on the phone until 6 am and roll out of bed at 7 for work without looking and feeling like a zombie. It’s no longer “appropriate” to wear bright blue nail polish and 5 friendship bracelets on one wrist. I can’t even remember the last time I spent an entire day dancing around and eating chips by the handful without a care in the world. When did I last run for fun and not exercise? When’s the last time I spent the entire day in bed with a book and didn’t feel guilty about it? I still remember illegally piercing my cartilage at 15 and hiding it from my mother; over a year ago, I removed that little token of defiance. I think it’s time to put it back in.

But, now I actually separate my wash into lights and darks. I know how to properly iron a pair of trousers and tie the perfect Windsor knot (thanks dad!). I have to file taxes and pay bills. I realize how expensive gas is and why people complain about utilities; I can hold my own in debates about politics, religion, and culture, but truth is, I still know more about Harry Potter than I’d like to admit. I still toy with the idea of painting my toenails blue and when I’m feeling extra saucy I wear an anklet in the summer. Crazy, I know. I just wish I had realized how quickly life goes by; my dad always said that once you leave high school, time flies by. I always laughed at the thought, but as I walked across the stage at my high school commencements, I realized that I was closing another chapter and moving to the next.

On thanksgiving morning, I looked at myself in the mirror before walking out the door. I turned my head from left to right, pushed a strand of perfectly straightened, short, brown hair behind my ear, and looked into my spectacle framed eyes. I sighed when I realized that I’m no longer seventeen. Now let me explain; I don’t feel old, but I just caught a glimpse at myself and I look so different. I have faint wrinkles around my eyes when I smile and I wear diamond studs, glasses, and I do my hair and makeup each day. I don’t recognize myself. When I think about what I look like, I still imagine myself at seventeen. I still imagine the long wavy brown hair and the young, innocent chocolate eyes I once had. I don’t know when life morphed into this entirely new chapter, but the page turned so quickly, I must not have had the chance to notice this time.

-LP

One Day, I’ll Forgive Myself.

Today was supposed to be my first wedding anniversary.

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Instead I’m alone and it hurts to say that it’s because I’m choosing to be. Life would be so much damn easier if I loved him. It really would be. I tried for so long. I put in so much work. I cut off pieces of myself so I could fit into the little spot he had for me. Unfortunately, at the end of the day, I wasn’t happy. I tried tricking myself and it backfired. I tried fixing an already broken relationship with marriage (don’t ever do that, take my word for it).

Today I’m hurting.

I’m hurting because I know I’m hurting someone else. I’m hurting because I know how much it sucks to lose someone that you love. I’m hurting because it sucks having to be the bad guy. It sucks when your reaction to someone crying is to hug them and tell them you take it back, but you know you can’t do that. Not again. It hurts knowing that I’m making the right decision even though it’s the hard one. It just fucking hurts.

My heart is aching. I’ve never had to wound someone in such a terrible way and this was never my intention. I went into this marriage promising to stick it out no matter what, promising to love him no matter what, promising that I wouldn’t let go. I made so many damn promises that I just cannot keep and it kills me. It’s terrible to know that I lied to someone like that. I knew I couldn’t keep them. I knew it but I still let him offer me his heart and I gave them a tiny, barely there, sliver of mine.

It’s not fun knowing that you’ll always be the villain when they tell the story of their life. Knowing you’ll be the person their future children will wonder about is hard. The thought of the nights they’ll spend alone because of you is heartbreaking. I never meant for this to happen. I didn’t know that the pieces of myself that I had removed so damn carefully could grow back. But they did.

They grew back and I’m back to who I always was. I’m back to the person I had left behind because I was trying to play the part he had for me. I swear I memorized those damn lines. I did. I walked the walk and I talked the talk. I put in all the time and energy I could, but how can you pour out more from a cup that’s empty?

My cup is parched. It’s damn near bone dry. And I’m so sorry. It’s a hard reality to face knowing that you’re breaking up a family and sending them back to a place they thought they were done with. Back into the dating pool. Back to needing a date for weddings. Back to spending Christmases alone. I’m ruining a life he had planned for us and I know it.

But what can I do?

Am I supposed to pretend that it’s okay? Am I supposed to act like these changes he wants to make for me are good enough? That’s the worst part. He’s willing to change. He’d give it all up for me, but it’s still not enough. How terrible is that? He just isn’t it for me. My God, that’s a terrible realization.

I should have known.

He’s a good guy, he is. He’s nice and he cares about me. He loves me more than I love him and I thought I’d be okay with it, but I’m not. I signed my name on that damn dotted line and thought that guilt would never hit me in the chest like a freight train, but I was wrong. I was so wrong.

A year ago today, I was so damn terrified to walk down the aisle that I could have thrown up. I should have turned around, ripped that damn dress off of myself, and ran down the street. I wasn’t strong enough. I can admit that. I’m stronger today. I’m stronger because I told him I wanted a divorce and I let him cry alone and didn’t console him even when I wanted to. I wanted to take away the pain I had caused. I never meant to bring that into his life.

Yesterday I told him flat out that I want a divorce. Before I had just said I needed space. When I told him, I was greeted with yelling and pure rage. Which I suppose I deserve… I understand why his words came out like knives. Why I saw pure hatred in his eyes when he looked at me. Why his voice broke when he told me all he wants is a family with me; when I told him I need more than that.I knew I had it coming. I knew I deserved it. I feel terrible for making him deal with the pain I’ve caused.

What makes it worse is that I’m in love. As  much as it hurts me to hurt him, I’m in love. I am in love.

Does that make me a terrible person?

Probably.

But he makes every love song have meaning. He’s taught my heart something entirely new. He inspires me. I want to cry when I think about how full my heart is because of him. He doesn’t ask me to cut away parts of myself to fit into his plans. There’s no script to memorize with him. I wish I had known he was coming… Maybe then I really would have ran down those church stairs, hopped on a plane, and into his arms. Maybe then, today would have just been the day I almost got married.

If only.

-LP

Wait for the One You Truly Love

Honestly, I thought I had gone through my “crazy days.” What the heck did I know?
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I found myself at 23, a month before our first wedding anniversary, absolutely broken. I just couldn’t do it anymore. I had tried putting more of myself in a marriage that I didn’t want than I’d like to admit. I was filling in patches with bubble gum and hoping that the dam wouldn’t break, but gum just isn’t strong enough. I had wanted out for years, even those years that we were “in love,” before the wedding, but I wasn’t strong enough to walk away. I didn’t want to hurt someone like that, but now I have no choice.

I remember going to a friend’s wedding with my mother about 7 months before our wedding; my mother told a fellow guest that I was getting married in the winter and she gawked at me.

“How old are you?!” was her first question, quickly followed by, “You don’t have to, you know that, right?”

I just smiled at her and said that I loved him, but I could feel the bitterness of the lie as it passed through my lips. Back then, I wasn’t willing to admit it to myself. I had already planned the whole damn thing. I wasn’t going to be the girl that called it off because she got cold feet; cold feet are normal… right? That’s what Google said.

Fast forward to the week of our wedding; I was an emotional wreck. I blamed it on the fact that I had my first official nursing school finals the week of our wedding, but I knew something was off. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. I was terrified. This was more than cold feet, but I didn’t want to admit it to myself. I was scared. You know that kind of feeling when you’re about to make a terrible mistake, or you just did, but you feel like you’ve been locked in and there’s nothing you can do about it? Yeah, that was how I was feeling.

I didn’t feel like the blushing bride. I didn’t feel excited. I felt terrified. I felt like there was a sign above my head that said “dead man walking.” I cried constantly because I was so overwhelmed. I was hyperventilating and I couldn’t calm my nerves. My hands were constantly shaking and I was always in a cold sweat. If you’re experiencing this, my friends, don’t walk down the aisle. It is a sign.

Listen here folks, if you’re reading this because you’re having second thoughts about marrying that guy, don’t marry him. I’m serious. You will know the difference between cold feet and making a terrible mistake. Take it from me, the girl who was married at 22 and dying to be out by 23. I learned so damn much in that short stint. I learned that just because someone isn’t “that bad,” that’s not reason enough to be with them. If you think you’ll be okay staying with someone that loves you more than you love them, you won’t. You’ll feel like you’re missing out on something, because you are.

You’re missing out on what it feels like to be head-over-heels in love. Listen to me, my friends, don’t marry that guy you have doubts about. Wait for the one that you know you love beyond a shadow of a doubt. Your heart will know instantly and every mistake you made in the past, every “I love you” you uttered before, every smile you smiled towards someone else, well… they’ll all feel like a lie.

You’ll realize that you didn’t know what it felt like to love someone until you started loving them, that each smile was just a placeholder, and that you can’t spend a day without them on your mind. Hold onto that person. Cherish that person. Tell him how much you love him. Tell him how your heartbeat has changed since meeting him. Tell him how the thought of not touching his hand brings tears to your eyes. Tell him everything, every detail about you, every secret you’ve never shared. Show him your scars, the physical and those on your heart. Trust him with all that you are. Give him everything you have. Trust the “oh shit” I’m-about-to-dive-head-first-off-of-a-cliff-in-love kind of feeling. It’s real. It’s there. Don’t doubt it for a second. When you do find it, savor each moment; life passes by so quickly and before you know it, you’ll be 89 years old and missing the sound of their footsteps in the other room; so choose to enjoy their laughter, their smile, the warmth of their hand… enjoy it all while you can.

-LP