“Do you want to be my plus 1 at the wedding?”
I don’t know why but I almost stopped dead in my tracks when my cousin asked me if I would like to be her guest at her best friend’s wedding. I’ve known her best friend since childhood so it wasn’t that I would feel like a stranger. In fact, it was the opposite. I was completely excited for her as she embarked on this journey of love and commitment.
I didn’t know what I was feeling at the time but I knew it felt bittersweet.
Fast forward to the special day. Everything was perfect. The venue was amazing. The set up was perfection. The food was delicious and most importantly, there was an open bar. The wedding was fun. It was nice to see so many familiar faces and to watch someone that I grew up with find the love of her life and commit to forever with him.
I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I had a moment. Then I felt guilty about having a moment. I remember watching them reciting their vows and listening to their promises to one another. Promises of fidelity, through sickness and health, and forsaking all others sounded familiar. I remember almost shedding a tear because for a split second, I thought about my ex-husband and the promises we made to one another. Then I thought about our contentious divorce and the hurt that still lingered from whatever he did that made me walk away. That was a pain that I hope she never feels.
But here I was at the wedding watching so much joy around me. So what did I do? I partied. It was, after all, a celebration of life and new beginnings and I was and am genuinely happy for her.
When I got back to my car that night, I cried. I let it all out. It was my first wedding after divorce and it was hard and emotional. It’s very possible to be very happy for someone else while still mourning some part of your own life.
But, I don’t regret that I made the hard decision to divorce and I love new beginnings. One day I hope to remarry and find a man that I know I want to spend the rest of my life with. In the meantime, I’ll be happy for my friends. Marriage is hard and I’ve learned that more often than not, I enjoy the freedom and peace of being single as I figure out this thing called life.