Standing there in the middle of the dance floor, I wondered what went wrong. Here we are, at yet another wedding, I thought to myself. I wished I’d never forced him to come with me, and I vowed then and there that this was NOT happening again. Eventually, he stormed off, leaving me alone in the throes of festive, happy people.
I felt like crap.
The thing is, my little girl version of weddings went something like this:
Boy meets girl. Boy and girl fall madly in love. Both families meet. Engagement party. Wedding planning in full force for the BIG week (I am Indian, after all)! Anticipation runs high. Guests from all over the world flying in. THE WEEK arrives. And…it’s…party time! Sad departure of guests post wedding, and the high feeling of the wedding comes to its quiet, resolute end.
Basically, I loved weddings. Anyone’s! I was shameless at mine because I was that bride who didn’t cry during bidaai (bride farewell ceremony), and was laughing instead. (I’d be willing to bet my poor grandma is still mortified and embarrassed as she watches me from above). Honestly, I was able to live out my “dream” wedding and enjoyed every single minute of it.
That said, my love for weddings didn’t last long. After constant fighting with my hubby about attending the celebrations, weddings started to lose to their charm. I dreaded wedding invites, namely because the pristine cream envelope meant another round of drama with my partner either before, during, or after the wedding. They became a source of stress.
And following my separation? I loathed the shows of love. Going totally against my nature, I became—gasp!—a cynic. I actually found myself thinking in the middle of toasts: “Yeah, right. What do they know? They’ll never make it. Just wait ‘til they have babies, a mortgage, stressors to share. Life is going to change, big time”. Obviously, I was pretty dang shocked at the negativity running through my mind.
That’s when I knew something had to change.
So I did the only thing I could. I mourned. I mourned over the loss of my naiveness and innocence. I mourned the loss of my “dreams” that turned out to not be what I wanted at all. (It’s funny how that works.) I mourned the loss of my youth.
Once I gave myself permission to sit in this grief, everything shifted. I was able to step into an entirely new zone, looking at life through a clear, hopeful lens.
The thing is, we all push our feeling asides. Shove them to the back of the closet and try to move on. But when you let yourself swim among your pain and grief, the acceptance and forgiveness seeps into your bones, and you become whole.
So this is a reminder, from my heart to yours: If you ever find yourself standing alone on a crowded dancefloor—angry, confused and afraid for the future—remember that you are in control. You can heal yourself. And no matter what, you’re going to make it through.
And as for me? I’m back to my old self, the excitement racing through me as I open up a new wedding invite. I’ve rediscovered my enthusiasm, anticipating the fun, the food, the bollywood dancing, and the perfectly pretty brides. But above all else, I can’t wait to watch those sweet celebrations of L-O-V-E.