I left the house ready for a wedding. Dress was on, hair was curled, and makeup was dark. I felt as confident as I was going to get for that evening, threw a smile on my face, and headed to a downtown Portland ballroom that overlooked the city.
I returned from the wedding exhausted. My hair lost most of its curl, my eye makeup had begun to creep downward, and my feet ached from a night of dancing. I hopped in the shower and let the hot water wash over me as I scrubbed the eyeliner and mascara off my eyes and wiped the sweat off my body. I took a little longer than needed, absorbing the hot steam into my pores, relaxing my already sore muscles, and thinking about the events of the evening.
It was a beautiful wedding. Not just the venue, which was gorgeous, but the entire event was amazing. It was one of those weddings in which you could really feel the love and energy into the room. The bride was beyond stunning, and the groom, quite handsome in his suit, looked as if he would float away from happiness. She walked down the aisle to Coldplay’s “Til Kingdom Come,” more radiant that I have ever seen her. The look on his face as he saw his future wife walk towards him and their new life together was priceless. I feel so lucky to have shared in their day.
I did my best to focus on the event unfolding in front of me, an event I have been looking forward to since their engagement. It was hard to focus, though. I wish my former love didn’t creep into my thoughts so often. In my defense, it is incredibly difficult to focus on someone else’s nuptials without thinking about your own trials and tribulations in love. I was one of the very few single guests, surrounded by sea of couples, young and old. Much to my chagrin, the DJ peppered a few slow songs throughout the evening, one of which was Adele’s cover of “Make You Feel My Love.” I watched as the aforementioned couples made their way to the dance floor, hand in hand, and celebrated their own love. To say it was bittersweet would be an understatement.
I hate to admit how sad I felt at moments, my chest heavy with longing and regret, wishing he was there with me. I also had to put on my game face around all of the babies. It’s a special kind of difficult to see couples with babies at a wedding after the events of the past few months. Naturally it made me think of all the things I was looking forward to, until that last week of December when I first lost the baby and then lost the fella. I tried to brush those thoughts away immediately and just enjoy the evening and the new friends I was making. All things considered, I think I did a pretty good job.
And then I danced. I danced my heart out, as if the world was my stage and this was my grand debut. I danced till my heart pounded, my breath was short, and sweat had to be wiped from my brow. I danced and I laughed and I let myself feel truly happy for the first time in months. As we said goodbye, the bride told me I was one of the photographer’s favorite guests to shoot because I had a huge smile on my face at all times. The bride’s smother came up to me and told me how great I looked on the dance floor.
I went all out up on that stage, because I had nothing to lose.
As I sit here typing this, the energy is leaving my body and the wind is howling outside my bedroom window. I must close my eyes soon, but first I need to put pen to paper and purge these ruminations from my mind. I thought about happiness as I drove home. As much as I felt envy for the bride and groom on this day, I realized it wasn’t just their wedding, but their happiness that I long for, and I won’t reach that kind of happiness with a partner until I find it on my own. I am a prideful person. It is one of my greatest faults. It is time to put pride aside and become the best version of myself that I can be. I have work to do. I have things to fix. I have demons to slay. I have actions for which I need to atone.
Just as important, I need to dance more. I need to laugh daily. I need to find my own joy, because no one will bring it to me. I need to discover new things and meet new people. I need to stop allowing the past to interfere with the present.
My first order of business I have already accomplished, which was a solo trip out of town. It was something I have always wanted to do, and finally just went for it. I will definitely be planning another trip soon. The second order of business was not bringing a date to this wedding. Although I had options, I did not want to bring someone just for the sake of having a date. More importantly, I wanted to prove that I could enjoy myself at a wedding as a single guest. I could find happiness alone. And I succeeded.
Tonight was a small step in the right direction, but it still a step forward. I can do this. I have to do this. I don’t want life to pass me by. I don’t want the chance for love to pass me by, either. I am truly doing the best I can, and while there are still many struggles ahead of me, I saw a ray of hope in myself tonight. A small glimmer that said, “you’re going to be okay.” And that is something that I will try to hold on to.
Until next time ~B