My Wedding – DIY

Tomorrow is my 7 years wedding anniversary.  Given that my husband was driving me insane couple of weeks ago, I was really thinking, “big deal… 7 years is nothing, I know so many people who stuck together far longer than that.”  You are right, I undermined it because that is what I do best.

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I could’ve just turned the blind eye to post something positive, milking the last bit of magic my married life really is, but I feel that is not true either.  It’s not always magic, especially when you are raising 2 boys under 6,  running your own business, living far from your family and having challenges that most normal people have on any given day. This doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate what works, nor that we have to complain about what is, but to find some ground where we can both celebrate but remain real.  That is what I am wanting to do with this  writing.

In my work as a life coach, I share all of this, but it has taken me a minute to unleash it to the public.  In part, I don’t do it because my one sided story always evokes the other side of the story.  My truth is not the truth, only my truth so there is no reason to either say yay or nay to what I am about to say,  but know, this is my attempt to be transparent so that hopefully some of my readers can benefit from it.

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There is so much I can say about my marriage and how I found love, but I wanted to focus on things that I did that weren’t comfortable and were met with so much criticism back then and yet, I would argue that those very things set the tone for the marriage I have, a loyal bond, partnership filled with love where we each have a voice and can express it and peace is always found no matter how far the storm takes us.

I haven’t really attended a lot of weddings. When I was little, I tagged along with my mom and she took care of gift giving and alike.  My past decades as an immigrant in United States, I attended 2 weddings, one was of my American sister for which I travelled cross country and another one was a friend.  Both weddings were huge and the second resulted in an enormous debt.   As someone who once consolidated  credit card debt  I was in to pay for my graduate school, I was not going to be  in debt to get married.

My husband and I argued about this a lot, he wanted a big wedding no matter the cost, and I would’ve prefered to elope and use the money we have to invest in our lives together.  We met in a middle, I was willing to spend our savings on the wedding but nothing was going to go on a credit card.  I had numerous conversations about  who I  left out and probably more than 50% of the people at my wedding were family of my husband’s step mother I personally didn’t yet know.

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But here is the thing, being burnt by the debt after my graduate school that I was finally out of had me not even entertain the thought of overspending.  I bought my dress in David’s Bridal for less than $200.  I ordered my bolero from China and it took a month or so for it to arrive and there was a risk it wouldn’t  fit but I was willing to spend $24 to try.  My late grandmother (my mom’s mom), who has been planting flowers for as long as I’ve known her, gave me some suggestions on flower arrangemnts so for less than $70, I bought all the flowers and made arrangments for the table and my own boquet.  My restaurant experience as a bartender, manager and a hostess allowed me to ask for right things and tailor our wedding reception and dinner to get the most for my money.  In a nutshell, I create for myself a celebration where I didn’t have to feel an overwhelm of the bills that would come after.

This level of participating in our own level, not managing ton of other people at great cost, but rather doing a lot of things ourselves, had me appreciate the entire event so much more as well as be in awe of our family and friends who came to celebrate with us.  Even in this  experience, I realized my accomodating nature:   the location was convenient to my husband’s family, not mine… this was something we worked for and resolved as we did many other things in our living together for the past 7 years.

One of my favorite coaches told me once:  “Anything is possible for as long as you are in communication.”  So, I made an effort to always come to my husband and work through things that I was dealing with.  When you are intimate with somoene, the shit gets real very fast.  You have no place to hide so the things you’d normally cover up in front of others are exposed and hanging for your partner to see.  You push each other’s buttons as if you were the one who put them there and there is a reason this is true:  You always find a perfect match for things you need to work through to be what is possible for yourself to be.  You can take the exit early on, but if you stick around, you will learn.

We were in love, we didn’t just love the idea of love.  We planned our wedding together and moved through this process consciously.  I sometimes look back at it and wish there was more glam in the whole process, but then again, I think taking this approach worked in our favor.  We had everything we needed and support of those around us left me feeling in awe of who people are.  This is why I celebrate.Wedding_022

Note: One of my angels on that day besides my husband: my uncle who moved heaven and Earth to be there and my close friend who took me through the whole process of what a wedding actually looks like and what I needed to be mindful off.  Forever grateful ❤

 

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Glamorized

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Here is what I shared on Instagram account last year right after I completed watching the 2nd season of The Crown:

The most disturbing thing about season 2 of the Crown was watching the queen and the way she, even as her Royal Highness, acts merely as a puppet in a man’s world.

“Female power involves women taking part in the conversation either in the public arena or the dinner table, and having the same emotional space in which to do so as men.  It means women not having to fear punishment of any kind.” ~ Marianne Williamson

I am not a historian so this post is not about monarchy, or a direct judgement of the queen, but rather a reflection of us women, and people in general, losing our own power. The “attachment” to an outcome is surely always going to cause us to compromise and tolerate things we would never tolerate otherwise.
While in the Crown this attachment to preserving the old ways and honoring the ancestors was completely exposed, I think that each of us constantly does this in our own lives. In wanting to belong, we often sacrifice what is possible.
I never wanted to change my last name (that was my father’s) even though it made so much more sense to go with my mother’s.  I was in agony for so many years growing up, so much so that I only finally broke through it when I got married.  Even then, I decided to wait for my citizenship to actually formally change it.  Feeling like I am “disobeying” was way stronger than my personal desire to break free.

I wonder if anyone sees the places where being faithful to the old ways is robbing them of opportunity to owning who they really are and can be.”

I remember taking so much interest in monarchy when I watched this show and following up with many documentaries about the queen herself, Lady Diana Spencer, Kate and William and so on.  The more I watched, the more I felt that being a royal was almost like a curse, one is born into this privilege but then is completely robbed of a normal experience of growing up – paparazzi follow your every step of the way and while I would personally love to have more audience, I can’t imagine that someone would fill tabloids with my every move.  Nor would I find it important – and it’s not just because I am not a celebrity but because certain things don’t need to be glorified.

There is something that has us get fascinated by the stories we see on TV and buy as real.  I am still blown away by the popularity of Kim Kardashian for example. While I actually admire her ruthlessness and probably great marketing skills, I can’t help but feel that her content literally has no value.

This is a bit how I felt after watching the royal wedding.  I got curious and wanted to see – I fell for the fairy tale and even thought of myself as jealous and less than.  In allowing all those feelings to come up, even writing about them, I realized: something here doesn’t add up.  Naturally, I won’t spend time trying to prove the point, as far as I am concerned, I really don’t care what happens, but what I do care about is that this fairy tale princess story feels a bit like a drug of choice. Mesmerized by what they see, the surface of it all, people all over America have been glued to their screens and social medias commenting and sharing their love for the royal couple, their view of the whole thing and alike.  In a process, I think many don’t realize, this smoke screen of happily ever after is just as dangerous as photoshopped models that have us create unrealistic expectations of ourselves and our bodies.

I am happily married:  I define it as being committed and in love with my husband and able to solve any problem with him in a conversation.  We haven’t gone to bed mad at each other for the entire time we’ve been married (and while we dated).  We don’t agree on everything, we even have loud disagreements but we keep it real and we work on it and when it comes to it, we have space to work through whatever our limitations are so that when we come together, we can still be a team.

Duke and the Duchess of Sussex are surely in love, that shows and they are blessed to have found each other in this.  But let’s not compare ourselves to them.  Let’s not pretend that Meghan “lucked out” when she married Harry, because she is yet to prove that she can stomach all the restrictions that come with her role: the one she married into.

My concern with the messages I see all over social media is that we are creating a fake standard for what ordinary people, women, relationships should look and feel like.  There is nothing wrong to aspiring to marry well or into a royal family if that is what you truly desire, but let’s not pretend that anyone, regardless of their fame, has a better life just because they have status and money.  Granted, this is not true for people who are in a “survival” mode, but it is for everyone else who makes a decent living – because happiness, that’s not something money and fame can buy.

I think we often miss the blessings in our lives because we watch TV more than we mingle with real people.  It’s a form of escapism that I think doesn’t do us good on a long run because we have unrealistic expectations that cause us to feel bad about things that are actually good.  There is a fashion designer/youtuber who did an experiment with real people and had them pose like models in magazines.  Not one of those woman could actually physically make the pose they saw in the magazine.  Other words, we are attuning out eyes to visions that are not possible for us and then we use that to turn on ourselves.

How about we try being wise enough to detach from the buzz, appreciate what we have, and create what we really want.  Be better than you were yesterday and understand that happiness comes from you and the choices you make and the life you create and not from anything you see on social media or TV.