Those of you who know me must know by know that I don’t shy away from the difficult topics. I’ve been back and forth about whether or not to publish this. Mostly because I’m afraid it will be misconstrued. A blog post is fleeting – people skim read and draw their own conclusions from what you’ve written. But I think this needs to be written, because marriage is real. It’s not a rom com, it’s not a fairytale, it’s not idyllic. It’s a huge commitment – and I think out of fear, denial or concerns about how people might see them, lots of women don’t necessarily explore their feelings about the prospect of spending the rest of their life with just one person.
So you have the shiny ring on your finger. The idea that someone wants to spend the rest of their life with you is an incredibly romantic one. It’s why we watch the films we watch and read the books we read – that notion of happily ever after. But there is another “you” to consider. A version of yourself that, in another reality, could be happily single. From the moment you say “I do” you have determined your life path – and the possibility of that other “you” ceases to exist.
When you make a promise of the heart, it’s a bigger commitment than you can possibly imagine. When you take a job, you’re not promising to never have another job your whole life. When you move house, you’re not committing to live there forever. Promises of the heart are binding, and breaking them breaks the hearts of everyone involved.
One person for the rest of your life is daunting – but recognising that fear may be the key to getting over it. Image by Modern Vintage Weddings
It’s so interesting to see the way engaged women react when I ask them if they’re freaked out about the idea of being with one person forever. Most of them will indignantly respond that they’ve never even considered it, as if it’s a badge of honour to have never had fears or doubts about step you’re about to take. And then, after a little tipple and some encouragement, they invariably open up and admit that yes, they’re a bit worried about what they’re giving up. After all, they’ll never have another first date. They’ll never have another first kiss and they’ll never be available in the same way they were before. A big part of their life is over. Does that mean they want to go out and sleep with someone else? No. It just takes some bravery to admit that you’re scared – scared of what you’re leaving behind and scared of what you’re stepping into.
Because, quite honestly, I think that if you haven’t felt into the depths of your soul, let yourself feel the loss of the old, addressed your feelings of fear about the future, then you’re not taking the commitment you’re about to make seriously enough.
So here it is – I have been scared. I’m 24 years old and, by all standards, am at a pivotal point in my life. I could have chosen another ten years of partying, no commitment, no ties, a rented house, a fun but casual job, travelling… or I could choose to commit myself to the man I love, to throw my heart into my business, to build a home. There are two “Saras” at play here, and I’m killing one of them. Her passing is a loss and I’m not afraid to mourn her.
Many fun times, and random hairstyles (this is really just for you all to have a giggle) – ready to let this part of my life go!
But allowing myself the honesty and the bravery to mourn a life that wasn’t has wiped my fears clean. It’s allowed me to let go of the idea that I could be someone else and instead embrace the person I’m becoming. It’s allowed me to really appreciate how lucky I am to have the life that I have, to be marrying the incredible, inspirational, caring and devoted man that I’m so excited to spend the rest of my life with.
Is it scary? Yes. But if it wasn’t, then I don’t think I’d really have considered what I’m about to do – or come out on the other side, truly open to the future and ready to do it. And to me, the idea of spending the rest of my life without John is far more daunting than spending the rest of my life with him.
So here’s to one man for the rest of my life – it will be hard work – it won’t always be easy – but I’m ready to make that commitment to him. Bring it on!