It's Christmas... time to reflect
I'm 38 and this Christmas I remember all those other Christmases that have come before. As I listen to the Christmas music I remember the thoughts I had listening to them in years past.
I remember how lonely I was. I remember watching the love between couples, and I remember telling God, Santa, and whoever else would listen, how I only wanted my companion, my soulmate, my true love. Yeah, I know it's corny. I also know how hard it is to have a dream that the world thinks is so desperate. Sometimes I felt like a cartoon character - a stereotype of a thirtysomething women who thinks her life will be perfect if she had a man.
But that was the cartoon character, and I'm not a cartoon. I'm just a simple woman who always dreamt of having that partner to love. My dream wasn't a noble one, like curing some disease. It wasn't a popular one, like meeting a celebrity. I tried to have other dreams like becoming a vice president, making money, having a boat, or having a waterfront home. Those dreams were easier - I had control of those things so I made them come true. However, I couldn't be happy as I just really wanted to be one half of two. I didn't want those other things. Those were other people's dreams I adopted because I couldn't make mine come true.
I knew I wasn't that pathetic stereotype though. I didn't just want any man. I wanted the man I started dreaming of when I was twelve. He wasn't just a nameless faceless man I knew nothing about. On the contrary I knew a lot about him.
He was confident, kind, generous of sprit and we would have so much in common. He was someone I could totally share myself with and would love me and my quirks and faults. Sure I knew he would have some annoying habits. It was only fair since so did I. However, I knew that when he looked at me and I looked at him, there would me no place else I would rather be. We would both value each other and what we had above all else. Money, posessions, or other people would come second to what we have. Oh yeah, he was also funny and disarmingly charming.
I remember when Oprah said, "Send in your dreams and we'll make them come true". But even the great Oprah couldn't make my dream come true. It did make me wonder though, as I imagined how a letter to Oprah containing MY wish, would even sound compared to those dreams she would receive. Others would ask for cars, trips, or to meet their favorite celebrity. What made their dreams more palatable than my own? At least they can talk about their dreams. My friends just shook their head and you could see the mixture of pity and disapproval when I voiced my dreams. They were also worried that someone would take advantage of my dream. Don't tell guys you own a boat they would say.
There are so many reminders at Christmas that my dream hadn't come true. Christmas music was just the soundtrack that accompanied those other situations that made me feel so alone, like the chair squeezed in for the single person at the table, or being left out because the host wanted an even number at the table.
Future Me, please don't forget how wonderful it feels to have found your true love. Please don't ever take him for granted. I know you will, at least recognize it and keep trying not to do that. You have something so special with him. When you think you don't have enough money, or enough posessions, remember this is all you ever wanted.
Remember the boat - how lonely it was to sit on it all by yourself. Remember the waterfront condo, sitting alone watching the Amazing Race. Remember the 6 figure job with the fancy title. And remember how you said you would give it all up to have the one thing you wanted more than anything else. You gave it all up for your dream. And don't ever forget how happy you are right now.
As time goes by you will probably forget all those frogs you kissed to find your prince. But right now I don't. I know that this thoughtful, loving, wonderful, family oriented, man who knows how to enjoy every moment, is a rare breed. Learn from him, value him, protect him, and cherish him. Don't focus on what he forgot to do, focus on all that he gives you every day. He loves you and puts your happiness before his. Yes there will be days he disappoints you, but look at the big picture. If you focus on what you give to the relationship instead of what you are getting, everything will be fine.
I write this as I am about to enjoy our first Christmas together. We have had our new house now for about a week. I have a family who loves me and a new family that embraces me. I am no longer alone, but loved and supported. I am sending this to myself only a year in the future, but I ask you to send it to yourself every year. Because I don't ever want you to forget how long you have wanted this, how hard you have worked on yourself to be worthy of what you have, or how much you have to value. Please always remember what's really important.
Love your past self.
P.S. For God's sake don't regain that 90 pounds back either.