Dear 2014 Laura,
You don’t know me yet but I’m exactly where you wish you were right now. And I know not being here yet is freaking you out.
You have quite a year ahead of you. In six months, you turn 35 and that is going to mess with your mind more than any birthday has before. You will question everything about yourself and your character. And why? Because you will continue to be single. And it’s where you will place all of your focus.
But it will get better. You will need that rock bottom birthday to force you to change your perspective. You will finally give yourself permission to think of a future. A future that is just yours, with no man, and it will look beautiful. Why? Because it’s being created by you.
I know none of this makes sense right now because you are convinced being single makes you flawed. It doesn’t. I can’t and won’t ever be able to explain why you remain single, but I promise you this: you will never regret not settling.
Take it from someone who knows. I just celebrated my one-year anniversary. But don’t hate me for it. I got married at 38 and a half. Something you, 2014 Laura, would consider a failure because it was “too old” and it would mean waiting too long for it to happen. But the person I finally found when I was 35 and a half is more than I ever thought possible. He treats me the way I have always wanted to be treated yet didn’t know was possible. He is my unicorn. Which is funny, because that’s what he calls me.
Yes, my husband truly loves ME. With all of my flaws and everything that makes me human. And because I had finally accepted who I was as that human before we met, he was the first man to truly know me. Not who I wanted him to think I was. But who I really am, no hiding.
But even with that, our first year of marriage was hard. I mean, like the hardest, toughest, and most stressful year of my life.
We got married on a beautiful beach in Mexico in front of some of our favorite people in the world (which I know is your dream). Two weeks to the day after those vows, we found out my father-in-law was diagnosed with cancer. About a month later I would get the same call about my dad. Personally, the wedding had been a huge distraction from the major professional changes in my own life and when it was over, I had to face the great question of what I was doing with my life. My husband and I dealt with the constant struggle of making one income work and I lived with the constant guilt of not bringing in a steady paycheck anymore while I “figured things out”. And six months after our wedding I lost my last remaining grandparent when my mom’s mom passed away.
I know that right now all you want is to be married. You think finding “the one” will fix everything in your life. But five years into the future I can safely tell you that no partner can do it. It’s simply not possible. That partner can support you and wipe away your tears, but he can’t make them stop, because life continues.
There will always be something that will challenge you. Something that will make you question everything about yourself and your choices. Having the support of a loving husband certainly helps, but in the end, it has to be you that navigates yourself out of the tough waters.
This is why your journey to true happiness and peace has to begin now, when you are still single. Because I know you, I realize you will not take this advice immediately. It will take a few more stumbles before you finally see your own light. But I wish I had the power to explain it all to you now. Or better yet, five years ago.
It is good and healthy to have goals in life and milestones you hope to reach, like becoming a wife and a mom. Keep that focus. But just know that you have the ability to be happy and content in your current life while being hopeful for the future. Because your current life is the only guarantee you have. And it’s pretty damn amazing as it is, because you are pretty damn amazing.
Now I’m going back to enjoying my one-year anniversary trip in Mexico (I know, I’m incredibly lucky). And trust me, all of this will be so worth your wait.