I have always dreamt of getting married – of getting all pretty and walking down the aisle, of crying tons of tears towards my groom, of holding so tight the arms of my beloved parents. I remember how my earliest artworks revolved around gowns, bridal gowns. I was fed with so much fairytale books and Barbie movies that I ended up hoping I’d become one of them. I grew up scanning the pages of my parent’s wedding album, imaging that it was I on the pictures. I believed that someday… I’ll have my own happily ever after.
Years passed, I grew up and saw different versions of love, the many faces of love: tragic, sadistic, taboo, same sex, and of course, the cliché ones. Some of them I’ve watched on movies and tv series, others I’ve read on pocketbooks and novels, most I’ve seen unfolding in real life. I’ve seen the ugly stages of love – argument, abandonment, harassment, and death. But still, deep within me, I was hoping to find that thing called ‘true love’.
However life has its own way of telling the story. No matter how hard I pray, no matter how I tried to find that person among strangers in various places, I was not able to find him. I grew desperate of love. Seeing friends getting married one by one, having kids, and building a family of their own, brings a tinge of sadness and fear. The many ‘what-ifs’ begin to surface and you’ll suddenly find yourself surrounded by questions of self-worth and self-pity.
I became desperate. Not knowing that anxiety only brings no good to people.
So today, I found myself getting married. I didn’t know how it happened. I just found myself rushing to wear that bridal gown, asking some colleagues to do my hair and makeup, and getting all anxious for everything. There was no bridal car waiting for me. Instead, a truck was there to bring all the members of the entourage to the church. I didn’t know any single soul in my entourage, except for the maid of honor who was apparently… a colleague that I’m not even close with. Oh, and I can’t even recognize the groom! My heart palpitated like crazy when the ceremony began. I was in a catastrophic state. What’s worse is that… I don’t have any family members to be with me. No one.
I don’t know what they call it, bridal jitters? But I suddenly wanted the wedding to stop. I don’t want it. I don’t like. I abhor it. But some of my friends who unexpectedly popped out of nowhere told me it was too late: it was already my turn to walk down the aisle. I remember crying so hard and regretting everything.
Then I woke up. With fear and anxiety crawling within me. It felt so real. My heart was still throbbing like crazy. But this time, it was out of relief. Back then, I wondered how exciting marriage can be. I’ve been to a number of weddings and I’ve seen how nice the ambiance of weddings are. But seeing how things turn out to be, I think I got a taste of my own medicine, of what I was desperately praying for. It’s like the Heavens telling me: you sure you want it? Fine, take it. Then whips me hard with reality.
Now I have fully understood the wisdom beyond the movie ‘#Jowable’ and the Kdrama series ‘Because this is my first life’ – that when you force the Universe to give you something that’s not yet meant, all the world won’t conspire to make it work. As Optimus Prime says it: fate rarely calls upon us at a moment of our choosing. Let us not rush marriage for the wrong reasons. Let us not be blinded for what society is pressuring us for. Life is in constant motion, but that does not mean that we always need to be in a hurry. Because it’s when we are constantly looking for the next big thing that we get caught up and lose our footing and get off track.
Come to think of it, marriage is not an assurance of a “happily ever after”. Let us not fear living by ourselves. Instead, let’s learn to live “happily ever after” with or without getting married. Let us not get so wrapped up in pursuing relationships that we forget that there’s more to life than that.