Friday, June 14, 2013

True Love

I never wanted to be average or normal. I didn't want to be like everyone else. As a kid, I wanted to go to the library and read on my own, not play outside. I didn't play house. I wasn't a cheerleader; I played bassoon. When I was in my twenties and some of my friends started "settling down" by getting married, buying a house, taking that "real" job, having kids, there was a part of me that was happy that I was in grad school, unsure of where my future might take me. I would be different!

Sometimes thoughts like this make me feel like I'm being a snob or some sort of elitist. And, sometimes, when I'm feeling especially down, I wonder if there is something wrong with me because I feel like I couldn't be happy with the "average" things. I look around and so many people are happy, and I don't know what is missing in me. Why do I feel like I need to go on a different path?

Just to clarify, my life isn't really that unusual. I have a regular job; I have a house and cats and bills and a car. But I know that my life isn't typical either (not that anyone has a "typical" life). Last month I was in Europe twice! I live in a city (okay, the suburbs) that the 12-year-old me dreamt about! In so many ways, I am lucky. But I wondered if maybe I lost out on some things because I wanted things that were different. Why wouldn't I let myself go down certain paths? Maybe being what I would consider "normal" might have certain joys that I am missing.

It should be no surprise that Liz Lemon (of "30 Rock") had the answer for me. I identify with Liz Lemon, a nerdy girl who just wants to feel like she's got it all together but is struggling in many ways. She mocks weddings and girly things and wants to be admired for being smart. This season, she got married. She insists that she would get married in a sweatshirt ("no bra!"), and she insisted this was the right thing to do as the wedding industry is kind of evil. I was, "You tell 'em, sister!" But something was wrong. I felt it and she felt it. And she broke down and said it:

"I have been sure for a long time that this was never going to happen, and I was fine with it! Ergo, it couldn't matter! ...[But] a tiny part of me that I hate wants to be a princess!"

I cried. I cried because that was it. I am afraid to wish for things that might never come true, so I have to tell myself that it can't matter. Maybe I get to go on nice trips for work, but I'm not the girl someone wants to marry. It would be a trade-off; life evens things out.

But there is HWM. Wonderful, sweet HWM. He is my partner, in the truest sense of the word. He shows me shooting stars. We are together and he makes me incredibly happy. He shows me a part of myself I didn't know I had. And, in Paris, he made me a princess.

When we went to Paris, he requested a day. He wanted a day where he could plan all our activities. He had a schedule of sites to see. I thought it would just be an adventure, but on that day, he asked me to marry him. I won't go into all of the details (because those are ours), but it was lovely and romantic and a bit different and perfect. Yes, we both cried.

I look at the beautiful ring on my finger, and I smile. Someone wants to marry me. A wonderful, amazing man asked me a question I thought I wouldn't hear. And every time I look at it, I am a princess.