A Letter to Myself on my Wedding Day (Four years later)
Today is our anniversary. Four years later and some days it feels like a lifetime since we exchanged vows. This year we can't go out for the fancy dinner or jet away on a week long vacation to celebrate. But I do have so much time to think about all the ways marriage has shaped me and our relationship over the last four years. I keep thinking about all the things I would say to myself on our wedding day, so I decided to share them with all of you.
Dear Symone Soon-To-Be Salvino,
Wow, what a journey to get to this moment. A lifetime of dreaming about the man that will stand at the end of the aisle, and now you can see him so clearly. He is tall, dark and handsome, like you always dreamed. But he is so much more than just your prince charming. He is brave and kind and loving. And even after a couple of years and some roadblocks, I can assure you he is even more perfect for you now.
As you exchange your vows, believe every word. Each sentence will be put to the test over your lifetime and be confident in each syllable. You picked a man who is true to his word and someone who will expect nothing less from you. I am only four years in and I can already tell you that he sees your soul in a way no one ever has. He sees you clearly and loves you even more because you aren't perfect.
Don't worry about the rain in the forecast, the joy you're radiating will overshadow any rainy cloud in the sky. You won't even feel the mist as you walk down the aisle, you will be too focused on Blair's face to even notice. The way he lights up as you round the corner, is the same twinkle he will get when you wake up early on Saturday mornings. He will shine that same smile at you across dimly lit restaurants. Believe me, it will never stop making you melt.
The energy of that last dance surrounded by those you love, will stay with you for years to come. The people around you will show up and support you both more than you could even imagine. Community will be at the core of your marriage. You will find that the strength of your marriage is only magnified by those you surround yourselves with. You are so lucky to have people that constantly lift up your union.
As you drive away in the car tonight take one last look out the rear window and remember every face, they all will play such a special role in your marriage. Soak up the hugs, not everyone will still be there to celebrate years later.
Marriage has a unique way of highlighting your strengths and your weaknesses. Be prepared to push yourself to better understand the way you think and be willing to work on your ability to communicate. Patience will be tested and sometimes growth is painful. Do the work and you will find your footing, I promise.
This day will be perfect...joyful..and filled with so much love. But it won't be the only best day of your life. I am here to tell you that the best moments will come when you least expect it. He will grab your hand on a long drive and the world will feel at peace. You will sit together in a doctor's office and cry, and I promise it won't feel beautiful, but it will be breathtaking. You'll eat at a tiny cafe on a canal in Venice and wonder if life could ever be any sweeter. You will dance in the kitchen and laugh so hard you pee a little. The simple moments will stop you dead in your tracks, girl. Soak them up.
You will dream bigger than you ever have. Some of your greatest joy will come from making plans together and watching as they unfold. Together you will work hard and find that with anything worth having comes so much sweat and countless tears. Blair will encourage you to create and fight for your dreams. He will uplift you and your aspirations and believe in you, even on the days when you don't.
You will learn the true meaning of communication. You'll come to find how important words truly are, the way they can hurt and the true meaning of compromise. Over the years you will strike a balance and learn that your decisions are no longer yours alone. As the days pass, you will continue to learn about each other. The lifetime of learning will quickly become one of your favorite dinner conversations. You will want to soak up every detail of Blair's life before you. All the ways he was so perfectly shaped for you. You'll also come to learn all the ways you differ. You are both unique and those differences will offer you a new approach to take.
Life won't always stick to your perfect plans, my dear. I know that right now having a plan and daydreaming about your idealized life seems like the best approach. But some pretty big moments are going to prove that life is winding and you are seldom in control. You will be stretched in ways you can never even dream of, and you will come out a better version of yourself because of the lack of perfection. Having a partner to lean on will be a huge factor in that growth. Lean into him and be vulnerable. Even when it is hard (especially when it is hard), it is worth it.
Blair will be the sweetest dad to your fur babies. You will see his tender heart and dream about the day when your real babes are in his arms. He will be the perfect father long before the real babies arrive. The process of becoming parents will mold and shape your marriage. You will see his strength and courage in a way you never could have pictured. And his persistent drive and unfailing positivity will inspire you daily. You will learn the true meaning of his unconditional love through the process of infertility. Hold tight to each other, it is the only way through it.
You will learn to love yourself more fully through him. Blair will constantly amaze you by his ability to encourage your independence and how clearly he understands you. He will find your passions inspiring and he will always cheer for your accomplishments. He'll love you for your soul AND your mind. You will never have to lose yourself to love him. In fact, you will find yourself in the process.
Loving each other will be most profound experience. There will be many nights when you lay in bed and shed silent tears about just how deeply you love him. You will find strength in your journey daily, simply because he is your partner. As he whispers how perfect you are today, soak it in. Not perfect in the sense that there is no room for improvement. Instead you are perfectly made for each other. You were made to do this life together.
So what are you waiting for, girl? Have your Mama put that veil on. Soak it up, every single moment. And then dance your way into the next four years. Hold on tight. It won't be a fairytale...no it will be so much bigger than that.