I hated my wedding day
I am going to steal myself for a moment and say something that is going to sound very melodramatic, but bear with me: My wedding was probably one of the worst days of my life. I've spent a lot of time (a lot) thinking about how to write a post like this. I read a quote recently, and I knew I had to:
"If you're afraid to write it,
That's a good sign.
I suppose you know you're writing the
Truth when you're terrified."
So where were we? Ah yes, my wedding day. Ever since I can remember, I used to day dream about my wedding day. After Pinterest joined the interweb, I started really fleshing it out: the dress, my bridesmaids (their dresses would be pin-up inspired, of course), the papel picado, the little amor eterno calavera wedding cake toppers. After I met M, DAYUM I really got into it. If I closed my eyes hard enough, I could picture his face - his eyes softening as I walked towards him down the aisle.
I knew he was The One. Sure we had our differences, our fair share of arguments. Sure he drove me nuts (still does) sometimes, but I knew he was the first man to enter my life that I could never, ever live without.
We had beautiful, long conversations. We talked about everything (still do): from politics, to reality TV, to books. Plus, he could really hold his own with my friends. Oh yeah, and he was funny as hell. And good at math - for some reason I found that incredibly sexy.
Fast forward a few years - we are madly in love with one another. We have taken a few fun mini vacations together. We have even started tip toeing around The Ring Conversation (you know, what kind, what size is your ring finger, etc). We are running 6 miles a day together (idk why this bonded us even more fiercely, but it did). We are in a good place, following the traditional path of courtship that many a Mexican parent would approve of.
And boom - like a ton of bricks, a positive pregnancy test fell into our laps.
At first, my parents were ecstatic - they were going to be grandparents despite the fact that I had been diagnosed with PCOS years prior. Then, the socio-cultural reality hit them: what would people say!!!???? She was pregnant out of wedlock!!!!!
I am not writing this to sit and complain about any of the things that happened during this time. I am writing to share MY truth, and perhaps inspire those who may be in my shoes or may some day find themselves in them.
It was a vulnerable time for me (and M, let's be honest). Despite the fact that we were two grown ass adults, building careers with great paying jobs, and the fact that we loved each other ferociously and had created a life (who we chose to bring into the world!) out of that love - we still somehow, someway managed to piss people off.
My parents refused to let me move in with M without being married. It was an intense period of growth and change for all of us. They had been so used to their daughter following a neat path that made them proud. So when they discovered that their daughter was in fact human, and made mistakes, and loved outside the lines - well, I'm sure that terrified them.
So we had a "shotgun wedding" - it was harried, and nothing like I envisioned. Our mothers fought, my grandmother fainted shortly after our ceremony, I was missing so many people that I wanted by my side on my special day.
I have since grown critical of the Wedding Industrial Complex, and largely outspoken about the cultural expectations placed on us by our families through decades of patriarchy, colonization, and capitalism.
When you defy expectations, especially cultural ones, it can be a ground-breaking earth-shattering experience. What boggles my mind, is that so many (SO MANY!!!!) babies (first babies, especially) are born out of wedlock. 70% in 2014. SEVENTY PERCENT!
And yet, many of us spend the first days of our chosen pregnancy/marriage/life living in shame and guilt because we did not do things "the right way".
How many annoying phrases can you think of that negatively describe people living their lives outside the "rules" society and our cultures place on us?
"Living in sin"
"Make an honest woman out of her"
The list is endless, and really created out of fear - of the unknown, of pressure, of change.
I need you to know dear reader, that change can be so beautiful, and is so important.
I love my culture, I am proud of heritage, I love my parents, I love many of the values I was raised with.
Though I am still learning how to navigate it all myself - I encourage you to do what is right for you and your family. You need to create your own family, your own traditions - whatever those look like.
To their credit, my parents have been so supportive ever since. No parent wants to see their child go through an emotional roller coaster, or potential instability - that's what they were protecting me from. I know that now.
I would be lying if I said that our first year of marriage was not hard. It really, really was. Happy to report, though, that this year has only made us stronger, and better together. We are still very, very much in love; our daughter is healthy, intelligent, wonderful; we are setting goals as a family and crushing the shit out of them.
I would not change anything about my life. I love my husband, I love my daughter, and though I did not love my wedding – I do love my marriage.
So here's to two years of marriage - may the rest be just a beautiful and defiant.