“Time marches on and eventually you discover that it’s marching across your face.”
I didn’t expect to really love my wedding pictures. At least not the ones of me. Everyone says all brides are beautiful because of the joy and all. I’ve found this to be true in looking at other people’s wedding pictures. The huge smiles. The head-thrown-back laughs. And it’s not that I didn’t expect to feel joyful on my wedding day. It’s just, as a repressed Midwesterner, I wasn’t sure that joy would be apparent on my face. I’m not effusive, generally.
Clearly, that didn’t turn out to be a problem.
The picture that did give me pause was this one, posted in our wedding preview blog post.
You can see all of my wrinkles in that photo. ALL of them. And for a moment, I hated that picture. And then I thought, you know what, that picture is telling the truth. I was not a porcelain-faced 22 year-old bride. I got married at 35. It wasn’t the plan, but it’s how it happened and given the power to change it, I wouldn’t.
Twenty-two year-old me would have had the wedding she thought she was supposed to have instead of the one she really wanted. She would have worn a poufy dress and veil, not because she wanted them, but out of fear of regretting letting her once chance at them pass her by. She couldn’t run a mile, much less giggle with girlfriends through a wedding morning 5k. She hadn’t even met some of those girlfriends yet, much less walked through enough really shitty times with them to know how vitally important it was to her to have them there, surrounding her for this happy time.
She didn’t know yet who she was or what she wanted. Heck, she didn’t even know yet that she loved champagne beyond all sense and reason. Most importantly, she wasn’t yet the person for Raj and, at that age, he wasn’t the person for her.
Neither of us subscribe to the idea of soulmates. I’m sure there are other men out there with whom I could have had a happy and fulfilling marriage, having met them at different times. But I’m glad Raj and I met each other when we did. I’m glad I had a chance to learn all of those lessons and earn all of those laugh lines and worry lines and sun spots in the meantime. They are evidence of a life spent not waiting, but living before I met him. They tell me that while we’ve hitched our wagons together for the rest of this ride, we’ve brought our own lives and experiences with us. That we’ll continue to be two individuals, distinct, yet entwined.
So I’ve not only made my peace with that photo, but come to love it. It tells the truth.
And I like our truth very, very much.