The Pearl, vol. 61: Just Married

Dear Oysters, 

Almost two weeks ago, Susan and I got married. 

In the peaceful days following our wedding, as I scribbled thank-you notes and relaxed with friends—and even on our honeymoon, as we drove through the New Mexico desert and ate amazing food smothered in green chili sauce—a thought kept popping into my mind:

I can't believe things ended up this way. 

My wedding felt like the happy ending I hadn't quite believed was possible, and the beginning of a life that I'd hesitated to claim for myself.  

Through the loss of my mom, through the painful breakup of my first marriage, through the depression and confusion I felt around my career, a pessimistic mantra kept rising to the surface of my mind: What begins in chaos ends in chaos. My message to myself was: You really screwed this up; you can't be trusted; bad things happen; the future is a scary place.

Ouch. Not the best frame of mind in which to plan a wedding. 

Yet I did it anyway, holding a tiny kernel of faith and trust in my hands that I refused to relinquish. Despite the swirling inner shitstorm of self-doubt, something kept me grounded, kept me rooted in my place. Certainly, it was divine grace. Certainly, it was Susan's love and steadfastness and patience. But it was also a wordless, profound confidence that I held deep inside, as simple and essential as a mound of dirt waiting for something to be planted.  

So in spite of the fact that it made me cringe to invite my family back to Chicago for another wedding, and in spite of my internalized homophobia, and in spite of my hesitation to indulge and celebrate and spend money and "make a big deal" out of myself, we had our wedding. 

And it was like a massive downpour of love. On our wedding day, I didn't even miss my Mom, because the love and joy was so overwhelming, it was as if she was there. I am so glad we did it. I am so glad I didn't listen let my scared little ego, whining about this and that, stop me from seizing the day.

I've been given a gift that I surely haven't earned, but damn if I'm not going to enjoy it every day for the rest of my life.

In the meantime, my therapist and I have agreed that I need to work on going a little easier on myself and everyone around me. 

Stay salty, Oysters, and thanks for all the support you've given me along the way. 

Love,
Ellen

PS: NO SERIOUSLY, WE DID IT!!!!!!!! 

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