September 15, 2015
Dear 2007 Marie:
Today is our eight-year wedding anniversary. Crazy, right??
That was the first thought that popped into my head this morning when I woke up, and it made me smile. Such good memories! You are dressed in a beautiful wedding gown with flawless hair and makeup. People fawning all over you, taking pictures. The only thing you had to do was show up! When does that ever happen? We were surrounded by lots of loving friends and family, ready to have a huge party and celebrate this awesome day.
Then, I rolled over in bed, looked to my right and saw the man I love. Except, it’s not the man you married.
I know, I know. Please don’t freak out. Let me explain.
Everything is coming up roses after your wedding. About five months after the wedding, you get your first puppy, an adorable yellow Labrador Retriever named Dublin. She’s the cutest thing you’ve ever laid eyes on and you can’t imagine how you lived life without her. She’s the closest thing to a child you have and you love every second of it.
You both decide to start renovating the house, just like you planned. This is a lot of work, time and money. Many days and nights go by in complete exhaustion, but you both persevere. In the end, the house looks gorgeous. It starts to feel like home.
Then, life starts to settle down. Because of the wedding and renovations, money is very tight. Like, squeaky tight. We manage to get a bulk of the debt paid off, but it’s still looming over our heads. Work also becomes more stressful for you both. This leads to more fighting and less talking. Discussions about our days turn into nights of silence. The television gets the attention and conversation centers around what to watch on the DVR.
This goes on for a while. Attempts to communicate issues fall on two sets of deaf ears. Fights become more frequent and destructive habits worsen. Your sex life is non-existent and the thoughts you have failed start to creep into your head.
You don’t have any children. This was agreed upon at the time you married. But, like many things in life, things change. You’ve changed your mind. You’re now 31 and everyone you know is starting their families. You start to realize that it is, in fact, something you want. You want a family but you know there’s no way it can work in this environment. You’re also scared to bring up the subject of children because you know the answer: no. He’s steadfast and won’t move an inch. But, you bring it up anyway and are met with the rejection you anticipated, but it hurts. Bad. There’s no changing his mind.
Things don’t improve. In fact, they get worse. We don’t need to get into nitty gritty details here, but it just stops working. Panic sinks in and you don’t know what to do. Last ditch efforts are made to save this marriage, but you realize it’s too far gone.
You separate in 2013. It’s the hardest decision you’ve ever made, but you know deep down it’s what’s best for both of you. Months move quickly and soon you’re in your own apartment, alone. Some days, it feels like a dream. Just when things start to look promising, the darkest depression you’ve ever had washes over you. Life now feels like a nightmare. But — you’re very much awake. You start clawing your way back, grasping on little wisps of hope and support. It begins to work and your family and friends drag you up and out of the black hole you were subsisting in.
To handle your emotions, you start writing a blog. You almost don’t publish it, but decide to take a chance. You need to get these feelings out there, to purge. Shortly after, an old friend reaches out to tell he’s started stand-up comedy, and you should too. Feeling hopeless and numb, you finally submit and sign up to finally fulfill one of your lifetime goals. Then, things really change.
The time on stage feels like a drug. All those friends and family are there to watch you and want you to suceed. You stand up a little straighter and your mind becomes a bit clearer. Life begins to flow again and you find yourself laughing and enjoying things like you once did. Dating is awkward and you’re pretty terrible at it. Then, when you’re not expecting it (like they always say), you meet the man you’re now waking up next to. You learn who you are. You’re not perfect and you have a lot of flaws, but that’s ok. You find happiness, peace. You’re human again.
Now, today, you’ve got a pretty decent comedy career going, and you’re a contributing blogger at Huffington Post! Bet you didn’t think that would happen, right??
I’m sorry I told you this in a very public letter, but I needed to let you know. Life isn’t what you thought it would be on your wedding day; it’s what it should be today.