Last night, I had a shockingly vivid dream about my wedding. I’ve had many of these dreams over the years, some more vivid than others, the truly special scenarios staying in my memory for me to revisit when I’m in the mood to engage in conscious wish-fulfillment fantasies.
This dream started off lovely… The details were crystal clear.
My dress was very similar to the styles I’m drawn to when I flip through bridal magazines (a habit I’ve gotten much better at avoiding, as it can become quite depressing), and I looked amazing in it (zero modesty for my dream self – she’s F**King hot).
My bridesmaids were wearing the colors I’ve always imagined, each of them in a dress they’d chosen for themselves, so they’d feel comfortable and confident standing alongside me. The flowers were perfect, the church was full of my favorite people from each chapter of my life, and I was giddy with excitement.
My sweet, kind Godfather was giving me away, as he absolutely would in real life with both my father and my uncle gone. He looked handsome and proud, the familiar crinkle around his eyes when he smiles. One of my best friends and bridesmaids was even singing the song I imagine walking down the aisle to, accompanied by her husband on his guitar.
This dream was VIVID, y’all.
The best part? I was marrying one of my dear friends. I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t thought about this in waking life once or twice. This shouldn’t suggest that I’m secretly in love with this person… I’m not, at least not to my knowledge. I adore him, I trust him, and he’s one of the best men I’ve had the privilege of knowing on this crazy journey.
I met him about sixteen years ago, at a time when I was scared of everything around me, and very closed off from making new connections. He was patient, and kind, and worked to break through the walls I’d spent years building around myself. He had no romantic motives (trust me on this, it’s very true), so I began to realize that I was safe with him.
Over time, he became one of my best friends; and while we’ve certainly followed different life paths and now live in different places, I still consider him one of my nearest and dearest.
In my dream, I was head over heels in love with him (this idea feels a bit awkward now that I’m conscious), and I couldn’t wait to marry him.
At least, as first.
Once my Godfather started walking me down the aisle, I realized that one of my very best friends – the woman whom I’d absolutely want to be my Matron of Honor should I get married – was missing. She wasn’t anywhere to be seen, nor was her husband, who is also one of my most favorite people on the planet.
Such is my love for these two people, that if they couldn’t attend my wedding, I would postpone it for when they could. No question.
When I realized that she wasn’t going to be standing next to me when I reached the altar, my dream self started to feel anxious and afraid. I remember clutching my Godfather’s arm a little tighter, and he looked over at me in concern.
We kept walking, and now I could see my groom – standing tall and waiting for me to reach him. And he looked like he was ready to make a mad dash for the nearest exit.
He was handsome and striking in his simple tux, but he was fidgeting, sweating, clearly anxious, and I could see the panic in his eyes.
Part of me thinks this would be his reaction in real life if he knew I’d even thought about ending up married to him someday.
But, he’s not that cruel. In all likelihood, he’d chuckle, blush, and say, “Awww shucks, McGowan.”
This was essentially where my dream ended. Me, standing at the altar in the middle of my ideal wedding, but missing my Matron of Honor, and missing a groom who actually wanted to marry me.
What began as a warm, beautiful fantasy, ended as me waking in the midst of a minor panic attack.
I’ve been reflecting on this dream since I awoke from it.
The conclusion I’ve come to, is that those crucial, missing pieces of my perfect wedding in my dream, represent the missing pieces of myself that I need to work on finding again.
I’ve accomplished a great deal in my life. It may not appear so on a surface level, but I have. I’ve faced and embraced my demons, conquered painful battles, overcome a LOT of trauma, experienced humbling failures, and I have somehow managed to remain a generous, loving, nurturing individual.
I mean, I’m a hot fucking mess, but still – I’m a decent, honest human.
One personal battle I haven’t conquered? An intimate relationship. It’s something I want, but – for many complicated reasons – have not been able to manifest. And most days, this is totally fine. I’ve spoken before about how I’m not one of those women who dates just to date. My attitude has always been and remains – if I am meant to meet someone, we will cross paths when the time is right.
Life is about much, much more than having a plus-one; and this Hot Mess has goals and more shit to accomplish.
Sometimes though, the lonelies sweep over me, and I’m reminded that a partner in life is something I truly want.
So, I dream about it.
I dream about a beautiful wedding, and I dream about marrying a man with a beautiful soul. Sometimes he’s unfamiliar, sometimes he’s someone I know. Sometimes the dreams are perfect from start to finish, and sometimes… they are similar to what inspired me to write this blog.
What I’m grateful for today, is the reminder that I’m not ready for anything in those fantasy scenarios if I’m not at peace with myself.
The past few years have kicked my ass, mentally, physically, and emotionally. I’ve experienced some huge setbacks, and I’ve lost track of how to live in the moments. I’ve lost my ability to be at peace with who I am and where I am, while also knowing where I want to be.
Even if we’ve suffered greatly in the past, whether it be from failure, injustice, loss, trauma, assault… We can still feel happiness, every single day. But, it takes work.
It’s not a secret that I’m no spring chicken. I’m 35. I *really* don’t have time to waste, but it’s time I need to spend working on me. I want to find my way back to a place of confidence, both physically and otherwise. Where I am right now (physically and otherwise), I wouldn’t feel comfortable letting anyone touch me, let alone allowing them to see the most raw, vulnerable pieces of myself.
Those missing pieces are my job to find and put back together. They’re in here, somewhere.
And I will get there. With time, and patience, and self-love – I will get there.
When I do? Who knows what’s in store.
I’d like to still believe that anything is possible… As long as we remain open.
Just my thoughts for today.