When I married Charlie in 2007, I had planned my entire wedding on my own for 300+ guests. I had selected every detail that went into this event. He was an only child and I was the eldest and first to get married, so I had always knew that this day would have to be epic..and so I thought.
Being the control freak that I am, I notice every detail. I may not vocalize it, but yes, I see the thread unraveling on the hem of your skirt, the mole on your left eyelid and the fake eyelashes. I take note and I judge like anyone else. Which is probably why I strain myself in trying to be so perfect, in fear of judgement if I make a mistake. I can't help it, I was programmed that way.
I feared the consequences of not being "perfect". My father is an extreme perfectionist and growing up, there was just no room for error. Though it has allowed me to exceed beyond my own expectations in certain areas, it has also hindered my ability to deal with the unexpected.
I did not expect that my vendor for my floral arrangements would be an hour late or I would have some additional guests at my reception that were not invited (shouldn't have been a surprise considering we are Samoans hardy-har-har) and I did not expect to starve at my own wedding because I never had a chance to really sit down and enjoy my food. I did not expect for it to rain or for the limo driver to drive my wedding party to the wrong location. I did not expect that the song I chose for our first dance would go missing and I would be dancing to some song I had never heard before and I especially did not expect my father to be in the hospital.
He laid on a hospital bed on my wedding day because of an infection. He was and still is diabetic.
That morning I had really thought that my father was going to walk me down the aisle. I had truly believed in some crazy way that our relationship could possibly heal and grow from that magical experience...when a father gives his daughter away. I was hoping to look him in the eye and simply say thank you and I love you.
Years later, his health continues to deteriorate and though, as I've mentioned before, he has made changes, it's not enough.It seems like the hospital visits are more frequent as the years go by. I expect the uncertainty each time.
For many of you reading this, hopefully you've understood by now, that my journey isn't solely about losing weight or being physically healthy. It is about total life transformation. It's about challenging myself to do things that I once thought impossible but at some point in my life thought.."Gee, if only I could do this..." or "I wish I had said this...." or "I want to become this..." The whole point of this journey was to allow those very things to manifest in my life by simply taking care of myself first. I didn't know that at first but somehow things are manifesting as we speak. I can expect myself to do great things if I am healthy and well, makes sense right? Not easy.
My mentality of "It is what it is" and "I don't give a sh*t anymore" has now evolved to waking up at 5am in the morning saying "I am capable of achieving these things at any age and at any point in my life." I now understand that I have the right to say.. "Stop! this isn't what I want!" and steer myself in the direction of my dreams. As corny and cliche as it may sound, I have come to learn that it is the only true way to live my life...by my terms. Sure there are things I cannot control, but I think we underestimate how much control we actually do have in contributing to the lives we were meant to live.
It scares me to dream bigger. But I can't think of why I shouldn't. Not even the fear of failure has it's grip on me. After running that full marathon, I feel unstoppable.
My father's absence on my wedding day was of course devastating but it also taught me a great lesson; I do not wish to miss out on LIFE. I do not wish to miss out on LOVE and I do not wish to miss out on OPPORTUNITIES. I want to live with NO REGRETS.
So when I heard Paula Fuga, one of my favorite singers from Hawai'i, was in town on April 21st, I did not hesitate to go see her. The funny thing is, she was touring the Bay Area and I was coming from Hawai'i. So basically traded places and overlapped by one day which so happened to be on her very last day of touring in the mainland. So why is this significant? her song Sweet Reverie, was suppose to be our first dance. You know...the CD that went missing on my wedding day?....uh huh, yea that one!
What's even a little more serendipitous is that Paula Fuga had started following me on Instagram a few months prior! Totally honored! That evening, I came to see her and made sure she knew I was coming and that I had a small request that I made on Instagram.
Yes........I made sure that me and Charlie were going to have that first dance song and we did.
She sang that song and my man-child and I took the dance floor in a room full of complete strangers and we danced. Tears rolled down my face as I embraced the man that I had vowed to love with all of me. The man that I had promised to take care of through sickness and health. The guy that pisses me off almost every other day but somehow knows how to make me laugh in the middle of a heated argument. The man who spent years fighting for his life on 2 bad kidneys, a broken heart and a scarred memory of his late brother. His only sibling. The man who brings me flowers when I don't deserve them..the guy who still collects toys from the 80's and leaves them around the house for me to step on in the middle of the night. The man who inspires me and the man that I simply adore.
We danced to the song that was suppose to be on our wedding day, but was MEANT to be sung live and direct by Paula herself. It meant more to us NOW than it may have on our wedding day in September of 2007. It was organic, it was authentic and it was not rehearsed. It was not expected but it was so meant to be.
So as one of my bucket list goals I had set for 2012, but never got around to, I had decided that I was going to turn one of those "I wish" statements to "I did" and make sure that I create the day that was meant to be. If you hadn't notice, I don't play by the rules, I create them. That is the beauty of being in complete control of your life, not in the sense that everything is smooth-sailing, but in the sense that if you choose to do something or go somewhere, you are not led by restrictions but are led by the limitless possibilities and DO IT.
So what the hell, I'm going to get married again. I have not set a date yet, but my father WILL walk me down the aisle. I WILL be content and I WILL be healthy. I will have my song or (back up song lol) to dance to and I will not beat myself up with the thought of a picture perfect wedding, but instead will enjoy this opportunity to renew the vows between me and my man-child and most importantly, give my father the opportunity to be a part of this special day in my life. I know that he struggles with the fact that he could not be there on that day so I want to make sure that he knows that he was truly missed on this day, so much that I have to do it again.
My father is in the hospital yet again so I'm moving with the mind-set of "now or never" as you can imagine! I think it's times like these that truly bring purpose to the goals I set forth for myself and for my family. Nothing is done in vain.
I think this photo says it all. My poor mom...and look at me..I was not happy at all but I hid it under a "smile"
My mom, Charlie and in-laws
Here is one my favorite candid photos of me at my reception..that was probably after a few glasses of wine, but I can honestly say that I was genuinely happy here. I must of been laughing at Charlie.
So...I had lost my wedding rings a year ago. My mother in law found them a week ago. I may notice the details, but I do lose things quite frequently. I truly thought I had lost my wedding rings and they were long gone. Instead I had left them at my in-law's home in Central Valley which I'm sure when we last spent the night. I tried to put it on, and it doesn't fit. It's even loose fitting on my thumb!!! Wowzers! I really had some sausage fingers!
I remember on my wedding day how that ring barely fit on my finger because it was actually too tight. I had gained since the engagement. I also remember how embarrassed I was when it came to the traditional garter toss, you know, when your husband has to pull the garter down from your thigh? which means he needs to go under your dress to do so. I don't even know why I agreed to do that. I look back at that photo and think, oh my goodness...why did I do that??? Sometimes you don't realize how overweight you are until you actually step back after some time. You then realize, "What the hell was I doing?" I don't care to share those photos by the way, we'll save that for another post about cellulite.
I never shared my engagement photos from 5 years ago. In fact, these photos probably do best when it comes to showcasing my "unhealthy" and "unhappy" lifestyle compared to a photo shoot I did in Hawai'i three weeks ago. One of my goals was to take updated photos with my husband and again I did not expect this, it came out of nowhere. I won a FREE photo shoot with a professional photographer months prior to my full marathon and he so happened to be in Hawai'i :-) Go check him out at RokeT Media on Facebook!
"You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream." - C.S. Lewis
Stay tuned for Menne and Charlie's wedding day, take 2, and no, don't ask for an invite lol.