Thoughts By Natalie

expectations vs. reality: part one

The following is a post by my friend Libby, a 25 year old newlywed who just relocated with her husband to Manhattan. She is a self-declared beauty product junky, obsessive puppy addict and passionate lover of Christ. You can most often find her with coffee in her hand on the hunt for the next best lipgloss.

She originally posted this (and the following parts of the series) on her blog, and I loved it so much I knew I wanted to share it with you as part of the relationships section. I hope that you’ll take the time to read each piece of the story as it comes over the next few days — it’s a beautiful, vulnerable reminder of the value of enjoying the here and now (rather than letting our hopes and expectations get in the way)…

I want to show you our wedding photos because they are more beautiful than I ever thought they could be, but first I really want to tell you about why that day, the most magical day of our lives, was ruined for me by my own self induced stress. I want to tell you the lesson that I learned about expectations vs. reality. It’s taken me two months to finally make peace with the situation, so the timing of getting our pictures couldn’t be more poetic or poignant.

I should start when I was young. Somewhere around 13 is when I decided that I would have my wedding outside. There was literally never one moment of my teenage, young adult or adult life that I ever considered changing this plan. We can now fast forward 12 years, 2 weeks and 6 days later to the day before our wedding when the perfectly clear weather report suddenly showed intense signs of rain. A last minute gut decision led me to cancel the tent we had on reserve and just go with the flow. A tent would have ruined everything that we had planned for, and I just knew that I would regret a tent for the rest of my life. We’re now 12 years, 3 weeks after my original idea to get married outside and I wake up the morning of my wedding to every report proclaiming intense thunder storms later in the afternoon. A small side note was that I begged my parents to let me get married on their breathtakingly beautiful property, which meant 100% of the details were left up to us {tables, napkins, salt & pepper, servers, everything!}, and while we spent 4 months doing details, it seemed like there were still 1001 things left to do. We had family members, sweet volunteers and dear friends helping us finish up the details, but when it started to rain, everything got put on hold.

I think that it’s important to tell you where my head was that day. I woke up elated, almost in a completely surreal state of existence. The days leading up to the wedding had been exhausting and I couldn’t believe that this whole process was really almost over. I woke up my best friends that were in the hotel room with me, we had an amazing brunch and we excitedly went over to my parents to start getting ready. I had prayed for hours that the rain would hold off, but it seemed like the second we arrived to get ready, it started to rain. I finished up last minute projects like packing my bag for my honeymoon and finding my passport, and before I knew it all 12 of my bridesmaids were there putting the final touches on their hair and makeup, assuring me that everything would end up okay.
The overwhelming emotions of uncontrollable weather ruining my perfect day mixed with an entire room full of beautiful people from every significant period of my life and my utter exhaustion are what set me into a crazy mental tailspin. This is the moment where I learned that my expectations didn’t equal my current reality and this was the moment that I entered into a place that I could not pull myself back from. This was the moment that I gave my wedding over to my emotions, and what a mistake that was.

P.S. I want you to know that I love this story. This isn’t intended to be a sad story, it was a really significant moment in my life when I realized how important it was to get rid of expectations and live in the moment, and I really hope that other brides can read this before their wedding so they can avoid some of the obvious landmines that I wasn’t able to. I really hope you’ll read the next three parts.

Stay tuned for part two tomorrow…

Photo by Marta Locklear

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  • Lauren Tien
    October 20, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    How real and vulnerable. I am so excited to read this story.

    • Natalie Lynn Borton
      October 21, 2012 at 4:15 pm

      Yay! The moment I read it I knew others would love it as much as I did.

  • Ally Lim
    October 20, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    I can’t wait for the rest of this series. Can you post the link to Libby’s blog? I’d love to check it out. :)

    • Natalie Lynn Borton
      October 21, 2012 at 4:15 pm

      Certainly! I’ll be posting it on Tuesday :)

  • Raquel
    October 21, 2012 at 9:34 am

    Looking forward to the series.

  • Ashlee
    October 21, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    This is a good lesson to learn in your twenties. I learned it throughout my entire first year of marriage ;)

    • Natalie Lynn Borton
      October 22, 2012 at 8:41 pm

      Yes, agreed. The sooner this lesson can be learned, the better!