October 9, 2014
15 years ago today I was supposed to marry a wonderful man. A six-foot tall, handsome, Latin, kind, hard-working, good man. Just not the right man for me.
When I made the unbelievably difficult decision to call off the beautiful destination wedding we had planned in Ixtapa Zihuatanejo, Mexico – three weeks before the big day – I had absolutely no idea what a life-defining choice I was making. And I never imagined I’d still be single all these years later.
I remember the day I drove him to JFK airport – we were both in tears as he hugged me goodbye and headed back to Chicago, where we had first met. I felt awful, and so sad to see our six-year journey together come to an end. I had truly wanted to marry him start a family together. But as I drove away, I also felt a huge weight release from my body. After years of trying to make something wrong work, I was free. And I was so excited to start dating again.
Little did I know how long I would be dating. And how incredibly old it would get. Not that I would have done any of it differently. There is no doubt that marriage wouldn’t have lasted a year. I still half joke that had I married him, “he’d be dead and I’d be in jail.” He drove me that crazy. But I never imagined I’d still be single after all this time. Or that I’d be writing about it.
“So, are you just super picky or something?” my very sweet and twice-divorced date asked me last night.
He’d already called me brilliant and brave for not marrying the wrong guy. Like so many other people I’ve met over the years, he admitted that he wanted to do the same thing and didn’t have the courage. He also didn’t have my amazing mother, who supported my happiness above all else.
I resisted the urge to pull out my recent Huff Post article, the one that answers that complicated question. Instead I simply replied, “I guess so.”
I know what it feels like to be crazy in love with someone, and I’m just not able to settle for less than that. So if that’s the definition of picky, then yes. Yes I am.
It’s interesting, because right now I’m at this interesting crossroads in my life, where I’m not just waiting for the right man to intrigue me, but also the right job. I’ve recently made a huge decision to honor my passion for helping others by making it my career. Which means that I am now saying no to a lot of perfectly fine creative director positions in order to wait for the right one. And men.
That’s a lot of waiting.
I have no idea where I will end up on this journey, all I know is that I feel better about myself than I have in a long while. And that the more I trust the universe as my partner, who has my back – the more good things seem to happen.
So I’m determined to see anything that happens, disappointing or not, as positive progress leading me towards my goals. Whether it’s a man, starting a family, or finding your dream job – the impulse to try to make something work is so strong, it’s hard to know when to push and when to let go. I suppose it’s a delicate balance that I hope to get better at over time.
Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned to be true, it’s that the harder you try to control the outcome of something, the surer you are of pushing it away.
Which is easy to do when you don’t feel anything. But it’s a whole other level of difficulty when you do.