Welcome to the first Friday of 2014, AOW readers! And we’re kicking it off with an AOP many of you have been chomping at the bit to see. Yanthé has sent us in a story that I imagine many of us can relate to (except the Paris part, I’d really like to relate to the easting-pastries-in Paris part). It’s about doubting you’ll ever find someone that wants you for you, and once they do, scarcely being able to believe it. And then deciding to believe it, to take the risk, and making big, big decisions that change your life forever, in bigger and better ways.
Overcoming doubt, taking the jump. Perfect January reading. Over to you, Yanthé, and thank you:
Moment captured by the talented Rhys Parker
Well goodness me choosing an AOP is HARD! I’ve read so many lovely words on these pages on Fridays for so long that now it has come to choosing/writing my own I just haven’t known where to begin. I guess actually when I first began reading this blog I hadn’t thought I would ever have an AOP all of my own. For a long time, and for various reasons, marriage was something I wasn’t sure I ever wanted. When my now husband and I hadn’t been dating very long we were faced with the possibility of him having to relocate to the other end of the country (well, London to Manchester, but that was far enough) and he began what I have since dubbed ‘The Very Serious Conversation’. He told me how strongly he felt for me and that if he were to move we’d need to make a plan to ensure we would end up living in the same place again in the not too distant future, because as far as he was concerned one day we would be getting married and having children.
What did I do? I cried. I found it all incredibly overwhelming and couldn’t fathom that this wonderful man felt that way about me. I couldn’t explain at all why the thought of marriage and children had always left me feeling unable to breath or get my head around the fact that when *he* suggested it, my throat didn’t feel like it was about to close, in fact I think I cried because I couldn’t handle the thought that yes, maybe I wanted those things with him. It probably wasn’t the reaction he was hoping for.
Later (when I had calmed myself down and we had talked A LOT) it turned out he didn’t have to relocate after all; we moved in together and began making our home. We discussed marriage and agreed the main reason for it was that it made us an official team, our own little family, whether children are ever added to it or not.
A year after that he proposed very quietly as we sat at a corner table in the Ampitheatre Restaurant at the Royal Opera House (my favourite place in London) and we took off to Paris for a weekend to see Jessie Ware live and generally jaunt about eating pastry, drinking wine and making fanciful wedding plans in a tiny notebook. I remember stopping during that weekend and thinking that my life was so bloody lovely right then. I was in Paris, celebrating my engagement to the most wonderful man and could not understand how I had gotten there after so many years of not being sure I would ever find someone I could trust that much.
This photograph is of us after we had signed the register and had done ‘the hard bit’. I was a nervous wreck and you can handily see that my lovely trademark nervous rash has creeped down my neck and arm, but when I look at it that feeling comes back to me; how on earth did I get so damn lucky? How did I find a man who looks at me this way and who loves me so unconditionally? A man who is so very kind, generous and beyond patient with me, not to mention he’s a bit of a dish (obvs). He supports me without a second of doubt and challenges me when I most deserve it. He is my life and to know he has ever looked at me that way even once brings back those pesky tears all over again, but this time they’re here not because I’m scared, they’re here because I am so secure, happy and confident that we can handle whatever comes our way together, as Team M.