As a 21 year old who suffers from depression, always preparing for the worst, I can admit that I am far from perfect and not the most confident person you'll ever meet. I convince myself everyday that every thing will fall apart in a matter of seconds. I am not blaming everything on the absence of having a father or having to runaway from the past life in Philippines but I can say that it plays a role in how I grew up. Honestly, when one thing after another happens and event A & B happen, I tend to become cautious in every situation I am in. It's either I crumble under pressure or flee (otherwise known as the fight or flight response). And sadly that's how I learned to deal with things. And you know what, I do not blame my mother one bit because as much as I've had to overcome obstacles, my mother has faced a life of unbearable situations that I couldn't ever imagine. I've learned now that every choice she has made was to better my life in some way. I guess I am understanding more, from my own experiences, that she was only trying to provide me with a life she never had as a child.
(My mom and I when we lived in the Philippines)
As messed up as I seem, I've learned that my life won't be full of rainbows and unicorns (haha okay maybe the unicorns, shout out to my sorors). I will never have a perfect and easy life and I will have to work through it. But that doesn't mean I have to do it on my own. Growing up as an only child, I got used to taking care of my own problems. And when I lost my dad, I became more dependent on myself. I grew up thinking that there was only black and white, yes or no, this or that. I had it drilled in my head that I was the only one that could save me. It was either saving myself or letting things get the best of me. It wasn't necessarily because I was stubborn, but it was also the fact that I was so scared of involving anyone in my problems. I was too worried to let anyone help me. I just didn't believe in help.
(Visiting Dad in Toccoa never seems to get easier.)
The year I lost my daddy, I wanted nothing to do with help. I strayed from my mom and everything else that had to do with facing loss. I was afraid that at any moment my mother was going to be taken away from me as well. I felt like I had to carry all the weight on my shoulders and become the stronger person between my mom and I. Some nights, I felt like I had so much bottled up to the point that I would have to walk out of the house and cry on the back porch or wait until my mom left before I could cry. I didn't know what to do with myself. I didn't know if I could hold on any longer.
But somehow, God gave me the strength to hold on a little longer. He led me to someone I would call my best friend and the greatest companion I could ask for. I do not know where I would be without Thomas and not to mention his family. It's phenomenal how you can lose so much and be given more than you could have ever predicted. They've shown me kindness, humility, community, strength and love.
What more could I want when I had everything I ever needed? While I had my ever-giving mother, a loving boyfriend and his family, I was still at loss. Still missing something. So we got a dog. We got a house. And then we got engaged.
I thought marriage was the solution to every single problem. I thought that following our generation's traditions would cure my symptoms. See, I was given the chance to marry my best friend. But I realized I was doing this for the reasons I never fully grasped until recently.
And while I wanted to live my life with the man of my dreams, I was doing it for the purpose of checking "married" off the list. While I cherish every aspect of marriage, I didn't want to do it for the reason that everyone else did it. To make my point clear, I am head over heels in love with my best friend (and love every single one of my married friends). I just wasn't ready for the pressure of our culture to tell me I had to get married. I've seen it first-hand that marriage never lasts whether it's because of lying partners, abusive husbands, or death. And because I thought that my life could crumble at any time, I talked myself out of thinking this was right. I thought that I could never be the best option for Thomas, let alone anyone. And to make it worse, I thought that I was never enough--even as a child.
I was so caught up with the things that scared me, that I forgot that there was someone right there to hold my hand. To tell me everything will be alright and that no matter what, I can do all things through God. So while I initially wrote this to explain why Thomas and I prolonged our wedding date to you all, I found the reason why I stopped the wedding. It wasn't because of my future husband or what anyone told me-- It was because of me all along.
This year was a complete eye opener and still is. I've learned so much about myself that I didn't fully understand. I opened up to my fiancé, my mom, friends, and lastly myself. So thank you to everyone who supported me during that time I felt I was lost. Thank you to those who gave comfort to Thomas while we were going through the hardest month of our lives. And thank you God for helping me get back to the path that I rightfully deserve. I also want to apologize for all of the confusion and leaving every one of our friends in the dark. It was never my intention on neglecting all of our friends. The pure embarrassment of our "not-so perfect life" made me turn the other way instead of acknowledging the problems. I was scared of telling everyone who believed in us whole-heartedly that we, like anyone else, were facing one of our biggest obstacles ever. After all that, Thomas and I are better and stronger than we ever were. And while I was embarrassed to broadcast our problems to the world, I can tell you now that
So see everyone at our wedding in 2015!