Dear future daughter (when and if I ever have one),
What a day, week, month, year, life this has been. I am writing this letter now to you because I know one day you will face the struggles I have faced and I never want you to feel alone or ready to give up on love. Currently I am working as a cancer nurse educator and a wedding photographer. In my life and career, I have experienced so much loss and heart ache. Sometimes I want to give up on love, I want to give up on the idea of meeting my soul mate. Sometimes I get hurt, confused, hopeless and lonely. But then little things happen and it leads me back to being the romantic I am that believes every thing happens for a reason and that real and true love is out there.
To fully understand my heart you need to know a little more about where I, and my heart has been.
In 2007 I met a man who was truly the epitome of a true gentleman. He opened doors for me, complimented me, did sweet little things for me to make me smile, and truly became my best friend. We spent seven years together, filled with lots of love and amazing memories. I was convinced that I had met my soul mate and that he and I would spend forever together. Unfortunately, we faced some struggles together that led us to grow apart and eventually we ended things. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of him, and think of how special of a man he is. Although things ended with him, something wasn’t right, or maybe the timing wasn’t right. But the love I have for him will stay until the day I die. He taught me about how a woman should be treated. How she should be respected. Sometimes I kick myself for giving him up, for walking away. But I am forever grateful for the love he gave me. He proved to me that love that incredible and strong does exist.
After the pain of the break up subsided, I began to date. I met some great men, but was so afraid to open my heart. Tried dating a man, but distance ultimately proved too hard for us. I finally came to a point where being single, being alone, was okay. I realized that I could be happy without a man. That I refused to settle for mediocre. I wanted the fairy tale. But does it even exist…
In 2016, my life took a huge turn for the good. I was finally happy and okay being single. I had just bought my first house and went out to celebrate. That night I met a man that completely swept me off my feet. The following weeks I was hesitant to let him in. But after about three weeks I opened my heart and quickly it was his. I spent the next several months living in what I can only refer to as “the Notebook” kind of love. (you will understand when you watch the movie one day). Life was better than any dream I had ever had. I was convinced that I was destined to be with him. The next couple years I spent with him and his darling children falling in love not only with him but also with them. Sadly, his past experience had left him scarred. He had been through a tough divorce and again, no matter how much we loved each other, timing wasn’t right. The fairy tale slowly became real and we realized that we wanted different things. Walking away was not an easy decision. But one that I had to do. Why you may ask… because if you and your partner are not on the same page, and don’t want the same things, it is not fair to either of you to force it.
So here I am, on the first day of December 2017, less than two months away from my 33rd birthday, and single again. You probably are asking yourself…. why is she writing all of this… well here goes…
Life is hard. Love is harder. But there is truth in the old saying, “they never said it would be easy, just promised it would be worth it.” I have spent the last few weeks in a state of inner turmoil trying to justify why I should be happy and love myself. And then I remembered, that heartbreaks hurt. But a broken heart is a reminder of what is real, what it means to feel love for a person, and to lose something you love. And how lucky I am to be alive and get to experience life, for the good and the bad.
I can’t guarantee that you won’t experience heart ache in your future. But I wanted to write something to you today, in this moment, about why it is important to believe in love…even through the heart ache. I have spent six years now photographing weddings, and listening to the vows made by a man and woman on their wedding day. People often ask me how I do it… be single and witness so much love around me. How do I not hate it? Or dread my job. And here is the real truth.
I LOVE being a wedding photographer. It is sometimes sad coming home alone after weddings knowing I don’t have that special someone yet, but the love I get to witness between two people on their wedding day is a reminder that it does exist. And gives me hope that I will find my Mr Right when the timing is right.
So in your life, remember these things…
- nothing is perfect, despite what you see on instagram or Facebook. Perception vs Reality is a real thing
- never settle for less than extraordinary… you deserve it
- love whole heartedly, and without fear
- be open to love, even after heart ache
- no matter what happens, I will always love you unconditionally and will be there to wipe your tears, and capture your smiles
And finally… Never give up on love!
In times of sadness it is easy to forget how incredible Love can be. It can be hard to trust someones intentions. Hard to know when you should take the chance. Your heart will feel like its on a roller coaster. Just remember that the right person will love you for you, want you as much as you want them, and cross the ends of the earth for you. Love yourself first. And know that I will always love you!
Ryann (your future mom)