Saturday, September 12, 2015

Battling Perfectionism

I got married four weeks ago.  As someone who regularly puts pressure on myself to look perfect in pictures, to always say the right thing, to be an amazing employee, girlfriend, daughter - having a wedding was a very overwhelming experience.

The wedding industry sells this vision of what weddings should look like and I'd be lying if I said I didn't get sucked into it.  I wanted my day to be perfect, I wanted to look perfect, and I wanted everyone else to think it was perfect.

Maybe this is why I felt like I was having heart palpitations all day leading up to our 4pm ceremony.  Thank God I had my best friends to keep me laughing.

I told my friend Hayley that I was feeling overwhelmed and she said "just try to stop thinking every now and then and focus on just that moment."

So I did what Hayley told me.  A lot of the rest of the day was a blur, partly due to over stimulation and partly due to the the alcohol I was hoping would take the edge off, but I do remember a lot of very special moments that will stay with me forever.

We happened to get married on one of the hottest days San Diego had had all Summer.  I felt the heat when I stepped out onto the aisle.  But when I saw Travis looking wonderful at the end of it, I didn't care about anything.

I didn't look perfect in every picture....

But some turned out awesome...

 Our dance was pretty awkward...

 Our cake started to melt so we had to cut it early...

We drank a lot...and got pretty raunchy on the dance floor.

I was so sweaty, I stood in front of the tent's fan, completely destroying my $100 hair style.  No f***s given.

I looked like a hot mess by the end of the night.  Sweat dripping from my brow.  My large chest practically falling out of my dress. 

But I got to go home with this guy.  And will for the rest of my life.

After the wedding, and our friends all left, I had a lot of worries.  I worried about whether everyone had fun.  I worried that my dress didn't flatter my body.  I worried that I drank too much.  I worried that I didn't talk to enough people.  I worried that I missed pictures with my family and friends from out of town. I worried that the curves of my body were too pronounced. I worried that my makeup was dripping off of my face.

I was supposed to be on cloud nine, I was supposed to have just had the most perfect and happy day of my life. And here I was on my honeymoon questioning the perceived perfection of my wedding day.

This angst was all to familiar.  When I struggled with food and body image, I got into my head like this a lot.  I put a lot of pressure on myself to exercise to the max, to eat the right foods at the right times, to never "slip up", to do whatever it took to have the perfect body.

The voice in my head repeating all of the imperfections on my wedding day is the same voice that spoke to me in the midst of those disordered days.  It was just in another costume.

I have the skills and confidence now to challenge that voice.  Maybe not to turn it off completely, but to turn it down and to focus on how I felt that day.  Not how I looked, or how the decor came out, or what others may have thought of me.

How I felt when I first saw Travis standing at the alter.

How I felt when I saw my tough aunt Mary sobbing during the ceremony.

How I felt when my dad spoke about how happy and proud of me he was.

How I felt when I saw my childhood friends all together again.

How I felt when we were dancing and singing with all of our favorite people.

How I felt that day from the moment I walked down the aisle, when I didn't feel one bit of angst, or pressure, or even the heat.

When the only feeling I had was pure joy.