When I was a teenager I used to do my best to blend into the crowd. I wore a lot of black; I remember my mother actually complaining about the “boring” clothes that I usually wore. I just wanted to stand out as little as possible. I’d learned that standing out can sometimes be a bad thing; it means that you get targeted. And well, I’d been targeted enough times in my earlier years that I wanted nothing more than to hide.
It took me a long time to become comfortable with myself. That’s one of the things that I can credit my ex-husband for; he definitely encouraged my fun and playful side in a lot of ways. He helped me learn how to start embracing myself and all the things that are uniquely me. It was during my marriage to him that I began to embrace my love of colour; particularly my love of the colour orange. I even threw myself an “orange-themed” birthday party the year I turned 30. Though it seemed like a small thing to those around me, for me, it wasn’t just celebrating my love of orange, but my growing love and acceptance of myself.
The colour orange became my “signature colour” — the colour that represents me, my fun, playful side that loves life and definitely doesn’t mind standing out from the crowd. Because I began to learn that sometimes, standing out can be a good thing, too.
I remember distinctly when I knew that I was going to marry CBG. It was three years ago, when my divorce with my ex finally went through. It wasn’t much, but I had a sudden, brief image of getting married to CBG outdoors, wearing an orange wedding dress, smiling and laughing and loving the moment. I knew in my heart that would be getting married someday – just like that.
And then I forgot all about getting married in an orange dress.
When we began planning our wedding one of the first things that I knew was that I didn’t want a traditional wedding dress. I’ve got nothing against going that route if that’s what you personally want; it just wasn’t what I wanted to go with this time around. I started looking around online for a wedding dress early and while I found plenty that I looked lovely, none of them really reached out and grabbed me.
Then one day, high on medication from getting my wisdom teeth removed and surfing around online, I found The Dress. An awesome orange vintage evening gown that I loved the moment I saw it. A dress that I would have likely talked myself out of, had CBG not talked me into it. CBG who not only encourages my love of orange, but has embraced it completely, knowing that orange is “my” colour, and for me, embodies everything about myself that I love – and likely a lot of things he loves about me, too.
Even after getting the dress and absolutely loving it, I almost talked myself out of it, more than once. I wondered if getting married in an orange dress was a little too far “out there”. I worried about what other people might think. I wondered if maybe I should just go with a traditional wedding dress after all. I felt very uncertain of myself and my choice over the months. And all the while, CBG was there, encouraging me. Assuring me that I looked beautiful in the dress and that I had indeed, made the right choice. He helped me to continue embracing “the real me”, just like he always does.
And last week, my dream came true. I married the love of my life in a beautiful orange dress that was absolutely perfect for me. I am so lucky to have a man that always encourages me to be myself and embrace who I am….even if it means doing something a little whacky like getting married in a bright orange dress.
Hey, I gotta be me, right?