6 year-old Kari...

 "Find a guy who calls you beautiful instead of hot, who calls you back when you hang up on him, who will lie under the stars and listen to your heartbeat, or will stay awake just to watch you sleep... wait for the boy who kisses your forehead, who wants to show you off to the world when you are in sweats, who holds your hand in front of his friends, who thinks you're just as pretty without makeup on. One who is constantly reminding you of how much he cares and how lucky he is to have you.... The one who turns to his friends and says, 'that's her.'

When I was a little girl, I watched the Disney movies about the princess trying to find her prince charming. I believe those were called fairy tales because something so perfect does not really exist, right? What real man would wander through the woods to kiss a sleeping girl who lives with 7 short, fat guys? I mean, really?!  As a little girl I did not know any different though. I just thought that is how it is supposed to be. 

When I was 6, my mom made my Halloween costume. Most little girls my age dressed up as witches, fairies, or maybe even a clown. Six-year- old Kari Elizabeth Neal wanted to be a bride. Yes. A bride. My mom made my white dress and veil.  I carried pink flowers as my bouquet.  Obviously at a young age I had dreams of getting married to a prince charming one day...or at least someone like my Daddy. I had high expectations at a young age.

On my 20th birthday I had a mini meltdown. I was 20, single, living with my parents,  and had a 20 month old little boy. Life was moving oh-so fast for me.  Some of my high school friends were already married and buying houses. I felt like I was so far behind. Looking back, I wish I could smack 20 year-old Kari. Why did I feel like my life was flashing before my eyes? Why did I feel like I needed to be ready to settle down or in other words... why did I feel like I needed to settle at all? 

One month before my 22nd birthday, I took a vow in front of God, close friends, and several family members whom I hardly ever see. My dad and I walked down the aisle of the church I had attended since I was 5 years old. Rachel and Katie stood at the alter waiting for me. Rachel was crying. My mom was crying. I was crying. I wore a white dress and carried a bouquet of pink and white flowers... just as I did when I was 6 years old. I felt like this was what I was supposed to do. This is what was best for Gavin. This was the next step. This is what growing up is all about...

Someone once said "Have no regrets in life. Everything happens to you for a reason. The hard times that you go through build character, making you a much stronger person.”  I do not regret getting married. Do I sometimes wish I hadn't? Yes. Do I hate being labeled as a divorced woman? Very much so.  I can honestly admit that I came away from my divorce as an independent, confident woman who now knows what she wants and refuses to settle for less than she deserves.  If it is in God's plan for me to have a second wedding, that wedding WILL BE the last wedding I have. I'm going to do it right the next time. I am not going to settle.

I came across the quote at the beginning of this blog several years ago. I've sometimes read the quote and thought to myself, "Ha. Yeah right!"  My theory was that all of the guys like that were either already taken, or just do not even exist. Why would someone as awesome as the individual described in that quote be single? Why would anyone let that guy go?  I now realize that guy may quite possibly exist... somewhere in the southern regions of the United States.  I'm not jumping into anything, but I am definitely starting to believe.

Until next time...

1 comment:

  1. I enjoy reading your blogs, and while i have never been married, or had any kids, I admire you for doing all that you have done in your short life. Since the end of my relationship, i have been counseled by many people to NOT SETTLE....sounds like we've been talking to the same people....lol. In any case, you are a beautiful woman who will find her prince charming one of these days. I'm sure we both will one of these days. Until then, don't settle!