On December 31, 2005 I was in a big, beautiful ballroom watching my dad get married. To this day it is one of the best weddings I have been to, but at that time it also was one of the most profoundly sad days of my life. I knew everything from that day forward would be different. It was really, very, finally, seriously the end of what I knew as family. And what? I was just supposed to celebrate that? Put on a party dress, toss some confetti, eat cake, dance around, and give my best wishes to the happy couple? Happy. Freaking. New.
My best friend Rachel held my hand through the ceremony. I remember watching my tears splash onto our interlocked fingers. I remember being scared of what I didn’t know. But then the party started and I was swept up in confetti, cake, dancing, and ringing in my new year/life with friends and family.
This New Year’s Eve I felt sad and again, the last thing I wanted to do was put on a party dress, eat cake, and dance around. But I did it anyway (and I’m glad I did. Not being 15 anymore and able to drink a lot of champagne also helps). However, it really had me thinking back to a decade ago when I was watching my dad get married (HAPPY 10 YEARS, you two!!).
I was thinking about how if I could go back to that ballroom and talk to 15 year old Taylor I would give her the biggest, tightest hug. I would tell her how everything would not only be ok, but that it would be really, really wonderful. How 10 years from now she would not even be able to imagine her life without Wendy. How she would get to watch both her parents become happier, healthier, healed people. How she’d have pretty amazing relationships with all of them. How yes, the family unit as she knew it would no longer exist, but that it would only grow bigger and deeper in both quality and quantity. I mean, it won’t all be sunshine and roses, of course. But she just needs to trust that there are good and beautiful things ahead.
New Years aren’t always happy. They can remind us of what isn’t anymore.