2.20.2012

hope & the heart


in the last 2 weeks, i've received 4 emails from blends with broken hearts.
and while i''ll write each of them a response, some of the thoughts i'm having may apply to more than just my brave gals who reached out.
so to those of you who may find comfort in someone knowing your pain, here's what i've been thinking....

i think i'm writing this because  i may need to reference this in another 15 minutes.
anxiety comes at the strangest times and derails me from what i know to be true.
stupid anxiety.

i rarely (if ever) write about what/who/how my future husband (even that word seems so intense) will be. if anyone knew my former boyfriends, they'd realize that my mercurial gemini nature also applies to my preference in men.
but i have loved and been loved by some pretty remarkable men.
i have felt certain and sure about one and when that relationship ended (due to circumstances bigger than him or me), i couldn't understand the cruelty. i felt destined never to be happy or settled or sure again.

if it  was "right," why isn't it always "right?' and why can't it be...
i struggled with that in my prayers for months. it was devastating.

i mourned for months (some of you were fed up with my moping and expressed it in your comments... sorry... i had to go thru that) and then i happily poured myself into another relationship which just ended shy of a year. i worked hard and loved hard in that relationship but it takes two, doesn't it. another devastation.

breakups are hard. circumstantial depression runs deep and the pain can be overwhelming.
as the oldest of 5 girls, i've seen a lot of breakups in my family alone... and with my friends, i've become an expert in breakup advice. some of the relationships that have ended are clearly for the best- but that doesn't mean it hurts any less.
in those cases, i've found that the absence of hope is really what you're mourning- not necessarily the man. when hope is lost, the world feels bleak and despair overwhelms.

i recently had a doctor (totally inappropriate) ask,
"so have you given any thought to maybe giving this [i'm assuming my career?]
all up for something more meaningful?"
wow.
after stifling the urge to slap her and scream out, "NO, I'VE NEVER THOUGHT OF THAT! THANKS FOR THAT LIGHTBULB! ALL THIS TIME, I'VE BEEN PUSHING AMAZING RELATIONSHIPS AWAY IN ORDER TO PRANCE AROUND ON STAGE! YOU CHANGED MY WORLD!!!" i simply said, "i haven't been in the right relationship for marriage and children to be a possibility yet."


to be clear, i've never been on a "husband hunt." to me, success is not in HAVING a husband. rather, success is loving and caring and sharing with a partner who reciprocates.
it's funny, in nyc, people are more interested in what you DO and who you ARE.
what i'm finding in utah, is that people are more interested in whether or not i'm married or have children. all good things- and aspets of life that i desire- but not the benchmark for happiness and certainly not the benchmark for success.


remember, just because someone has a career, it does not mean they do not wish for a family.
but in the meantime, i refuse to feel like my life is less meaningful because i'm not currently coupled.

i keep re-reading elder hale's october conference talk, "waiting upon the Lord: Thy will be done."
read it.
it's his finest. 
i could do a whole 5 posts dissecting it. 
what struck me the most : 


"In the scriptures, the word wait means to hope, to anticipate, and to trust."


"waiting upon the Lord means to "stand fast" and "press forward" in faith, "having a perfect brightness of hope." 


hope. 
there it is again. 
i'm not waiting. i'm continuing to love my life, cherish my relationships, and  create moments of fun and spontaneity. 
and since i don't exactly have the knowledge, i'm going to go ahead with the hope (and when i don't have the hope, i'm going to pray for that) that the right man for me is taking his sweet time becoming more awesome. because, you see, i don't think my loving Heavenly Father would allow me to feel peace about marrying someone only never to feel that same way again. it doesn't work that way. i think i had that feeling to be a benchmark for what is good and what is right and what to strive for so i don't date any more riff-raff (heaven knows i've done enough of that- i've had some real doozies recently). it happened once. it will happen again. 
i may or may not know him now,  but i do know this; 
he's going to be remarkable. 
i will be ready. 
so to you lovies with broken and hopeless hearts. i'm adding you to my prayers. i'm praying that your hearts will be hopeful and joyful and you will savor this time alone becoming the brightest you. 

because he's coming.


he's worth the wait and he's lucky to have you. 


image found here 

53 comments:

cheri said...

this was a perfect post. seriously. you summed up everything i've been thinking in my head for months, but i love how you said it. it takes courage to wait & hope but we have to just keep realizing that there is someone being prepared who is just awesome, right? i am going to tweet about this blog! thanks, natalie!

The Shabby Princess said...

What a lovely post. And so true. While I am a married gal, I struggle with having children in that we've been married seven years and no kiddos--must be a church record, ha.

I need to remember that hope--that one day, when things are right, that I will become a mother. Even when it's hard to see younger siblings on their second. I'll get there. We will all find our "there".


Thank you for this post!

Life is Good said...

I love this.

jg said...

i was just strolling on the beach in Hollywood, Florida today and, while noticing couples together thought, "What makes that woman so special that she gets to have a relationship and not me?" A little melodramatic I know but just wondering why I am alone. Then I read your post. Thank you for your courageous posts and the reminder of hope. Just what I needed to read today.

megan. said...

I love this post too. I feel like so many of my friends have locked themselves into relationships/marriages because they were scared of the next thing, scared of uncertainty, scared of change. I experienced it a little myself--and was engaged after college, then thankfully, we broke up. It was the absolute best thing I've ever done in life, not marrying that guy. And yes, I say "that guy," because in the four years since I've known him, I've come full circle, changed so much, and realized that what I thought I wanted then 1) wasn't what he was, and 2) wasn't what I needed then either.

It's so hard, being an adult... I think people take relationships so, so lightly. We grow up in this princess mentality, just waiting to be swept away, but the hard truth is that we don't do a ton of prep work. How many people truly read, research, know themselves totally, before lunging headfirst into a relationship that could possibly result in a marriage? My boyfriend and I have talked a lot about how people prep for SO, SO much in life... studying for exams, admittance to schools, job prep, etc... but the most important thing in life is meeting your mate, and so few people actually do the prep work. That said, breakups are still heartwrenching--even when the coupling isn't what should exist forever and ever. Recognizing something failed, is hard. I wish more people would be vocal about how being in your 20s/30s and unmarried doesn't mean you're flawed and undeserving...

I'm beyond rambling now. I could write for hours on this... bottom line? fantastic post. And prayers to you, too. I wish there was an expiration date on heartache. xo

Amanda said...

this is sweet. and you are amazing. i LOVE that talk. and you have TONS for hope for---and so does the lucky guy who gets to be with you!

Carrie said...

This. is. perfect. Thank you for sharing.

Amy said...

I surely don't know you at all... stumbled across your blog years ago and have read it since (I especially love your Bachelor & Bachelorette posts and lol with you). For some reason you are an inspiration to ME. I got married at 19 and while I have grown up a lot since then (I'm 30 now), you are much more brave than I've ever been. You have such a different life and different view of the world than I've ever had. Thank you for sharing that. Just keep being you.

The Cat said...

This post is simply beautiful. Everything worthwhile is worth waiting for. I have been single most of my life, and in this time I have grown to be truly happy with myself and become a better me. The man that's right for me will be lucky to have that, and I will not settle for anything less.

This is by far my favorite post of yours.

Jeanelle said...

This was simply lovely and sweet and wonderful. I'm struggling with the wait myself. I go from moments where I'm very hopeful to others where I think "I will die alone." I'll reread Elder Hales' beautiful talk and get back on the hope wagon with you. Thank you so much for your thoughts today.

Jen said...

Your advice is always amazing and works on many levels.

Jilleun said...

Beautiful post!

carey said...

Excellent post! How I wish our culture (LDS) would understand this a little better. I admire you, Natalie. <3

Alyssa said...

I always thought Alma 32 was about faith, but reading it again a few years ago, I think it's about waiting like you said. I agree that the Utah culture says we must be weird if we aren't married by 23. I say, I'm glad I waited and glad I took time to develop myself and see the world and I will be better for it for my future children. Faith is to not get what we want right away, but it is waiting for the right timing so we can appreciate it when it comes. You are amazing and I know God is looking out for you!

Emily said...

Such true words and good advice. I've been thinking about that talk too and how "waiting upon the Lord" can also mean serving Him, like the waitstaff in a restaurant.

eden said...

i *loved* this. thank you so much! i'm not going through the relationship broken heart right now, but i get hit with the sadness of not having found anyone yet and not having a family. both of which i want... so much. thank you for posting it. i have a feeling i'm going to be referencing it multiple times...

also - you nailed it when you mentioned that people in utah are more interested in whether your married and have kids. i've been feeling that for... a loooong time (not *the* reason i'm looking into jobs other places, but definitely something i won't miss when i'm gone.) that adds to the occasional feeling of inadequacy because yes, i'm 30 and still single...

sorry for the venting. but thank you again for the post!

eden said...

i *loved* this. thank you so much! i'm not going through the relationship broken heart right now, but i get hit with the sadness of not having found anyone yet and not having a family. both of which i want... so much. thank you for posting it. i have a feeling i'm going to be referencing it multiple times...

also - you nailed it when you mentioned that people in utah are more interested in whether your married and have kids. i've been feeling that for... a loooong time (not *the* reason i'm looking into jobs other places, but definitely something i won't miss when i'm gone.) that adds to the occasional feeling of inadequacy because yes, i'm 30 and still single...

sorry for the venting. but thank you again for the post!

melissa said...

Bravo! Well said. Well. Said.

-Lizmaster B said...

AMEN!

Dave said...

Random guy commenting on this post.

Thanks.

I really appreciate your thoughts and the link to Elder Hales.

Lana Lou said...

This was a beautiful post, thank you! I'm so glad you reminded me of Elder Hales' talk.

Life Is Good said...

well said.

Amy Morris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amy Morris said...

Love you Nat!!!!I envy the way you write!! Your words are simply beautiful. You make me smile.

I need to come visit!! Miss you! Let me know when you are ready to have a friend bombard on your life for a few days! Muah!!!

Hilary said...

I passed this one on. Nice job.Day

Hilary said...

Day...uh, that was the weird "please prove you're not a robot" thing...

Chess said...

Thank you so much for writing this.

Brittany said...

how lovely. good things to remember!

gian hernandez said...

such a wonderful post! hope is what I have been missing lately and you just reminded me that it is what I need more than anything. thank you.

M said...

LOVE this post. I'm sending the link to all my girls. Sometimes, we need that little reminder of hope and to "let go and let God." Thanks for offering that today.

Kevin Durr said...

So having a husband and children aren't benchmarks for happiness and success? I have both and I work very hard at being a wife and a mother. That is who I am. That is what I do. I think having a career is lovely as well, but I don't see anything wrong with gauging success based on a successful marriage and raising children.

MatildaS. said...

I loved your post - it touched my quivering, bruised heart. And made me remember hope.

And from your word hope, I printed the rest of your post and pinned on the wall of my office to remind me to keep my heart open as miracles do happen every day.

A warm hug from Belgium!fow

jacker said...

cool

Rae said...

Extremely well said. I also think this is my favorite of all your posts. Very inspired. Thank you.

Laurel said...

This post reminded me how much I love you and your blog. Thanks for sharing...you really are amazing. I love your attitude and outlook on life.

Tara B said...

I remember feeling shocked by that when I moved from NY to Utah- you said it so well- NY is all about what you do, and in Utah all anyone can ask is if you are married! It's a trial that's hard because so few understand. When other people are having a hard time people bring them casseroles and cookies but when you are single and your heart is hurting you have to convince everyone you are doing just fine so they will stop the stupid comments!! Argh. I love your outlook and your hope. So necessary for so many stages of life, and so beautifully said in that talk.

kenzis said...

beautiful.

Shelby said...

This is just what I needed today! Thank you.

sarah baldwin said...

thank you natalie! i may need to bookmark this post for later too ;)

it's true. he's out there for each of us. some of us have found him. some of us found him and married him and he left. and some of us are moving forward with hope with broken hearts.

thank you for following your dreams. you are an inspiration to those of us stuck in the mud.

Rusti said...

That was perfect. And i love that talk as well!

Shelby said...

what a great post. you put it so beautifully. wonderful advice!

--shelby

Erin Marie said...

As far as the Utah culture thing--I agree. I feel like there are big things I'm accomplishing and things I'm pursuing right now that aren't "up to par" for a lot of people (aka I'm not married... no children). I'm constantly asked when I'll be getting married.. or my favorite--at wedding receptions--"You're next!".. but it hasn't happened for me.. yet. People can be really tactless and forget that things happen in the Lord's time, not society's time.


I also find a lot of comfort reading Dieter F. Uchtdorf's talk, Forget Me Not. "Forget not to be happy now." I like to think of hope as having trust and assurance that promised blessings are coming. Sometimes I forget that. Thank you for the reminder! Natalie, thank you for being such a great role model and following your dreams!

Laurel said...

Your timing is impeccable. Last night I had a break up talk (his choice... not mine). I came home, opened my google reader, and cried as I read your words. Thanks for saying something that I needed to remember.

Emily said...

This is exactly what I needed to hear. You pinpointed the most painful part of a breakup perfectly: the loss of hope.

It's so tricky to hold onto the hope and everything you learned from a relationship while letting the person you shared it with go. Thank you so much for sharing!

Jenn said...

seriously you couldn't have said this any better! Thank you!

Shauna said...

Oh Nat. I just love you! And of course i just have to add my amen to everything you said. I have found it is most important to be happy with myself than to be sad that I am not in a relationship with someone who isn't even worth my time. Love our chats and I will continue to send you sappy love songs that bring me hope. Ha. I'm an idiot.

Also i will send you men if i ever have any.

brittany said...

thanks Natalie! ...i needed to hear that

Carrie Mae said...

Natalie, it has been a long time. It is good to have a heart to heart, though from far away. You sound the same and still are so hopeful. It is good to hear from you and to see you give so much confidence to so many.

Amander said...

Natalie,

I wanted to write you the day you wrote this - which happened to be the day my boyfriend broke up with me.

My story was shockingly similar to yours - and I know that anxiety. I have the same question about why isn't it "always right" if it was "right" for a while.

Your post made me cry and it also made me feel slightly better that someone out there had the same experience.

Thank you for this post. So very, very much.

Emily said...

"hope is anything but wishful. It's expectation based on experience" -Thomas S. Monson

it's one of my favorite quotes regarding hope, directly in regards to the future. thanks for the post.

Emily said...
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Lynnie said...

Well done and thank you. Something that has helped me lately is to recognize "panic" in my thought processes- and then deliberately change it to hope and faith and courage. I love the thought of us all praying for each other. Consider the favor returned. :)

Elle said...

http://www.themormonbachelorette.com/

Have you heard of this^ As a fellow single lady I think it's kinda crazy. What are your thoughts!