The Bittersweet One Year Anniversary {Parallel Universes}

Today would have been my one year wedding anniversary.

I’m struggling with this. It is a very surreal and strange thing to process. How has it already been a year? It is crazy to think how fast time has flown by and all that has happened in the past year. Had I gotten married, NOT ONE event of this past year would have happened. Think about that for a minute. Crazy, eh? It is stop-in-your-tracks and mind-numbing to think what could have been. It is even more wild to think that all the memories I have now from this past year would not exist. That’s such a strange to think about. Where would I be today?

Today is also the day I celebrate my one year anniversary of starting my assent up Mount Kilimanjaro.  I am so proud of myself for accomplishing that feat; a feat that I am still in disbelief that I DID; a feat that I have to look at photos to believe sometimes. And that would not have happened had I been celebrating the wedding anniversary.

So instead of cutting into and eating the top-tier of my wedding cake and exchanging paper gifts, I am alone looking through photos from when I climbed Kilimanjaro. It was ironic, it was coincidental, no it was Kismet, that it fell on the same day. I couldn’t have planned that better if I tried.

It is this parallel universe of celebrating two anniversaries; like looking down a kaleidoscope and seeing an alternate life. It’s like Sliding Doors; seeing what your life might have been if one decision was different. I’m proud of all that I’ve done, accomplished and am experiencing; of how I’ve grown and what I’ve learned about myself. But I miss him and wonder what our life would be like.

I know where I live now, who I’ve met, and the things I’ve done – none of it would have happened. My outlook on life would be different. I know I am much more positive and grateful for the little things; I would not be who I am today, that’s for sure. So much would be different. I’d be a Mrs.

There are those things we look forward to all year; we set goals, we hit milestones, we meet new people, we plan vacations, we advance in or change jobs. We have experiences that we expected and others that we never could have predicted. We grow another year older, wiser.  Yet the one thing that is consistent in all of it, is that time doesn’t stop. With that, every decision we make leads us on down a new path, and we must learn from our experiences. I guess having both anniversaries on the same day, makes today easier to swallow; it puts life and the choices we make into perspective.

Today is, and always will be a bittersweet day. Two anniversaries in one; today I celebrate both what I accomplished and what could have been.

Last year today, in my travel journal, I wrote, “To new challenges, to new beginnings and going over the hill to leave the past behind.” And that is just what I am celebrating today.

Happy Bittersweet One Year Anniversary, to me.

The ripple effect of our decisions

Life works in mysterious ways. The decisions we make have a ripple effect on everything that happens thereafter. When I called off my wedding in January, I knew that my life would never be the same and that I suddenly forced myself (and him too) in new and separate directions. I knew that my path immediately became one full of pain and sadness, of self-reflection and discovery, focusing on my dreams, one without my best friend and that somewhere down the road, likely years from now, we would hopefully both meet someone else to fill the hole I created. I knew the decision I made directly impacted both he and I and those who had to help lift us up, but didn’t realize how far the ripples of my decision would continue to flow.

When we make decisions, big or small, we have no idea in that moment, where the pieces will fall. At the time the decision is made, we cannot fathom the impact that it will have on us or those around us, or even those whom we have not yet met. We do not know what will be in the near or distant future. Sometimes the impact will be obvious and other times, we won’t have a clue. We think we have control, and in the moment we may, but in the end, we really don’t have control of it at all. What will be will be. The dominoes will fall where they are meant to fall and lives other than your own will be touched.

Had my wedding still happened as planned, I would never have deemed this The Year of Caryn, never would have started Tweetup For Change, would never have gone to Africa to pursue my dreams and would have already returned from my honeymoon. I’d be a wife. Instead, because of my decisions, so much is different. All because of a personal decision that I made back in January.

My new path has set in motion new possibilities and affected both my future and the future of those around me. I will meet someone someday whose path will cross with my new path.

Have you had any experiences like this where a decision you made had an unexpected impact on someone else?

365 Days

365 Days

Exactly one year from today on 10.14.12

I will be wearing white, walking down the aisle to marry this man

This man loves me unconditionally

This man makes me a better person, everyday

This man makes me happier than I ever imagined

This man showed me that my soul mate does exist

This man knows how to cheer me up and makes me laugh

This man proposes to me every morning before I put my ring on

This man is my personal teddy bear and gives the best hugs

This man believes in me, sometimes more than I believe in myself

This man loves football but is not afraid to be romantic and sensitive too

This man lets me unabashedly be myself and accepts and loves me as I am

This man kisses me every night before bed and every morning when we wake

This man is  helping me plan our wedding because he knows how much it means to me

This man wants to spend the rest of his life with ME

This man is my whole world

This man chose me

Because of this man I cannot wait to become Mrs.

I get to marry my best friend, this man

In 365 Days.