I wasn’t sure I would ever write about this. Many people have told me I shouldn’t. And I really thought about it – I wondered if they might be right. But recently there’s been this nudge – this whisper – that’s said, “You just gotta, Jordana. You have to write about this.”
Now if you’ve been in my world for a while, you know that I’m a pretty open book. I tell it like it is. I’m all about being real and vulnerable and honest. And yes, it feels scary to do that. But it also feels freeing and amazing and empowering.
So here goes.
On April 28, 2013, I had planned to get married to my then fiance. We had picked the venue (lovely restaurant along the Hudson River), chosen the vendors (really amazing people – let me know if you’re looking for recommendations!), and had even bought our dresses (yes, I was marrying a woman).
We started dating in October 2011, moved in together January 2012 and on March 6, 2012, we went down to the diamond district and bought each other rings. Yes, you did the math correctly – that would be five months of dating before we got engaged. (Call it lesbian stereotype or just “knowing when you know”.)
So we’re happy and grateful and all the good feeling post-engagement bliss that you would expect comes with it. We spontaneously head to Puerto Rico to celebrate, and bask in the comfort and security and elation that we had finally found “the one.” (I can’t really speak for her, but I feel like we were on the same page at that point in time.)
What happened, you ask? Stuff happened. Things came to the surface that I knew from the beginning, but I didn’t realize (or truly accept) that they would continue or even get worse. People closest to me began to echo my concerns. But hey, we were engaged, and I wanted this to work. I really and truly did. I loved this woman. I cared about her dearly. I very much planned to spend the rest of my life with her.
That whisper – you know that little quiet hush that says, “hey, maybe we should rethink this” – just got louder and louder and louder. And I started to really get that as pee-in-my-pants scary as breaking off an engagement seemed, the thought of marrying the wrong person for me felt a hell of a lot scarier.
Interestingly enough, things came to a head on Valentine’s Day 2013 (I know, of all days). I walked into our bedroom, and I told her I wanted to postpone the wedding. She told me we should just call it off and within an hour she had left the apartment.
The next three months were wild, friends. I hibernated at my parents’ apartment for a week. I cried in the bath, on my bed, and on many shoulders. I’ve called friends in the middle of the night in a panic. My therapist and I saw much more of each other.
But — I also walked the streets of New York City breathing more deeply and smiling more widely. I redecorated my apartment at the time with brighter colors, a giant Buddha painting over my bed, and the best smelling candles ever. I had more play dates with friends. I saw my family more. I had milkshake dates and fun first kisses. I meditated more. I took better care of my body. I flirted. I celebrated. People told me I seemed lighter, calmer, more playful. And I felt it. Totally, completely and entirely.
So when April 28 was on the horizon, I started to think about what I wanted to do that day. I’m a positive person who likes to find the good in anything and everything. So I decided to throw myself a party, which I endearingly called The Awesome Party – to celebrate brave decisions, authenticity and love. I spent that Sunday night with 15 of my closest girlfriends and we toasted over margaritas and guacamole. It was delicious in every possible way.
Was I still sad at the time? Of course. Do I miss her? Parts of her. That said, I was – and to this day, still am – beyond proud of myself for listening to that whisper. Will I be forever and ever grateful for being honest with myself? You bet.
You may also have a whisper (or two or three) that may be nudging you towards your truth today, and you might be avoiding them or denying them or running away from them as fast as possible as though your life depended on it.
I get it. It’s scary as hell. You’re freaking out. But love, you can’t escape your truth. Your truth is you. And it’s there because it’s what’s going to make you the happiest you can possibly be – whether you really get that right now or not.
So look, the first step is to just observe that the truth is there, then acknowledge it, and then just take one small step towards it. That’s all. Just focus on that one tiny step. The second step will reveal itself once you’ve taken the first.
And when you do come to that place of delicious truth and you start living it, please be sure to throw yourself your own Awesome Party, too.
Bio: Jordana Jaffe teaches women entrepreneurs how expand their community by creating + growing a super engaged Facebook Group. You can receive her free guide on how to do that here: bit.ly/magicalfreegift