It wasn't until the night before the wedding my decision was solidified. My dad called me to say he wouldn't be attending the wedding, simply, because of pride, if I am honest. When he said that, I didn't think it was supposed to hurt as much as it did. But it did. Inside I was crying. I am only human.
I loved telling him that out of everything in the world, he was my favourite. He was my rock as I tried to validate myself and grab at any chance to climb the slippery corporate ladder. I wish that I'd spent more time with him rather than at my desk, doing monotonous hours of what I now see as meaningless work.
Baby arrived and our expert exchanges rapidly turned to shit. It was frightening how quickly it deteriorated into utter chaos. You're pre-warned about how it changes everything - the usual guff about no sleep, no social life, etc. However, we just weren't prepared for how it fundamentally changed us as people.
A marriage is not a wedding day. When you've had your first massive married row you really won't care about whether you had live goldfish on the tables (yep, I used to work at a wedding venue as a waitress, I have seen it all, including bridesmaids and grooms doing unmentionable things behind the bins.
Last year I turned 40 and for my birthday we went on holiday to Aruba, in the Dutch Caribbean. I had been to the island years before on a press trip and had loved the weather (28 degrees all year round), the wide range of activities, and the interesting mix of Caribbean, Dutch and South American influences.