Crying in the Bathroom of My Cousin's Wedding


Sladana Mitrovic
12 September 2018

You know things weren’t always as rosy for me as they are now.
In my 20’s I watched the people I was closest to find love and shift away from me and into their new life while I stayed in the same place.
At the time I had a totally negative view of myself, I wasn’t dating much, being a bigger girl, I didn’t believe I was good enough for someone to date or even marry.
With every friend or cousin that got married, I felt more alone. I didn’t know how to digest this growing silence and it made me so sad.
I spent years this way.
I was always happy for the newlyweds while on the inside I was devasted that it just wasn’t happening for me and I couldn’t see any way that it ever could.
So here I was sitting at my cousin's wedding reception, sharing a table with other family member's who themselves were married and settling down, feeling pretty shitty about myself.
It had been a huge day, breakfast at the groom’s house followed by the ceremony then to a park for pictures.
So, by the time the wedding reception came around the words “this will never happen for you” had been echoing in my head all day and suddenly tears are rolling down my face.
Quickly excusing myself I rushed to the bathroom desperately trying not to make eye contact with anyone along the way.
Relief washed over me when I got the bathroom and discovered it was empty and I could finally release this dreadful sadness into full heaving sobs.
I wish I could tell you that things got better after that, but they didn’t. I didn’t know how to make them better. I thought that the only thing to make the pain go away was to meet and marry someone.
This is how it was till my late 20’s early 30’s. Things only started to change when I could no longer keep up the fight.
I started to accept that it may never happen for me. Giving up was just as painful as keeping up the search for my own mate.
But it wasn’t all pain there was also the relief. I no longer had to run this marathon anymore. Accepting this may not be in the cards for me, while painful, was also liberating.
New words began to emerge.
“So what else is there”,
“Oh, I think I’ll travel”,
“Maybe I’ll change career”
And I did all of it.
I travelled Australia, I left my bland corporate job and spent the next decade working with kids with disabilities.
I was “full” I had found my very own “settled” life. A life I loved.
My life exploded when I embraced who I was and said, “if my path is not like everyone else’s then what else is there?”
So, I’ll ask you, “what else is there?”