(NOT YET PUBLISHED
All the year after, I kept telling myself how lucky I was to go back to Santorini. This island had bewitched me, so magical and majestic. I had not been able to discover everything, and I was happy to be able to see more this time. But also, to visit Santorini with the man I loved, the one who would become my husband. No doubt he would fall in love with this island just as I had been. The photos of our wedding were going to be stunning and we were going to spend an absolute unforgettable week.
To be unforgettable, it has been, for sure. I was destroyed, my life was broken, and this island made me reborn.
No, I will not change the place of my solo wedding. My decision was made. Santorini was waiting for me, it was calling me. I had spent a year waiting for visiting it again, the excitement of our reunion, E would not take away this happiness, not that one. He had already taken too much, stripped my heart of its essence, I will go to the end of this dream, alone certainly, but determined.
I arrived in Santorini to try to forget the love of my life and to recover from the saddest moment of my existence. I did not expect to find love, quite ironic. I first fell in love with this beautiful island, so peaceful and extraordinary. All its sunrises, sunsets, landscapes, sea, caldera, everything there is a postcard. Then I fell in love with its people, I met incredible friends, a fantastic support to be able to reconnect with life and regain self-confidence. Mostly, I discovered an unconditional love for myself. Feeling my heart beating again was fantastic, although it was scary too. I will never forget all these beautiful moments that I spent there ... Thank you all for having made me live again!
Santorini has given me the strength to accept who I am, the courage to rebuild myself, the energy of living in the present and reconsidering my future. I became stronger, more authentic, with different priorities. My rebirth was here. This island is nothing but a volcanic rock, we think it is dead but there is life underneath and great treasures grow under its surface, such as a volcano, tomatoes or vines ... I am like Santorini, I am a rock, and while I thought I was dead inside, my heart was beating again, and great things could still happen.
Music is essential in my life and it has been even more in the past two years. So, you noticed that many of my articles end with a song. This week, I would like to go deeper into the subject and talk about its incredible healing power...
ONCE UPON A TIME
Once upon a time, a romantic woman, in love with the wrong man, who decided to abandon her three months before the wedding ceremony. Once upon a time, there was chaos. Once upon a time, this rage in the heart of deserving better, of knowing to be worthy. Once upon a time there was my solo wedding.
MY WEDDING GOWN
The delicacy of the lace, the fragility of embroidery, all the little beads and rhinestones sewn by hand, the femininity of the cut and the size of its train, that's what made me fall in love with this dress...
It was therefore at Ampelonas Apartments at Imerovigli that my guests and I stayed for several days. And I’ve been there many times in the past 3 years.
And anyway, we always like seeing photos of Santorini.
Thank you to all the old Ampelonas team, more than a hotel, you were my refuge in the storm, the cradle of my rebirth...
"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - Confucius
I am often asked how I felt on the wedding day, and if I thought of E, if I had regrets or sorrow. Yes, I thought of him when I got up that morning, I thought that he had made the mistake of his life. I felt deeply lonely at that moment, but absolutely convinced that marrying myself was the right thing to do.
Planning a wedding is extremely enjoyable, even if stressful because we want to do our best and satisfy everyone. Being able to project myself into a happy and hopeful event, this is what helped me to cope for three months. All these beautiful services reserved, this extraordinary place, my outfit with so many wonderful accessories, this was what made me get up every morning.
“How are you staying positive?”
“I have no other choice ...”
Having a purpose is fundamental after a breakup, especially do not give yourself time to feel sorry for yourself, it does not prevent pain or tears, but it helps not to collapse. Some people take refuge in work, I preferred to focus on myself only. My personal life had just crumbled, I had decided to devote fully to myself for the rest of the year. I was going to put my energy to the benefit of my quest for happiness, all those things that I wanted to accomplish and that I kept postponing. Taking time for me, thinking about what I really expected from life, what would make me happy again, the things I was dreaming of, but also what I would like to do in the near future and more distant, either personally or professionally. Above all, listening to my heart and asking what it wanted, taking time for my feelings, letting my emotions express themselves. Then, to this year I added twelve more months, and a few more ...
James Arthur's "Recovery" describes how alone one is to rebuild oneself, one must seek strength within to recover. Healing is up to us.
In the sound of the sea
In the oceans of me
I did not have a predetermined to-do-list, first I needed to rest, to relax, to meet new people, to enjoy life for sure, with even more fear attached to the heart, but this unwavering determination, that I will know how to stretch my limits again and again. You must already know yourself and understand your expectations before taking decisions. A wonderful period of introspection began, writing with.
I had lived many years away from my family and friends, I wanted to spend time with them, see their children growing up, create new memories, make tons of photos. More than ever, love from my loved ones was vital to go through this period of grief.
During the press interviews I kept saying how much life was a gift and that we had to enjoy it. There are always several angles to see things, and I learned to look from every angle and choose the most positive of them. In addition, when we think about it, there are a lot of little things that make us smile every day, you just must learn to open your eyes and your heart. I have always been naturally optimistic, but to tell the truth, it was a trip that resolutely converted me to the half-full glass vision. I have been to Thailand several times in my life, one of my friends lived in Bangkok. I am used to be interested in community and charity projects, including when I travel, the result of an altruistic firefighter father. I try as much as possible to give some time or money for causes that speak to me, both in the field of medicine and art. Years ago, I went to a centre near Bangkok that takes care of people with AIDS. I was made to visit the premises, explained the concept, and then they asked me if I would like to go to the building with patients in their final stage. All these persons at the end of their life, men essentially, one is never prepared for death, whether strangers or relatives, being human means compassion and fear. A man wanted me to approach and sit next to him, he spoke English, we exchanged banalities, I do not remember exactly what, it was a long time ago. When I left, I politely said goodbye to him, what to say to someone who only has a few days to live? He concluded our conversation by saying that my smile had illuminated his day. This man has taught me my greatest life lesson, the important things are not always the ones we believe, a smile is sometimes the only thing we need. So since then, I smile every single day, no matter what. I smile at people, I smile at life and at myself!
“By being happy, we anonymously spread the good in the world.” Robert Louis Stevenson.
I know why I wanted to marry him, even if I followed my heart more than my reason. He often said that there were only two women on earth who knew him, his mother and me. And it was true. I accepted him entirely, with its great qualities but also his shameful flaws. I did not lie to myself, I agreed to take the risk, for love. That is why I do not regret anything. For months I thought I would never love again, I knew it was not true, but the pain was too big. There were ups and downs ... When I was crying, I told myself that my tears were tears of courage and determination. In my darkest moments, I kept telling myself how beautiful and incredible I was. Yet, most of the time I felt like dead inside. I have long believed that in marrying someone I would lose my independence, in fact I used it as an excuse not to commit, I was afraid of being disappointed and hurt. I had built a wall to protect myself, it was easier. I realised with my solo wedding, that getting married was much more than a commitment, it was a promise to oneself to be happy. Life is full of opportunities, even if during hard times it is difficult to see them, it is nevertheless necessary to know how to take them at the right moment. Like a phoenix, I had to reborn from my ashes to start all over again and fly with my own wings.
In my childhood, I was an overweight and shy mixed-race girl. All the ingredients to be bullied and a victim of discrimination at school. Add to that my hypersensitivity and emotivity, and you get a kid who cried and blushed over any little thing. It was not easy to build an identity in these circumstances. And yet, locked in my bubble of survival, I took refuge in my imaginary world, I prepared myself for the battle, like a Trojan horse, it is from within that my strength would spring. This was in this bubble that I went back, to find myself again, some time less to gather my strength than to find calm and serenity, to let my sorrow dilute. I will rise stronger than ever by the force of my courage and determination, I was going to dream bigger and fight to realise my dreams, my recovery was near and happiness in my hands.
I’m a soldier at war
I have broken down walls
Life is precious and we only have one, we must make good use of it. What has happened is profoundly dramatic and it will affect my life forever. It is up to me to make sure that it is positive and bright. I know it is not always easy, but I must force myself, happiness is built, it does not appear by magic. Being positive does not mean that I was not afraid, oh yes, I was scared, I was even terrified, I had spent five years planning projects for two, inventing dreams together, building solid foundations for our future. And now, not only was I alone, but I had lost everything: my life, my dreams, my future. How to rebuild, reinvent myself? Everything was going to start with my solo wedding. My personal fight began and I refused to surrender.