Navani Knows Wedding Bliss, Sorta

I was finally beginning to regret my decision. Don’t get me wrong, I was super honored and flattered to be asked to be a bridesmaid for my cousin Christian. It showed me that our relationship (although not by blood) was special enough for him to include me in his big day, and I vowed not to let anything during the process take that away from me. Plus, I had my dearest cousin (the grooms’s sister) along with me for the ride. But I must admit, I almost met my match.

Besides being treated like an outcast since the engagement party (the sorority sisters of the bride had no interest in making conversation with me and the groom’s sister), there was the bachelorette party. A weekend getaway in Atlantic City seemed harmless enough. Until my cousin and I got there and discovered we were left out of the dinner reservations. Instead, were left walking around aimlessly without anyone’s phone number because the maid-of-honor never thought of exchanging that info. Oh, and then there was the heart-to-hearts between the bride-to-be and us.

“Oh you know Adria, I never though you liked me cause you know, you are so Ghetto, and I am like, not” She told us as nonchalantly, as if she just told us her favorite color was blue.

Us being the only people not in her sorority. Us being the family of the groom. You might as well have called us Andre and Big Boi at that point cause we were def outcasts.

“No, I don’t mean ghetto in a bad way, just like you are so into hip hop and stuff, you know.” She continued.

Still totally confused and shocked me and my cousin stood speechless. Were we on a candid camera show? perhaps some new reality show that would air on Bravo or WE. That seemed like the only feasible explanation for this.

Then there was the “I am not sure if I am ready to get married” comments that ensued all weekend. They were followed up with the “you are sooo old comments.” Still, I kept pressing on in my bridesmaid duties, smiling and nodding pleasantly. Even when it was me and my cousin who got stuck setting up tables for the rehearsal dinner at 10 o’clock at night, getting splinters and walking in poo. I desperately held on to the honor I once had in saying “I do” to this whole arrangement.

The wedding day finally came, and with it more chaos. Besides spending an obscene amount on getting hair and nails done and rushing back to the hotel to get dressed with the girls, there was the joy of getting left in the salon while everyone else got done before us. Nothing beats getting dressed for a wedding in the wax room of a Dominican hair salon. It was quite the scene, walking down 94th street in Queens all dressed up in wedding attire. Even though the bridesmaids left us stranded (“umm there is too much traffic for the limo to come there, you should just meet us at the church”) we still tried to hold onto our dignity and our make-up as me, my cousin, make-up artist and the groom’s mother rode in her non-ac car to the ceremony.

I believe it was on the steps of the church, after the ceremony, when the Nazi Photographer yelled at us, that I asked myself why I agreed to this:

“No bubbles!!”

“Ok now bubbles”

“SEMI CIRCLE”

“LOWER FLOWERS!!!” He screamed at us as if we were in bridal boot camp.

I had had enough! I was ready to shove my bouquet down someone’s throat! Then we finally left the the VIP room with the leaking ceiling and lined up in the reception hall and heard Jay’s Encore come on. As we walked out in pairs to Jay Z and flower pumped along the way (and after a few shots of patron) it all started to make sense again. I watched my cousin and his bride run out to the dance floor to Enur’s Calabria and realized how happy they were. It was all about that moment – that one moment of being oblivious to anything else around them, just being so happy to have each other that mattered. And for me, believing that kind of love still existed only because I witnessed it first-hand, made the whole ordeal worthwhile again.

Navani knows how to breathe…

 jordin.jpg

My latest guilty pop pleasure is the new Jordin Sparks song featuring Chris Brown “No Air” (stop judging, or rolling your eyes, I am allowed! LOL). But seriously, I really enjoy this song and when listening to the words I think about how there was a time they rang true for me. However, now I don’t really remember it. I know I’ve been there but I am so far removed from that place emotionally I forgot what it feels like. While that can be a personal victory it also kind of scares me because I feel so detached from having that experience.

After walking around guarded for so long in an attempt to protect myself and my heart from ever being crushed again, I’ve realized I’ve totally cut myself off from anything good too. It’s a double edged sword I guess. But I couldn’t deal with another disappointment or another drama so I shut myself off emotionally. I had to get to a better place before I would be any good to anyone, even myself.

Then I woke up one day and it was gone. No more anguish, mistrust, anger, blame or bitterness. Suddenly all those emotions finally vanished, along with holding on to the past (an act I had mastered). I finally found the freedom in letting go. I know it’s a cliché but it suddenly became relative to me. Once I stopped fighting the situation and trying to change the outcome everything changed for the better. Everything ran smoothly. Finally, I could stop worrying about why things were and just accept them. I was free to just be.

And now I can just breathe, like the song says “took my breath but I survived.” I can just be content in this moment and stop looking back. And with that new found serenity I came to the conclusion that I am ready to do it all over again. I am ready to put myself on the line again no matter what the consequences may be. You can’t succeed in anything without taking risks and that goes for matters of the heart as well. There is so much good around us everyday I just had to be willing to allow it all in. And now I am ready to allow someone new in too.