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Finding Destiny in the Aisles of Nordstrom

It was 2018 and the scars from my breakup over a year earlier had not yet healed. But, I was at least certain at that point that I would survive. I hadn’t always been sure that I could wake up one day and forget to love him.

The tumultuous aftermath had me seeking distractions, propelling me from a steady job to the glitz of LA to work for a high-profile musician, and then to Europe to work for an unpredictable startup. Perhaps in hindsight, these changes were coping mechanisms, masking the void left by heartbreak.

It was a busy time and I met many new people on my journey. Still, jumping back into the dating pool was the furthest thing from my mind. While loneliness was a constant companion, a new relationship felt like trying to put a bandaid on a gushing wound. I often envied women who swiftly found their footing in the dating scene again post-breakup, contrasting their seeming courage with my introspection and occasional bouts of retail therapy.

Context is crucial here: I was 48 then. Scenes from "Sleepless in Seattle" where Meg Ryan and Rosie O’Donnell muse on the likelihood of women over 40 getting remarried often played in my mind. While not wholly pessimistic, doubt occasionally clouded my thoughts.

Yet, my feelings on marriage were unconventional. In an era where the sanctity of marriage was questionable, my long-term relationship felt safe and secure without a ring. I never pushed the idea of marriage. But deep down, there was an innate longing.

So, back to that moment when my destiny changed. It was on a retail therapy visit to Nordstrom when I suddenly knew what my future held. I was strolling through the fancy shoe section of the store, marveling over how something that brings such pain can also bring me so much joy. I decided I didn’t need another pair of vise grips for my feet and was placing the pretty little things back on their pedestal when I saw my destiny from the corner of my eye. I crossed the shoe department and with a certainty I had not known since my breakup, and possibly since I was a girl, I knew exactly what I wanted.

On the display in front of me stood 3 of the most feminine and beautiful wedding gowns I’d ever laid eyes on. It was in that moment that I told myself I would wear a dress like one of these. I would be a bride one day.

I admired the dresses long enough for a saleswoman to take notice and ask if I needed help. “Not today,” was my reply, but I knew I’d be able to say yes to that question at some point. I was done feigning indifference towards marriage, an act borne out of fear of potential heartbreak. The truth was, I cared deeply.

Fast forwarding to the present, it’s now over 4 years later. I’m 52 years old. My thighs aren’t as lean as they once were, I have crow's feet and gray hair in places I didn’t know I could get gray hair! But alongside these signs of passage, there's a wonderful twist: a husband so incredible, that I often need to pinch myself. While I acknowledge the whims of destiny, luck, and miracles, I'm a staunch believer in our power to shape our fate.

As I've come to realize, clarity in our desires and ambitions can be the catalyst we need to transform our lives. Often, we think we're waiting for the world to hand us our dreams, but the reality is that the world is waiting for us to articulate and chase them. And sometimes, all it takes is a moment of revelation, perhaps in the most unexpected of places – like the aisles of Nordstrom. So, as you embark on your own quest for fulfillment, bear in mind that it all starts with recognizing, admitting, and embracing what your heart truly seeks. Sometimes, that clarity is all the universe needs to nudge things in your direction


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