In five days time I will be married. I’m not scared, I’m not sad, I’m not even amazingly excited. Because it feels like the most natural thing in the world to do.
Not that I’ve actually been single for a few years now, officially Andrew and I became a couple in January 2007, although it’s a bit more complicated than that. We first met in April 1997 – nearly 16 years ago and a week before Tony Blair was elected; we were girlfriend and boyfriend for nearly two years after that.
I don’t ever remember really wanting to be married, or have children, but nearly everyone I have asked (in the purposes of research I might add) tells me that from my early 20s I was telling everyone I wanted to be married and have children. I was as determined in that as I was about having a career in journalism.
I did and do love my job, I still see it as a vocation and is why I work on this website for no financial reward. But I think I realised (in my late 20s and early 30s) if I really wanted marriage and children I would have to let go of some of the things I had felt so important and that were such ‘must haves’.
These things seemed so important to me but when I let go of them, I found that I could embrace the things that really made me happy – which included spending time with myself and people I cared about, eating well (as in healthily) nurturing real friendships, finding God and Jesus again. That was when love came back to me.
I’m not saying all women and men in search of love should ever compromise, what I am saying is that loving someone and seeing them grow and thrive in that love is more rewarding that any exclusive byline, £1k a week plus salary or exotic press trips. It took me years to work that out and a few more years to let it go.
Having my daughter is a gift which every day I am grateful for beyond words. The same goes for number 2, all being well, I know that at my age I’m lucky to have even got pregnant having seen so many friends in their mid-late 30s and older not able to have children.
I’m still a feminist, but I will be changing my surname, well gradually anyway (my friend Marianne tells me it’s a real b****r to change your bank account to your married name unless you get a new passport first).
On Saturday when I say my vows I will be saying them knowing that my life is going to amazing, not because I have a great career, large pension or a nice wardrobe, it is because I have love, love of my partner, my family and my friends. That is a gift you can never buy and for one I will never take for granted.